At this point I realized I ain’t the strictest parent.
I’m too loose, I’m too cool with her.
Shoulda drove on time to school with her.
I thought I dropped enough jewels on her.

Parenthood changes you. Becoming a dad has been the greatest change I have ever experienced in my life, far more profound than getting married or buying our first home. It’s been said that having a daughter can really soften a man. Even the burliest and mostly manly of men can (and should) put on that tiara and enjoy a tea party with his little girl.

As I’ve said before, I can’t claim to have gone through the same kinds of hardships as rappers like Tupac Shakur and Mobb Deep, but I really do identify with 90s hip hop for whatever reason. And Nas is easily one of the best lyricists of all time.

Indeed, many of his songs carry deep, heartfelt meaning, illustrating his life growing up in Queensbridge, New York. But then he found success. And then he grew up. And he became a father.

They say the coolest playas and foulest heart breakers in the world,
God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls.

In “Daughters,” Nas dives into his relationship with fatherhood and how having a little girl of his own really changed his perspective on everything. He frets over the choices he makes, because he ultimately wants what is best for her.

Should she go to private school so she can have the best of everything? Should I put her in public school instead so that she can stay grounded? Should I be stricter with her or should I spoil her even more with even more “jewels.”

While I am nowhere near that stage just yet, I fear the day when my daughter starts dating. It’s worrisome, because she’s my little girl. I remember the impure thoughts of a teenage me all too well and I can only assume that every other teenage boy is exactly the same.

When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed off,
Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters.

It’s very common to see the old shtick of an over-protective father, whether it’s in an Internet meme or in a Hollywood movie (NSFW: language). It might be funny, but it perpetuates an outdated mindset. She’s my little princess, except that she’s not, really, because she is her own person.

True, no one will ever be good enough for our daughters. We just hope they choose great partners who are good enough for them. For my brothers with daughters, I call this…