MAMI'S BABY, DADDY'S MAYBE?
That's Just My Baby Daddy...>
What do DMX, RZA, Rakim, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Funkmaster Flex, P-Diddy, and Busta Rhymes have in common? They’ve all been involved in at least one paternity suit in the past five years.
Most recently, (thanks to All Hip Hop for the info), DMX and RZA have both been sued. "DMX and RZA appeared in court last week in separate paternity cases. DMX had requested a paternity test to determine if he is the father of a three-year-old in Buffalo, New York. The test returned 99.99% chance that X is the father of the child. The rapper’s lawyer requested another test, while the child’s mother’s lawyer asked the judge to issue an arrest warrant because DMX failed to appear in court. Both motions were dismissed, but DMX must attend another paternity hearing next month or face arrest. DMX has another paternity case pending in Maryland. DMX’s wife recently gave birth. X was arrested on his way to the hospital the day his wife went into labor. The rapper was charged with various driving offenses including driving with a suspended license, after he struck a vehicle from behind, which in turn struck a police car."
Now, I know plenty of artists who have a woman in every city, and groupies on top of that. But this is ridiculous. Some will point the finger at the women, calling them gold-diggers, hoes, and worse…but at the end of the day all the child support in the world isn’t going to take the place of a two-parent household. And I have to hand it to RZA, who according to All Hip Hop "was present for his paternity hearing and according to reports, did not need a DNA test to acknowledge his 4-year-old daughter. RZA previously denied being the father of the 4-year-old, but RZA admitted siring the child after seeing noting his resemblance to the girl. According to RZA’s lawyer, RZA is accused of fathering at least six children by various women."
Same goes for ODB (PBUH, RIP). He had a gang of kids, but he was proud of them. He only got caught up in paternity lawsuits because his babies’ mother was hoping to have him cremated to avoid further paternity suits in the future. A-Son Unique went onstage at the Grammy Awards to yell "Wu Tang is for the children!" and he openly said that he had fathered at least 13 children. While he was in and out of the courts dealing with child support issues, at least he claimed his babies. In 1994 MTV recorded an infamous segment where Dirt put many of his children in a limo and drove to the welfare office to pick up his food stamps.
Busta Rhymes was sued in 1999 by a North Carolina woman named Jill Miskelly who said that her daughter was the result of a one-night stand with Busta. After paternity tests proved he was the father, he began making child support payments of $1,250 a month. For a man with a $5,000 belt buckle, this just ain’t right.
Sean "Puffy" Combs claims his children from both Kim Porter and Misa Hylton-Brim, and he pays child support. Still, in 2001, Porter sued him in Manhattan Family Court, asking the judge to declare him the father of Christian Casey Combs. I used to work with Misa at The Source, and she was no pampered princess. Whatever monies she was receiving from Puff for support were definitely going their son, and she was working hard to pay her bills.
Radio personality Funkmaster Flex was sued in 1992 by Haydee Diaz, who claimed her son Dante was his child. Unfortunately, Flex was married to Oxygen host Monica Joseph at the time, and the couple had a 9-month old daughter.
It’s really sad to see married men slippin’ like this…although women can participate in some of the evil that men do as well. Daz Dillinger divorced his wife and demanded a DNA test for their child when Suge Knight recorded lyrics claiming HE was the father of Daz’s child. And I can’t neglect to mention that rumours abound about singer/actress Macy Gray – that she has 10 children and leaves them with relatives most of the year.
Don't get it twisted or take any of this as stereotype reinforcement, 'cause there are plenty of Hip Hop families who, under every circumstance, take care of their children whether they’re together or not. Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 of OutKast, Big Gipp of the Goodie Mob and chanteuse Joi, and plenty of other Hip Hop couples are making family happen, even if it’s not traditional. I just hope that all of these moms and dads are looking toward the future and putting some of those advance monies and royalty checks into college funds and trust funds.
So while it’s most definitely scandalous that a lot of Hip Hop’s pops aren’t being fathers to their children, I have to acknowledge and shout-out some of the Hip Hop fathers I know who are doing such an amazing job raising their children. A-Plus from Souls of Mischief is a proud daddy of a beautiful son. C-Rayz Walz dedicated his last LP (Ravipops) to his seed, Ravi and is an integral part of his life. J-Ro from Tha Alkaholiks raises his two boys and coaches their Pop Warner football team. Parish "PMD" Smith of EPMD also has two sons, and is careful to mold his music business schedule around their lives. Even MF Doom, whom I have plenty of reasons to dislike and beef with, is a father to his sons and really takes time with their growth and development.
I was the daughter of a musician who had plenty of groupies and wives to spare (yeah, Pops, we know you're reading and I know you've been married ex-amount of times before your current wife...so let's just keep it real!), and I know what it’s like when daddy is in the studio, on the road, and just not there; while mommy struggles to make ends meet on a little bit of nothing a/k/a court-ordered child support. That’s why I want to end this on the positive tip and reinforce the fact that a lot of Hip Hop fathers are doin’ it for themselves and their seeds. So it’s not all bad. Don’t want anyone thinking this is the man-hating post, ‘cause it’s certainly not. We love men. MEN. Who acknowledge their children, and take care of them – financially, spiritually, and in myriad ways. And at the end of the day a lot of it breaks down to biology. A mama has a baby. A daddy can always cop out and say…maybe.
* Originally published on my other spot over at www.blogcritics.org