Nas: Why Not Get Daughter's Permission to Sing About Her?

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Nas recently released "Daughters," a single from his upcoming album that includes some very personal information about his 17-year-old. The Root's contributing editor Demetria L. Lucas, in her column at Essence, says the right thing to do would have been to ask permission.


I do wonder if a song released for mass consumption is the best place to muse on them. Apparently so does Destiny’s mom. “Do u really think Destiny appreciated that song?” she also Tweeted. “Seriously…. Destiny is still a child — it was the wrong platform.”

As an outsider perhaps not catching all the nuances that Carmen did, I don’t think “Daughters” is that bad. But perhaps I only say that because I’m not the subject of the song, or her mom. I don’t know that I would be all that on board with my father publicly addressing my issues or reviving an embarrassing incident.

In my career as a blogger, journalist and author who has written extensively about my life and the lives of my friends and family, I found out the hard way that what I think is insignificant and not embarrassing may not be perceived as such by the people I write about, even when their names and identifying details are changed. After I ticked off a friend (who stopped speaking to me for years), I learned to ask permission before I wrote about people who were close to me. Given Carmen’s reaction to the song, I’m not sure Nas took that approach when rapping about his daughter. And if he didn’t, he should have.

Read Demetria Lucas' entire column at Essence.

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