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Third World: 5 Career & Business Lessons from their latest Album

Third World band and 5 career & business lessons from their latest album

On August 8th, I had the opportunity to attend Third World‘s listening party for their upcoming album “More Work To Be Done” which releases on August 16th.

The following day, I couldn’t help but think how Third World has been around for 45 years and they are still releasing a new music. This upcoming album, “More Work To Be Done” will be Third World’s 22nd studio album. 

The album was produced by Damian & Stephen Marley and features tracks with a younger generation of reggae and dancehall artists including Chronixx, Busy Signal, Tarrus Riley and Tessanne Chin. The album also includes a remake of The Abyssinians’ “Y Mas Gan”.  Third World had previously done a version of another Abyssinians song “Satta Massagana”. 

I can get carried away with nostalgia from Third World favorites like:

  • 1836 (96 Degrees In the Share)
  • Try Jah Love
  • Now That We’ve Found Love
  • Sense of Purpose
  • Forbidden Love (my favorite version features Stetsasonic)
  • Committed
  • Their version of Satta Massagana
  • Or insert your favorite Third World Song

Essentially, to have longevity creating new music that still carries the essence of who Third World is as a band is no easy feat. Under the careful charge of Damian & Stephen Marley, this new album is a vibe that gives a nod to the old while embracing the new. 

third world more work to be done album cover
Album artwork

Being at the recent album launch allowed me to really take in the album in an intimate setting. It was never my intention to write this (or any) article after the launch party but the music, the vibe that was lingering a day later got me thinking. This album launch and the commemoration of their 45 year anniversary has highlighted a few things that we all should consider in our careers and business. 

  1. Don’t be complacent or be satisfy with the status quo. Your status as legend is not enough or ‘mind sharp’ you’ll end up as a relic. “More Work To Be Done” show’s Third World working with the Marleys and with new and younger artist shows me that even if you are considered a legend in your space, you cannot rest on your laurels or status. You need to adapt to any industry, an ever-changing landscape to remain relevant. For Third World that means appealing to existing audience but at the same time reach a new and audience. 
  2. Know the essence of who you are. AJ Brown who joined the band as lead singer after the late William “Bunny” Rugs died in 2014, made it clear that he is not trying to step in Bunny’s shoes. Instead, AJ says he tries to sing songs from the catalogue when Bunny was lead singer in the essence of how they were recorded. AJ’s comment made it clear that he is not trying to be anybody but himself.
  3. Embrace the “youths”. No one wants to be dismissed or not taken seriously because of their age. Traditionally in Caribbean culture the “youth dem” are told to earn dem dues. But shouldn’t ideas be heard? Embracing the younger generation, their ideas, their style albeit different from yours offers opportunity to see new perspectives, grow and pick up new skills. 
  4. Be respectful of colleagues and team. Our success is never in a silo. There are other people who will have a role in our success and we play a part in someone’s else’s success. Your colleague and team bring skills and experience to the “work to be done” that you alone cannot do. Regardless of differences or dynamics, how well they and you do your job is important for everyone. Being respectful and developing a camaraderie makes working together more enjoyable.  
  5. Don’t resist change. It’s coming whether we want or not. The group is still touring and making music. But a lot has change since they started in the 70’s especially in the constantly disrupted music industry. How does Third World lasts for 45 years and still make new music? I can only liken it to what skyscrapers encounter called “building sway”. Having built in sway room allows skyscrapers…

“…to deal with the horizontal force of wind. Most skyscrapers can easily move several feet in either direction, like a swaying tree, without damaging their structural integrity. The main problem with this horizontal movement is how it affects the people inside. If the building moves a substantial horizontal distance, the occupants will definitely feel it. The most basic method for controlling horizontal sway is to simply tighten up the structure.

HowStuffWorks

Despite having gone through various line up changes and changes in the music industry – Third World is still going strong, touring and making new music. They’ve managed to do this without damaging the structural integrity of the Third World sound.

Your Turn

How do you think these lessons can help you to level up in your career or business?

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