Becoming a parent has got to be one of the most enriching experiences that life an offer you. Being responsible for the creation and nurturing of another human being is not only rewarding, but intimidating as well. Your life changes. Just ask new father, Jay-Z. The man that has made a living rapping about everything from slinging coke to having almost 100 problems, but not one of them being about a “b*tch” to flaunting his ever-increasing wealth, has now made a vow to his newborn baby Blue Ivy Carter to stop using the b-word. But, Hov, you’re the one that told us that Beyonce is your “b—-,” right?
So let me get this straight, all it took for Jay-Z to stop degrading women with a term most of us don’t appreciate was for his “b*tch” to give birth? Does Jay-Z deserve a late pass on this one for waiting so long to straighten up his syntax?
When Jay-Z was born from a woman who single-handedly raised him, the word “b*tch” should have never slipped from his tongue – hardcore rapper image or not. But it was still there, stinging at every use. Jay-Z is very aware of his influence over children who idolize his lyrics and look to use the same language he does. So you’ve got generations of Jay-Z fans that watch him call his wife, his “b*tch” and think it’s ok to do the same. When Hov chose to marry one of the most celebrated women in the world, the b-word didn’t affect him or her, at all. In fact, Bey seemed to place her stamp of approval on countless songs he’s released with the b-word sprinkled throughout since they became an item. Not that she can dictate his career, but it’s clear that she can affect it.
According to his manifesto to Baby Blue (below), in the past, he didn’t think hard about using the word. Now, he wants to preserve the innocence of his daughter. How precious.
Every father that considers himself a man always breaks down and reevaluates their bad choices and flawed pieces of who they are when they have a daughter. They think about how they’ve treated women in the past and vow that no one will ever treat their offspring that way so, in turn, the women around them reap the benefits of their good behavior. No relationship between man and woman compares to a father-daughter relationship. I can appreciate Jay-Z revamping his speech and possibly his entire way of life to accommodate for having a baby girl, but why wait so long?
New fatherhood, especially that of a baby girl, can spark fear of the unknown. A man may have grown up with sisters and learned more about women from love and marriage, but neither of these prep him completely for the father-daughter dynamic. Let’s think about the impact the father-daughter relationship has on the daughter’s social and emotional development–it’s everything. Women often develop doomed relationships with men based on their father’s role in their lives. Because many of us get through life without a father, we spend our entire lives trying to find him and we get lost along the way. Not Blue Ivy Carter. Her dad is going to be there for her and he’s not going to let the b-word slip from here on out.
I can appreciate this new positive spin Jigga’s got going on. He’s taking responsibility for the things that come out of his mouth because he’s got a new responsibility and a life to shape. Atlanta rapper T.I. seems to be doing the exact same – changing his image to fit his family life. With the peep inside his new life that we get with his Vh1 reality show T.I. and Tiny, we’re reintroduced to T.I. as a remixed Bill Cosby with a life that revolves around his family, instead of a drug-consuming, lyrically-violent and degrading rapper that tries to buy firearms (which is who he used to be). People can and do change, but my main question is: Is this all for publicity’s sake or are these men actually evolving into positive role models for their children and the children that are their fans?
There’s bigger fish to fry that the b-word. It’s great that Jay-Z wants to take the b-word out of his vocabulary, but what about the other negative subject matters he rhymes about? Once you take all the debauchery out of his lyrics, you’re left with how much he loves Beyonce, how wealthy he is and other personal anecdotes that would make Blue Ivy proud – although, that kind of subject matter doesn’t tend to sell records to hip-hop loyalists. So maybe Jay-Z’s preparing to retire like he said he would years ago and just focus on being a “business, man”.
UPDATE: This poem, provided by Rolling Out, is fake. It was not written by Jay-Z.
Is this change of heart sincere or for show?
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