What Can We Learn from D-Nice and KevOnStage?
If you know who both of these gentleman are they might seem like an unlikely pair.
D-Nice is a long time hip-hop legend who has transitioned his career into DJing.
KevOnStage is a stand-up comedian and social media content creator whose career is on the rise.
What do they have in common? They both beautifully exhibit the Biblical principle of
“Gifts making room”.
For anyone who is not a bone-a-fie, born and raised, church kid that sounds a bit cryptic, I know. Let me explain. There is a scripture in Proverbs 18:16 that reads “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men”.
Let’s break this verse into 3 parts.
A man’s gift / makes room for him / and brings him before great men
A man’s gift: This refers to your God given talent. Your purpose. It’s the thing (or several things) you were born to do.
Makes room for him: This speaks to your individual seat at the table. No matter how crowded the playing field, there is a spot reserved just for you.
Brings him before great men: When you operate your gifts to the fullest, you will find yourself among the elites of your industry.
To put it all together this means when you operate in your God-given gifts you will be successful beyond measure and rise to the top and be in the company of some very influential folks.
What I love the most about this passage is what it DOES NOT SAY! Proverbs 18:16 does not make any mention of hustle or grind. There’s not one suggested antidote of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “No pain no gain” or any other suggestion that you’ve got to work till you drop. The reality is God doesn’t want you to run yourself into the ground chasing success.
He gave you gifts. You were born with them. What you must do is identify your organic gifts. Hone them through study, research and practice. Pray for guidance. Execute and then, get this… all you have to do is DO THE GIFT consistently and with excellence. God will do the rest.
Don’t’ get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you won’t work hard. Of course there will be work involved. There will be seasons of effort and challenges along the way. That’s just life. But when we really examine this scripture as it’s written, there’s no room for the grind culture/mentally that’s so popular today.
Consistency? Yes. Grind? No.
If you find yourself grinding. I mean if you are having anxiety-filled sleepless nights, working yourself to exhaustion but still not getting the expected results, you might want to reexamine your plan.
Every endeavor has a business aspect that requires knowledge and tenacity but I propose that your actual gift should come pretty effortlessly. Hours of practice should be mostly enjoyable and exhilarating. I dare to say the process should bring a sense of joy, purpose and fulfillment.
Here’s where D-Nice and KevOnStage come into play.I’m a fan and social media follower of both.I have watched both of them walk out their gifts before us as real life examples of Proverbs 18:16.
Exhibit A: D-Nice
D-Nice AKA Mr. Club Quarantine himself has a hip-hop career that spans decades. He’s certainly not new to fame or the culture in any way, but what has happened to his career recently is nothing short of a miracle.
When the global pandemic, COVID-19 hit the world, we all found ourselves under government mandated stay at home orders. As he tells his own story, he was at home bored and like many of us, he turned to social media for entertainment.
He got on IG live with a few friends and shared some music. They had a lot of fun. The next night he decided to set up his turn tables and do it again, and again. Each time the crowd in his IG live grew until one Saturday night there were over 100K people dancing with him in what is now known as Club Quarantine. The guest list was a literally who’s who: Michelle Obama, Halle Berry, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Quincy Jones and the list goes on and on and on.
D-Nice didn’t have a master plan that this time of quarantine would transform his career. He simply used his gift and as the scripture states, his gift made room for him.
I watched his IG followers grow from 200K to over 2.3 million in just a few weeks.
He’s since played gigs on MTV and BET.
Will Smith released D-Nice/Club Quarantine shirts on his Bel-Air clothing line.
D-Nice now has his own line of Club Quarantine merchandise.
His career is elevated and changed forever. I heard him say that now he has choices in his career that he didn’t have before.
D-Nice didn’t particularly work hard to create this come up. He stood before us and simply did his gift. He played music. The rest, as they say, is history.
His gift made room for him.
Exhibit B: KevOnStage.
Kevin Fredericks AKA KevOnStage knew his gift. He knew that he was funny.
Almost a decade ago he decided he was going to post 3 videos a week. He committed that he would share what he thought was funny with no regard to how many likes or followers he had. After a while he increased to posting every day. Again with very few followers and not a lot of likes he consistently posted, every darn day!
He began to play comedy clubs, while continuing his daily posts. Until one day he was fired from his full-time job. Instead of finding another traditional office job, he took that as an opportunity to put his all into his comedy career.
Here we are years later and KevOnStage totals 30 million views per month on all platforms.
He has produced several successful comedy tours.
Both Kevin and his wife Melissa have multiple popular podcasts.
He and his family can be seen in multiple Spectrum commercials.
They have a physical studio operation called, of course, KevOnstage Studios where all this production takes place.
And, they have a booming Patreon.com platform where they provide exclusive content for members only. I’m a proud member of their Patreon. We call ourselves the Stage Krew.
When you see KevOnStage having sit down talks and social media batter with the likes of Pastor Mike Todd and Kirk Franklin you realize he is in the company of great men.
His gift made room for him.
So… what can we all learn from D-Nice, KevOnStage and Proverbs 18:16?
If you’ve been hustling for a long time trying to make things happen for yourself.I encourage you to pause, take a step back and ask these 3 questions.
Am I 100% sure that I’m doing the thing God created me to do?
Have I prayed and asked God for direction with my gifts?
Do I feel mostly free and joyful in the work that I’m pursuing?
If you answered no to any of these questions, stop, go back to square one and start again.
Grinding is cancelled.
Let your gift make room for you.