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How do you maintain your focus? Everybody has their own different ways to remain motivated in order to keep their engine going. If you don’t challenge yourself, chances are you might lose sight of that you’re trying to achieve.

There’s no such thing as “making it,” because there is always going to be areas that need improvement, and the constant sound of competition nipping at your heels won’t be too far off in the background.

In the is edition of Six Degrees Of Separation [Click for other editions], good old fashion motivation is the talk around the water cooler for Cypress Hill’s B-Real, newcomer J the S, Detroit MC/Producer Black Milk, Boston’s Big Shug, the Bay Area’s Keak Da Sneak, and Amadeus of the Bad Boy’s Hitmen production collective. The only thing left to do now is to find out if you and them share the same common beliefs or not… [Click on names for individual interviews]

iHipHop.com: What keeps you motivated to continue on doing what you do?

milk.jpgBlack Milk: I’m at a point where I inspire myself, and I don’t really look for inspiration from other artists. My mind has so many ideas and things that I want to do, that I just keep getting inspired. So that is what keeps me going man, I have so many different plans, and so many different things I want to do with music.

I’m always learning new stuff about music that makes me want to go back into the lab and add that to my formula. After that, I want to put the music out to the people and show them the growth and progression, and just keep a lot of great music coming…

ama.jpgAmadeus: I would definitely have to say the passion, because I grew up as a musician, and music was always surrounding me as far as my mom and my dad goes. In fourth grade I was a drummer, and still am to this day. So that’s where I get the inspiration from, and the passion. The passion keeps me keeps me moving and motivated to keep on creating regardless of the state of the music business…

b-real.jpgB-Real: Well you know I still love to do music, man. It’s still a lot of fun to me— to creating the music, to writing it, to recording it, to performing it. I think that’s one of the key components in being able to do music for as long as we [Cypress Hill] have. You want to still have fun with it, and it’s competitive, and you’re going to want to be competitive…

You’re going to want to hear cats like Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and just all the heavy hitters. Then you’re going to want your sh*t to sound just as good or if not better then theirs. So you have to still love it, but also have that competitive nature about you I think…

j-the-s-photos-131J the S: Just the simple things, like daily life, and the things that my people and me go through. When things are happening close to home, which also motivates me to stay on my path and keep focused in order to deliver my music and my message.

All that kind of stuff motivates me, and sometimes it can be the really average bland sh*t…

keak.jpgKeak Da Sneak: Well first of all, I love doing this; you know what I mean? I feel like I have a job to do, and that people are depending on me. So that’s why I keep on doing what I do…

big-shug-pic2-photo-credit-seth-kushner.jpgBig Shug: Basically I have passion for this music, and I’m always creating and loving to hear different beats, and just all the different types of music that people submit to me. This is a part of who I am, so it’s not hard for me to get motivated. This is a part of my makeup…