Jay-Z Is Not A Spokesperson For Black Fathers
A New York Daily News piece from writer Joanna Molloy released Friday (January 20) morning erroneously regards Jay-Z’s ode to his daughter Blue Ivy, “Glory,” as an “anthem” to fatherhood, exalting the rapper for expressing joy about the birth of his child via song. In no way, shape or form does the song serve as an instructional guide to fathers—especially African-American fathers, as Molloy alleges in ham-handed fashion.
The Daily News is seemingly proud to be out of touch with reality by tweeting Molloy’s story as a true fact.
“A lot of other babies are going to benefit. Because Jay-Z’s ecstatic reaction to being a dad will be the strongest boost yet to a growing movement in the black community encouraging responsible fatherhood,” writes Molloy in reaction to “Glory” —asserting that Jay-Z is now the spokesperson for Black fathers all of a sudden. Molloy, and other writers, are making much more out of this song than needs to be.
Nowhere in the song is it heard that Jay is instructing dads on how to do what all fathers should naturally do, which is raise their child lovingly. In fact, he speaks of spoiling his child when she becomes a toddler, a cute thought but not the reality for many fathers and young couples struggling in an unforgiving economic climate. This is not to say that there isn’t a happy moment on the track. Mr. Carter is in full proud daddy mode throughout the Pharell Williams-produced number.
As a fan of Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s work over the years, I’ve been subjected to his tales of living lavishly, bedding women and spending countless amounts of cash at a whim as a freewheeling bachelor. Now as a married father alongside R&B diva wife Beyoncé, are we to assume Jay-Z is suddenly the go-to guy for all things fatherhood and marriage related? That would be absurd and anyone with good sense knows this. Do we expect Jay-Z to tailor his message differently, even though it was rumored (and eventually disproven) that he was going to change his tune because of Blue Ivy’s birth?
As reported in the Daily News, single parents, mothers typically, raise 72 percent of black kids according to government statistics. Those of us who grew up in predominantly African-American communities won’t argue the fact that single moms are in high number in those neighborhoods. But for Molloy to say that Black men will all of sudden get off their collective deadbeat behinds because of a saccharine rap song is irresponsible and incorrect.
What black men, and all fathers-to-be, need are tangible examples of fatherhood. There are vast networks of community groups and organizations devoted to connecting fathers to the actual responsibility of fatherhood. Church leaders and the like need to open their doors and be the beacons they should be for fathers who don’t know how to operate as such.
Molloy treats Jay-Z’s joy like it were one of his business properties or an album release, as if Hov is suddenly packaging fatherhood to peddle to the masses as he once did with drugs before his rap career took off. Instead of treating “Glory” as a call to fathers in the Black community, dads should look to leadership far more relatable than a rapper who never once told anyone how to be a parent. Jay-Z is just learning the lessons of fatherhood himself.