There is honor in being your truest self. There is courage in pursuing your dreams no matter what obstacles can present themselves. Any individual who is truly striving to achieve their best understands these truths and moves with a purposeful stride in the direction of their greatness. We spoke with songwriter Chicago native and journalist Hassahn Phenomenon about the strides he makes toward achieving his greatness and how he is not bound by old ways of thinking.
Tell us who you are.
I’m a Chicago native born and raised on the south side with an undying passion for music, healing people, and all things creative yet empowering. Profession wise, I’m a hip hop artist, songwriter, author, documentarian, journalist, and I also co-founded a non-profit called Be The Miracle, where we work with kids whose lives have been impacted by gun violence in Chicago.
Other than that, I’m a person that believes in living a purpose-driven life. My ultimate purpose is to aid people in understanding and realizing their personal purpose while simultaneously uplifting them as well. I achieve that purpose through communication of the spoken, written, poetic, melodic, and visual word through the forms of music, books, film, and everyday interaction.
What is it about what you do that makes you unique?
I’m unique because I am me. There is no one on this planet that can do me better than me. I truly understand life is about balance. I’m confident yet humble, silly yet serious, superhuman yet human, young yet old, and so on. Just as much as I am a hip-hop artist and songwriter, I’m also a mathematician as I majored in mathematical sciences. As much as a empathize and understand reality, I’m also very unrealistic when it comes to free thinking. I’m a free thinker and I’m not bound to what I learned growing up or what I learned yesterday. I’m always learning and growing.
How did you get started in your profession?
I got started in seriously in music when I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2000. I was always into hip-hop but it was then that I began to take a career in music seriously. I started out as an assistant for a radio magazine and that put me in the room with the people I was trying to connect with. My good friend, producer, and roommate at the time worked in a major studio so we had access to people, equipment, and knowledge from the start. Starting off as an assistant led to me becoming a journalist and after finding confidence in my pen, I began to write in various forms. Whether it was songwriting, journalism, or even authorship, I began to explore how far my pen could take me.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
The most challenging aspect of what I do is finding the time to achieve the balance I’m searching for. I’m pulled in a lot of different directions professionally and personally and I hate to disappoint anyone including myself.
Who are the biggest personal and professional influences in your life?
My biggest personal influences are my parents. They are both amazing people and their personal story is an extraordinary example of perseverance, work ethic, and faith leading to triumph. I actually dedicated a song to them and my younger sister called, “You.” The song pretty much says it all as it is one of my most personal songs I have written. Professional influences would also include my parents. They are not musicians but their work ethic guides me. In the music world, it has always been Michael Jackson. He is just amazing on so many fronts. Form the stage to his philanthropy, he is an amazing source of inspiration. I also looked up to Rakim, Nas, Jay Z, Big Daddy Kane, Common, and several others.
Tell us about the last book you read. Why did you choose it?
The last book I read was a book I’ve read before. I read it twice because it was so nice. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book is amazing and although it is fiction, it truly speaks to going after your personal treasure in life. It was the book I read that sparked the brain for me to move to LA. It is also the book I re-read that sparked the brain to help me make the decision to move back to Chicago.
What encouraging words do you have for our readers?
I would say to your readers, enjoy being the absolute wonder of you today and every day. What I mean by that is discover who you were, discover who you are, forgive others who wronged you, forgive yourself for the way you treated yourself, and then discover who you would like to become. Work on becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be and then go beyond that. We are more powerful that we could even imagine so believe in that power. We were created to serve a divine purpose so find that purpose and live it out. Stay confident yet humble and find that balance. Once you acquire knowledge please pass it on because we need us.
Learn more about Hassahn at his website: www.hassahnphenomenonlive.com.