“You’ve got to be her first love, her first everything so when she runs into nonsense in the street she’ll know, ‘Nah, my daddy would never do it like that,” T.I., father of six, coached Jay-Z in an online video interview on Fuse, during which he was promoting his upcoming album, Trouble Man. “Little girls are going to judge men they meet in the future based off how their father treated them.”
Of course, T.I.’s built a booming career letting the world watch how he and wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, parent their children as they juggle recording careers, manage burgeoning artists and run several businesses in their native Atlanta. By all indications, T.I. is a helluva father—wrangles with the law notwithstanding. What I love most about the show is that the man seems to have sense and sensibility when it comes to raising his babies, and doesn’t have a problem loving, talking to, bonding with and disciplining them in a way that’s slightly old school. Even more, the man genuinely seems like he likes children. It’s apparent on the show, but watch the Fuse video toward the end, and try not to giggle when he lights up and goes on and on about his youngest son, King, and his chubby cheeks, which T.I. says he absolutely adored before his son “stretched out” and got independent. He warns Jay-Z to “enjoy the moments, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Jay-Z is already on T.I.’s “enjoy them while they’re young” parenting page. While performing in Europe with Kanye West for their Watch the Throne tour, the New York rapper announced that he’ll be taking a break from music to spend more time with his wife, Beyonce, and their baby, Blue. How heartwarming is it to watch—and hear—two beautiful, strong, successful African American rappers not only publicly embrace parenting their children, but declare to the world how serious they are about being good fathers—and how happy their babies make them? What an incredible example they’re setting. I say, Bravo!
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.