What If Meek Mill Had Followed The Principles In “The Art of War”?
Meek Mill has been the butt of many jokes this year. Things were blessedly quieter, up until a few days ago, that is, when his label-mate and fellow MMG emcee Walé spoke on the hottest event in rap this summer.
Nothing malicious was said, but Meek has been as sensitive as a zit on prom night about anything related to him taking a proverbial “L.”
This got us thinking, had Meek gone into his spat with a bit more preparation and not tried to rest on his laurels—most of which were comprised of his “I’m a Boss!” maxims and proclamations on his songs—he could’ve put up some semblance of a fight against the Toronto Tornado.
We’re guessing Meek hasn’t read Sun Tzu’s 513-BC classic, The Art of War, or Mark McNeilly’s Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare, which helps the reader to look at them through a more modern lens.
McNeilly splits Sun Tzu’s into six sections. Below we’ve listed them and where Meek went wrong. Hopefully, this will also serve as your guide if you find yourself in what is a seemingly one-sided battle.
Win All Without Fighting: Achieving the Objective Without Destroying It
This one may be tough terrain for Meek. He came into the game as a rapper forged from the rigors of battling, so conflict and destroying his opponent through slights and demeaning or disparaging remarks is all he truly knows. His point in highlighting his foe’s penchant for penning rhymes with the aid of another’s hand was to discredit him as inauthentic and to call his entire foundation into question. For a moment, he succeeded, but his subsequent steps and his recanting are what truly did him in, causing many to many to see him as insecure and shaky.
Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness: Striking Where the Enemy is Most Vulnerable
For Meek, his outing of his opponent seemed like a way to get everyone in rap to side with him. Authenticity, after all, is one of rap’s main tenets. Despite this, many were left incredulous. While the notion of a rap superstar employing a ghost-writer wasn’t farfetched, 6 God has been open about his collaborative writing process, and frankly, creates great songs that even people like Meek, on multiple occasions, have been eager to be featured on. This brings us to the next principle.
Deception and Foreknowledge: Winning the Information War
It appeared that Meek had an upper hand early on, when he put the word out that he had the proof to back up his claims. The only deception on Meek’s part was when he fooled everyone watching into thinking he was operating strategically. In this instance, he assumed that Drake wouldn’t respond. He thought he knew how he would move, but the worst thing you can do is try to back an enemy you’re unsure of into a corner. You can never be sure of what will happen next. It also never helps to have “yes men” who don’t think strategically flanking you in battle.
Speed and Preparation: Moving Swiftly to Overcome Resistance
This entire situation happened because Meek somehow found out that Drake’s verse on one of the most popular tracks on his album was actually co-written. In taking so long to bring it up, he failed at moving expeditiously. Meanwhile, his opponent struck like lightning…”back to back.”
Shaping the Enemy: Preparing the Battlefield
While Meek started this fight, he hadn’t considered that the sensitive and love-song-singing emcee was now ready to unleash some hidden fury on the next person to question his legitimacy. Meek essentially made what he thought was his battlefield his burial ground. His lack of execution throughout the entire back-and-forth and his volatile nature did him in. That, my friends, is not The Art of War.
Character-Based Leadership: Leading by Example
By being the loudest, angriest rapper in the room, Meek is unfit to be a leader. He strikes and hides his hand; chastises and recants, and strikes without planning a followup. No one came to his aid, but many came to the defense of his opponent, which was telling to say the least.