A common theme in hip-hop is about dealing with haters- people who try to get you down. Which makes sense, because most of the artists grew up in schools or families or neighborhoods were little was expected of them.
Jay-Z sings a song where the chorus repeats "You've got to get that dirt off your shoulders." I like to be informed, so I googled what that meant to make sure I knew.
From the rap dictionary, here is a definition and brilliant parable.
To step up. The origin of this term comes from a story in which a donkey falls into a well and cannot get out. The farmer tries to get the donkey out by rope, unsuccessful in his attempt. He decides, instead, to just give up and bury the donkey in the well. As the farmer begins filling the hole with dirt, the donkey becomes depressed, realizing that all of the dirt on his shoulders and back were going to eventually bury him. He then thought of an idea: I can just shake it off and step up. Therefore, he could just die by doing nothing and getting buried, or shake the dirt off his shoulders and step up to the occasion. So when you have a problem, will you shake it off and step up or be buried?So let that be your lesson for the day kids. Step up and shake it off. Don't be buried.