Father-to-father, single dad Showtime implores 50 Cent to remember how important his role is in raising his son, Marquise.
Dear 50 Cent,
You don’t know me, but I have followed your career for years. As a long time radio personality I have been able to watch you go from up and coming artist to global superstar over the last 15 years. I remember listening intently to your brash delivery on your first single “How To Rob”. I can recall the first time I heard one of your G-Unit mixtapes and realized that there was something special about you. As time went on you proved to everyone in the world that you were indeed one of Hip Hop’s elite artists. As I’m sure you know, selling nine million copies of your debut CD is nothing to scoff at. You have done many things in your life that people will consider as memorable. You will undoubtedly forever be considered as one of the greatest business minds in the history of entertainment. Paving the way for many to come and accomplish great things after you, your ability to raise the bar with every business move that you make has set standards that may never be surpassed.
While I’m sure people are constantly trying to communicate with 50 Cent the rapper and entrepreneur, I want to take a few moments and express a few things to Curtis Jackson the father. Marquise Jackson’s dad. The man who introduced the world to his young son through a cameo in the video for his song “Wanksta” in 2003. The man who didn’t know his own father because he was “too busy out committing felonies”.
You see Fif, the reason that I am writing you this letter is because I am concerned. As a father who is currently raising a soon to be 10-year-old daughter I am worried that the things that I have been reading about you and your son’s relationship recently could potentially have some long lasting negative effects not only on you and him, but on future generations of your family as well. In no way, shape, or form do I believe that everything that the media has portrayed about your recent issues with Marquise and his mom are accurate. But, I do believe that there is at least a little bit of truth in what I have read about how all parties involved have decided to handle their issues. No one is blameless here. But this isn’t about pointing fingers. Its about realizing that none of us are perfect parents, and we must all do our part in keeping our family unit in tact.
My concern first began when those alleged text messages between you and Marquise were released last summer. There seemed to be a lot of anger and frustration in those messages. While I hoped that it was just some sort of internet hoax, nothing ever materialized to prove that someone else other than you was behind the messages, or that Marquise was not the intended recipient of the texts. The language that you used in those messages wasn’t fit for a child’s eyes, especially not when they were coming from a parent.
Teenagers are very fragile, and they absorb everything that happens around them. Those messages read like something that you would have sent to your Hip Hop counterparts Ja Rule or Fat Joe during the height of your beefs with them. So if no one has told you yet, allow me to be the first…you were wrong. Whether the messages were for Marquise, or for his mom, the things that you said were harmful and destructive. If you truly want to have a healthy and loving relationship with your son you have to know how to communicate with him without belittling him and speaking to him in a manner that is damaging to the ultimate goal of raising your child to be an upstanding and successful individual.
While our children may sometimes get under our skin and do things that we don’t agree with, we have to realize that our words can really hurt them. Just look at how some of your words have destroyed some people’s entire career. We can’t run our families the same way that we run our careers. In Hip Hop the culture is built on bravado and the spirit of using your words to get the best of your competitor. Conversely, calling our children names and patronizing them can actually be counter productive to what we really want to accomplish as parents. What you are doing is actually a form of abuse. By taunting your son in that manner, you are actually being emotionally abusive to him.
Most teens are going to rebel. That’s just life. As fathers it is our job to be there for them and love them despite the stupid teenage things that they do. We have to be there to catch them when they fall, not pick them up and slam them to the ground after they’ve already hit a low point. After all, at the time he was only 16-years-old. I don’t know about you, but I know that when I was 16 I thought I had it all figured out, but actually didn’t know squat! Being a parent is the hardest job that we will ever have, but it is also the most rewarding. Each moment that we have with our children presents opportunities to teach them and prepare them for their future. We have to lay the blueprint for them so they can get it right and hopefully not make the same mistakes as us.
Like you, I know the pain of going through a custody battle. Standing in front of a judge and having to explain what makes you capable of taking care of your own child. I’ve had to sit in the offices of lawyers, police officers, mediators, Guardian Ad Litems, and others and explain my case for wanting to have a relationship with my child due to the fact that I was attempting to co-parent with someone who wouldn’t spit on me if I caught on fire. I have been through it all. I have been lied about, persecuted, threatened, and emotionally broken simply because I refused to give up on having a relationship with my daughter.
I had to fight just to be able to spend time with my child every second and forth weekend of each month. Can you imagine how it feels to be unjustly accused of child abuse by the mother of your child? How about standing in a courtroom and listening to your child’s mother tell a judge why she doesn’t want your child to spend part of the summer with you? I’ve been there bro! I’m sure that you have just as many custody/visitation horror stories as I do, if not more. One of the most important things that I have learned in my 10 years as a parent is that no matter what obstacles we are faced with, regardless of how hard it may seem there is NOTHING in this world that is more important than what we have been called to do as fathers.
I’m sure you probably think that I should just mind my own business because I have no idea what I am talking about, and you are partially correct. I don’t know everything that has happened between you and your son over the last few years, or where your relationship became damaged. I don’t know the struggles that come with trying to manage a schedule as busy as yours, and still find a way to balance things at home. The fact of the matter is that outside of what I know of you through the media I actually don’t know much about you at all. But here are a few things that I DO know:
1. You were raised by a single mother and your grandmother. You know what it feels like to go through life without having your father to help guide you. I know the pain that comes along with being fatherless. My father was shot and killed when I was 11-years-old and there is no denying that my life would be totally different if I had a positive male influence in my life growing up. I think we would both agree that a having a father who is both physically and emotionally present definitely makes a difference in the life of a child.
2. You love your son. Those text messages that I read weren’t from someone who didn’t care. They were from someone who was fed up with the BS that occurs when two parents are not on the same page. I’m sure it hurt you when you weren’t able to see Marquise, but imagine how he felt reading those messages from you.
3. Your son needs you. Fif, you know that this is a cold world that we live in. Things are much crazier for our children now than they were for you and I growing up. That boy needs you. He needs you in his life to keep him from making some of the dumb mistakes that so many of us make because we didn’t have the proper guidance. Although he may think he is a grown man now, you and I both know that this world constantly chews up and spits out children who are not equipped with the tools to go out here and face the everyday struggles of life.
4. Its All About The Child – Regardless of what drama happens between you and Marquise’s mom it is all about the child. Your relationship can still be repaired. Its never too late to make amends and tell someone that you love them. As someone who has been shot 9 times you already know that tomorrow isn’t promised. Don’t take for granted the opportunities that you have to make things right.
The media has been making a big deal about pictures that were posted on Facebook from Marquise’s graduation over the weekend. Many are speculating as to why you weren’t at the graduation or in any of the pictures. Those are questions that only you can answer, but I would like to say that even if you weren’t able to attend the graduation I hope that you at least spoke to him and congratulated him on his accomplishment. In the midst of this current media storm surrounding you and your family I suggest that you just take a moment, pick up the phone and call your son to tell him “job well done” if you haven’t already done so. He wants to hear it…He NEEDS to hear it. Hopefully, that one phone call can be the catalyst to mending an obviously broken relationship.
Prayerfully, I wish you all the best in everything that you do, but especially in your efforts to build a better bond with Marquise.
Showtime The Single Father
Originally appeared on The Single Fathers Blog