RHYME OR DIE?
The keys to better health are in your hands! Get up and ride out.
Words by Soundoff
Writing, recording, performing, shooting videos, interviews and enduring a rigorous tour schedule. Sound exhausting? Well, being a rapper these days is sort of like playing a sport. In order to excite fans at a show or last any decent amount of time as an artist in show-business, health must become a focus. The mere mention of medical insurance can lead to frowns on the faces and put fear in the hearts of a Hip hop artist. This is no different for the nearly 40% of American workers who are not covered through their employers. These services are rarely, if ever, included in recording contracts. If that were the case, diving from the stage into a sea of loyal fans would be the norm and not the exception. Out of pocket medical costs can send even the most privileged among us running to bankruptcy court in no time.
So how can this growing problem ever be solved? Images and lyrics with references to alcohol, smoke and junk food are so familiar to us it’s become part of our development as we grow from kids to adults. These powerful messages can have a lasting effect on our brains. The chemical damage to our bodies only intensifies as the years go by. The key is making the correct connection between the foods and lifestyle habits we make with the premature sicknesses and deaths of our friends and family. Ever wonder why high-blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer run in your family?
Dietary dirty bombs in the form of sugary, oily, salty processed foods and meds are all major culprits. They are not only addicting but toxic. For those of you who actually take a moment to read ingredients labels: congratulations. Have you ever had trouble pronouncing any of the ingredients? If so, your body will have problems digesting it. You like the color orange? You enjoy the smell of cut pineapple? Instead of playing guinea pig for the latest orange-pineapple-bacon-berry-BBQ flavored lab experiment, try eating real fruit. You’ll get all of your basic nutrients with the sweet taste humans naturally crave. Your body will love it. Besides, you don’t really want your heart pumping Kool-Aid do you?
Inactive lifestyles are just as dangerous. Sitting at a day job or countless hours in the studio can take a brutal toll on your body and mind. Stress not only eats away at the mind but also suppresses our physical abilities. The heart is a muscle that needs to be trained like any other. Lack of equipment is no excuse for not getting it in. Calisthenics (push-ups, pull-ups, squats, planks, dips, stretching, etc.) require no gym memberships. You can do them out in fresh air or in the privacy of your own residence. All you need is motivation and a commitment towards fitness goals. You’re more likely to pursue objectives that you’ve either written down or said out loud. Write down a list of small changes that you’d like to see in yourself. Wake up, get out of bed and make it happen. Exercise for 15-20 minutes a day and you’ll be on your way. You may want to team up with a friend to motivate each other. Start slow and stick to the plan. It usually takes about 21 days to establish a life changing habit. Expect to see noticeable results in six weeks.
Creativity can grab us at any time. Getting in the zone for a few days is a beautiful thing. Words and ideas fit into place like puzzle pieces. It’s also just as nice to get rest and recharge the batteries. Functioning without sleep can lead to chronic fatigue and numerous other health issues. Adapting to changes is a big part of being in this business and finding time to either nap or sleep is critical to sharp thinking and maneuvering.
Throughout the years, we’ve been conditioned into thinking it was normal to voluntarily abuse our bodies. Our lyrical heroes made it look so cool. Proper health education isn’t taught in schools and most “medical pros” are clueless when it comes to nutrition. To make matters worse, fast food options are constantly in our faces. These habits were passed down for generations. Most residents in inner-cities live in dead-zones. This is a term to describe areas where fruits and vegetables are scarce. We love our bodegas and street meat vendor carts. We’ve formed relationships with their owners. They’ve greatly influenced our childhoods and have been the backdrops for some of our favorite videos. Unfortunately, the products sold inside are mostly filled with the chemicals we should avoid. Traveling further to get what you really need will eventually pay off.
How many shows and promotional opportunities have you missed due to health issues? How many times have you gone on stage to perform feeling less than your best? Maybe you’ve pulled it off a few times but your reflexes, attention to detail and overall sound will be negatively affected. Catching a buzz every now and then is understandable. Getting blasted on a regular basis is a recipe for disaster. It’s inevitable that this type of behavior will have an impact on yourself, family and revenue streams.
The stakes in this game are much higher than they were decades ago. Practicing preventive medicine can save more lives than any other method. There are certain things that you’ll have to give up in order to get what you want. You’ll have to do some things you may not want to do at first. Give them a try. You’ll be glad you did. If you feel the need to check with your doctor beforehand, do that. Your fans and supporters will take notice. Implement some of these steps in your life and check back with us soon for another installment. Health is wealth.
RD Massive! Keep us updated on your progress. We’d like to hear from you. Hit us up at: Wellness@rappersdelite.com
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