Guest Blogger, Theory & Essay

Do What You’re Supposed To Do So You Don’t Have To “Do What I Gotta” Do

[***Today’s post is a guest post from VSB commenter, Breazy Hale. He blogs at the site Corner Politics. Spread love it’s the Brooklyn way. Clap for him.***]

Through out my short 33 years on this earth, I’ve heard the ”I gotta do what I gotta do” excuse from men countless times. Normally the person saying this has found himself in a desperate situation – back against the wall – and ends up doing something he otherwise wouldn’t do to get out of the situation.  While I’m not knocking the next man’s hustle or coping skills, I’ve come to realize that these “back against the wall situations” could have been prevented 9 times out of 10.

For some reason, us menfolk like to make things harder on ourselves than they have to be. Cutting corners?  That, along with taking the easy way out, is our norm. Because of the “do what I gotta do” excuse some of us men have, we’ve removed all accountability out of the equation in order to not be held to standards of mandom and to justify things like  dropping out of school, selling dope or being an absentee father.

“I gotta do what I gotta do” isn’t limited to the youngins wearing skinny jeans, dreads and listening to Lil’ Wayne, either - even though you would think so due to the influence that rap and YouTube has on this generation and the “I gotta get mine” attitude that is displayed.  Now some of our elders have used this excuse, probably as long as they’ve been alive, and you see them - grown men old enough to be our uncles and fathers - standing outside of liquor stores at 8:00 in the morning waiting for it to open. Or you see the old man playing scratch offs still waiting for his ship to come in. All because at some point in their lives they didn’t take care of business like they should have and decided to go the easy route.  This cancerous idea is learned and is no doubt passed down from generation to generation.

This attitude arises when we as men fail to reach our full potential and realize some of the fundamentals of manhood, so we start to justify our short comings.  Mainly we fail to realize one of the fundamentals of manhood; a man’s gotta do what a man is supposed to do.  You see, if a man takes care of business and does the things that he is supposed to do, then he won’t be forced to compromise himself and his beliefs by doing what he’s gotta do.  I repeat:  if a man takes care of business  and does the things that he is supposed to do he then won’t be forced to compromise himself and his beliefs by doing what he’s gotta do.

Doing what is supposed to be done may take a little longer or involve more steps but the reward is worth it. The certificate or degree that you earn from staying in school instead of dropping out to chase the fast buck will be yours and no one can take that from you, just like the sense of pride that you will have from being involved in your child’s life as opposed to skipping out.  So man up, take care of business like you’re supposed to, and reap all the benefits that you will gain as you travel down the road to becoming a better man.


DC VSB folks: Don’t forget that tomorrow night at Liv Nightclub is Karaoke 4 A Cause from 630-1030PM! Entry is a toy ($20 or greater in value) or a $20 donation. Get your karaoke on and pretend your Loofa for the cause.

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • Amen, amen, amen! I couldn’t have said this better myself! I think it begins with realizing that our men are capable of greatness. YOU – man reading this– are capable of greatness. And once you realize what’s inside of you, you won’t settle for being an absentee father, or a drunk or hustler, or even a 9-5 that is lower than your capabilities. You can do it! I’m not trying to be Tony Robbins, but there’s a truth that if you believe you can accomplish great things, great things will happen. Being a man is realizing this, and meeting that truth head on. It’s your time.

    • Thank you, this is a topic that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, I can admit that I am guilty of this mental state at times but I do recgonize it’s negative potential and strive to be not only do better but be better everyday.

    • Rewind

      That was sweet

    • AmaniKwenu

      Beautiful. Kind hearted AND motivational.

    • Micthemessenger

      This might be the last four months of my life.

      • Iceprincess2


  • Yoles

    Great Post Breazy Hale… welcome :D

    personal reasonability… for some its instinctive for others its the hard lesson lesarned

    • Yoles


      • Great post. I just spoke with a young man about this very thing. He was a 17 year father of a daughter, with one on the way.

        Doing what you are supposed to do may take longer, but the result of that diligent and faithful work is a sweet, often long-lasting reward.

    • SweetSass

      I don’t think it’s instinctive. Toddlers are little hellions who believe they are entitled to just about anything they can reach and put in their mouths. It takes time outs, talks, and lessons you learned in kindergarden to mold decent human beings. Like sharing, giving, manners, work ethic, etc.

    • Thank you Yoles.

  • HisLady

    This journey called life is all about learning. If you find yourself in a “I gotta do, what I gots to do situation” LEARN from it, and make sure that there is not a next time, at least not on your account. The wise man once said, there is a season and time for everything. It can’t be that all your seasons are dominated by I gots to do…..

    In other news, I LOVE that man’s back. From the looks of it, he is a man about his business, who looks like…..mmmmmmh mmmmh, he could do thangs. YES LAAAAAAAAAAAAWD!

    • WIP

      *G slowly melting

    • Lol @ the comment to the back. I have a ‘thing’ about backs too!

    • Pseudonym

      That huge knot concerns me. My first thought was “Is that a tumor?”

  • eazy253


    • eazy253

      Or not

      • nillalatte

        Not. :D

    • HisLady


  • This post makes me think of that City High song, “What would you do if your son was at home… crying all alone on the bedroom floor ’cause he’s hungry and the only way to feed him is to… sleep with a man for a little bit of money…”

    Is that really the only way???

    Good post.


    • Jay

      “I didn’t have a choice” and “What was I supposed to do” is the female version of “Do what I gotta do”.

      • Oh so true.

      • Sweet GA Brown

        Nikki Giovanni said “We dont always do what we want to do, but we always do what we have to do.”

      • women be quick to play that what would you do card cuz as a man we can never internalize with them or whatever

      • I agree, Jay.

      • Micthemessenger

        Aw sh!t.

    • SweetSass

      Except at least that money is going to support a child vs. supporting a habit.

      • Rewind


        • SweetSass

          It’s totally tragic when it’s both.

          • Rewind

            Indeed it is, a true shame.

    • WIP

      Right, like whatever happened to just maxing out a few credit cards…

  • Toria

    Until what men are supposed to do becomes the expectation this won’t change. Society accepts the hustle rather than expecting greatness from men that can produce it. Its easier.

    • iamnotakata

      +1 and might I add, brown people also need to do a better job at instilling the values in these young men that are being raised, as to give them a strong foundation to build on and become quality “men” in the long run.

      • Jay

        Might I add that unstable family situations and toxic environments that we as black people grow up in make it a LOT harder for us develop the maturity, patience, and focus necessary to stay the steady course and do the responsible thing. Next thing you know you’re in a bind and you don’t have many options. Not making excuses, just saying it goes a lot deeper than just “Don’t do this…. do this instead.”

        It’s like chess. Sometimes games are lost because someone makes a bad move, fails to see a threat, or falls into a trap. More often than not though the game progresses and one player gains an advantage by limiting the opponents options subtly until the only options left are bad ones and worse ones.

        • chameleonic

          hearing men who get their come uppance, i would like to believe theres the potential to shelter yourself from a toxic environment. its a personal thing. you can become a product of all that is bad or you can see an environment thats good and become a product of it instead. males who are in the hood of hood yet are deadset on becoming a doctor or lawyer or owning a business. theres shelter in such focus.

          i know for myself the environment i grew up in was so completely harmful and painful to me it was the pressurizing force bearing down on my bubble of a world. to this day i keep my bubble free of anything recognizable as toxic. just because you live in it doesnt mean you have to become it, though, i understand some people end up drowning in such environments.

          • Jay

            i understand some people end up drowning in such environments.

            Truth is most people end up drowning… and its not just black people. Most of us, and by us I mean humans, are for the most part products of our environments. Of course there will be outliers, those brilliant few who make it out of the most adverse situations… but everyone is not exceptional. Very very very few of us(humans) are exceptional… the root of that word being “exception”.

            • Concise and astute commentary right there!

            • Rewind

              If that isn’t the damn truth

            • So true, Jay.

            • But I don’t think that you have to be brilliant to make it out of a desperate or toxic enviornment, just a want and a drive to make it out.

          • Ice Cube said “the hood is where I’m from, not what I am”

          • Rewind

            Temperament is the key to a human’s success in life. What they are naturally equipped to handle in the environments that they are surviving in. Very few humans have the ability to transcend not only their environment but literally the obstacles that keep a toxic environment in place. What life never tells anyone is that there only can be a few “winners” in life…whether we like it or not, others need to be losers to inspire the next generation of winners.

            • Wild Cougar

              some people would rather be helpless victims because victimhood has many benefits.

              • Rewind

                Like EBT cards.

        • iamnotakata

          I do understand what your saying in regards to living in a toxic environment, however I have worked with children in several inner city schools that come from troubled past that live in poor neighborhoods. In my observation really if the parent is present and active in the childs life teaching them right and wrong,instilling values in them,showing them how to respect their elders, themselves and their peers. I found that although their environment is rough and they don’t particularily have a good set of role models around them, they are better prepared to choose between being ratchet and becoming a stereotype, or choosing to be somebody and going against their environmental norms…

  • Iceprincess2

    This post reminds me of my neighborhood dope man. Notice I didn’t say “dope boy.” This ninja is knocking on 50’s door, beard full of grey & errthang. Still runnin around serving smh. I KNOW he tired, but he never set up a plan B to fall back on. I personally kno how the “fast life” is. Dat sh*t flies, it’s like a time warp. You kno one day he just looked up, & he was all the sudden old. I feel sorry for him. You know what they say: old fools were once young fools.

    • This story reminds me of a joke said by the stand up comedian Tony Roberts:

      “If you’ve been selling drugs for years and you still ain’t came up? You need your ass beat!” LMAO!!!!

      • MissRae


    • And I bet everytime he goes to jail, it’s some ignorant negro and/or hoodrat posting one of those dumb a$$ “FREE MY N*GGA” tweets/posts on Facebook or twitter.

      Those irritate the living sh*t outta me. How did we come to a point where we think individuals aren’t supposed to pay for the consequences of their actions? There is no personal responsibility or accountability with this sh**.

      Everyone wants to be pardoned instead of feeling reality, which teaches you very quickly…

      Hearing people say that
      scares me.

      • Rewind

        The same way we came to the point of celebrating someone getting out of jail over someone earning a college degree.

        • MissRae

          Smh , I know right.

        • demondog06

          that ish happened to me, one off my best friends came home after a bid. got thrown a neighborhood block party.
          me on the other hand, one of the few nyggas from my hood to even go to college…..nuthin! only sideways comments like “oh you think you too to good for your folk now?” ( which by the way i am…and always was, but i digress)
          this perverse culture has the sons and daughters of africa celebrating the hideous and shunning what’s what’s righteous and just…..

          • Rewind

  ’s to the point where achievements are seen as sin in the hood and vice versa.

            • mena

              Now why is it when i mentioned this in the post that PJ wrote about being an outcast and the one that Champ wrote about “acting white” i got crap from a few of the people here on VSB?

              • Rewind

                Cause everybody wants to paint the issue in a way that doesn’t seem so bad….but we all know the truth.

                • mena

                  That is hurting our community more than it is helping it. Sweeping our problems under the rug is a detriment to our success as a whole.

      • Great point, E. Reed! That angers me too!

  • metgirl4ever

    if my uncle did what he was supposed to do he wouldn’t be in jail right now b/c of child support… *sigh* why must we promote stereotypes about ourselves?!?!

  • Not a personal rant:
    Let go of whatever made you hot in high school after you graduate. Otherwise your silly azz ends up as a 30+ year old laughingstock.

    • Sweet GA Brown


    • SweetSass

      And if you we’re a nerdy outcast… Keep doing you!

    • Hear that, wonderful alumni of Southside High School?

      *ducks tomatoes, shoes and bottles*

    • Rewind

      Throwback time

      Damn homie/in high school you was the man homie/the fawk happened to you?

      ^runs through my mind EVERY GOTDAMN DAY here at my job, looking at these worthless ass old ass broke ass keep wishing on a star ass Black people.

      • MissRae

        Man I wanted to say that to guys I use to date back in HS, lol.

  • Craig and Dem in the place to be! Happy 24th Birthday to C-R-A-I-G! 12-12-12 and I’m gon be 24=12×2

    • Iceprincess2

      Happy birfday playa! *buys a round of shots for the VSB afterdark crew*

      • nillalatte

        Could you make mines a double please? Since Craig is posting twice I deserve two shots!

        • Iceprincess2

          Lol! Nilla, you’re my kind of girl.

          • nillalatte

            oh, we just gettin this party started… let’s go out back or on the side of the house and ‘do what we gotta do’ ;) lol… hopefully Tes will be bringing them wangs back just in time. :D

            • Iceprincess2

              *checks pocket* Shoot, I got my lighter, leggo.

    • nillalatte

      Not sure which post to tell you …..

    • *passes a super-strong drink*

    • That Ugly Kid

      Happy Birthday!!!

    • naturalista88

      Happy birthday.

    • Toria

      Happy birthday!!

    • Sweet GA Brown

      Happy birthday!

      *turns around to buss it wide open for the bday boy

    • Breezy


    • HisLady

      Happpppy Birthday!!

    • Hold the hell on- you’re 24? From the way you typed, I thought for sure you had to be at least 30!

      • Thanks PA. I’ve been told I’m an old soul in a young body. Thank you all of VSB for the Happy Birthday wishes

        • Wild Cougar

          mmmm……… young body……..mmmmmm

    • Happy Burfday!!!!!

    • Happy Born Day…#under25VSBgang

    • Rewind

      Craig! I said Craig!

      Double cheers to the homie

    • Tes

      ^_^ Happy Earthstrong homie!

    • Happy birthday homey.

    • Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!!!

    • demondog06

      imma get drunk while on the clock in your honor!


    • Yoles

      ♫ ♪♪ ♫ Happy Birthday to You ♪♫•*.*•♫♪♪Happy Birthday to You ••♫♪ Happy Birthday, Dear Craig and Dem Happy Birthday tooooooo You! ♫ ♪♪ ♫

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