With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, AllHipHop.com has compiled a list of songs that discuss fatherhood from all different perspectives. Some are more favorable and respectable circumstances than others, but they all potentially lead to the same conclusion in the minds of listeners. That conclusion being what Furious Styles told his son in the 1991 masterpiece, Boyz n the Hood, “Any fool with a d*** can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.”
Salute to all the real fathers around the world!
The Pride and Joy of Being a Father; Ja Rule featuring Ronald Isley “Daddy’s Little Baby”
Ja Rule, with a solid assist from Ron Isley on the hook, expresses his love for his daughter and shows his support while also providing guidance and telling her not to become discouraged when facing adversity.
A Message to a Future Child; 2Pac “Letter to My Unborn”
Atop a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl,” 2Pac speaks to his hypothetical child in the event that he is not around to see the child grow up. Tragically, he was murdered and never did have children.
Fathering a Child in an Unfaithful Relationship; Usher “Confessions Part II”
Usher sounds very emotional as he sings about impregnating a woman he barely knows and jeopardizing his relationship with a woman he truly loves. In his mind, it’s a no-win situation for everyone as he sings, “Third thing [that comes to mind] was me wishin' that I never did what I did/How I ain't ready for no kid and bye bye to our relationship.”
Men Without Children Imagining Fatherhood; Jay-Z and Kanye West “New Day”
At the time of this song’s release, Jay wasn’t yet a father and Kanye hadn’t yet become a father-to-be. It’s fascinating to hear these two discuss how their life experiences shaped them and what affect that would have on them raising a family. Props to RZA as well for helping craft the beat to one of Watch the Throne’s most memorable records.
The Impact of Being an Absentee Dad; Big Mike featuring Scarface “Daddy’s Gone”
Track 13 on Somethin’ Serious has Big Mike and Scarface discussing the affect of a father’s absence from a few angles. Big Mike speaks on the enormous responsibility of single parenthood for young people and Scarface discusses the resentment of growing up as a fatherless child.
When a Daughter Gets to be of Dating Age, Nas “Daughters”
Like many fathers, Nas is anxious when his daughter starts to show an interest in boys. But what makes this song particularly powerful is that Nas recognizes that he wasn’t always the perfect father figure. Therefore, he is able to acknowledge that even if her daughter falls for a bad boy, he’d still see a bit of himself in him. It makes for a complex situation, but it’s clear that Nas’ love for his daughter trumps all.
Planning Parenthood, Common featuring Lauryn Hill “Retrospect for Life”
On one of Common’s deepest songs, he tackles the subject of his love interest’s abortion. And to make it even more powerful, Lauryn Hill’s vocals sample “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder.
Biology Doesn’t Always Define a Father, DMC feat. Sarah Mclachlan “Just Like Me”
After learning that he was adopted, DMC reached out to Sarah Mclachlan (who he found out was also adopted) for his take on Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” The resulting song and video is a touching presentation recognizing that there is just as much love in adoptive families as there are in biological ones.
Be Responsible for your Offspring, Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs “Be a Father to Your Child”
The title says it all.
The Grass is Greener on the Other Side, Shaquille O’Neal “Biological Didn’t Bother”
In the beginning of the song, Shaq explains that his biological father had a drug problem and so him and his mother left him. Then he goes on to pay homage to Mr. Philip Arthur Harrison, the step father who really raised him from a boy to a man.
What’s your favorite “Dad song”? Sound off in the comments section below!