Lemar Ingram, an entrepreneur, executive, and philosopher of Trinidadian descent, was born in Queens, New York, and currently lives in South Florida. As an enthusiastic fan of hip hop, Ingram has penned a book of practice business and life advice based on Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments.” The book, which is available in a downloadable audio version and on Audible as well, is called “The G-Code, Behind the Bars: A Hip-Hop Connoisseur’s Guide Through Corporate America” and is meant to show how lessons based on hip hop culture can be applied to business and management.
Adapting the Skills of Hustlers
According to Ingram, the skills valued for hustlers in hip-hop can be used in corporate America, but executives never have the chance to utilize these skills because people generally focus on the “surface level message” of hip hop and “miss the hidden meaning.” He goes on to say that, while “Ten Crack Commandments” essentially provided instruction on how to deal drugs, its impact on the culture, particularly for someone like Ingram who grew up in Queens, was strong. This realization inspired him to create something that could have a similar impact on culture, “but for all the right reasons.” Ingram uses wisdom from Jay-Z, Nipsey Hussle, and others in his book to help readers understand that they can achieve success regardless of their current situation. Ingram himself is an example of his philosophy: a high school dropout who became an executive in the tourism industry. His goal is for everyone to know that “nobody’s lost.”
Lessons to Be Learned
In his introduction to “The G-Code,” Ingram notes that we learn lessons through positive or negative environments. The only difference is how we apply them. In his first chapter, entitled “I Wrote Me a Manual,” Ingram presents his corporate commandments on the model established by Notorious B.I.G.’s “10 Crack Commandments” hit from 1997. Ingram states that his goal in the book is to help individuals who have less traditional or socially acceptable types of education see how they have learned many skills through their lived experience that can “definitely translate to success” if applied in a strategic manner. Examples include advice from several hip hop icons such as “Get your bars up; be a proficient spitter.” Ingram uses this concept early in the book to consider the “awe” created by freestyling, which involves “an eloquent impromptu response,” a skill that most executives do not possess as naturally as the people Ingram knew growing up.
Lemar Ingram’s Life and Background
Born in Queens, New York, Ingram had an interesting journey to his business success. His life experiences were the inspiration for the book in which he teaches readers practical lessons in an entertaining format through a witty leadership style, a love of music, street smarts, and education. Ingram describes himself as “a hustler at heart” who has always been creative. He studied sound design at the Savannah Collect of Art and Design but became disillusioned by the music industry. He then joined the business world and learned to apply his street knowledge to business. Always a “big thinker” and idea generator, Ingram used his life experience to attain a high leadership level, bring his ideas to fruition, and get paid for doing so. He believes that using the often underrated lessons of hip-hop to guide him has allowed him to succeed while remaining true to his identity.
Photo – Lemar Ingram