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Meaning of ‘Hustlers & Survivors’ by ‘IAMGAWD’ feat. Clypto, Mykah Estelle

Released: 2024 • Features: Clypto, Mykah Estelle

“Hustlers & Survivors” by IAMGAWD featuring Clypto and Mykah Estelle is a gritty anthem for those on the grind, trying to get by despite life’s hurdles. The track offers a candid portrayal of the despair and frustration experienced when fighting personal battles, and the relentless hustle it takes to overcome them, all while striving to maintain a sense of optimism and resilience.

The first verse sets the tone, revealing the artist’s internal struggles and the mental toll life’s challenges have taken on him, “Spend so much time in my mind wondering what the fuck I’m doing wrong”. He shares personal experiences, including health scares like “Stage 2 hypertension”, showing his vulnerability in addressing his reality.

His words “Too in tune with my own reality to dream big” take us into the depths of despair, presenting a picture of someone engulfed by his circumstances. It’s an echo throughout the hip-hop community, where artists often come from environments that mount them with tremendous adversity, stymying their ability to dream.

The repeated hook, “This is for the strugglers and the strivers, the hustlers and survivors” serves as an empowering mantra, a call to keep pushing and hustling, whether that’s a traditional 9-5 job or “hustling on the block”. It promotes self-reliance, emphasizing the importance of stacking cash because, in the end, you only have yourself to rely on.

The second verse further discusses the rigors of life as a musician, highlighting the financial struggles that come with the pursuit of a music career “when ya music is digital royalty statements looking pitiful”. The reality of juggling a 9 to 5 job while rapping lyrics is a testament to the hustle many indie artists face today.

His words “All I see is my lack of accomplishments” share the feeling of being stuck despite the work put in, leading to an existential crisis: “Who the strong ‘posed to call on when our strength been exhausted?” This insight conveys the pressure to stay strong, a common narrative that many in the hip-hop community can relate to.

The repeated refrains about saluting those who succeed and not hating them provides a strong sentiment about solidarity and respect among those who are facing their own battles and are striving to succeed in spite of them.

Lastly, his conversational outro highlights the importance of mental and emotional strength while dealing with life’s struggles, encouraging listeners to keep their heads up. The line “Just can’t get around this shit it’s always gone be some shit testing us” seals the song with the harsh truth – life’s struggles are inevitable, but one’s resilience can make all the difference.

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