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Father’s Day in the Hip Hop World

by Travis on June 20, 2010

Yes, I’m back from the dead. Still down in sunny (sometimes) South America, getting set to do a weeks worth of digging in two different cities. But I’m also aware that it’s Father’s Day back in the good ole U.S. of A. Of course I have a father of my own that has been instrumental in molding me into the person that I am, which I’m grateful for. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably would have headed down the wrong path more than once or twice in my adolescence. I also have a 12 year old daughter, and while we’ve had some rough roads in the past and I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, we are starting to build a solid relationship. She means the world to me and I hope to be there for her more in the future.

As I hit the wrong side of my mid-thirties, hip hop has changed for me as well. I can’t relate to the gang-banging joints (not that I ever could really, but I did enjoy a few gory blood shed songs from time to time), the bling-bling, the bitches, the clubs. It’s not for me anymore. If I do want to hear that, I’ll go back to albums that I enjoyed in the 80′s and 90′s. I want to hear things that relate to me, to what I experience from day to day. As some of the hip hop nation gets older as well, it’s a given that some of us are going to be fathers, as well as some of the emcees we listen to. Over the past five years or so, I hear artists that aren’t afraid to break that machoism barrier and kick lyrics about being a proud father and raising their kids. Let’s face it, that hasn’t really happened in the past, besides the occasional Edo G type of song (“Be a Father to Your Child”). Artists like Paten Locke, who has a song written about his daughter, “After You”, or Blame One that mentions often in his rhymes that he is a proud father. It’s artists like this that make me proud to be a hip hop head in my thirties and a father in general.

As a dedication to all Dads who do their best to be there for their kids, I got together with some of the Dad’s of the hip hop nation and discussed what it means to be a Dad in the world of hip hop…..

Blame One

Kids: Anthony, 4 and Symphony, 6
BloggerHouse: What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a father?

Blame One: Seeing them progress and grow daily. Also being able to see the world in a new light through their eyes as well. I do a lot of things with them that are so much fun but never thought about doing before they were in my life.

BH: How do you juggle Blame One the emcee with Jahson, the Dad?

BO: I just put family first. For me it’s simple as that. I personally am at an age where I’m not trippin too much about where my rap career is heading, I know where I stand. My kids are with me when I’m recording and when I’m writing 99% of the time. They are well aware who Blame One is and how that person is also their dad.

BH: What’s the hardest aspect of working in the music business and being a family guy?

BO: The music business is not catered towards having a family. Being away on tour for a month for me is just not acceptable. In that aspect of the music biz, I put my family first and try to gain my fans with other methods. I perform when I get the chance but usually in SoCal because of what I just mentioned. Other than that, its just a matter of finding time but I manage to balance it pretty well.

BH: Has the fact that you are a father changed how you make music?

BO: I definitely do more songs that are inspired by my children and the times we have. I also keep my old “rip an emcee to shreds” mentality alive from time to time just because simple bragadocio is also a foundation of my style aside from the message.

BH: Obviously hip hop has changed over the years, more emcees acknowledge the fact that they our fathers and actively involved in their kids lives, from a time that being dad (minus Edo G) wasn’t really brought up in muisc. How do you see that evolution over the years? Why do you feel it’s important to be apart of your lyrics and subject matter?

BO: I just feel that all of the emcees I grew up on spoke about things that really happened in thier lives. I used to walk the freeway at 2AM bombing every wall and divider in sight. I used to boost clothes from the mall.  I dont do those things any more. If I have a family and work a 9 to 5, I’m gonna rap about that because we all gotta grow up at some point. I’m not gonna rap about drugs and guns, im not involved in that lifestyle. I have something much more valuable. I still love that type of music because I can relate to it from other points of life that I’ve been through. If I was to speak like I’m living the hood life right now, I’d be lying. I struggle in a whole different way now, and thats what you will hear in my music.

BH: What makes a successful father?

BO: Love, patience, teaching, creativity and quality time.


Kids: Daughter 12, Son 2, Son 1

BH: What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a father?

Arablak: Knowing that my legacy and influence will continue when I’m gone. My kids already look and act like me. When they’re grown they will become their own influential entities with incredible individual potential. The fact that such powerful little creatures love me so unconditionally is kind of overwhelming.

BH: You have both boys and a girls, which do you think is/will the most difficult as far as being a parent goes?

A: I think they’re both equally difficult it their own ways, but with girls it’s a more of a delicate situation. Not that they are more delicate, but their are issues as men that fathers can’t relate with, making it less manageable from our side of the fence.

BH: What’s the hardest aspect of working in the music business and being a family guy?

A: It used to be maintaining 2 different identities but the older I get, the more balanced I become and the more I truly know myself. With that I more and more become the same guy at home than I am on beats or on stage. I started as a “music act”, but over time I matured into a hip-hop artist. I no longer quell certain mannerisms at home or on stage, as I’ve grown to be secure and honest enough to give my grandmother and my kids that same guy I give to the hip-hop listeners.

BH: Has the fact that you are a father ever made you change a lyric or scrap a song?

A: Of course. There are things I used to say or do when I was only responsible for myself that I can’t really say or do anymore. My primary job as a father is to instill foundational values that I hold most valuable. If I contradict that in my lyrics, it can damage the years of work I put into my kids. Plus it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. It’s not as cool for me to tell them something in person than it is to a beat. Although hip-hop can be an abrasive culture, there’s no reason why we can’t conduct ourselves with some class when needed. Besides, the average hip-hop artist and listener is between 30 and 40 years old. We’re too grown to act otherwise.

BH: If one of your kids came to you when they were old enough and said they wanted to be an emcee/producer or DJ in the hip hop biz, would you want them to? What advice would you give them?

A: I will support whatever their passions are, IF they are talented in that field. If my son wants to rap or make beats, but he just doesn’t have what it takes, I won’t lie to him. But if he wants to be a ribbon dancer and is a damn good ribbon dancer, then I will make sure he has everything he needs to succeed. My advice will always be to strive to impress yourself first. If you are a true fan of your passion, your standards for your own work will always exceed what is expected of you.

BH: What makes a successful father?

A: Sleeping soundly knowing you’re providing your kids the most fun, engaging and enriched childhood you can offer. Truly loving those destructive and smelly critters, even when they break your MPC2000xl, 2 external hard drives and a glass coffee table.

Castor Pollux

Kids: I have 3 children 12,7,1. My daughter Wynter is the oldest I have not seen her for about 10 yrs … that is a very long story and one day we will have Maury host WYDU Video. I live with my two sons, Robert aka “Bboy7″ who is seven and William aka “Illiam”  one year of terror..

BH: Was there a moment that made you realize that you responsible for another life? How did that change your life?

Castor Pollux: When my son Robert was born, the very moment he was born. It changed my life in that I am alive and here . I was on a terrible a road and I realized I had to do something. With my daughter I was very selfish, I love her very much but was way to young to even fathom the responsibility of that .

BH: What is the most important part of being a father?

CP: Is BEING a Father!! But to me personally it’s just being there talking to them. Honestly, teach the golden rules, love yourself,love others, always be honest and truthful with your heart. But sometimes being a good man is walking away from a situation in which it is not at all beneficial for the child.

BH: How do you juggle the music and your fatherly duties?

CP: You just gotta do it. It’s like a job you are on call, you do what has to get done . Sometimes I will walk in the door from a show at two or three in the morning and my 6 month old is waking up . You do what you gotta do, make the bottle, change that diaper. A couple hours earlier, I was on stage rocking it with my Gutter Water Fam. In the morning its all Dad again, you know waffles and homework. With recording, I include my boys, most every song is recorded with one of my kids in the room. My seven year old runs the program(Ableton Live) while I’m in the closet lacing the vocals. My youngest will be sleeping in the room in his crib. It’s funny, when it gets quiet is when he wakes up .

BH: Some of hip hop isn’t made for the younger ears. Would you let your kids listen to some of the more violent/sexist hip hop out there (at the appropriate age of course)? How do you teach them that it’s just music and art and not the way most of us live our lives?

CP: Yes I would let my kids listen to what they like. Yo I was listening to what I wanted. I had a homie in grade school who would always hook up the 2 live crew and NWA tapes (laughs), I still have one. But I would explain that alot of this HipPOP that is on the radio is just glamorizing evil. Honestly your liver is going to collapse if you drink that much liquor. You probablly will get a STD from these girls at the club. And if you get a Benz make sure you can pay for repairs (laughs). If it aint that, then be you!! Im writing a new song the hook is, “I gotta wife, two seeds, a broken down GMC, and gutter talent to emcee, it’s C.P. Be you!”

BH: If one of your kids came home bumping the latest radio hip pop mainstream by the latest bling bling rapper (or any other hip hop trend you don’t care for), what would your response be?

CP: “Stop Listening to that sh*t” and explain to him what my answer was in the previous question. But ultimately I am here to guide not make there choices. I had to live through a lot of things to stand here today with this mind state . So for me to not let them experience themselves would be worse .You have to be who you aren’t, to know who you are . If there is no black there is no white there just is. That’s from Conversations With God, great book .

BH: What is the single most important lesson you can teach your kids?

CP: Don’t ever say can’t and always follow your heart and I will always support you!! .

I want to end this by saying “BiG Up and Good Work ” to all the dads out there stepping up to the plate and taking 200% responsibility for your children. A father is everyday not just a Sunday in June. One Gazillion .

Below is a free joint Called “HAPPY” Produced By: Dysposable Heroes Enjoy . Recorded in 2009. Unreleased .

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{ 1 comment }

Eric June 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Holy Shit!!! Look what the cat dragged in!! Good Timing!! Happy Father’s Day Broham!

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