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I’ve Been Down in the Dad Hole for 4 Years and I Have Questions

Let me start this whole thing off by saying that I used to be cool. At one point in my life I was a working DJ, avid sneaker collector, hip-hop aficionado, fluent speaker of slang and avid consumer of modern popular culture. Then, a little over four years ago, things changed.

I became a father.

I was one of those guys who swore up and down that I was gonna be a “cool dad” who didn’t slack on his style, stayed up on trends and kept one foot in the streets to stay relevant. But life had other plans. It’s not as if I made a decision to stop caring about being cool; it’s just that I had so much other stuff to do, like put food on the table and keep the lights on and say token black-daddy catchphrases like, “Lookey huh nah!” and “Y’all don’t know nuthin’ ’bout … !” as my shoes became conversely more comfortable and less stylish.

You gotta understand, the natural state of black fatherhood is less Andre from Black-ish and more James Evans or George Jefferson­—a half-balding mass of simmering anger who thinks the music’s too loud, the food is too spicy, these kids have it too good and everything costs too much.

That said, I need your help. I feel like I’ve missed out on a coupla things over the past four years or so, and I have some questions I need answered. Hopefully this will help me and some of my colleagues who also reside in the dad hole …

What happened to sweatpants?

Like, for real. I went to buy some sweats last year and tried on a pair of what I can best describe as the unholy alliance of tights and genie pants. When did muthf–kas start wearing Skidz again? Why are they $85? Why can’t I just find a pair of comfortable sweats to lounge around the house in? Who decided to taper sweatpants? I don’t like these millennial sweats. Make them stop.

How did we let Drake win a hip-hop beef?

Maybe I’m old school, but if you told me there was a rap battle between a former child star-turned-rapper, light-skinned dude from Canada and a convicted felon emcee from Philadelphia, I’d put my money on the latter 12 times outta nine. Damn, I was wrong. How did Drake win that? Why did we allow that to happen? How come nobody got on the phone with Black Thought, Gamble and Huff, and Steady B and told them to come get they mans? Did I mention the fact that he’s Canadian? Y’all let Steve Nash dunk on Iverson. Why?

How am I supposed to feel about Kanye West these days?

Not gonna lie: I really dug Kanye West’s first three albums and even My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But lately I’m not sure what Kanye’s doing and/or if it’s even for me. I’ve listened to The Life of Pablo, but I don’t know if that s–t’s any good. Is it? Why is Kanye designing clothes that look likeAbnegation? Why’s he talking like that? Are people actually buying them overpriced moccasins? Kanye and I are the same age, and I think we’ve got two totally different takes on turning 40. Does he know that we’re not laughing with him?

Is _________ still a thing?

  • Air Force 1s
  • LRG clothing
  • Hennessy
  • Yung Joc
  • rims
  • King magazine
  • 106 & Park
  • the Dipset
  • BGOL (asking for a friend)
  • neo-soul
  • cargo pants

Why do people still talk about Peter Gunz?

A couple of months ago, my Facebook feed was full of people talking about Peter Gunz with absolutely no mentions of Lord Tariq. Did Peter Gunz make a new song without Lord Tariq? Is Lord Tariq OK? Why is Peter Gunz a topic of trending conversation without Lord Tariq? I’m lost. Why are we giving any f–ks about Peter Gunz these days?

What happened to Katt Williams?

Seriously. Like, I was juuuuuuust watching his HBO special and now, if you Google “poor decisions,” Katt Williams is, like, the top four or five hits. Why didn’t anybody tell me he fell off so hard?

Is it OK to shop at Banana Republic?

Not gonna lie: At least four times a year, I walk into a Banana Republic and tell the white girl behind the counter that I’m from out of town on business, I’m stuck here for a few days and I need a few outfits to last me the week. They pick out some clothes for me, I buy them and I wear the outfits exactly as they chose them. That store should be called, “Client Meeting or Brunch?” because that’s all I’m dressing for these days. Is that OK?

Life in the dad hole, while decidedly uncool, is actually absurdly fulfilling and rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. All I ask is that you don’t judge me or my paternal ilk when we misuse slang, complain about Young Thug or tell you that the Running Man y’all doin’ ain’t the Running Manand y’all need to cut that s–t out.

As the child of a deadbeat dad, I’ll trade all the coolness in the world to keep being the active and involved parent that I am.

 

Corey Richardson

Corey Richardson is originally from Newport News, Virginia currently living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and two daughters. Ad guy at work, Dad guy in life, and whiskey enthusiast, Corey spends his time crafting words, telling bedtime stories, and working hard at becoming the legend he is in his own mind. You can read his paternal musings at FatherlyNoir.com where he chronicles his life doing battle with all of the women with his last name.

  • Other_guy13

    BGOL??? needs clarification….for a friend.

    • Nik

      Agree… And Hennessy will always be a thing right?!

      • YeaSoh

        Absolutely… it’s Henny. It has it’s own nickname and therefore it has to have longevity.

    • brothaskeeper

      A friend told me that it’s Black Girl Online, an, um, adult chat service. That’s all I knows.

      • YeaSoh

        A friend??? Really??? Uhn huh

      • Nik

        But I still don’t get it… and who actually says BGOL? And how do you really know what this means?? So many questions… lol

      • Other_guy13

        Oh…that sounds…exhausting…I’ll stick to real life.

        • brothaskeeper

          Good move!

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      Used to be a hip forum for black men that appreciated black women, but because cheap they went to a paid format.

      • -h.h.h.-

        whoa we speaking on bgol in public now? wow lol.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Not a whole lot of safe spaces online for black men sadly.

          • -h.h.h.-

            which is why i don’t speak on it, lol.

  • YeaSoh

    Your baby is gorgeous. I thought this was stock photography until I saw your profile pic

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    That picture is SUCH sweetness. I miss my kid being this age.

  • Jenell Webb

    I would like to think I’m a cool dad… But that’s when you know you slipping… When you start wondering about the cool factor. Whatever.. My kids eat, sleep and play well and their mother think I still got it.

  • Good to see Corey’s snark and wit on VSB! Great laugh on a Friday afternoon.

  • brothaskeeper

    Great article! I don’t have a child, but I feel like a lot of this can apply to the Over-40 Hole. Also, Henny will always be a thing.

    • OSHH

      LordT. never did henny, got too much of a bite on it….. Remy VSOP girl here and yes his list can apply to over the 40 sect in general.

      • NonyaB

        Yes, another Remy babe here! I prefer it and Otard but Henny will do in a pinch. Sometimes Calvados.

    • Tambra

      Thought you had at least 7 rugrats ruling the crib. The school kids scared you?

      • brothaskeeper

        One day I will sow my seed in fertile land, and it will gain purchase.

        • Tambra

          But until the rodeo calls , Yee Haw!

          • brothaskeeper

            Giddyap!

    • TheCollinB

      It never won’t be a thing. It’s like Golden Coral breakfast buffet.

  • YeaSoh

    I have a question for you:

    If you were serious about getting answers, why didn’t you numbers these? Ugh

    1 – That’s a new one for me. Tight sweatpants are just leggings so I don’t know what to tell you other than buy larger sizes and enjoy the way they make your @ss look?
    2 – The thing with the Drake and Meek battle is that gangsta rap ain’t really the only rap style. MFer’s are getting clever and you kinda gotta be that more than gangsta to be considered you know gangsta wit it
    3 – Don’t feel anything. I just ignore him like that bad @ss kid in the grocery store fucking up stuff and no one knows where his parents are… just look, shake your head and go about yo business
    4 – Henny will ALWAYS be a thing… none of that other stuff even matters
    5 – Because he’s fun to laugh at and he makes everyone happy that they aren’t him – well except for his baby mamas, there’s nothing to save those women
    6 – Katt Williams… I assume he and Kanye were at a party together and shared the same laced blunt
    7 – Banana is fine. Who said Banana wasn’t a thing? F them

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Bananna is suspect at best….for pants anyway

      • YeaSoh

        That’s because you too d@mn thick… what you squat?

        • Sigma_Since 93

          6’2 with muscular legs yes.

          Thick – no

          • YeaSoh

            muscular, thick, tomato, tomahto

      • The squats and genetics make buying pants an adventure nowadays.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Truth!

          @YeaSoh:disqus doesn’t know our pain.

          • Levi’s 541’s are my new favorite jeans.

            • Kas

              550’s work as well

          • YeaSoh

            I’m just saying errybody don’t have thick thigh problems and for the record, I am your sistren.
            Hi-five for the thick thigh crew? Don’t leave me hanging Sig.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              *daps*

            • Kat

              I finally get new followers/folks think I’m a guy on my FB page..finally get it. It’s an agressive co$kiness that comes through that most associate with *males*. Interesting

              • YeaSoh

                Lol I woke up like this

        • TheCollinB

          Polo. Hampton Straight. Varick Slim. All killer for those with quads.

        • Okitech623

          You speak nothing but the truth!

        • pimpbagel

          Bonobos Athletic cut for chinos and dress pants. all day everyday

        • Auggie

          True story though…

      • Hammster

        Yep. The only thing I’ve ever bought from them is a pretty nice down jacket. H&M is another store that doesn’t think about “us” when it comes to pants.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I’ll buy sweaters from Bananna. Pants have become too much of a hit or miss (more misses than hits) J. Crew has a new line targeted at athletic men but my wallet ain’t built for them prices.

          • Hammster

            Wait, so many of these damn brands look alike to me, it’s J. Crew that I bought the jacket from. I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything from Banana Republican.

            IDK where the h3ll to buy pants at anymore. I’m thinking I should just buy fabric and take them to my tailor.

          • Other_guy13

            I tried J crew…but Van Hueson or Jos A. Bank usually help out for work…Jeans I pray about it…tried Nordstrom rack and found some dope stuff.

            • Blueberry01

              Have you tried Express for jeans?

              • Other_guy13

                I hate express….Gap jeans and Old Navy…I need to find a new place though

                • Blueberry01

                  Oh, yeah? Why do you say that?

                  OG, I used to work at Express and BR (which is a subsidiary of Gap, so I would get my discount at Gap and ON as well).

                  I must say that the quality and pricepoint at Express is comparable to BR/G/ON. Plus, they have more denim washes and styles that a handsome OG could rock down there in the A :wink:

                  You should take another look…or try Levis.

          • Gbadebo

            I found a style of dress pants at j crew that fit me and my style perfectly. I stocked up on those beeches and I probably won’t buy anything else. Find some ish that works and never let it go. Hit that joint up on a sale, stock up, and you’re good for some years hopefully.

            I’m pretty muscular for my size, but I’m not 6’2″ though.

          • Blueberry01

            Wait until major holidays for good sakes, sign up for their email list because they often have flash sales exclusive to people on it, and try J. Crew Factory…

          • Nik White

            Embrace the clearance rack -he is your friend! I got a $110 dress for $20 at the “end of the season”! It just got warm enough to wear it Michigan…winning at Banana Republic!

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Oh yeah I hit the clearance rack. Momma didn’t raise no fool. I’ve got to be on it since my pants size goes quick. I’ve gotta make sure that it’s not final sale on line since there’s no turning back it they don’t fit.

      • Other_guy13

        I cant do their pants…the shirts work sometimes…I stick to Gap

        • Hammster

          I tend to walk out of Gap disappointed. They aint nothing like they used to be.

          • Other_guy13

            They’re always good for the fall and winter…Love the sweaters

            • Hammster

              Maybe I’ll try again next year.

    • Kas

      Slow clap building to a standing ovation

    • OSHH

      Drop crotch sweats with tapered ankles, they call joggers.
      Always like BR, esp the outlet.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        They aren’t true joggers. I’ve got a few pair from my track days. The material’s too heavy to truly be joggers

        • OSHH

          I believe you but that is what they call that style.

      • YeaSoh

        Oh yeah I guess he did say they were like genie pants… I spot read sometimes. Duh well they too make your @ss look good

    • Brandon Allen

      1. Gotta but expensive athletic gear sweatpants now. No more champion.

      2. Meek played himself by A. Being loud B. Having his girl be a Better rapper C. Starting the Beef on Twitter

      3. Kanye is still flames but he’s worn himself thin. Pick and choose songs.

      4. HENNY!

      5. You don’t not need to concern yourself with Pietro

      6. Drugs.

      7 Yes, But don’t buy stuff that has the logo visible.

      • YeaSoh

        lol @ no more Champion

  • Nike and Russell Athletic still make sweatpants that don’t look like the ones Welvin is wearing in that commercial with E-40.

  • Kas

    Great article! 5 years in the game now. My wife and I laugh about how we thought we were going to be those cool parents hitting up brunch with well behaved kids in tow. Nah. As far as sweats, Russell brand online from Amazon for $15, make sure you get the ones with pockets.

    • Lordt, I don’t I could make it through parenthood without Amazon…

      • Okitech623

        Dang near live on Amazon since becoming a parent. And now they got the same day delivery popping? They stay taking my money.

    • Other_guy13

      My bestfriend been down the hole 4 years now…I see him slowly slipping away…We still rage from time to time but I think once I join the dad club he will be lost for good. My single life is the only thing that gives him hope…But I don’t have any stories because of #somethinglikeabeau…..Keep hope alive Kas…find a brunch couple to pair up with and rage with them…Make sure they past the front porch test and your good.

      • Kas

        Much easier said than done, but good advice

  • Sigma_Since 93

    I blame these skinny jeans folks for what’s happened to sweats and GQ for what’s happened to pants
    I blame schools and T Pain for the lack of annunciation in rap music
    I blame my joints for not being able to do some of these new dances
    I love my momma for teaching me to put my family before my flyness…but I still get fly from time to time

    *Pulls up a seat for Corey* Welcome to the club homie!

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