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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Death's Gotta Be Easy

 

In 1999, when I heard the song “How to Rob” by 50 Cent, I laughed for longer than I care to admit at how the rapper went at many entertainers in his song. Few rappers would’ve been as bold as to call out as many people as he did.

 

After that track, I patiently waited for 50 Cent’s first album. In 2003, the wait was over with release of Get Rich or Die Tryin’. I wore out the album, having fully appreciated most of the rapper’s offerings.

 

Herein, I’ll briefly address a portion of the lyrics on the song “Many Men (Wish Death).” In particular, consider the following:

 

Sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain

Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain

Death gotta be easy, ‘cause life is hard

It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred

 

I appreciate how the rapper’s perspective with the juxtaposition of joy (sunny days) and pain (rain), because I find that people often disturb themselves with inflexible demandingness relating to wanting to experience only positive emotions. However, the experience of life includes positive, neutral, and negative aspects.

 

As well, I recognize 50 Cent’s use of the phrase “gotta” when discussing his view of death. This term is a form of should, must, or ought-type statement. Thus, saying that death’s gotta be easy is akin to expressing that death should be easy.

 

Citing evidence for his outlook, the rapper offers that life is hard and will “leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.” Given 50 Cent’s assertion, I have two points of clarity regarding my viewpoint.

 

First, through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I recognize that not all should-type statements are self-disturbing. In the case of “Many Men (Wish Death),” I suspect 50 Cent was using an ideal conditional should statement – or merely an “ideal should” narrative.

 

This occurs when a person specifies a relationship between ideal conditions and a particular outcome. In the rapper’s case, because life is hard, he uses an ideal should statement about death being easy.

 

When individuals express idealistic hope, rather than using rigid demands, narratives of this sort don’t require disputation. After all, if death turns out to be as difficult as life, 50 Cent will likely be disappointed, though one presumes he won’t be devastated.

 

Second, I argue that life itself doesn’t leave people “mentally and emotionally scarred.” Rather, I posit that one’s unhelpful beliefs about circumstances in life result in unpleasant outcomes.

 

REBT theory uses the ABC model to illustrate how when Activating events (“Actions”) occur and people maintain irrational Beliefs about the events, these unhelpful assumptions – and not the actual occurrences – are what create unpleasant cognitive, emotive, bodily sensation, and behavioral Consequences.

 

Therefore, from a psychological standpoint, people disturb themselves using a Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection. Of course, this isn’t to suggest that in the context of the naturalistic or physical world there is no Action-Consequence (A-C) connection.

 

In the naturalistic world, an A-C connection occurred when 50 Cent was shot nine times (Action) and was subsequently hospitalized with physical scarring (Consequence). Still, the rapper could’ve hypothetically developed mental and emotional scarring if he used a B-C connection regarding the event.

 

For example, after being shot (Action) 50 Cent could’ve unproductively Believed, “Death’s gotta be easier than life, because I can’t stand how awful it is to be alive and in pain!” With that unhelpful assumption, he would likely have experienced anguish (Consequence).

 

Hypotheticals aside, I appreciate that over two decades after the release of Get Rich or Die Tryin’, I’m still able to contemplate how lyrics from the album provide purpose and meaning in my life. The same can’t be said for all hip hop albums from that timeframe.

 

In any case, I don’t know if death will be easier than life. Doubtlessly, life can be challenging. Still, through use of REBT, I know how to keep from making matters worse than they already may be. If you would like to learn about how REBY may serve you, too, I’m here to help.

 

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


Photo credit, photographer: Sacha Waldman, property of Universal, fair use

 

References:

 

50 Cent. (2009, June 16). 50 Cent - Many Men (Wish Death) (dirty version) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/5D3crqpClPY?si=kSyANvXw5E3oZ9bM

Artbitat. (n.d.). Sacha Waldman. Retrieved from https://artbitat.com/collections/sacha-waldman

Garn, T. (2023, July 11). How many times was 50 Cent shot? | Trivia Tuesdays. Broadway Media. Retrieved from https://925thebeat.com/life/how-many-times-was-50-cent-shot-trivia-tuesdays/

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/meaningful-purpose

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2024, April 9). Shoulding at the supermarket. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/shoulding-at-the-supermarket

Hollings, D. (2022, November 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

Hollings, D. (2022, December 23). The A-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-a-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Horowitz, S. J. (2013, February 6). 50 Cent, ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin” at 10: Classic track-by-track review [Image]. Billboard. Retrieved from https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/50-cent-get-rich-or-die-tryin-at-10-classic-track-by-track-review-1537994/

Real Hip Hop Lyrics. (2020, September 3). 50 Cent - How to Rob ft. Madd Rapper (lyrics) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/I5x6OLLXJoQ?si=DGBu5oxMmUXDEsdi

Wikipedia. (n.d.). 50 Cent. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Rich_or_Die_Tryin%27

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