Shawty Lo is no stranger to drama. Whether it's in the street or in rap, the Atlanta representative has held his own when things got troublesome, so what's a couple of baby mothers to him?
The premise of Lo's upcoming reality show "All My Babies' Mamas" got critics in a tizzy, but it doesn't seem like the "Dey Know" rapper is sweating things very much.
In an exclusive interview with MTV News, L-O made it clear that he was not at liberty to discuss the upcoming Oxygen show, but he did spell out his life story for us, including his role as a father of 11 and the balancing act he must maintain among his 10 baby mamas.
"You can hate all you want to, I didn't ask for it. It just happened. Now that it happened, I'm supposed to turn my back against it?" Shawty Lo told MTV News about his 11 children and untraditional family structure. "If I wasn't taking care of my kids then you would really dog me out, but I'm taking care of my kids, providing for my family. I don't know what else to say."
Growing up, the ATL trap rapper faced many hardships. His mother was hooked on drugs, his dad wasn't around and his grandmother who raised him died from cancer by the time he turned 17. Having to fend for himself, Shawty Lo turned to the streets to make ends meet.
"I came to be one of the largest drug dealers to come from Atlanta, Bankhead area and I started havin' kids. When the money came, a lot of women came," he said, estimating he was a millionaire by the time he turned 21. "Once you feel like a girl was your girlfriend or whatever, the rubber probably came off," he said candidly. "They wouldn't have an abortion. They used to take the money and run with it, and they'd have a baby by the most popular guy in the street, and that's how I had all them kids."
After the pilot for "All My Babies' Mamas" hit the Net in late December, Lo and show producers came under a ton of scrutiny, with some even calling for a boycott. But Shawty Lo insists he is a good dad, and contrary to what people may feel, he doesn't have as much baby-mama drama as folks think.
"I take care of all my kids. ... Outta all the 10 baby mamas, I just have problems outta one. That's it," he said. "She has two kids by me, and she feel like I'm supposed to do more for her kids, and she don't wanna work. She just want me to straight take care of them, but it's all love. I handle it."
The proud papa doesn't want people to focus on the amount of kids he has, but the fact that he takes care of all of his offspring. "It's a lot of fathers don't take care of one; I gotta deal with 11. I gotta deal with nine girls and two boys," he said.
It isn't just about spending money either, Shawty Lo advises all fathers to spend time with their children.
"Even if you ain't got the money, you gotta be a father to your child. You need to be in your child's life, 'cause that means a lot to them," he said. "Comin' up, we didn't have Thanksgiving, we didn't have Christmas, but if I had my father there, if I even had my mother there, I probably wouldn't have been that person I was in the streets."
Do you agree with Shawty Lo's take on fatherhood? Let us know in the comments.