Change Ur Beliefs
Updated: Sep 21
Today’s gym time gem—a song heard when working out—interrupted my sweat-time flow and had me nodding my head to the beat, and in agreement with the chorus. “Change Ur Beliefs” by Kxng Crooked, better known as Crooked I of Slaughterhouse, is nothing short of a banger, in my opinion.
Perhaps what makes the song even more appealing to me is the existential quality of a featured artist on the joint. Late rapper and producer Kevlaar 7 appears on the track, giving one pause to appreciate what is here while it is.
For those unaware, the chorus states:
“You never know which stage you can reach. If you don’t believe you’ll make it, quick, change your beliefs (Now). The friends you keep dictate what you reap. Some, you gotta’ drop, like a mixtape for the streets (Wow). And when ya’ get in, you play for keeps.”
Quite often, I hear people critique rap as harmful drivel. Or, as one person stated, “Rap is the worst garbage to ever exist and it is a talentless genre.” I support an individual’s right to express loathing for my preferred musical genre.
This morning, I thought of the complexity in the chorus of Crooked’s song. Line by line, here’s what I appreciate about it.
“You never know which stage you can reach.”
This is a quote that gives one hope. A self-defeatist attitude would render a decision such as, “There’s no use in trying, because everything is awful!” In Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), this is known as awfulizing.
Hope can stem from something as simple as acknowledging that one’s situation, while unpleasant, may change. It is simply a mild incontinence as is. This is no less or more of a lie than the notion that one’s situation is awful, horrible, or terrible.
“If you don’t believe you’ll make it, quick, change your beliefs (Now).”
If there were one sentence to sum up REBT, I propose the chorus succinctly captured it. REBT teaches clients to “recognize and change unreasonable attitudes, false beliefs, and expectations of failure.”
Therefore, if you find that rigid and extreme attitudes are causing you to disturb yourself, changing your beliefs could result in an improved outcome. Noteworthy, the chorus suggests when to perform such an action: “Now.”
“The friends you keep dictate what you reap.”
Growing up, I used to hear a line featured in “Mannish Boy,” by The Newcomers, which states, “The company you keep is the name you will carry.” As a side note, in my opinion, Lil Rob’s “Rough Neighborhood” did “Mannish Boy” justice on that firme rola, ese! Yet, I digress.
The adults issuing me the advisement weren’t telling me what I should, must, or ought to do. Rather, they were cautioning me to consider that the choices I made had consequences. This is akin to my approach with clients when using REBT.
I don’t prescribe to clients what they should do. Instead, I invite them to consider personal responsibility and accountability related to the consequences of their irrational beliefs. The beliefs you maintain lead to the consequences you’ll endure.
“Some, you gotta’ drop, like a mixtape for the streets (Wow).”
Speaking of friends dropping like the hip hop mixtapes of yesteryear, the chorus acknowledges that at times, we may need to remove people from our lives. Unlike some other psychotherapeutic modalities, REBT doesn’t function off of idealistic aspirations—not to be confused with hopefulness.
Rather than, as one source states, “putting an excessive emphasis on positive states, whilst failing to adequately consider negative experiences,” REBT instills hope through acknowledging the positive, negative, and neutral elements of life.
Though some may disagree, REBT is steeped in Stoic philosophy. Still, others challenge the merits of REBT altogether. Personally, I appreciate a therapeutic intervention that strengthens my outlook, not one that promotes victimhood.
When I consider that the consequences of my beliefs could lead to a healthy, unhealthy, or neutral outcome, I find hope in my ability to influence outcomes. I don’t lie to myself by claiming to control matters beyond my abilities, though to flexibly accept what is.
“And when ya’ get in, you play for keeps.”
The chorus acknowledges that if one reaches a sought after stage—suggesting goal-attainment—one plays for keeps, gives it one’s all. This requires both motivation (what one wants) and commitment (what one is willing to do).
I, for one, appreciate this so-called “talentless genre.” Given my assessment of the “Change Ur Beliefs” chorus, what do you think?
For more information about my approach to REBT, I invite you to read my following blog posts:
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this form of therapy, I encourage you to reach out using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, and hip hop head from the old school, 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
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Different approaches to psychotherapy. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/approaches
Arango, U. P. (2018). A flawed perception of hip hop. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved from https://www.thecrimson.com/column/where-rap-meets-race/article/2018/4/4/whererapmeetsrace-installment4/
Bandini. (2014, November 12). Crooked I confirms name-change to Kxng Crooked. Ambrosia For Heads. Retrieved from https://ambrosiaforheads.com/2014/11/crooked-i-confirms-name-change-to-kxng-crooked/
Centore, A. (2018, August 30). The ABC’s of REBT. Thriveworks. Retrieved from https://thriveboston.com/counseling/the-abcs-of-rebt/
Charlton, D. (n.d.). Sports psychology tips: Are you motivated or committed? Inspiring Sports Excellence. Retrieved from https://www.sport-excellence.co.uk/motivation-vs-commitment-there-is-a-big-difference/
Chicano Historian. (2007, Mach 12). Ese. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ese
Ciarrochi, J., Atkins, P. W., Hayes, L. L., Sahdra, B. K., Parker, P. (2016, October 10). Contextual positive psychology: Policy recommendations for implementing positive psychology into schools. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01561/full
Cohen, E. D. (n.d.). Logic-based therapy: The new philosophical frontier for REBT. REBT Network. Retrieved from http://www.rebtnetwork.org/essays/logic.html
Crooked I - Topic. (2019, December 12). Change ur beliefs [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/eA4iuC188dw
Diep, E. (2022, May 6). KXNG Crooked on Slaughterhouse IG live: ‘It got to the point where all Four of us couldn’t even get on a Zoom.’ Complex. Retrieved from https://www.complex.com/music/kxng-crooked-responds-slaughterhouse-ig-live-joe-budden
Discogs. (n.d.). The Newcomers. Retrieved from https://www.discogs.com/artist/391220-The-Newcomers
Edelstein, M. R. (2020, January 24). 11 differences between REBT and Stoicism. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-three-minute-therapist/202001/11-differences-between-rebt-and-stoicism
Enriquez, A. (2021, October 25). Q. How does fair use work for book covers, album covers, and movie posters? Penn State. Retrieved from https://psu.libanswers.com/faq/336502
FitzMaurice, K. E. (n.d.). REBT & awful, terrible, horrible. Retrieved from https://kevinfitzmaurice.com/free-stuff/coping-skills/rebt-awful-terrible-horrible/
Good Therapy. (2019, September 6). Helplessness / victimhood. Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/helplessness
Harling, D. (2014, December 26). Detroit rapper-producer Kevlaar 7 passes away. Hip Hop DX. Retrieved from https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.31886/title.detroit-musician-kevlaar-7-passes-away
Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern
Hollings, D. (2022, May 28). Desire and disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/desire-and-disturbance
Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer
Hollings, D. (2022, July 6). Disturbing democracy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disturbing-democracy
Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/
Hollings, D. (2022, May 19). Mind tricks. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/mind-tricks
Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt
Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance
Jackson, C. (2017, March 13). How bad do you want it: Motivation vs. commitment. Carrie Jackson. Retrieved from https://carriejackson.com/how-bad-do-you-want-it-motivation-vs-commitment/
KanikeKen. (2015, November 1). Playing for keeps. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Playing%20for%20keeps
Kawaida, M. (2020, February 25). Mixtapes: A brief history of hip-hop’s ever evolving tool. Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved from https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/mixtapes-a-brief-history-of-hip-hops-ever-evolving-tool-news.103882.html
Lamarre, C. (2017, June 2). Kxng Crooked overcomes his alcohol addiction on ‘Too ashamed’: Premiere – Photo by Eric Herbert. Billboard. Retrieved from https://www.billboard.com/music/rb-hip-hop/kxng-crooked-new-song-too-ashamed-listen-7817470/
Legends Will Never Die. (2019, December 13). Kxng Crooked – “Gravitas” review. Retrieved from https://legendswillneverdie.com/2019/12/13/kxng-crooked-gravitas-review/
Lil Rob. (2017, February 18). Rough neighborhood [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/7v_XN4chNZs
Matweychuk, W. J. (2014, January 22). Inconvenient but not awful. REBT Doctor. Retrieved from https://rebtdoctor.com/29-blog-self-help-posts-on-rebt/inconvenient-but-not-awful
Matweychuk, W. J. (2018, April 21). Stoicism and rational emotive behaviour therapy by Walter J. Matweychuk. Modern Stoicism. Retrieved from https://modernstoicism.com/stoicism-and-rational-emotive-behaviour-therapy-by-walter-j-matweychuk/
Matweychuk, W. J. (2021, March 25). The mindset for achieving long-term life goals. REBT Doctor. Retrieved from https://rebtdoctor.com/29-blog-self-help-posts-on-rebt/the-mindset-for-achieving-long-term-life-goals
Matweychuk, W. J. (n.d.). Why fallible humans may dislike REBT. REBT Doctor. Retrieved from https://rebtdoctor.com/28-why-you-may-dislike-rebt.html
Newcomers - Topic, The. (2014, November 8). Mannish boy [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/LByVuKVCjbQ
Nicrod. (2004, March 29). Firme. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=firme
Psychology Today. (n.d.). Therapeutic intervention. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/therapeutic-intervention
Psychology Tools. (n.d.). REBT consequences analysis form. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/rebt-consequences-analysis-form/
Robertson, D. (2000, November). REBT, philosophy and philosophical counselling Donald Robertson. Practical Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.society-for-philosophy-in-practice.org/journal/pdf/3-3%2028%20Robertson%20-%20REBT.pdf
Schmitt, N. (2020, January 8). REBT with Albert Ellis [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/6rIzAeDqiyc
Segendo_Panda11. (2021). Rap is the worst garbage to ever exist and it is a talentless genre. Reddit. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/The10thDentist/comments/nutvfp/rap_is_the_worst_garbage_to_ever_exist_and_it_is/
Stupart, Y. (2018, February 11). Understanding Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Health Pro Advice. Retrieved from https://healthproadvice.com/mental-health/Rational-Emotive-Behavioral-Therapy-An-Approach-to-Counselling
Surbhi, S. (2018, August 22). Difference between should, ought to and must. Key Differences. Retrieved from https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-should-ought-to-and-must.html
Theravive. (n.d.). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Retrieved from https://www.theravive.com/therapedia/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-(rebt)
Tobias, K. (2015). Awfulizing time. The Albert Ellis Institute. Retrieved from https://albertellis.org/2015/07/awfulizing-time/
Toxk. (2020, March 7). Banger. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=a%20Banger
Turner, M. J. (2016, September 20). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), irrational and rational beliefs, and the mental health of athletes. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01423/full
Vineland_Jokers. (2007, June 17). Rola. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rola
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Crooked I. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crooked_I
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Lil Rob. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lil_Rob