My father Brian, my son Solomon and I celebrating Father’s Day for the first time ever in June of 2013.
When I look at Meek Mills, Lil B, Bobby Schmurder, Nikki Minaj, etc… I see myself.
I see artists with talent, opportunities, dysfunction, flaws and strong spirits. I see people who are abused, bruised and partly patched up. Futures filled with determinations to be different; yet, no matter how far we go, the cycles and pathologies repeat themselves. I see myself.
I interact with so many entertainers that have no clue that they’re the latest “Train Wreck” for Instagrammers and Reality Show watchers to enjoy. I recently took a journey to discover my origin. I wanted to know, “Who was my father? Why did he leave, and how could listening and being empathetic to his plight instead of angry at his absence help me put together missing pieces?” I forgave him. I loved him.
As artists, especially in Hip Hop we’re constantly fighting to prove “Authenticity”.
We want people to know we’ve gone through and overcome odds most people couldn’t survive. We like to appear scary and violent.
“I’ve seen children get slaughtered/ niggaz grandmother’s assaulted/ throw a gang sign and dare you do something about it” – Rick Ross.
I now believe that with each bar we spit, filled with accounts of trauma, street life, money and misdirected violence, another silent tear is shed for what really pains us.
We’ve covered up the real issue so well that it’s sacrilegious to even consider that in the words of Jay-Z “Sensitive Thugs, Y’all All NEED HUGS”.
We need our families, our mothers and our fathers. We need “Hugs”, encouragement, validation and discipline. We need our parents to not get shot, go to jail, hate one another, commit violence against one another or have us unintentionally, harboring the type of resentment that only hurts the child.
We are now guilty of continuing this cycle – no matter how much money we earn, how many fans we accrue or how much we remember and hate what was done to us. Most Rappers need therapy! Most African Americans need therapy! Honestly, most Americans need therapy!
For the sake of this piece, let’s stick to Rappers. The lost children of the Baby boomers, the abused offspring of Generation X. Let’s get well together, as a family.
Let’s document it in our music and our images. Let’s begin to forgive our families, heal the wounds and end the legacies of fratricide. It’s time to be more then self- serving, if we are to thrive in the next century it’s imperative that we be OF Service.
Click here, to watch the music video “Lost and Found” where I process the journey of losing and finding my father.
Click here, to watch the trailer for “In My Father’s House,” which I am featured in with my father. The film is currently in select AMC Theaters.