What is F.O.C.U.S.?
Sophomore year (2013) is when I met Josi Green at a Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect (W.O.R.D.) workshop. I remember giving him critiques on one of his pieces. I didn’t know him from his first name, but I gave him some real tough but constructive criticism. There was no question that he was talented, but even so I felt my small contribution was valued. I was surrounded by so many talented artists. I thought I was the greatest poet and spoken word artist ever, but they humbled me. The weird thing about this humility, is it didn’t discourage me, it motivated me and allowed me to F.O.C.U.S.
As a passionate writer and a poet, I felt that this organization could take me away from the day to day life of a student-athlete. But it took to me to a much better place. W.O.R.D.’s mission statement reads:
Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect (W.O.R.D.) mission is to promote, engage, and publicize the artistic side of the performer. With this organization, we want artists to know the reason and depth behind their craft. We also want to expose such artist and the community on how essential the writing aspect of performing is. We wish to provide the artists with the privilege to perform their craft to the Champaign-Urbana Community.
I can 100% say that W.O.R.D. fulfilled their mission to not only me and Josi, but many others.
That was four years ago. Now? I’m on a whole different level of F.O.C.U.S. A level that Josi Green so eloquently expresses in his debut album. An album that resonates with me on a much deeper level than I expected. When I asked Josi what does F.O.C.U.S. even mean? He replied:
Finding Our Courage Using-Unbearable Situations. This album is based around me putting myself in other people’s shoes, and showing their perspectives/views of how they may see a situation. A lot of these songs are about my friends or people who I’ve ran into. This is also the first project I didn’t use any profanity on.
When listening to the lyrics of this album, I can see myself painting a picture of everything I’ve done to F.O.C.U.S. Using a few of the song titles, I’m going to paint that same picture for you. Hopefully this can increase your level of F.O.C.U.S. for you to achieve your own success.
Hear No Evil, See No Evil. I’m just tryna’ do it for my people. Josi opens of the first album giving us a powerful message. A message that tells us to be positive, and questions the intention of everything we’re doing. What is your ‘Why’? This is a question that many people struggle with. Like Josi, “I’m just tryna’ do it for my people”. All I want to do is serve people. It’s not a glamorous job, but my reward comes from God, not man. I’ve surrounded myself with people that allow me to use my gifts and talents to help them, and that’s my current F.O.C.U.S. Whatever your why is, F.O.C.U.S. on it and only surround it with positive energy. Treat your idea, goal or dream like a baby. You don’t put a baby around anyone who doesn’t have its best interest at hand. Sometimes that’s the parents, family, and close friends. Other times you just have to be a single parent. Either way, place your aspirations in God’s hands, and seek support from your parents/guardian, family and close friends. It is 100% possible to do it on your own, but there are people around that can help your dream come true. It is up to you to find who those people are. When you’re around good people, you won’t hear no evil or see no evil. Surround yourself with positive people who can help you increase your level of F.O.C.U.S.
Wasting Time. This is probably my favorite track on the album. If you want to maximize your F.O.C.U.S. STOP WASTING TIME! No successful person ever got that way by wasting their time. Budget your time like you would your money. There are 24 hours in a day. If you’re getting the recommended hours of sleep, that’s 8 hours. If you’re a fulltime student with a part time job, you’re probably in class for 4 hours and at work for another 4. That’s 16 hours gone already. You now have 8 hours to everything that’s not sleeping, schooling, or working, eating, showering, studying, walking, reading, talking, listening to music, blogging, hanging out with friends, office hours, and all the other thousands of things that have to be done in 8 hours. Every second counts. The time you’re investing in your friends, you can be investing in yourself. F.O.C.U.S. Some of our friends distract us more than they support us. People always ask me how I have time to do everything that I do. Simple, I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. I make all of the decisions in my life. I have taken complete control of my time. Nobody else knows your schedule better than you. Stop allowing people to dictate your time. STOP WASTING TIME & F.O.C.U.S.
Keep the Faith (feat. Ausar, Chi Adkins & Plainro). The last but most important aspect of F.O.C.U.S. This track sums the entire album up as well as my entire life. It’s simple and smooth. Featuring fellow W.O.R.D. and up and coming artist, Ausar, this song is refreshing to listeners. But what is Faith? Hebrew 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” All we have to do is keep that. Throughout my life I’ve lost family, friends, money and everything else, but not my face. With the faith of a pumpkin sized mustard seed as Chance the Rapper would say, we can move mountains. If you’re chasing something as intangible as a dream, faith is a must. A part Keep the Faith goes, “It don’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter where you come from. You just gotta keep the faith. Your dreams are nothing you should run from.” This inspirational and motivational songs allow us to take a step back from everything, and to just give it all to God. Your name is already on that degree. You’ve already been hired for the job. You’ve started your business. You already have that label deal. Stop looking for proof of ownership and proclaim it. Keep the Faith & give God your F.O.C.U.S.
*Major Key Alert: Stay positive, stop wasting time, stay faithful and F.O.C.U.S.
Peace & Progress. Unity & Faith
Listen to F.O.C.U.S.