“Nobody gives a f**k about daddy," Chris Rock said in his Bigger & Blacker stand-up bit. "Think about all the things a real daddy does: pay the bills, buy the food, put a f**king roof over your head ... and what does daddy get for all his hard work? The big piece of chicken.”
Throughout history, mothers are praised as someone’s inspiration, reason for success and reason for life. Very rarely are there dads that get this same admiration and recognition. In light of all the newly-donned fathers in hip-hop and the uplifting of them through media in the form of magazine covers, we decided to give hip-hop’s favorite dads more than just the big piece of chicken.
Fathers teach us lessons about self-care, philanthropy and wisdom as much as they provide our bare necessities. While mothers often provide the heat to make the iron, a metaphor for their children susceptible to being shaped, fathers hammer away at us, turning our weaknesses into strengths, whilst making our strengths unwavering. To our favorite hip-hop dads, we see you. Here’s to the recognition you deserve.
Kid Cudi: Self-Care Is Child Care
“I guess I give so much of myself to others I forgot that I need to show myself some love too." - OTHERtone via Beats 1
Scott Mescudi has been labeled a societal deviant because of his dark sonic truths and alternative appearance. After throwing in the towel on his custody battle in 2012 and his bout with drugs in 2010, as of last year the father of one seemed to have turned his life around for the better. Just three months later, after stirring buzz around his then-anticipated Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, Cudders posted a transparent note on Facebook to his fans and the public, alike, confirming that he’d be admitting himself into rehab ahead of the release of his sixth studio album.
The “Surf” artist lists his daughter, Vada Mescudi, as one of the reasons for focusing on his recovery. After keeping all his battles bottled up because he didn’t want to “disturb the peace” of those around him, Mescudi put his fear, shame and reservations aside to get better for his daughter. When it comes to parenting, self-care is child care. The Cudders focused on his energy on blessings, such as his daughter attending one of the best private schools in the nation and set positive-affirming goals for himself such as attending Complexcon, which he delivered on. Although the Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven rapper hasn’t been too visible on social media or the press, we hope he’s blessed on this Father’s Day and he and Vada are “writ[ing] poems, kick[ing] it,” and riding horses.
Happy 5th Birthday to the love of my life, my greatest and most perfect creation, PRINCESS VADA MESCUDI 🎈🎈🎉🎉🎉🎁🎄🎂🎂💓💓💓 pic.twitter.com/FzTEIhOPit
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) March 26, 2015
Isaiah Rashad: Money Ain't A Thing
“Hit my line, I’m here for you.” - 4 Da Squaw
How much a dollar cost? Absolutely nothing to Isaiah Rashad and his son. The TDE signee took his son out to the boardwalk for a day of true quality time and selflessness in his video, “4 Da Squaw.” Rashad, his son, and everyone else that makes an appearance in the video all have monetary amounts floating above their heads. Reminiscent of the notorious parent-used “give you the world” phrase, Rashad has $0 hovering above his head throughout nearly all the video while his son has $2-4 circling above. In a genre that has been commercially labeled as a glorification of swag and riches, it's refreshing to see that a rising lyricist is putting the things that truly matter, first, from the jump.
Wiz Khalifa: Swag Gene
“Structure is always needed, so my kid coming into my life and helping me structure everything has helped me as a person and as a business person.” — HipHopDX
To make their child feel special, most dads pass down something to their sons that has survived many generations of their family, and for their daughters, buy them jewelry. Wiz Khalifa, however, decided to decorate the world with a clothing line named after he and Amber Rose’s son, Sebastian, including designs of some of the toddler’s favorite things.
BASH by Junk Food was a collaborative project between the Thomaz boys. Wiz admitted that he and his son shop together and often end up matching, so it was natural that the line include coordinating men's and children's clothes.
His sense of style isn't the only thing that Wiz has passed down to Bash. Both Amber and the “See You Again” rapper have posted videos of their young son singing some of his favorite songs, from Chicago’s “You’re The Inspiration” to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” Most recently, Rose took him backstage to sing with one of his favorite bands, Chicago. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if Sebastian follows in his father’s musical steps.
ScHoolboy Q: Gangstas Wear Pink Too
“Yes it's pink so wat…..” - Instagram
ScHoolboy Q easily became everyone’s favorite dad when he stepped onto the Grammy’s carpet with his daughter, Joy, adorned in matching pink threads. Joy wore a hot pink Gucci suit, while Groovy Q complemented her swag in a tie-dyed “Girl Power” hoodie of the same hue. Realizing the traction he and his daughter got with their matching rosy ensembles, the Blank Face rapper began selling long-sleeve “Girl Power” pink tie-dyed shirts on the T.D.E. website donating all of the proceeds to the California and Virginia-based 501c3, Girls For A Change.
Admitting that after having Joy, he wants only girls from here on out, Q claims being a father to a daughter has made him “think about what he does now.”
“I go to the extreme, but I won’t go to the major, major extreme where my daughter’s gonna look back at it. ‘Cause my daughter’s gonna see all of the sh*t I’m doing one day,” the “THat Part” rapper details to Noisey.
Ice Cube: Guidance
“Run full speed away from my son.” - The Late Late Show With James Corden
Do we all remember that one time Ice Cube basically told a Kardashian to stay away from his son on live television? While sitting as a guest on the The Late Late Show with James Corden, the host revealed to Ice Cube that the youngest Kardashian sister wouldn’t mind spending some “personal time” with his son. The N.W.A. member swiftly replied with some advice to Strong Looks Better Naked author, “For one thing, she should run full speed from my son.” After prompting the Khloe to “mind her manners” because she’s married, we can only assume the proclamation acted as advice to his son to “Keep Away From The Kardashians.” Potentially protecting his son from the “Kardashian Kurse,” that the media and haters of the reality television family are convinced exists, is enough to get the Rock And Roll Hall of Famer on our list.
In more ways than the aforementioned one, Cube has been able to provide guidance to the younger O’Shea. Little to most of the public’s knowledge the Straight Outta Compton star went to the University of California studying screenwriting. Ice Cube first broke out into film during the $10 million plus opening week movie, Boyz N The Hood, but he used that traction to begin screenwriting career. The first movie he’d written, which O’Shea Jr. gets to reenact his father writing in Straight Outta Compton, was Friday. Since the NAACP award-winning actor just starred in his first major role, it should be no time until the 26-year-old actor is on the road to writing his own movie.
DJ Khaled: Unconditional Love
“I believe me and Asahd was put on this world to show what love is.” - Billboard
If we all had to choose a father of the year, we’d probably come to a unanimous consensus on the Snapchat king himself, DJ Khaled. Debuting the birth of his son via Snapchat, the We The Best producer has been all about his son since the moment he discovered he was becoming a father. The positive affirmations he recites and the verbally-elevated pedestal he places his son on when people question the Grateful artist about his offspring, will lead Asahd into becoming, arguably, the most confident and loved human being on this Earth. After all, the father-son duo were put on this Earth to show what love is.
“This feeling that you feel of your child accomplishing something that they worked hard for, that you instill in them as parents, can’t be expressed in words.” - All Hip Hop
Perhaps the previous entry took a page out of Sean “Diddy” Combs’s book, because he’s been publicly showcasing a united front amongst his blended family since the dawn of their existence. Continuing to treat his ex-wife, Kim Porter’s son, Quincy as his blood son, it’s clear that once you’re family to Puff, you remain family until the wheels fall off. The 47-year-old hip-hop mogul has also continued to shower all of his children’s mothers with love and keeps his family close—no matter how far and wide.
2 Chainz: Creative Philanthropist
The creativity birthed through 2 Chainz’s philanthropic journey throughout his career is inspiring and sets a great example for his three children, Heaven, Halo and Harmony. The Pretty Girls Like Trap Music rapper is routinely raising money for those who are in the most need, having gifted a house and a van to families in the past. Whenever he’s making money, he always ensures to gives it back in abundance. His ugly Christmas sweater campaign garnered a whopping $2 million to benefit his T.R.U. Foundation in 2015. Just last year, the father of three switched it up and auctioned off a $90,000 “Dabbin’ Santa” sweater decorated in 50 carats worth of diamonds and 250 grams of gold. Not to mention, he used his CEO (Creating Every Opportunity) Millionaires clothing line to raise awareness and funds for homelessness in the veteran community and help “keep them off the streets.” What better way to lead your tribe than by example?
Rev Run: Bathtub Wisdom
Who’s house? Run’s House. In Run’s House, wisdom is shared to the masses. On one third of Run DMC’s MTV reality show, Run’s House, the Rev was always dropping gems from the comfort of his bath tub. Rev Run’s bathtub wisdom, while some may find it comical, was the icing on the cake for the show. It also provided a more intimate look into the many words of wisdom Rev Run probably shares with his six children, everyday.
Chance The Rapper: Dads Do Hair Too
Dads who shower their daughters with love captures the hearts of multitudes all the time. But the way that 24-year-old Chance The Rapper celebrates his daughter, Kensli, is something special. The most precious thing the Coloring Book artist has done thus far, in our book, is provide the perfect formula for natural hair care, without hurting the head of “yo lil baby.” The “tender-head” recipe calls for water, argan oil, shea butter and a WIDE tooth comb (with a side of really wide). There’s a societal stigma that fathers are less-than knowledgeable when it comes to grooming their children. But, Lil Chano From 79th broke down that barrier in less than 140 characters - yet again.
Doin yo lil baby's hair without that comb hurtin her head cheatcode:
2. Argan Oil
3. Shea Butter
4. WIDE tooth comb (really wide)
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) February 5, 2017
J. Cole: Reclusive Lifestyle Provider
“F**k all this album sh*t, hey mama, look what God made.. She’s mine.” - She’s Mine Pt. 2
The 4 Your Eyez Only rapper strays far from the public eye. He’s never been too much of a fan for the visibility that intertwines with fame, and he’s holding to it now that he’s a father. Upon the release of his platinum-selling fourth studio album, there was much speculation to whether the narrative was exclusively that of a friend, or whether the serenade-styled lyrics of “She’s Mine Pt. 2” was revealing some truth about his own life. Upon much speculation and inquisitive arguments by fans online, J. Cole revealed to the New York Times, that he and his wife, Melissa, gave birth to a child. Revealing no other details such as when, the name or sex of their newborn, it’s safe to say that the couple plan on maintaining as much of a reclusive lifestyle for their child to the greatest ability of their control.
LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out
“The only way you’re going to be able to finish what you’re doing is to kill me.” - Oprah's Next Chapter
Back in 2012, an intruder broke into the home of the “Around The Way Girl” rapper, LL Cool J né James Todd Smith. While the rapper’s biggest fear was whether or not he would be able to detain the trespasser and protect his family, the Lip Sync Battle co-host did that and then some. The now 49-year-old Smith, broke the jaw, ribs and nose of attempted burglar, Jonathan Kirby. Waking up the next morning as the child of Smith, probably brought mixed emotions of terror and immense safety. I guess it’s safe to say, that no one’s got you like your dad’s got you, if your dad is LL Cool J.