Theory & Essay

What’s My Motivation?

Remember these guys?


Life’s a b*tch and then you die?


Treat other’s like you want to be treated?

Hmmm…too simple, its also a song and rarely even possible if you’re the sexxiest cat on the planet.

Smack it up flip it and rub it down?

Only applicable in certain situations, none of which include Whoopi Goldberg.

Ahhh…I’ve got it.

My philosophy on life, and specifically at this juncture in life:

I don’t want to be that dude.

Okay, that needs to be clarified because really, I am that dude.  I just don’t want to be that dude.  Yeah, that dude. 

Now do you get it??  Probably not.  Let me explain.

I’m a big fan of music entertainment music and stories. Big surprise. In fact, The Temptations movie is one of my favorite movies of all time, supplanting The Five Heartbeats at one point as the movie getting the most viewings at Casa de la Panama.  In college, I literally watched The Temptations movie every day for a good 4 months, which is a tad on the insanse side since it’s a long movie (though it really is that good), clocking in at well over 2 and a half hours.  I watched it so much, I managed to pull other people into my web of temptation (see, that’s a pun) and had my close compadres following along with the lives of Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike…no, Chris, Mark, Red, Dave, Ro…SH*T…

…I mean, David, Otis, Melvin, Paul, and Eddie.

Well one scene in that movie that stands out to me is the scene where Vanessa Bell Calloway is watching the then successful Temptations on TV, clearly sullen after having realized the fortunes she could have made had she not straight up played them to the left when they asked her about “their” money, after making a hit single and a little bit of money with them.  At the same time, a dude who started out in the group (who was also involved in one of the funniest fight scenes in a movie EVER) but didn’t like the direction of the group and the rules who then quit, is seen sitting at a bar, drunk, watching the now successful Temptations. 

And talking with my boy yesterday made me realize that I don’t want to be <em>that</em> dude.

Basically, I don’t want to be the nnja in the vh1 Behind the Music special who started out with the group, but quit; then the next month, the group skyrockets to monumental success while I end up working at McDonald’s or worse, Starbucks.  And you know they’ll find you and come interview you at work. 

vh1 Behind The Music:  How does it feel knowing that right after you quit the group they became multi-millionaire famous international superstars while you’re here putting foam on mocha lattes??

Pissed Panama: You know, it kid of sucks. But they’re really not that dope either. I’m not a hater, #imjustsaying.

vh1 Behind The Music: Did you really just speak a hastag?

Pissed Panama: Stop hating. #haterseverywherewego

Who wants to be that cat???

Right now in my life, I’m undertaking numerous projects, and nearly all of them are dependent on my working with other groups of people in order to make it, from music to books to various writing projects.  That works great for me as I hate doing things solo and prefer to work with a bunch of folks I respect.  It also helps that we’re all (relatively, not like in the world) broke right now so the inevitable break up due to financial differences and management by a middle-aged white man isn’t happening for at least another 4 years.  BUT…at that point we’ll be rich so its okay because they won’t show me at the bar drunk and mad cuz I pissed the opportunity for 13 minutes of fame and stardom down the drain. that point, they’ll show me on my yacht talking about how f*cked up my other group members/co-conspirators are while women of varying ethnicities that I don’t know spend my money on Cristal and Toblerone candy. 

So that has become my personal philosophy.  I believe I’m supposed to be doing something big in life but I ain’t dumb enough to believe that I can do it without the help of others around me who’ve had my back since day one.  That’s just dumb.  And if I start out with somebody and we have good synergy, you better believe that I’m not jumping ship because I refuse to be in the movie of somebody else’s life being played by that mixed boy, Arnez, from the tv show One on One or the movie Coach Carter, and being the imbecile who causes all kinds of internal problems and ultimately leaves angered, saying some sh*t like “I made yo a**es…without David Ruffin…the Temptations ain’t nothin!!!!”

Actually it’d be more like, “without Panama Jackson, you ninjas’s ain’t crackin’!!!!!”

That’s Bobby Brown’s job.

I also refuse to come back and sing “Nights like this I wish, raindrops would faaa-aaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaallllllll” in a sequined one-piece jumper with a bad perm.  I just won’t do it. 

And if I ever get to do my life story, you better believe, I’d put that dude who did in the movie…..


…at McDonald’s.

So there it is, the Panama Jackson motivation. Never be that dude.

Good people of VSB, I ask you, what’s your motivation in life?


Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly 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. 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.

  • Enginegro


    • Enginegro

      i never really looked at it that way, but most of my motivation to achieve success is so that I don’t end up like certain people in my fam…

      I guess i also don’t wanna be that dude… now is it worse to be david ruffin or the eduardo kid from the facebook movie/facebook in real life?

      • Panama Jackson

        well is the eduardo dude still alive…cuz david ruffin dead y’all!!!!!!!

        • nocommonsense

          plus Edwardo is still a millionaire, I’ll take it

        • Muze

          …and eduardo’s name is back as CFO of FB.

          he’s balling. don’t be fooled. if those twin brothers got 65mil from Mark in their lawsuit…

      • whykendra

        id rather be Eduardo anyday! he made bank. not as much as zuckerburg obviously but zuckerburg has a douche label following him around. his ass definitely aint at mickey d’s!

  • sanen85

    I can’t say that I’m 100% sure what you are trying to get at (having had a rum & coke or two), but I feels like I feel ya.

    • sanen85

      Dear Moderators: Feel free to delete this citing “too tipsy to post”.

      • Panama Jackson

        naw…i think i’m gonna leave that. i rather enjoy that comment.

    • Cheekie

      Sane, this comment tickled me. Especially, “I feels like I feel ya.”

  • Leila

    vh1 Behind The Music: How does it feel knowing that right after you quit the group they became multi-millionaire famous international superstars while you’re here putting foam on mocha lattes??

    Dayum! I would hate to be that person!…..I work in the IT industry, working crazy hours for a start-up company. I’m praying that we will take off and rake in the millions like the top IT companies but the stress is insane. I resigned over the summer from complete burn-out but my boss talked me out of it. One week later, we started getting attention in the media and I’m happy that I stayed but it’s hard to know sometimes if it’s worth staying or leaving.

    • Leila

      My motivation is to get to the top of my field and make a difference. I get motivated by challenges and doing something that I really enjoy.

      • Just Want To Add

        All late I know but, I agree.

        “For me giving up is way harder than trying.”
        – K. West

        Yeah I know quoting Kanye, shame aint it.

    • Panama Jackson

      i think thats the scary part for lots of people…the risk reward.

      i remember reading some story months ago about one of the guys who was originally part of the apple team who sold his early stock back to the company for like 800 bucks. he wanted out.

      i’m sure he’s happy with life and all. but man he has to just take a day or two out of every year to really hate his decision.

      • SmartFoxGirl

        The risk reward is scary. I don’t look at these people too bad because you really don’t know what’s going to “make it” nowadays. I work in marketing and I use psychology everyday but to be honest, the wants of the consumer ALWAYS changes. One day you’re down, next making a profit. Some get lucky, some make mistakes.

      • keisha brown

        yeah.. late with post..
        i saw that too (think it was a top 10 billionaires or something).
        patience being a vitrue..yeah.. making 5 milli vs 5 billi.
        *facepalm WHILE wallslidin into despair

    • whykendra

      is it worth staying should be the number one question.

      ask yourself …”im miserable now, if this _____ takes off and im extremely successful, am i still going to be miserable?”
      for me, sometimes i question if my unhappiness is due to the rate at which i am or am not finding success. like maybe im just mad because its not going the way i planned. but i have to turn that off and assess my happiness level even if it was going perfectly. sometimes you just know things are not right for you.

      im going through that now (obviously, lol.)

  • Ashley

    Money is the motivation..*cliche* but I had too…*shrugs* my motivation is the admiration of my 6 siblings…they are tougher than any judge and if on any given day I’m “not half bad” in their eyes…. I will have accomplished it all…they keep me moving forward.

  • I’ll give it a try

    Given the comment I made yesterday about addictions, my motivation in life is never to end up like ol girl in New Jack City: cracked out sharing a turkey in the alley with a “Pookie”, talking about I use to be Dorsey High Prom queen #CarterGameProper

    • WIP

      LOL, ok, I can do bad. but lawd, never let it get THAT bad.

      • I’ll give it a try

        Lol…that might be extreme, but thats what I keep in mind, cause it’s not that hard to slip and fall the f*ck off into crackville. Have seen it first hand multiple times…

  • Jhane Sez


    Life is long my brotha… long

    Like good d*ck

    But the cross roads moments are brief… turn the wrong corner and you hit regret or success…

    And life changes

    Most folks won’t try cause they scarit…

    Of success, of failure… of finding out you really ain’t that hot you were just the first, right place right time n*gga and you can’t sustain

    F*ck that…

    Use that fear… and die by your own hand if you must

    But know you might not

    It’s funny how we see the mistakes of others so clear and when it comes to our potential… mistakes… success… we freeze

    Cause how many moves we git before check mate

    And the question… have I got everything I need

    Do I have my phone, keys, wallet, passport… cause you never know where life may take you

    Is that enough… did I plan well

    Better question can I get everything I want

    Cause when you are hot… how can you be scared

    Nobody understands the mortality of lost opportunity like those who gamble

    With no mother f*ck*ng spades

    Are you worthy or will you choke…

    I say just play ~JS

    • Cali


    • WIP

      “I say just play”

      ALL THIS

    • Nicole N

      ummm yeah :)

      ***snaps fingers***

    • Slickback

      @Jhane – Sometimes an anonymous person on the internet or just in life can speak a few words and pretty much put your life in perspective in a way people who are very close to you can’t. I say that to say, you have just moved me with your statement. Panama’s post spoke to the situation I’m in right now but, your comment has spoken to my soul. Thanks, I needed this!

      • Jhane Sez


        I know brotha… I know what you mean

        I have recently been in the place I think you are… tryin to get that 8 mile on

        It is some scary sh*t

        So your welcome

        And thank you for sharing that ~JS

    • ComicBookGuy

      That right there is ill.

    • Yeah…So

      Uh uh uhn… yes!

    • Panama Jackson

      you make a lot of good points. and my fear of being “that” dude doesn’t govern all of my decisions.

      i do “just play”.

      but that’s also cuz i will not lose.

      • Jhane Sez

        “but that’s also cuz i will not lose”

        Ride til the wheels fall off ~JS

    •!/killa_kayyy koko_chanelle

      my e-girlcrush on you just multiplied by like 1,000. lol

      • nocommonsense

        @ JS

        That was so sexy, nothing physical, all mental. Sometimes you gotta trick someone into success, make’em think. Men respect that quality in other men, but when a sister comes at you like that, it changes the dynamics of the whole conversation.
        Thats how you make a man better. thank you

    • Caballeroso

      Today’s headline:

      “Jhane Sez’ comment empowers the masses.”

      (Film at 11:00)

      • NY2VA

        Can I be in the interview, cuz I shole feel the need to testify! I promise I’ll take my rollers out and I’ll speak properly.

      • keisha brown

        JS is spoken written word.

    • Jhane Sez

      Thanks all y’all… makes me feel special… just like a Pepsi and sh*t ~JS

      *I’m gonna slam with this one over next time I get an opportunity

      • SmartFoxGirl

        I love your writing style.

        • Mo-VSS

          So do I…that is all!

    • Mr SoBo

      @Jhane Sez

      I am printing this. I will have to white out your d*ck analogy, but everything else…nicely done.

  • S Emm

    Sallie Mae calling me every 15 days to collect her 80 grand she let hold real quick for college is my motivation. Oh and Oprah, I cry over my degree everyday at 4pm.

    • I’ll give it a try

      That just made my damn chest tight reading that. Miss Celie you has my sympathies…

      • jenifer daniels

        after this thread, i am more convinced (than ever) that black folks truly do use a movie line once a day. #love

        • WIP

          Any any given moment of the day, there is a reason to use a line from The Color Purple.

        • I’ll give it a try

          Me n my bfff have been going strong on this since the 8th grade. We will even text each other random lines throughout the day. Nothing but death can keep us from it.

          • nocommonsense

            WHAT! Me and my girl make a game of movie talk. We will speak it until one of us ask ” where is that from”. And who ever asked first gotta do something strange and unusual.

            • Jhane Sez

              “WHAT! Me and my girl make a game of movie talk. We will speak it until one of us ask ” where is that from”. And who ever asked first gotta do something strange and unusual”.

              Significant other and I thought we were the only ones ~JS

              • nocommonsense

                Sounds like a game show people,

                lets get somebody crazy like Kevin Hart to host and we could act out the scenes. Who’s down.

              • WIP


                I’m pretty sure there’s a Trivial Pursuit or some game based on this but we need one for black movies.

                “lets get somebody crazy like Kevin Hart to host and we could act out the scenes. Who’s down.”

                Now this just sounds like too much MF fun, LOL

          • Curly Top

            My friend and I quote Temptations movie ALL day EVERY day! To the point where we don’t say goodbye any more just “I know you wanna leave me but I refuse to let you go!”

        • Panama Jackson

          shucks…this website should show you that. i’ll bet that if folks could respond solely with movie quotes…they would.

          or at least i know that i would.

          • Perfect Square

            If you’re really a prince, I’ll marry you

          • Cheekie

            That boy shole did love my cone-bread.

          • NY2VA

            I truly believe that between The Five Heartbeats, The Color Purple, Friday, and Coming to America, I could find the words to communicate all day without ever speaking a word of my own.

            All quotes everything.

            • jenifer daniels

              i think that should be a goal for the one thread very soon.

              • Panama Jackson

                the funny thing is that its been a plan of mine for a while.

                champ is the movie buff. but i’m the black movie king. especially the classics.

                and you know this man.

            • WIP

              Sounds like a CHALLENGE

    • tgtaggie

      You ain’t neva lied. lol. That’s my motivation too. I now see why men hate paying child support.

      • tgtaggie

        ^^^^I might have used the wrong choice of words there. I meant that sallie mae could be like paying back child support.

        • Panama Jackson

          lol…naw…you got it right.

      • Mo-VSS

        Naw you didn’t use the wrong choice of words. Me and my significant other joke all the time that we have a child…and her name is Sallie Mae.

        That payment is like child support, real talk!

        • PhlyyGirl

          Shooootttt. It’s a good thing Sallie can’t have them suspend your license for non payment cause (some folk I might know) would be dead in the water!
          I would cry over my degree, but I had my momma put it in a safe place for ransom just in case Sallie or Howard ever tried to come and take it back.

    • FLYY One

      Bwhahaha @ crying over your degree everyday. I know the feeling. *Sigh*

      Sometimes when I go into a retail store, and see the people behind the register looking so happy making their $10.00/hr, I just crumble.

      • WIP

        LOL (I might be completely misunderstand what you guys are saying but…)- this is why I say peace is priceless. To wake up everyday and look forward to what might happen and be appreciative with what is happening (or not happening) is a good life. You don’t need a degree for that, don’t need to make x amount of dollars for it either.

        • NY2VA

          Here’s something else you don’t need money or a degree for. It’s the link I promised you the other day. Sorry it took so long. Work is hectic.

          • keisha brown

            Im sooooo happy i came in to check out the comments. YAAAAAY!!!

          • SquarerootZ

            Props for posting the link! We love how this compilation STILL gets views and downloads cause of GOOD music lovers like yourself! Keep listening!

    • Mr. Gundam

      How do you do it???

      Sallie Mae is relentless in their pursuit even when you own them less than 5k. smh I hate those guys.

      Respect S Emm, respect

  • Mr. Gundam

    My biggest motivation I quite honestly a peace of mind. A lot of problems that I have come from economic means. There were too many times when just a couple extra bucks would have help me relax. I personally don’t lik owning people money(actually I don’t think anyone does) but paying off my student loans, taking my fam on trips, and setting something up for any Lil’ gundams that might appear in the future is what keep me in my project….

    • WIP

      Peace- in my opinion- priceless

      • Panama Jackson

        i agree with you 100 percent.

        in fact, i’ll bet that’s the facet of relationships that most women don’t realize that all men are looking for (i know this wasnt about relationships)…peace of mind will keep a man with you forever.

        • Yeah…So

          So then it’s not the p*ss?

          • nocommonsense

            So then it’s not the p*ss?

            no its not! and thanks P. the truth is always simple

          • Medium Meech

            He didn’t say that. It’s hard to have piece of mind if you’re not getting it.

            • Yeah…So

              Oh my… what’s this? I thought you were on twitter last trying to get your “glow” on… uhn huh.

              • Yeah…So

                my bad… last *night… this could happen a lot today fyi.

            • Panama Jackson

              also true.

              • Yeah…So

                so basically y’all have no clue what keeps you out the streets?

              • Panama Jackson

                well its definitely not keri hilson.

        • NY2VA

          You have never spoken truer words, my brotha. My husband places a premium on peace of mind. It truly is more important to him than almost anything.

          • Panama Jackson

            i dont think y’all understand how much it means. you got a woman that gives you peace of mind…

            …that sh*t is better than a MJ comeback.

            • Ms. My2Cents

              So, I’ve gotta come out of lurkdom to ask…Exactly what is it that a woman does/says/doesn’t do that gives a man piece of mind? Inquiring minds want to know. Please share a lil knowledge!


    • bumilla

      THIS. if i can be the change i want to see in the world and not be broke, i will die a happy, proud woman.

      • Jhane Sez

        “THIS. if i can be the change i want to see in the world and not be broke, i will die a happy, proud woman.”

        Add fierce shoes and I can ditto this all day ~JS

  • 90sgagirl

    hmmm….I’d be pretty depressed, after all the work etc I put in and as soon as I leave $uccess occurs…. if I see ish is jacked up I’ll TRY to stick it out by thinking of the Future. I don’t wanna burn bridges with people, but sometimes you gotta let it burn baby burn (Usher/Left Eye)..I watched a TLC behind the music that aired years back, and Chilli was the replacement for some chick that left the group, I wonder how she feels now?..TLC was the i$h, but BROKE mid 90s, but they went who really won?….ultimately I believe GOD determines my destiny ( no child)..I wonder how LeToya and Latavia who along with Beyonce and Kelly gave up a regular childhood, for music, then all of a sudden years of friendship is gone, and now you $ee Michelle and the other replacement chick? go to Grammy’s,etc……Money, Cars, Clothes most of those true hollywood story people end up in some form of rehab/counseling……

    • 90sgagirl

      “Smack it up flip it and rub it down?Only applicable in certain situations, none of which include Whoopi Goldberg.”
      —->this reminds me of the light skin dark skin post the other day and is a primary Uncle Ruckus example of the ignant colorstruck cycle of bs within our own community. I realize Whoopi aka Celie, sho’ is ugly to some, but it’s MY MOTIVATION. that WE (black people light skin medium, and dark skin stop sayin ish like this!!!I What BLACK MAN has appproached Whoopi Goldberg? (crickets, crickets)..probably not too many, if any? it because they don’t find her attractive? or is it because she is darker skinned? Whoopi ain’t that bad when she’s dressed up/makeup..#imjustsaying…Gotta light skin friend look like Michael jackson got a dark skin friend look like Michael Jackson…#kanyeshrug

      • Girl Kanyeshrug

        All that being said Whoopi has dated some really cool guys (exclude Ted Danson) including Frank Langella who I would totally date NOW even though he is in his early 70’s!!!!

        • WIP

          Umm, I just want Whoopi to get a brow pencil. I do think she’s hilarious but EVERYBODY looks weird when they don’t have eyebrows.

      • Panama Jackson

        while i guess i understand your miffedness at the inclusion of whoopi goldberg on some dark skint hate…the fact is that she’s just not an attractive woman.

        AND she aint got no eyebrows. i feel safe in saying that most of us appreciate a ninja with eyebrows. and if not…well, its my preference. two arms, two legs, and eyebrows. i dont ask for much.

        • NY2VA

          To the corner with you. She gots alopecia. Don’t make fun of the afflicted. Mess around and wake up in the morning with your eyebrows lying next to you on the pillow.

          Okay, I guess I’ll join you in the corner.

          • WIP

            How she got alopecia with dreds??

            • NY2VA

              I thought the same thing, too. Apparently it only affected the hair on her face and stuff.

            • Panama Jackson

              maybe its facial alopecia? which i guess ensures she also doesnt have a mustache??

              double edged sword?

              • Cheekie

                Praise Elohim, you is going to hell.

      • Qozmic

        Hold up, now… in all fairness. Whoopi ain’t really puttin in the effort to be attractive. She ain’t fugly. But dressing like a dude, and looking vaguely like a dude ain’t NEVER been sexy. So let’s not blame brotha’s, or make this a skin tone thing… Whoopi wouldn’t be attractive if she was hi- yella either. Because she doesn’t try to be.

        Strangely, now that she’s all matronly and on the View, she’s kinda growing into her look. I still won’t fantasize about smashin that… but at least she doesn’t look like a homeless man anymore.

        • nocommonsense

          Praise Elohim, you is going to hell

          you are sillyyyyyyy!

          • phlyyGirl

            I want you to know that I choked on my own spit and died at “Praise Elohim, you is going to hell”

  • Jay Mally Mall

    umm… yeah so how do I add an avatar?

    • Panama Jackson

      based on the fact that you got one now, i will assume that you figured it out. lol

      • Qozmic

        Well, can somebody please tell this newbie how? I’ve been wondering how come everybody else has a pic….