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Father, Father

Now that’s stuntin’ like your daddy, ’cause it’s crazy when you wanna be
nothin’ like your daddy. –Fabolous, “Stay”

A baby changes things, people. It slows down the roller coaster, causing you to assess your situation—job, apartment, savings, put a ring on it—and pushing you to confront the daddy drama you thought was buried under the bed with the dust bunnies. But once the kid is born, you realize that you are a role model, not some light-skinned singer who beat up on his girlfriend, not some rapper doing a bid for gun possession, not some basketball player with four championship rings. You.

And that’s scarier than someone duct-taping your eyelids open and forcing you to watch a Flavor of Love marathon. It’s especially scary because there are only two choices: 1) do the adult thing and handle yours (i.e. man up or woman up) or 2) punk out, turn your back.

On Fabolous’s fifth album, Loso’s Way, he tactfully airs out his beef with his dad on “Stay,” (featuring the feathery vocals of Marcia Ambrosius, the songstress from the Floetry) without going into details. But we get the gist. Not that we need to know exactly why Fab’s pops bounced, some of us have our own stories, so it’s easy to creatively fill in the blanks, but obviously it was painful enough to inspire the Brooklyn Don to use his clever wordplay to dig deep and finally get personal with his fans.

Basically, Loso, father to a toddler son, acknowledges the void his dad left and vows to be everything his pops wasn’t. The song could easily be an anthem for all those—men and women—with fathers who were MIA during their childhoods.

If you were like me, lucky enough to have the next man step in when your biological didn’t bother, you ended up with someone who set annoying curfews, cooked weird dinners, criticized your fashion choices and hit the roof at the number hours you tied up the phone talking to the opposite sex.
As a kid you couldn’t see past this. Dude was like a warden. And you felt like his prisoner, not realizing that he, your dad, with his never-ending list of frustrating rules was doing it all because of a four-letter word:
love. Your boy, Raheem down the hall in 4B couldn’t relate to sitting down to dinner with your dad at the head of the table, blessing the curry goat and the peas and rice.

However, our very own President Obama can relate to Fab’s pain. Raised by a single mom, he told the nation about the “hole in your heart” you feel when your father is AWOL. And Mr. Obama, like Fab, like my pops, like countless others, promised to break the cycle.

I can see Mr. O now, hopping out of bed, turning his presidential swag on, walking Bo on the South Lawn of the White House and bumping “Stay” in his iPod. —Miss One

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