Don’t Matter Who Proud of You, Just Do What You Gotta Do

I punch the clock, it’s clock work. I am now surrounded by co-workers who have no clue of my creatively-grounded realms and all the dreams that wrap me up mentally. Although this job is full time, my time is full—I give my all to this pen and I think about the nights where I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do in life. The blueprint has provided much needed clarity, giving way to the clues of my path. To finish an interview with Maaly Raw, Jay IDK and other Hip-Hop industry artists and then punch the clock, well, it’s a mundane feeling. At times it’s honestly painful. I know what I’m capable of and even the brief moments where I share my outside-of-this-job achievements with co-workers and managers, there’s still a sense of “who cares” that waves through their demeanor. Then I have to think to myself—bringing forth a Wale quote: “am I doing this for them or me?”

Dave East’s “30 N***az” track was a simple reminder to myself: “don’t matter who proud of you, just do what you gotta do.” The simplest of diction crosses my mind like a new method—as if I’ve never been told these words before. However, when it’s lyrical and given the proper production, my mind digests the message differently. Not to mention, the come up of anyone who worked hard while few were looking is applaudable in my book.

We all love to achieve goals and level up. The problem occurs when we’re doing something to fulfill another person’s satisfaction. The minute they’re not proud of you, you repeatedly force attention and it can also damage the quality of your work. I learned this the hard way and I’m still practicing my right hook to land a hit on self-satisfaction. Don’t get me misconstrued, there have been times where I set out to impress a specific person or group, and it worked. But the high of their applause only lasts for so long and I can’t control how long that stretches. Even worst, I reflect on the times I didn’t get an applause at all. Shit, I’ll clap for self. I’m my best audience and this was one of greatest lessons.

Searching for approval from others used to be my way of life. It went beyond the “mom, can I” template. I eventually found myself writing, dressing, eating, talking and much more—for the approval from beings that hindered my successful outcomes rather than uplift. When you’re doing what you have to do, the applause from others should serve as a bonus, never the backbone. To let another person’s words lift me higher than words of my own, it’s not for me. The minute they stop lifting me, I fall and that’s when the healing process kicks in because I mentally lost my grip. The word “depend” scares me. I can’t depend on the next man to be proud of what I wrote, but I damn sure can be proud of the ink stains that form my sentences.

I look back at Dave East’s music videos from 2012, before the accolades came and prior to Nas’ co-sign. So you can choose: you can either keep working until it’s your time to get the recognition, or you can stop your efforts right here and fall short of your potential. The choice is ultimately yours. I suggest you do what you gotta do, no matter what.

I’m doing what i have to do—it does not matter if they see what I can do. Eventually, they will, but it won’t make a difference in my movement.

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