The Hip Hop Dad

Brandon, best friend from high school and college was back home in New York visiting his family in January.  His son Andrew is a few months older than Cydney and it was interesting watching them interact.  Not just Cydney and Andrew, but my friend of fourteen years and his child as well.  It was something else watching him being in dad mode when for the most part I know him as the guy who whenever I went out to have a good time was down.  He’s had some pretty wild stories back in the day.  But now, he’s daddy day care for real.  When I call him and we talk he’ll respond “We’re at the park right now” or raving about his son.  That’s awesome.  When I got to see him in person with Andrew and Cydney he put on his sweet kid-friendly voice saying things like “Let’s play the match game!”  You know the tone I’m talking about.

I’m very different.  I do talk with a soft tone and treat her like the princess that she is.  However, I just do things differently.  When my daughter acts up I give her a look and tell her to “Chill out.”  I speak in slang to her all the way to the point of one time my nephew was on her and she responded “Get off my shoulder, yo!”  My daughter is my homie and I speak to her.

I’m a hip hop head.  A lot of my walk, talk, slang, and outlook on life is because that is the culture I grew up in and when my parents didn’t want me to I gravitated to it.  It reflects in how I raise my child.  I don’t really play children’s music for Cydney because I think it’s corny.  I balance that by letting my daughter be Disney Princess-ed out.  “Let It Go” is her favorite song and because of that I was rooting for it more than “Happy” to win best song at the Oscars (Happy is her other favorite song).  

My daughter is a sponge and she loves the hip hop stuff.  When I’m in my home studio she comes downstairs to be in the room and play while I work.  She tells me to turn the music down because she doesn’t like it too loud.  Nonetheless, when she hears me playing something she nods her head accordingly (I didn’t teach her that), pulls out her step stool, puts on the headphones, and wants to get on the mic to sing something or kick a freestyle.  She has the attitude and swagger that comes along with it as well.

I like that I am this way.  I think it makes me unique and by transitive property my daughter as well.  She’s very articulate, uses proper English, has an aura about her that you seldom find in kids her age, and can hang with the grown ups.  It may not be conventional but you won’t forget her if you meet her.

Back to my friend Brandon and his son.  They have an excellent relationship.  I’m proud to see my man one hundred grand being a dad.  He’s a grown up for real.  Maybe when Cydney starts preschool she’ll have more kiddie like ways about her.  But for now, I enjoy my little girl being the hip hop baby that she is right along with her dad.

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