Top 5 of All Time: Jay-Z Fatherhood Songs

He should feel prepared to be a dad. He's been rapping about parenting for years.

Ilya S. Savenok/FilmMagic
Ilya S. Savenok/FilmMagic

The most anticipated baby of the year is here! Or it’s on its way. Or it has here been here for months and its birth was kept under wraps. Or there is no baby at all and we’ve all been duped by an impressive public relations team.

I am, of course, referring to the progeny of entertainment’s hottest couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, whose offspring has kept the gossip mill humming since we all learned of the pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards back in August. The truth is, we may not know the exact date of birth, since the couple have been so secretive about their private life that no one knew about their marriage until after it happened.

Regardless, this would be a good time to look at the best Jay-Z songs on the topic of fatherhood. From his rocky relationship with his own father to looking toward the future with children of his own, Jay-Z has tackled the issue of fatherhood quite a bit, and these songs represent the best of the crop.

5. “This Can’t Be Life

One of his first collaborations with producer Kanye West, this song from 2000’s Dynasty album finds Jay in a moment of vulnerability that was incredibly rare at the time. Rapping alongside Beanie Sigel and Scarface, Jay-Z spends some time reminiscing on the ills of his drug-dealer past before dropping this poignant yet brief jewel: “It gets worse, baby momma water burst/Baby came out stillborn, still I gotta move on/Though my heart still torn, life gone from her womb/Don’t worry, if it was meant to be, it’ll be — soon.” You can feel the hurt from his missed opportunity to become a parent.

4. “Where Have You Been

On the Dynasty album’s last track, Jay-Z teams up with Beanie Sigel again to deliver some venomous bars directly to their absentee fathers. The hook on “Where Have You Been” features what sounds like a young boy innocently asking, “Daddy, where have you been?” but Jay’s verse is anything but innocent, exclaiming, “F–k you very much you showed me the worst kind of pain/but I’m stronger and trust me I will never hurt again/will never ask Mommy, ‘Why Daddy don’t love me?/Why is we so poor? Why is life so ugly?/Mommy why is your eyes puffy?’ ” No love lost on this song.