Men Behind the Music
“When you’re growing up, your dad is your superhero. Once you’ve let yourself fall that deeply in love with someone, once you put him on such a high pedestal and he lets you down, you never want to experience that pain again.”
There is no shortage of stigmas surrounding fatherhood in the black community. We’ve been conditioned to presume that a black man will not take care of his children and have accepted it as a cultural norm. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home as of 2017. It’s safe to assume more than half of these children are black.
In honor of Father’s Day, we’d like to highlight some stand-out men that are not only hardcore rappers, but fantastic fathers. The reason this dynamic is important to highlight is because rappers are some of the biggest role models of our community and it’s only right we celebrate them for NOT sticking to the sad stereotypes.
Allow me to reintroduce the first father: Sean Carter a.k.a. Jay-Z who just became hip hop’s first billionaire. Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé welcomed their first child Blue Ivy Carter in 2012. The world stopped when the announcement came that Beyoncé was expecting. It was only right the rap god create a song about his little one entitled “Glory” where he starts by saying, “ The most amazing feeling I feel words can’t describe what I’m feeling inside for real Baby I paint the sky blue My greatest creation was you, glory.” From the outside looking in, we can tell just how poised and respectable Jay-Z and Beyoncé have raised Blue to be through their love and nurturing nature. They seem to let her be herself which is key when you grow up in such a bright spotlight. The couple didn’t stop there; in June 2017 they welcomed a set of twins named Rumi and Sir. In an interview with New York Times, Jay-Z states,
“You have to educate your children on the world as it exists today and how it got to that space, but my children don’t need the same tools that I needed growing up.”
As a parent, it’s important to realize that times have changed and will continue to change meaning the ‘book of parenting’ is rewritten every few years so don’t feel obligated to take grandparents every word of advice; just do what feels right.
Next up is Dwayne Carter Jr. (no relation.) This man has about five different stage names but his most important one is Dad. Weezy/ Wayne/Tunechi fathered his first daughter Reginae with his childhood sweetheart Toya when he was just 16 years. Back then, he was looked at as one of the most hardcore rappers belonging to the rap group ‘Hot Boyz.’ Wayne’s biological father was absent but that didn’t stop him from being in Reginae and Toya’s life. Weezy isn’t afraid to show the world just how in love he was with his daughter either; Reginae has appeared in multiple music videos and documentaries highlighting the rap phenom. More recently, the daddy-daughter duo collaborated on his latest; most anticipated album Carter V in a song simply called ‘Famous.’ Reginae starts with smooth singing followed by Weezy’s lyrical talents. What many people don’t know is Wayne has three sons with other women whom have been kept out of the spotlight for the most part. This is probably the choice of the more mature Weezy who doesn’t want media and gossip to influence his youngin’s. Also, this is probably one of the most admirable traits we could ever ask for in a father of his stature: to want privacy and normalcy for his children in a world so cruel and judgmental.
You can’t talk about rap dads without mentioning Master P. and his son Romeo. Hailing from New Orleans, Master P. is another gangsta rapper turned mogul who went from making music for the thugs to making deals with the plugs. Master P. made history when he signed two separate NBA contracts in the late 90’s to play for the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors. After that, we started seeing him in his own movies and TV shows. The hood classic, “I Got the Hook-up,” showcased many up and coming comedians and gave Master P. yet another thing to add to his resume. Real 90’s babies know about the 2003 Nickelodeon show “Romeo” starring none other than Romeo Miller and his dad Percy Miller (Master P.) Romeo’s fan base skyrocketed as we could not get enough of his long jerseys with the braids. To this day, the duo still won’t let up; “I Got the Hook-up 2” will be released July 2019 directed by Corey Grant and starring some of our favorite Instagram comedians such as @fatboy and @dcyoungfly. Master P. is quoted on Wealthygorilla.com saying, “I think my thing is I grew up in the ghetto, and I was able to get a second chance. That’s what I’m trying to tell my kids.” Master P. to say the least MASTERED his role of being a father. He is someone our men can look up to and aspire to be.
The list goes on; from DJ Khaled and Asahd, to Diddy and the Combs kids. Not all of us are fortunate enough to get to experience the joys of having dad around. Often, we look for mom to fill both roles but deep down we know it’s not the same. Uncles and brothers sometimes can fill the shoes but still, there’s nothing like having the real thing. So, this Father’s Day, please appreciate your papa even if all you can afford to do is say THANK YOU!