Chaz French is quite the family guy. If you're familiar with his music, he's dropped more than a few tracks centered on his family tree—"Pops" and "Miss You (Freestyle)," to name a few. His forthcoming album, True Colors, will likely feature some more lyrical gems surrounding kindred, namely his daughter, Akai, 4, and son, Little Chaz, 2.

In honor of Father's Day (June 18), the 25-year-old rapper is reflecting on his own experience as a dad of two toddlers and imparting some words of wisdom in an open letter, written exclusively for XXL, to young fathers everywhere.

Read on as Chaz French shares his thoughts on why it's more important than ever for young fathers to be present in their kids' lives.

Dear Young Fathers,

I am writing this letter to let you know to never give up. No matter the situation at hand, God has blessed us with something greater and bigger to live for—our kids. I know a lot of times as young fathers, we may feel like we don’t get the credit we deserve, but in due time. Just know that the little ones are watching and taking heed to every little thing that we do and eventually they will grow to understand that every decision we made was to make sure they never have to go through what we went through.

Speaking from my situation during the early stages, it was tough for me balancing out dad life and rap life being that it was all so new (still is at times) and with everything moving so fast it can be easy losing sight of what really matters. Being a dad has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice, all in all. No matter what, they come first. I used to be selfish and immature, at times, until I realized I had two people looking up to me in more ways than one. They are the splitting image of me.

Because God made us in his image, it was only right to change for the better.  I used to think that material things would make up for lost time, which isn’t the case at all.  Time, love, communication and consistency are key. Furthermore, us as young fathers have to make sure respect for the mother of our kids is shown at all times—easier said than done—but we should realize they go through so much that we don’t see on a daily basis, so I feel as though their well-being, feelings and frustration should be a priority as well.

No matter the situation, it’s all for the sake of the kids. It’s crazy to know that so many kids in the world grow up without knowing who their fathers are and it has such a negative affect on our youth. So for the young fathers, who are active in their kid’s lives, keep doing what you are doing and know that there's always room for growth. We have to keep God first, stay strong, stick together, never give up, work harder every day and make sure that we are present every step of the way for our kids. The Struggle What Made US.


Chaz French

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