Education, Interests and Goals, Our Youth, Stories, Talking and Listening, Youth Development

[FATHER/HOOD] Hip-Hop Parenting

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Photo © Zire Photography

I’m powerfully aware that the entire notion of hip-hop being a frame for parenting can come across as corny. But all parents borrow from their cultural influences to make this journey more manageable and interesting.

Graf writing: This was how I introduced her to the visual arts. Her mother is much better versed than I am, so she took my introduction and amplified it to museum attendance and artistic production. It was a trip to see aimless scribbles turn into things that I could actually identify.

Deejaying: Music has power, I tell her. It can amp you up before dealing with a challenge, or it can be a friend to you when you’re feeing sad. It can move crowds to ecstasy, or it can signal war. It can be a biography of your life. I gave her a copy of her birth playlist (the list of songs I wanted my daughter to be born to, the first music I wanted her to hear). We’ve had long conversations about why I chose the songs I did.

B-boying/girling: I emphasize to her that her body is her body, and it can do amazing things. You can defy gravity for seconds at a time, or you can root yourself to the ground. She dances every single day, and her favorite movie is The Freshest Kids.

Emceeing: Language is powerful. We are teaching her that her word is bond, and if she gives her word, she should follow through with it. We also teach her not to privilege words all the time. Sometimes the story is in the silences.

As I review these words, I’m powerfully aware that the entire notion of hip-hop being a frame for parenting can come across as corny, or reaching, or “doin’ too much.” But all parents borrow from their cultural influences to make this journey more manageable and interesting. Hip-hop is as much a part of who I am as my tattoos. Its influence is permanent.

Recently talking to my homeboy (whom I look up to as a veteran parent), he admitted to watching all eight seasons of The Cosby Show, taking notes, and emulating the Cos while raising his twins.
We do what we gotta do. Word.

Author: Shawn Taylor @RealLovePunk

Source: Ebony Life

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