I am writing this for my son. I love you son. That's the way it will always be between you and I, no matter what hardships we face. There is nothing that can break these bonds - not the bad mouthing, or the courthouse, no amount of distance - nothing. I'm always right here. I want to tell you my story and I hope it inspires you. I want you to know that I already believe in you.
They put me in remedial classes because I was a foster child rolling with negative associations. They'd call me derogatory names when I'd walk around town. When they told me I couldn't ball, I made it into the #2 program in the whole country. When they told me I couldn't rap, I lit mics from Madison Square Garden, Randalls Island, CBGB, Southpaw, Pyramid and all over the country out to Los Angeles with #1 songs in the europe underground radio - plus national radio and tv airplay. It's been 20 yrs now, I still represent. I spent a third of my life bombing graffitti from down the hill on the block to 5pointz. I sold out my art Shows when they said I'm not "classy enough." I joined the military, and they said I'm too angry. I copped and racked miscellaneous from Lil City, Fatbeats, Rock-n-Soul, Scrapyard, where they said I don't go hard enough. I dropped 4 albums in four years with reviews that were comparable to classic bangers. I was asked to speak about my life as a foster child, musician, and artist at school assemblies on the same year that my High School Teacher used my life story as a "bad example" for her 12th grade class. When you were born in 2010, I was uneducated and unemployed. I told you, "I’m going to become a doctor." Everyone involved in this family court situation has been portraying me as a Dead Beat Dad ever since. We still made it - even when child support payments equaled 150% of my income and I traveled halfway across the world from a military base to do weekend visits with you. We still made it together,
I thought I was DONE three times already, but not yet. This white streak in my hair started growing like that in 2004 after I got jumped by 60 people and was laid out on the ground. I tried to go to community college and somebody shot at my car in the college parking lot. Then they made me check in at the security office for the next three years to get escorted to class if I wanted to continue as a student. I went in anyway and got a 100% on every test from College Algebra through Organic Chemistry and Calculus. I worked so hard and luckily got a full paid scholarship to attend Medical School. I had a saddle pulmonary emoblism after military training on June 23, 2018 - fell back for two weeks - and I'm still right here. Now I'm starting my first job as Medical Doctor at one of the top hospitals in the country - July 2019. I now know I did all this to show you and i what resilience means. I have faced adversity time and time again, only to come up stronger. You’ll do the same no matter where you are. You will do your own dirt one day, your way, not mine. Don't let anyone else tell your story to your sons or about who you are to them. Live by your words and your actions. Show up. Be a resilient and unstoppable force, just like the love I have for you..
- aka Dr. Tatum
- aka Dad
“Dad & Lad” is a new hit single by hip hop artist Hyphen-One that highlights the importance of fathers rights and a fathers role in childrens' lives. Don't sleep this all original, beatbox and acapella jam, featuring Hyphen-One, his son, and sister vocalist Barbie "Ruby" Tatum. Release: June 2019.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of this song and it's related merchandise will be donated to www.FosterPride.org
- an organization that helps youth in foster care develop their talents and build self-esteem through mentoring relationships and the arts.
To buy, donate, inquire, build or critique, go to:
released August 3, 2019
Mixed by Chris Badami of Portratit Recording Studio (NJ)
Mastered by Chris Gheringer at Sterling Sound (NYC)
Beatboxing and Vocals Performed by Hyphen-One
Chorus and sustains performed by Barbara "Ruby" Pecirep Tatum
Bridge and vocal samples performed by Xander Tatum
Songwriting, composition, beatbox, production, video shotlist/editing/animation by Hyphen-One (bmi#1075332)
Filming and camera work by Michael Jones
Thank you to everyone involved in this project - H-1