My Son, A Future Morehouse Man, Will Be A Rapper. At Least For A While.

Panama Jackson/VSB
Panama Jackson/VSB

Be that as it may, I appreciate all of the emails, texts, comments on both VSB and social media. As Tupac said to his mother - it was hard hugging on her from a jail cell - you are appreciated. My beautiful son and his mommy are doing just fine and swell. Young Homey (another of his nicknames) has already grown out of some of his newborn clothes. In less than two weeks. I'm gon' make millions.


So one of the fun parts of having kids - for those of you without them and considering them assuming the rainbow isn't enough - is thinking about their possibilities. Being adult sucks sometimes because you realize just how limiting shit can become based on decisions that you've made. Kids? They are a true blank slate. For instance, my daughter currently wants to be all of the following things: songwriter, DJ, scientist, book writer, singer, tennis player, astronaut, chef, party planner, and superstar. And you know what? All of that is entirely possible. It's fun to watch her develop these new ideas and be gung ho about them. I truly believe she can be (and will be) any thing she wants in life. She's smart, fun, compassionate, and a great person. The world is her oyster. She will fully shit on niggas at some point. Which is also a fun part about having a girl. I truly have no idea where her life will take her. She's full of ideas and with the support of her family and viewers like you (PBS swag) I'm sure she'll ultimately pick some path that will lead her to enlightenment and happiness. And I don't really care what she decides to do because my daughter will own herself.

Having a son is both the same AND a whole other ball of wax. Not because of fearing for his life because of police, but because as a boy, I have a pretty good idea what he's going to want to do. This isn't a bad thing, of course. It's going to be a fun a bizarre ride to the pharcyde. It's actually a bit of a game I'm creating for myself where I will tell his mother (as I've done already) that he's going to want to be various things in his life because that's just what boys do. Because girls. And as he does these things - which he will - I will check off my boxes and say, "I told you so".

At the top of this list? Actually, let me explain this via a conversation I had with his mother while listening to Kendrick Lamar's album in the car the other day.

"You know, he's going to be a rapper one day."

"Why would you say that?"

"Because he's a boy. We all want to be rappers. He might not make it as one professionally, but he's going to want to be one. Your hope should be that he's a rapper like Kendrick and not like some trash rapper folks are offended has the opportunity to make music. The rapper thing is kind of a certainty."

And this is true. Back in the days when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a rapper. I was a teen in the early to mid 90s when rap truly exploded nationally. The problem was, I lived in Huntsville, Alabama, where the rap scene as you can imagine was a bit…hmm…dormant. So while I wanted to be a rapper - and had friends who were in a rap group that had no beats, we shall call it a rap cypher - the barriers to entry were a bit high. So I just decided to go listen, be a thespian and go to college and be cooler than everybody else. Ironically, I'm the only one from that entire crew who got close to an actual rap career. And I didn't get close.

Times though…they have a changed. The barriers to rapperdom enrty are so low that there are six-year-olds putting out mixtapes now. With beats they made themselves on Fruity Loops. If you want to be a rapper today, its easier than ever. Every boy today (and many many girls) wake up at 8am one day and are rappers by noon. And there's nothing wrong with this. Sure it dilutes the pool of music. That's been happening for eons. There has always been way more music than anybody cared to listen to. Rap is just so omnipresent now we notice it more. I mean, MC Brains existed people. According to his Wikipedia page, he has an album slated for release this year. Don't all stand in line at once.


So with low barriers to entry and the fact that he'll have a computer that will be fully equipped with everything you need to make music, and all of his friends likely wanting to be rappers or at least attached to hiphop in some way shape or form, there will probably be at least a two-week stretch where he will be a rapper. Being a rapper or "doing music" is the purest form of peacocking for you Black boys nowadays. Granted, almost every woman rolls her eyes when you tell her that you "do music." But we're talking about kids, not grownups here. Kids are full of dreams so being a rapper ain't farfetched. It might still garner rolled eyes because again, EVERY BOY will be a rapper for at least a little while hoping to be standing on stage with all those music people pushing a streaming platform that they make money off of.

This is fun for me. As a hip-hop head and fan, having the opportunity to see my kids creative process - and I'm seeing already with daughter who REALLY wants to be a DJ, like gets on my turntables when I'm not looking trying to scratch - is what life is all about. Who knows what music will sound like by the time their old enough to dip a toe into that pool. But they'll have all of the capabilities to do so. And this is fun for me.


I may be sitting on the versions of Jaden and Willow people won't roll their eyes at.

So yeah, my son? He's a rapper.

New writtens coming in 2029!

…and THEN you shoot your cousin.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



i need to rethink my parenting. my son just wants to be spiderman when he grows up *shrug* and congrats again!