Without a doubt, the most awesome aspect of being a father is having the authority & ability to teach my children things. What those things are is completely under my discretion, but nevertheless, that’s my God-delegated power. That’s a power that should never be taken lightly either, because – as a parent – you reap what you sow, in some form or fashion. For example: if you use foul language around infants, they’ll eventually pick up the language. When said infant blurts out “that fat bitch,” the parent chastises the kid, not realizing that a cute little chick has come home to roost, so to speak. For better or worse, kids mimic, imitate, emulate, & copy. That’s their way of developing social skills. Positive social skills are needed to live a productive life, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment.
William Shakespeare wrote “It is a wise man that knows his child.” That said, I have very close relationships with my kids. I know them better than they know themselves, literally. I knew that awareness & cognition were important parts of parenting before I even began to reproduce, but an ancient thespian preaching the same rhetoric – 500 years ago – just solidifies my point more thoroughly. I know how my kids admire & observe me & I act accordingly. As any father should.
Hip Hop culture entails quite a bit of self expression, no matter the reactions or consequences. Take the “Fuck The World” mantra that most rap cats seem to live
until they die by. That attitude means, simply put, that you don’t care about anything. At all. While this is probably routine & commonplace for an 18 year old guy with no kids or real-time attachments, a father/husband can’t follow that same itinerary. As good as it may feel to, I can’t blindly listen to music that oozes negativity & expect my children to have a clear state of mind. In fact, I have a theory that an entire generation (my generation) was raised with rap music as a constant ambient sound. In theory, that could have brainwashed said generation in ways that no one understood/understands because the culture is still relatively young. Depending on the undertone & insinuations attached to the music, over time, it could’ve very well shaped some people’s outlooks on life, if not their very personalities. It’s deeper than rap. But, it’s just a theory, & an amateur one at that. Regardless, it’s imperative that I monitor what I listen to, in order to monitor what they listen to, because I do give a fuck, if you smell my cologne.
Like many of my peers, rap music & Hip Hop in general have been a part of my life, all my life. The same goes for our kids today, except these days the stakes are much higher. I’m a grown up now & know better than to bang Snoop Dogg’s “B.A.S.” while I’m just chilling, lest my daughter willingly puts herself in that category. (& I really like that song.) The same goes for Dr. Dre’s “Xxxplosive,” a song which is Top 25 of all time in my book. I’ve “dabbled” “in” this “industry” long enough to “know” that the only time it “cares” about “the kids” (#RIPODB) is when they can perform parlor tricks. In a way, that obviousness makes my job that much easier, because rarely is the negativity hidden or disguised. Not for nothing, but Rap Music is the flagrant foul of “Show Business,” so my defense has to be extra tight.
There’s a fine line between exposing my kids to the culture & allowing them to be baptized as sheep. Thank God I figured that part out before they started junior high school.
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