Body of Work vs Working the Body

By: @medafORACLE

“People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it” ~Howard Newton

Quality. What does it mean to you? Where does it come from? Does the existence of quality predate humanity? or is this, like fire; something man has created? Whatever your perception of quality is, the conclusion is that it exists. To me, quality is somewhat like light. Like light, quality can be darkened by a dying star in our universe spiraling with the strongest gravitational pull known to man….or a black hole if you will. Imagine quality being a living star. Shining, bright and beautifully, but; what happens if that star begins to die or its light begins to diminish and darken? The quality of that star can no longer be seen. As the star dies, it tends to suck the life out of everything in its path as well. Even before the star is completely dead, it takes a special kind of light to be able to see these black holes due to having no light or…..quality, so to speak. Yes, I know; this is a boxing site. We’ll get to that in a second. Hopefully you can already see where I’m gong with this, though. If not, be patient and if you can; sit back and buckle up for the ride. Let’s step in the phone booth…..

In the early 90’s the quality of Hip Hop was at an all time high. Like other intrigued inner city residents, Master P decided to join the movement. In 1991 he created No Limit Records. Since that year, to date; the label has released 106 albums with 1998 being their busiest year notching a total of 23 released albums. What was the quality of these albums? Well, with an average of nearly 2 albums a month….1.92 to be exact, you could imagine the quality being equivalent to a dying star. I guess you can consider this label the “Black Hole” of Hip Hop.

Often times, more now than ever; consumers and even aspiring artist tend to trap themselves in the thought process of total body of work of an artist as being quality work. If you aren’t hustling and releasing a string of work longer than the wait of Doctor Dre’s Detox album’s release, then you aren’t deserving of the limelight. Several times I have been involved in such arguments of “who’s better than who skillfully?” and 10 times out of 10 the same rebuttal is uttered from the lips of the illogical consumer…”well, “MC 1000 Projects” has a larger body of work. We’re not discussing body of work; we’re discussing skill level and quality.

Let’s bridge the assumed gap in music and boxing, shall we? Too often do we see this same discussion in boxing. Our “No Limit Records” of boxing today could be in the physical form of a very popular fighter by the name of Canelo Alvarez. At the tender age of 23 this young man has already tallied a total of 45 fights. The quality of this fighter is deemed superb due to the high number of fights at such a young age. This quantity of fights doesn’t quite translate to the quality of his resume and or skill level unfortunately.

Like the Hip Hop community, the boxing world had this very “body of work” discussion in affiliation with Nonito Donaire vs Guillermo Rigondeaux. Nonito’s argument, along with the masses was that Rigondeaux only having 11 fights didn’t deserve a fight as he was “inexperienced” and not of the same caliber of fighter as Donaire. Nonito, who has more fights or a lager “body of work” if you will, was deemed the more quality fighter. On April 3rd, 2013 we witnessed one of the most lopsided and obvious boxing clinics performed due to a skill level more unequal than African American rights in the mid 1800’s. Rigondeaux, the more shaper, crisp, skillful and quality fighter, breezed to a victory easier than the likes of Albert Einstein taking a pre algebra test.

Quality. This is not defined by an abundant output of an individual in his/her field. It is simply the translator of one’s patience and passion. Don’t confuse quantity with quality for you may miss the blessing of performing creativity at its highest level of skill.


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