Tag Archives: Talib Kweli

He’s More Than Just A “Baby Daddy” Ten Songs Representing Different Fathers

19 Jun

Unfortunately, Father’s Day cannot hold a candle to Mother’s Day!  Father’s Day is comparable to the boy scouts trying to compete with the girl scout cookies by selling tubs of over-priced popcorn. (Side note: I purchased a small tub of popcorn to support the boy scouts for $10, and when I asked the troop leader why the prices were so high, he remarked, “The girl scouts have monopolized cookies and we don’t have a choice but to sell our goods for much higher prices just to make a small profit.)  Whenever I take my mother out for mother’s day, I must book my reservation months in advance and still endure that standing room only crowd at the restaurant’s mother’s day brunch.  Conversely, reservations are not always a necessity.  On one particular father’s day, my fiance, his siblings and I took his father out, and I repeatedly stressed the importance to him about making a reservation well in advance to ensure that we would not have a long wait.  Upon arriving at that restaurant, I was surprised to see so many empty tables and booths.  I thought, “Where are all of the fathers and their families?”

On Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of R & B and rap songs celebrating moms, so it’s only right to put together a list of songs celebrating dads.  There’s only one problem though; most R & B and rap songs I located don’t necessarily celebrate dad but acknowledge his absence and unwillingness to be a father.  Of course, not all dads are “dead beats” who don’t provide for their children.  There are many who are wonderful role models who even become father figures to those children and even adults who are fatherless.  Please be sure to praise your fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, father-in-laws, uncles, nephews cousins, best friends, etc. who are exceptional fathers.  Musicians do excellent jobs producing songs that reflect societal and familial issues, and this list of memorable songs representing the plight, journey and love of a father does just that:

  1. Father & SonThe Loving Father: “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross“When I and my mother would disagree, to get my way I would run from her to him. He’d make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah yeah. Then finally make me do just what my momma said.”
  2. The Unconditional Love Father: “Daddy” by Beyonce: “Even if my man broke my heart today, no matter how much pain I’m in I will be okay cause I got a man in my life that can’t be replaced. For this love is unconditional it won’t go away.”Father & Son
  3. The Wise Father: “Joy” by Talib Kweli featuring Mos Def“Unless your language is relating to what they going through so busy ignoring them, you can’t see what they showing you.  And you wonder, why we called baby-daddy’s and baby-momma’s when we grow up, we can’t act like adult mothers and fathers, yo. I’m so blessed to have a boy and a girl, everyday they bring joy to my world.”
  4. The Protector Father: “Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith: “From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms I knew I’d meet death before I’d let you meet harm.  Although questions arose in my mind, would I be man enough?  Against wrong, choose right and be standin up.”
  5. The Grateful Father: “The Day” by Baby Face “It was like falling deep in love.  I heard the angels cry above.  I felt a blessing straight from God the day that you gave me a son.” 
  6. The Admirable Father: “Your Joy” by Chrisette Michele: “No one loves me just like you do.  No one knows me just like you do.  No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours.  You’ll always be my father.  And I’ll always be your joy.”
  7. Father & DaughterThe Stand-Up Father: “Be a Father to Your Child” by Ed. O.G. & Da the Bulldogs: “Be a father; if not why bother son.  A boy can make ’em but a man can raise one.”
  8. The Cycle Repeater Father: “All for You” by Little Brother:  “So the next time it’s late at night and I’m laid up with the woman I’ma make my wife talking ’bout how we ‘gon make a life, I’m thinking about child support, alimony, visitation rights. Cause that’s the only outcome if you can’t make it right. Pissed off with your children feeling the same pain. So, Pop, how could I blame cause you couldn’t maintain. I did the same thing…The same thing.” 
  9. The Denying Paternity Father: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson:   “Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.  But the kid is not my son.  She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son.”
  10. The No Good Father: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations:  “Hey Mama, is it true what they say, that Papa never worked a day in his life?  And Mama, bad talk going around town saying that Papa had three outside children and another wife.  And that ain’t right.

What type of father are you, or what type of father do you have?  To all of the positive fathers, Happy Father’s Day to you.  Please enjoy this R & B and rap father’s day playlist, and feel free to share your favorite song representing fathers with me.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


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Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #5

5 Feb

“These cats drink champagne and toast to death and pain,
Like slaves on a ship talking about who’s got the flyest chain”

—Talib Kweli and Hi Tek, “Africa Dream”

February is Black History month; it is a time to reflect on the struggles and achievements of our ancestors and how they have impacted the lives of not just Black people but all people.  I’ve always been a fan of Talib Kweli since the days of Black Star.  He is a true lyricist and often tells it like it is while teaching lessons through his music.  The first time I heard “Africa Dream” I was lured in by the beat of the drum  and absolutely captivated by the lyrics.  Then I heard the last lines and kept pressing rewind thinking to myself, this is one deep brother…not just a common day rapper.

Slavery is a part of our history and always will be.  Nevertheless, it has not stopped many Blacks (Notice I say Blacks, not African Americans, because this includes the entire African Diaspora) from being successful and making positive contributions to society. Sadly, there are several of us who are so far removed from the past struggles of our people that we fail to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how much further we need to go.

Why glorify killing and celebrate playing a role in the deterioration of our communities?  Is it just in some peoples’ nature, or is it a learned behavior?  Is it all about survival and no longer about what is morally and ethically acceptable?    Maybe it’s all about the new slave masters: blood and drug money, so-called power and superficial respect.

Presently, we are faced with several racial, gender, culture, class and religious issues that involve all people.  What role are you playing in our future?  We must all be held accountable for our actions, both good and bad.  When you reflect on what you are doing or what you are saying will it be perceived as a detriment to society or something that is going to catapult us into greatness?

How absurd would it be if Kunta Kinte bragged about the chains that bounded him while he lay across from his friend on the slave ship? Are you really bragging about the “figurative” chains that are keeping you enslaved?  Are you chasing after that money at any cost: your family, your friends, your own life?   Maybe you’ve worn the chains for so long that you’ve become accustomed to them and simply consider them to be a way of life.  It’s not always easy for anyone, including me, to do the “right” thing while in chains, but we can all start searching for the keys to unlock ourselves from the mentalities and situations that have kept us enslaved.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:

Talib Kweli has a few attributes in these particular lines. The first is slang.  Using the word “cats” to represent “men” is one.  More than likely, Talib chose “cats” because people often make the reference to “cool cats.”  Of course, these “guys” think they are “cool.”  Talib also uses “flyest,” which can be considered the “best or as nice as it gets.  Lastly, it is no coincidence that these are the last lines presenting an excellent example of an analogy.  The guys glorifying death and pain are being compared to slaves in chains.  He could have used a different correlation; however, this connection with slavery makes the impact that much more powerful.