Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dad Writes A Song, Mom Misses The Point

I don't listen to much rap music.  There are a lot of rappers who have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of intelligent or meaningful lyrics.  I can only take so many songs about money, cars, and women before I change the station.  I tend to enjoy rappers like Talib KweliCommon, or Mos Def - guys that try to say something meaningful.   A rapper that has been brought to my attention lately (by the fellas in the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league "Thug Motivation" where I am currently in FIRST PLACE!) is Nas.  He's been around for a while, but he's got a new track out called "Daughters" and it's getting reactions from fans and critics alike including the mother of Nas' daugther.  After listening to the song and reading what she had to say about it, it's clear that she missed the point.

As a point of reference, you will want to listen to the song "Daughters" by Nas.  If you cannot find it, you can always go HERE (WARNING: LYRICS NOT SAFE FOR WORK).  If you don't care to listen, you can at least read the lyrics HERE (I am going to highlight the two best sections later on).

If you're not familiar with the background story, a few months ago, Nas' daughter, Destiny, sent out this picture via Twitter.  She's seventeen.  Nas' friends were calling him and hitting him up on social media to let him know how his daughter was representing the family.  It was a wake-up call for him, and it was the inspiration for the song "Daughters" which is on his new album set to release this summer.  The song leaked a week earlier than planned, and immediately, the feedback got heated from his baby mamma.

The song is for FATHERS of daughters.  It's about Nas coming to terms with the way his lifestyle and parenting choices have affected his daughter and influenced her when it comes to the type of men she chooses.  It is very honest and self-critical.  In the first verse, he talks about how he was angry with the kind of boys her daughter is dating, but quickly realizes that he lived like a thug in front of her, so he can't expect her to choose better since he didn't give a better example.

The second verse contains the two most powerful lyrics in the song. Here is the first:

He realizes that his way of showing love was tied up in money and jewelry and not actually being a good parent.  He realizes that instead of throwing cash at her, he should have spent more time with her.  This is brutally honest for a rap song, and I'm thrilled that he wrote it as it could help inspire other fathers to not make the same mistakes.

The second lyric that really jumps out is this one:

He recognizes the irony that he spent his life as a hard-core thug, and now he is seeing the fruit of that behavior in his precious little girl who is now seventeen and acting out.  This type of reflection is good, and it doesn't happen enough in rap music.  Hopefully, this message will reach some of his fans and inspire them to step up as fathers and be more involved with their kids.

Here is where the story gets interesting.  Destiny's mother, Carmen Bryan, tweeted this:
Woman, you just don't get it!  Seriously, this song is not about your daughter, and he's not singing to her, so of course he didn't have anything positive to say.  The events that inspired this song were not positive for him, and that's okay.  It's a song about a man coming to grips with his role as a father.  He is expressing his feelings that happen to have occurred as a result of your daughter's misbehavior, but the things he is rapping about are his own thoughts and feelings about what occurred.  Zip it, and let the man be an example.

I sincerely hope she sees that Nas is attempting to deal with his shortcomings as a father and that she allows him the freedom to express those thoughts.  I also hope that Nas follows through by turning his thoughts into actions and being a better father figure for his daughter.  I can't speak enough about how important it is for fathers to be involved with their kids, especially daughters.  To quote John Mayer, "Fathers be good to your daughters/Daughters will love like you do."  For all of you dads with little girls, I am begging you to be better.  Be the best father for your little girls.  Step up and act like the type of man you would want her to marry one day.  Be the example.  Be the dad.


  1. I love the song, and totally agree with you, he's not singing to his daughter, he's singing to himself about how he should have acted! xx

    1. I'm glad you understood it the way I did. That means it's not a gender thing. His baby momma just don't get it.

  2. I like a lot of rap as well as lots of other tunes of various types.... this one is poignant. You've got the reading on it I do... "noone's good enough for our daughters"

    1. Wouldn't have taken you for a rap fan! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Really well written and so, so true. My 10yo daughter watches every move her dad makes right now. Love this post and will share with friends. Nice job, Matt.



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