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:
Panama Jackson

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


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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….

  • 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……

  • Jay Mally Mall

    umm… yeah so how do I add an avatar?

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