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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Deal Wit Dis

 

In my first year of high school, West Coast gangsta rap group South Central Cartel (S.C.C.) released an album entitled South Central Madness, which featured the song “U Gotta Deal wit Dis (Gangsta Luv).” Lyrics from group member Havikk the Rhime Son’s verse include:

 

South Central, the home of true gangstas

Down for all when I’m approached by a stranger

We chill, although my girl gets mad at me

She has to understand S.C.C. is family

She’s cussing and fussing, and is tryin’ to break the Havikk’s heart

But understand girl, you knew it from the jump start

 

The song addresses intimate partner conflict between Havikk and his romantic partner, apparently because he’s more dedicated to the street life and S.C.C. than to her. I imagine many couples experience this form of commitment issue, even if not specifically related to gangs.

 

When cruising through the streets of Bomb City as teens and letting people within earshot of our car hear this track, my friends and I laughed at how Havikk handled his relational problem. After all, we considered ourselves non-biological family members and our girlfriends weren’t placed on the same level as the camaradas were.

 

Nevertheless, and all these years later, I view the lyrics through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). The title of “U Gotta Deal wit Dis (Gangsta Luv)” contains a demandingness statement. Saying, “You gotta deal with this,” is a derivative expression of a should, must, or ought-type statement.

 

Likewise, Havikk’s demand, “She has to understand S.C.C. is family” implies that his love interest must understand the rapper’s commitment to his chosen family, just as I was devoted to my carnales. Still, what I consider worthy of examination is the experience of self-disturbance when one’s intimate partner chooses others over the romantic relationship.

 

In the song, Havikk clearly expresses, “But understand girl, you knew it from the jump start,” regarding his romantic partner’s awareness of his commitment to S.C.C. Therefore, she entered into the relationship with informed consent about the rapper’s obligation to his homies.

 

As such, one wonders as to whether or not Havikk’s demanding statements could be considered a form of irrational belief. If perhaps Havikk wasn’t up front with his partner about his devotion to S.C.C., and if she formed an expectation for commitment as the relationship progressed, one could understand that the natural assumption for an intimate partnership would require devotion.

 

However, because he ostensibly let what one presumes is Havikk’s girlfriend know that she would always come second to S.C.C., her unfounded assumption about the relationship conflicts with his clearly expressed intent. Consequently, she may irrationally disturb herself with unhelpful beliefs about how Havikk ought to behave.

 

Ultimately, when an individual initially establishes a norm for a romantic relationship – even in the form of a should, must, or ought-type statement – and then reinforces that standard throughout the relationship, one can understand how this form of demandingness may not meet the threshold of irrationality.

 

To provide a more applicable example, suppose that when Havikk met his girlfriend she stated something along the lines of, “You gotta keep your hands off of me if we’re gonna be together.” Would it be appropriate to presume her demanding statement is inappropriate or outside of the bounds of logic and reason? I argue it wouldn’t.

 

The takeaway lesson here is that not all forms of demandingness are irrational. Likewise, when people clearly outline relational expectations “from the jump start,” as Havikk states, paying attention to their intentions is a rational method of living while ignoring their expressed criteria – in hopes that they will automatically change – isn’t entirely rational.

 

A year prior to my graduation from high school, S.C.C. dropped another album, ‘N Gatz We Truss, which featured the track “U Couldn’t Deal wit Dis.” Lyrics of the chorus, sang by L.V., include:

 

U couldn’t deal wit dis [x3]

Girl, you better let it go

Love is not my thang

You know I’m a gangsta man

You keep callin’ me a ho

But girl, you just don’t know

It was u who pushed me away

And your bitch ass just can’t stay

‘Cause a true ass G don’t joke

So, I’m walkin’ out tha door

U couldn’t deal wit dis [x4]

Girl, u better let it go [x2]

 

This follow-up song to “U Gotta Deal wit Dis (Gangsta Luv)” highlights what may happen when a person’s love interest doesn’t conform to a wishful expectation steeped in irrationality. Whereas Havikk stated that his girlfriend had to understand his chosen lifestyle, L.V. advises, “Girl, you better let it go,” which is a demanding statement.

 

Who hasn’t, at some point in life, been privy to information about one intimate partner desperately self-disturbing over irrational beliefs about a corresponding romantic interest? Now, who hasn’t heard seemingly helpful advice for that individual to let go of the failed relationship?

 

As an REBT practitioner, I try to refrain from giving advice or telling people what I think they should, must, or ought to do. Rather, when working with clients who self-disturb with unhelpful beliefs about intimate partner relationships, I encourage use of the ABC model and unconditional acceptance.

 

Sometimes, people behave according to their interests and goals in this regard. Other times, they self-sabotage by rigidly clinging to demanding beliefs which don’t accommodate purpose and meaning in their lives.

 

Conclusively, my aim when working with a person akin to Havikk’s girlfriend is to help the individual move from low frustration tolerance (I can’t deal with this) to high frustration tolerance (I can deal with this). Therefore, dealing with discomfort of a breakup by “walkin’ out tha door,” as L.V. stated, may be preferable to remaining in an eroding romantic relationship.

 

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


 

References:

 

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