Comedians always joke about the lack of appreciations fathers receive; a recurring punch line is that the song for fathers is “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. Yeah, it’s funny and we’ve all laughed, but as we prepare for Father’s Day there is a special group of fathers who delicately balance the responsibilities of fatherhood while managing thriving careers behind the microphone. I recently talked with a few of these dedicated men and was amazed at how they are able to juggle these roles and many more.
The husband half of Kindred the Family Soul is father to six children with wife Aja, and credits her with providing the balance needed to raise their children. In fact, he cites balance among the keys to fatherhood, along with patience and instilling the morals and values in them that he was taught. Four girls are bookended by Fatin’s sons, two young men in whom he sees so much of himself and wants the world for. While he wants the best for all of his children, he’s anxious to see the men his boys grow up to be. To this point, all of the Danztler children have inclinations towards music; though Aquil, the oldest, has a passion for sports, mom and dad want their children to pursuit higher education and expand their options to create endless possibilities. When asked for advice for new fathers in the business, Fatin offers, “Be a good parent, not a friend. Always be patient and balanced when dealing with your children. Like everything else, turn to God. He always has answers.”
“You’ve got to be better than who Daddy was.”
While his own father’s words may help to provide a template, Charles Perry is quick to point out that there’s no “road map to being a perfect father”, though he tries daily to create one. From walks to school to evening Q&A sessions, he states communication as the key to raising his 9 year-old son. During these intimate times, he’s not afraid to broach uncomfortable conversations, because he wants his son to learn from a responsible source and not the streets and certainly not in prison. One of his primary functions as a father is to reinforce Godly principles–among them, love, humility and respect, vital ingredients for representing your last name, as he often implores his son. While he and his wife both discipline Josiah justly, it helps to develop a strength and sense of boundaries that extend outside of his parents’ presence. Charles’ advice to fathers, “Speak excellence into your children, pray with your children and be part of the difference in their lives.”
There’s never a dull moment when you’re raising five sons; floors littered with toys, bumps, bruises and hectic schedules come with the territory. Add in the life of a performer and welcome to the household of Jarrard Anthony. Over the years he’s developed a balance that’s as much spiritual as ritual, that he counts as his quintessential fatherhood. The Anthony family is of such importance to Jarrard, he often schedules his gigs around his children’s calendar or the ability to bring the entire clan along. When that’s not possible, the time away doesn’t hurt because he’s spent years forming bonds with his sons and he returns in step with the day-to-day routine he and his wife have in place. He readily admits that raising children is work, but the enjoyment that springs from it is far more rewarding than that of being an artist. Though there are a few perks from the two, the experiences and exposure he’s able to provide for his sons is immeasurable.
For years the grueling schedule hit-producing group 112 maintained took priority over nearly everything in Quinnes “Q” Parker’s life, but as he launches his solo career family now takes precedence over the trappings over stardom. Raising an 8 year-old son and 25 year-old daughter has a way of prioritizing what’s real and greater than you. Having grown up in a loving family, it’s only natural that he maintains a household that’s as loving and spends a large amount of time together. Stepping into his daughter’s life at ten, their relationship is as strong as if she was biologically his, as conversations journey from relationships to her screening his music. His son has reached the age of discovery and peppers him with questions on rides to and from school. He maintains an honest and open relationship with both children, a strength that’s reinforced by his wife as they counteract the effects the world have on their children. Q’s advice to fathers and families is to “love on your children, motivate, discipline and challenge them.” He also encourages fathers to impart values and core ethics in your kids, while not forgetting yours.
Gentlemen, you are appreciated.
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer: Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought can be found at http://worldaccording2teef.com, and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.