Hip-Hop got some G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Times) moments. I know I had a few of them. I remembered when Nas dropped Ether and got his swagger as an emcee back. I also remembered when was the first time I heard “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. However, not all G.O.A.T. moments happens with song. Some happens with actions. Like Snoop Dogg performing “Murder Was The Case” at the MTV Awards. Ol’ Dirty Bastard declared that Wu-Tang love the kids at the Grammys. And this moment deserves to be plugged in as much as possible.
On June 2nd, at a release party/townhall meeting in Brooklyn, Rhymefest had a G.O.A.T. moment. Davey D was in attendance to capture this one. He covered this moment in his myspace blog.
Be A Father is a book project put together by a New York activist and publicist named April Silver Lauren Harris of the Ford Foundation where they gathered up Hip Hop scholars, activists and artists to submit essays and poems dealing with fatherhood and manhood within the African American community.
Some of the participants include artists like rapper Talib Kweli, author, former Real World participant and now Congressional candidate Kevin Powell, Public Enemy co-founder and former Def Jam President Bill Stephaney, filmaker Byron Hurt, author Bakari Kitwana and San Jose based writer Adisa Banjoko,along with myself are just a few of the many featured in the book.
Initially, Chicago based rapper Rhymefest who and is a contributor to BAF and co-author of the Grammy winning song Jesus Walks by Kanye West, was scheduled to do a freestyle so he could help lighten up the mood a bit.
Much of the evening was spent with the capacity crowd that squeezed into the basement of Brown Memorial Church in Brooklyn, listening to heartfelt, searing testimonies and heavy readings from the book on rarely openly discussed topics like; defining manhood, Father, son relationships, child support and custody battles, homosexuality and what to do when your son comes out, healing from the abandonment of our dads. All these topics and more were on the table for all of us to hear and examine.
As you can see, there were a lot of deep, yet heavy topics, especially for fathers of this day and age. Instead of freestyling and lighten up the mood, he got serious.
Rhymefest noted that before coming to the floor he had asked his 10 year old son named Solomon to write down 5 questions that he would like answered that he had never asked before and would be hearing for the first time in front of the audience. Rhymefest promised that he would answer them truthfully. He also noted that he would do the same and ask his son 5 questions to answer. All this was to take place in front of this large audience. Before proceeding Rhymefest told the audience that he got his girlfriend pregnant and as a result got married at age 20. He stayed with her for 5 years before his music career among other problems dissolved the union. He talked about how his busy career prevented him from always seeing his son, and his recent move from Chicago to California to work on a TV project with Kanye West made it even more difficult.
So, I took a listen to the audio clip and needless to say… I was choked up. The audio started off innocently… and then, the second question from his son was asked. And I had to stop what I was doing to listen to the answer. The question?
Daddy do you feel I am holding you back from doing what you want? Daddy do you feel I am holding you back from doing what you want?
I can’t go any further. You need to experience this for yourself. Check out the audio clip (17 minutes, work friendly safe) and comment. I personally feel that this moment deserves to be rank up there as a G.O.A.T. moment for Hip-Hop. Think of it as an early Father’s Day present.
Thanks to Davey D for the hook up.