Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Paradox of Hip Hop Parenting

Fresh off the release of his lead single The Don, @Nas did a quick reload on single #2 with Daughters. My first reaction when I heard Daughters was somewhere between disbelief and respect. I used those two adjectives because it takes some balls to be so open when it comes to real stories about how you raise your kids. You just don't hear many Hip Hop artists talk about how they could have been a better parent to a teenager...but then again, maybe because not too many Hip Hop fathers have kids who are 17 years old yet.

I thought it was admirable that Nas addressed how he's mentally dealing with his daughter dating a thug when he himself was a thug back in the day. Struggling morally in a "let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" way with raising your daughter has to be an unenviable task that probably has him praying that Destiny will make the right choice at times. Especially when everyone knows you've been through as many women as you have, can you really be that mad at her for showing off her epic condom collection? (According to Destiny's mother @CarmenBryan absolutely not!)

If you're cool with reserving judgment on the personal stories that might ruffle a few feathers, there's a lot of truth weaved into Daughters. The four bars below are about as eloquent as it gets regarding every dad's feelings about raising a daughter compared to a son...
"Nah, the way mothers feel for they sons, how fathers feel for they daughters
When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa
When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed off
Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters"
There's no release date yet for Nas's new album tentatively Life is Good, but two singles in one month will probably speed it along. In his own words via Def Jam conference call, “It’s been a long time since I dropped a solo album…I don’t think it’s Escobar season this year. It’s Nasty Nas season. All my dons, raise a glass, Nasty Nas season has begun.”

Nas - Daughters (prod by No I.D.)


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