My child’s father,

The angst that comes with par­ent­hood is be­com­ing per­va­sive in the youth­ful genre

Mail & Guardian - - Reviews - Rofhiwa Maneta

Drake has re­cently had quite a bit of ex­plain­ing to do. A week ago, the Canadian rap­per re­leased his fifth stu­dio al­bum, Scor­pion, un­der the most try­ing cir­cum­stances he’s ever had to weather. A month ear­lier, an­other rap­per by the name of Pusha T re­leased The Story of Adi­don — a neck-snap­ping diss track that took their beef to new ex­tremes. In the track, Pusha took aim at Drake, ac­cus­ing him of “hid­ing a new­born child” and be­ing an ab­sent father.

Re­spond­ing to The Story of Adi­don on his new al­bum, Drake put the ru­mours to bed, declar­ing that he is a first-time father and is hav­ing a hard time com­ing to terms with that fact.

Other ref­er­ences to his son are dot­ted across the 25-track al­bum. For ex­am­ple, in Emo­tion­less, Drake un­in­ten­tion­ally pro­duced an in­ter­net meme with the line “I wasn’t hid­ing my kid from the world, I was hid­ing the world from my kid.” Sim­i­larly, 8 out of 10 sees him boast­ing that “the only dead­beats is what­ever beats I been rap­pin’ to”.

Aside from the ac­ci­den­tally laugh­able quips and bravado-laced lines, it’s in March 14, the last song on Scor­pion, that Drake has his mo­ment: “Yes­ter­day morn­ing was crazy/ I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not a maybe/ That shit is stoned, sealed and signed/ She’s not my lover like Bil­lie Jean but the kid is mine.”

There are other mo­ments of self­aware­ness in the song. For one, he raps about how dis­ap­pointed he is with the fact that he’s fa­thered a child with a woman to whom he isn’t mar­ried.

That type of think­ing sounds out­moded un­til you con­sider that, through­out Drake’s discog­ra­phy, he’s spo­ken about the emo­tional toil his par­ents’ split took on him.

He’s also spo­ken about be­ing pri­mar­ily raised by his mother and see­ing his father on some week­ends and how that led to an emo­tional dis­tance be­tween them (one that was mended only in adult­hood). The fear that he could repli­cate that with his own child is ev­i­dent in the lines he raps to his son: “I don’t want you worry ’bout whose house you live at/ Or who loves you more/ Who’s not there/ or who did what ’fore you got here.”

Of course, Drake isn’t the first rap­per to pen a con­fes­sion about his anx­i­eties about fa­ther­hood. In Show Me the Good Life, the 10th track on Amer­i­can duo Blu and Ex­ile’s Be­low The Heav­ens, Blu raps about how ner­vous he is to bring a child into the world.

Un­planned and there­fore un­pre­pared, the rap­per goes on about how hav­ing a child would cur­tail the plans he had for his life and ca­reer, be­fore re­veal­ing that he doesn’t possess the men­tal for­ti­tude to be a father. “How the hell am I gonna to teach a child to be a man/ When I’m

Life change: Rofhiwa Maneta hummed Jay Z and Kayne West’s ‘New Day’ while he waited for his part­ner to give birth to their son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.