NEW YORK It takes a lot to get a man out of the house on Sunday afternoon during football season. It's especially difficult during the playoffs, when trips to the Super Bowl hang in the balance.
But for MCs like Jadakiss, Naughty by Nature's Treach, Master P, Kool G Rap and Cadillac Tah and boxer Zab Judah, spending time with their kids took precedence over the monsters of the gridiron last weekend. (Click here for photos.)
"When it comes down to your family, we gotta start stepping up," Master P said on Sunday. P and son Lil' Romeo made the trek to New York's Mangin elementary school in Manhattan to appear in the cameo-heavy video for Benzino's "Shine Like My Son."
"Seeing other fathers, I think that's something special," P said, sitting in a third-floor classroom. Romeo meanwhile, kept busy on the other side of the room, sitting on a couch, signing autographs and watching the New England Patriots thrash the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Anything that's family orientated, we're definitely gonna be a part of it. Just letting the kids know you can keep it real with your family is definitely of importance. Even if it's just getting together on a video set, seeing that many families together is important."
"The video is like ... it's Father's Day in any urban city," explained director Benny Boom, who also helmed Nas' "Got Ur Self A ..." "The kids are bringing their fathers to school. It's like show and tell. Little Ray Ray has brought his father, Ray Benzino, to school, who's a rapper. In the first performance, Benzino is dropping jewels on his son and everybody gets excited. They bring the class down to the auditorium, and the rest of the classrooms come down to the auditorium."
"When I heard about [the video shoot], I was like, 'Yeah, I wanna be a part of that,' " Gang Starr's Guru said, sitting in the auditorium with his toddler son half asleep in his lap. "Plus, a lot of my boys are here Treach, Kool Herc. All the boys are in one spot. Then the other thing, I'm reppin' for Boston. Benzino, me and him go back to Dorchester and all that. I moved to New York before him, but it's still love. I like the way he be reppin' Boston."
"Shine Like My Son" is all about Benzino representing for his 7-year-old, Ray Ray, who also appears on the song with singer Case.
"I'm 'a give you answers to your questions, like why it's important when having sex to use protection," Benzino rhymes on the song. "It's rules in life, it's important you follow."
"I thought that [the song] was something that was different," Master P said. "Something that people need to see. It's another side to all of us. You see one side and think negative. And see, we all have a sensitive side when it comes to your family. Ain't nothing more special than your kids."
"I just wanna show that rappers, which are usually portrayed negatively, can be portrayed in a positive [light]," Benzino said in his tour bus, parked near the school. "What's a more positive way to show a person than to show them with their family having a good time?"
Cadillac Tah, who rhymes on the new Jennifer Lopez cut "Ain't It Funny," was having a heck of a time with his little one. Tucked away in a classroom that served as a green room, Tah's child got restless waiting for their turn on camera and began crying. DJ/producer Tony Touch and his children were all smiles, though, seemingly pleased with the outcome of the football game. Later on, during the St. Louis Rams/Philadelphia Eagles face off, Jadakiss and Zab Judah brought their kids down to the family affair.
"A lot of people showed up," said Benny Boom. "I wasn't sure who was going to show up. With these kinds of things, a lot of people want to come down, but the schedules conflict so they're not able to. I'm glad with the turnout we got."