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What adland can learn from 50 Cent

Stepping outside your cultural comfort zones can be a boon to your creativity says our ad correspondent Ben Kay, who has found himself surprisingly inspired by the teachings of the In da Club rapper

When it comes to enhancing your creative abilities, there are many paths to explore. When I was younger I was obsessed with D&AD annuals, and I still like to peruse their excellent (and free) online archive. I also read the book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This several times, and, naturally, I enjoyed my regular doses of excellence from Creative Review.

But what about the many influences beyond our borders? What could we learn from less expected sources? If we’re all fishing in the same river, won’t we all produce the same kind of stuff? If we want to pursue originality and freshness in our work, we need to do the same in our leisure.

Which brings me to 50 Cent. Did you know about his self-help/advice book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter? Well, allow me to enlighten you.

Thanks to a prompt on TikTok (marketing moves in mysterious ways), I checked out its Amazon page and was surprised to discover that it had over 7,000 reviews, 88% of which were 5-star. That was enough for me to buy a copy and see if the writer of P.I.M.P. had anything to teach me.

Now you might be thinking that you have nothing to learn from a supposed rapper who has barely troubled the charts in over a decade, but you’d be wrong.