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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Can't Go Out Sad

Takeoff and REBT

The first time I heard the song “Can’t Go Out Sad” by best-selling rap trio, Migos, I mistook the lyrics as stating, “Can’t go outside.” However, on the track, group member Quavo actually states, “Aye, man, these niggas goin’ out sad. I’m tellin’ ya, can’t go out bad.”

I’m uncertain as to whether or not the group intentionally made use of a homophone—a word that has the same sound as another word but has a different meaning. Nonetheless, “outside” simply refers to the external side or surface of something.

On the other hand, “going out sad” concerns behavior which results in humiliation, embarrassment, or some other unpleasant emotional state of being. Considering the latter term, I think of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

When working with new clients, I introduce the ABC Model as one of two core pillars for REBT. With this framework, I invite people to keep in mind that when an Action occurs and they maintain an irrational Belief about the event, it is the unhelpful assumption that results in an unpleasant Consequence.

As an example, in “Can’t Go Out Sad,” the late Takeoff states, “I can’t, go out, sad about no bitch Who me? Takeoff never mad about no bitch. Depressed, need to get some’ off my chest. Ain’t stressed about that bitch.”

When practicing REBT, using the ABC Model, Disputation is employed to achieve an Effective new belief that may better serve a person’s interests and goals. Rather than self-disturbing about whomever, Takeoff appears to have concluded that his assumptions of a person aren’t worth being upset over.

In relation to the ABC Model, here’s how the artist’s message would have unfolded if he alternatively used an unhelpful Belief:

Action – Person X betrays Takeoff.

Belief – The rapper concludes, “Person X shouldn’t be disloyal.”

Consequence – As a result of the self-disturbing assumption, Takeoff becomes sad, mad, depressed, or stressed.

However, Takeoff’s verse in “Can’t Go Out Sad” indicates that he didn’t use an unproductive Belief. Rather, the artist reached a rational and healthier Effective new belief on his own.

In fact, the name of the song serves as a reminder to the initiated among us not to allow our Beliefs to result in undesirable Consequences. Personally, I consider this a helpful suggestion.

In a turn of unfortunate events, per one source, “Takeoff, 28, was shot to death outside a private party at 810 Billiards and Bowling in Houston on November 1 [2022].” Because he went outside, and given other dangerous circumstances, many people went out sad by what they told themselves about the rapper’s death.

Danger outside

From 2019 to 2023, people across the globe believed in narratives about COVID-19. Many of these individuals used unhealthy assumptions about the event to the point whereby they developed agoraphobia, which per one source, “Untreated agoraphobia can become so serious that a person may be unable to leave the house.”

I successfully treated a number of individuals during the occurrence of unconstitutional governmental overreach, corporate media dissemination of lies, social media disinformation campaigns, celebrity orgies of shame, and during a time when fellow citizens behaved in patently deranged ways.

In the interest of posterity, the following sources relate to my blogposts in which I’ve criticized COVID-19 response measures:

Unlike so many of the people I currently observe pretending to have always been skeptical of the nonsense they heard peddled to them by so-called “experts,” I expressed my doubt in the form of date-marked blog entries. I wasn’t going out sad when so many other people were.

As was the case with the unrighteous Global War on Terrorism that lasted just under two decades, and upon its completion our nation found another conflict in which to unjustifiably engage, I’m now aware of the momentum of fear-peddling that is directed at something other than the COVID-19 pandemic which lasted slightly over three years.

What does a nation with a military-industrial complex do to justify a proposed military budget of $842 billion? Among other things, fight a proxy war against Russia, because as former Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler once stated, “War is a racket.”

Likewise, what does a nation do when a reported $4.65 trillion in budgetary resources for COVID-19 is at stake though the pandemic is over? Apparently, evoke a sense of fear of dangers outside—this time in the form of mosquitos.

According to one source, “Health officials in Florida [and] Texas [are] keeping close watch after locally acquired malaria cases.” Not hiding the ball in the slightest, another source openly queries, “So what’s going on – and how worried should Americans be?”

Remember, going out sad refers to behavior which results in an unpleasant emotional state of being. One wonders how many people will not be going outside, because they’re going out sad about their self-disturbing beliefs concerning mosquitos. Keep in mind, as one source reports:

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the [former] director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday delivered a sweeping rebuke of her agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had failed to respond quickly enough and needed to be overhauled. “To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing to data to communications.”

As the first pillar of REBT relates to the ABC Model, the second pillar concerns unconditional acceptance (UA). This involves recognition of imperfection in ourselves, others, and in life.

Though I don’t like or love the actions of Walensky and other supposed “experts” who failed miserably at the COVID-19 response, I acknowledge that they are fallible human beings and I accept that I have no control over them or the past. As such, I can’t go out sad about them.

Highlighting the point of UA, and regarding mosquitoes in particular, I will repost a lengthy portion of what I wrote in a blogpost entitled TnA, because it’s relevant to the current discussion:

Though I can’t fully understand what meaningful purpose they serve, mosquitos exist nonetheless. Depending on the source, mosquito-borne diseases are said to kill from 725,000 to 830,000 people per year.

I don’t like mosquitos, though I tolerate their existence. What’s the alternative, to disturb myself over a long period of time due to something over which I have no control?

Despite my tolerance, I don’t take active measures to accept mosquitos into my home by giving them unfettered access to my residence. Still, by use of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I also do not use a rigid condition related to my acceptance of mosquitos.

Suppose I were to use a condition with my acceptance of mosquitos. I might say something like, “I will accept that mosquitos exist only if they never bother me.”

My irrational demand and illogical condition is bound to be violated at some point. These flying suckers appear to be altogether unconcerned with the condition I may use.

Think of a condition like a should, must, or ought-type statement. I may tell myself, “I will accept that mosquitos exist only if they never bother me; therefore, they must never inconvenience me.”

What happens when I eventually encounter a mosquito that knows nothing of my demand and likely wouldn’t care even if it understood my underlying belief? I’d likely be disturbed into anger by the fact that my belief about the world was violated.

Therefore, I practice unconditional life-acceptance to resolve this conundrum. It’s important to know that with unconditional self-, other-, and life-acceptance, I’m not advocating that one must like or love something.

Instead, I’m suggesting that in order to achieve a higher level of functioning and improved quality of life, it may be necessary to merely accept one’s [ability] to change the only thing one can actually change—one’s own self. In this case, changing one’s beliefs may be helpful.

Rather than unwaveringly insisting that mosquitos must not annoy me, I could reason, “While I’d prefer that mosquitos didn’t exist, and given that I will likely encounter them at some point, I will accept that I have no power to eradicate them on mass. Therefore, I can tolerate that they are an inconvenient fact of life.”

Given this understanding, I can’t go out sad about going outside—whether it relates to mosquitos, “toxic algae,” or otherwise. Danger most certainly exists within the world, just as Takeoff unfortunately discovered when he was shot in Houston, Texas.

However, I disallow fear-mongering people from contributing to my beliefs about danger which could result in unhealthy or unpleasant consequences for me. The mere existence of mortality doesn’t alarm me, nor do narratives designed to induce fear about death.

Moreover, I can accept unconditionally that there appear to be perverse incentives which keep people steeped in fear, though I don’t accept use of these mechanisms in my day-to-day life. Just as annoying as mosquitos may be, I can tolerate and accept insincere “experts” who prey on the public like mosquitos that suck the blood out of unsuspecting organisms.

In life, I have choices regarding this matter. I can go outside and accept the positive, negative, and neutral aspects of life.

As well, I can stay inside, feeling fear, and stare out window at everyone else living their lives—experiencing pity for myself, because I chose an existence of misery. I leave it up to the reader to guess what option I’ve gone with.


In “Can’t Go Out Side,” Quavo states, “I’m not goin’ out sad. I’m not goin’ out sad. I’m not goin’ out sad, ‘specially ‘bout that bitch. I can’t go out sad. I can’t go out sad. I can’t go out sad, ‘specially ‘bout that bitch.”

If one can effectively challenge beliefs about his use of the word “bitch,” think about the entertainer’s message. “I’m not goin’ out sad” implies one’s unwillingness to do a thing. Conversely, “I can’t go out sad” suggests an inability to do a thing.

If a person has worked through the first pillar of REBT, the ABC Model, it stands to reason that the person may simultaneously express the unwillingness and inability to self-disturb. Once you know not to allow your beliefs to upset you, you potentially can’t and perhaps won’t go out sad.

Furthermore, use of the second pillar of REBT, unconditional acceptance, may allow an individual to tolerate and accept minor annoyances, slight disappointments, or moderate frustration. Even when unreliable “experts” ramp up their fear-inducing narratives, you can endure their actions without endorsing their messaging.

So, dear reader, what will you do? Will you be victimized by governmental authoritarians, legacy media shills, social media stewards, celebrity hustlers, and neighborly busybodies?

Or, will you perhaps take personal ownership regarding the consequences of your beliefs? You have a choice in the matter.

Personally, I can’t go outside about COVID-19, mosquitos, toxic algae, the aforementioned impertinent people, or even the possibility of one day being gunned down like Takeoff. I’m not goin’ out sad, I can’t go out sad.

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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