“Daughters” by Nas
Pretty much from the onset, we see that Nas is dedicating this to his “brothers with daughters”. Said individuals would be men, like himself, who have their own female offspring. And more specifically, he is addressing them in such a manner as he wants them to learn from his own mistakes as a father.
Indeed Nas’s daughter, Destiny Jones, was born in 1994, back when he was just 20 years old. Even by the release of this track in 2012 she was already headed into full adulthood, and the rapper had to deal with a number of associated frustrations along the way.
Relatedly enough, the narrative opens with Nas noting how he “saw (his) daughter send a letter to some boy her age” who is incarcerated. So on top of sounding like he’s concerned that she has a romantic interest in the first place, he is also clearly alarmed by Destiny taking an interest in someone who is apparently a criminal.
But Nas also understands that he wasn’t exactly a good role model while she was growing up. Moreover, “she [has] heard stories” from his days as a thug. So if she too falls in love with “a gangster” like himself, then the rapper concedes that it would be hypocritical for him to hate.
But that said, he’s not taking such a simplistic approach to the matter at large. For instance, it could be that this guy is trying to get close to her due to her parentage, i.e. to commit some type of a robbery or scam against Destiny’s mom or even the vocalist himself.
So, daddy Nas is going to “wait ‘’til he come(s) home” from doing the bid to really study this dude and ascertain what type of person he truly is. But in the meantime, he has faith in his daughter’s decision-making ability. And she clearly has issues with him butting into her life in such a manner since, as stated earlier, she knows his past. But at the same time, the vocalist and his daughter are generally cool.
The second verse once again begins with Nas expressing an indirect concern for Destiny’s sexual activity. Here, he recalls the tale of the girl posting a pic of personally-owned condoms onto Instagram.
This causes him and, as depicted, the child’s mother to also freak out. And Nastradamus takes personal responsibility, realizing that he was not ‘strict’ enough in raising Destiny. And no, in that regard he doesn’t come off as an abusive or oppressive parent.
Rather he wishes that he had spent more quality time educating her, as well as exposing his daughter to more diversity in life. And Nas perceives this whole scenario as “God” punishing him, so to speak, for his past deeds. In other words, as he sees the circle of life, guys such as himself who are womanizers tend to have daughters themselves, who they then have to worry about not getting similarly played by some similarly-minded individual.
So this whole experience has given Nas an appreciation of how challenging it is to raise a daughter “as a single man”. He understands that in the world of romance, there is a double standard in terms of how fathers relate to their sons as opposed to their daughters. As for the former, there’s sorta like this sense of achievement when your son lands a girlfriend. But for the latter, contrastingly dads don’t want any guy placing a hand on their daughters.
So at the end of the day, all lyrics considered, it’s not abundantly clear which type of lesson Nas wants to impart to his fellow “brothers with daughters”. The implied conclusion – that he can’t bear the thought of his daughter having sex – is more of a statement of fact than an instruction.
But instead what Nasir is most notably doing, in terms of relating to dads at large, is empathizing with those who love their daughters just as much as he does his own. And as for Destiny personally, he is seemingly doing his best to protect her from making romantic decisions that she may regret later on.
Album/EP: “Life Is Good”
Did Nas release “Daughters” as a single?
Yes. It was the third single from the American rapper’s album, “Life Is Good”. Nas officially released it on the date of 17th July, 2012.
Writing and Production
“Daughters” was written by Nas and a bunch of other writers. Some of them include: \\
- Ernest D. Wilson
- Dale Frashuer
- Patrick Adams
- Gary DeCarlo
- Paul Leka
“Daughters” was produced by No I.D.
The song was nominated for the award of Best Rap Performance at the 2013 Grammys. However, it lost to Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris” Below were the other nominees:
- Drake’s “HYFR (Hell Ya Fu–ing Right)”
- Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz’s “Mercy”
- Young Jeezy’s “I Do”
In the “Best Rap Song” category, it competed with the following:
- “Lotus Flower Bomb” (Wale featuring Miguel)
- “Mercy” (Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
- “The Motto” (Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga)
- “Young, Wild & Free” (Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars)
- “Ni**as in Paris” (Jay-Z and Kanye West) – Winner
“Daughters” was ranked number 39 on the list of 50 best songs for the year 2012 by Complex Networks.
Carmen Bryan blasts “Daughters”
Nas’ ex-wife, Carmen Bryan called the song a “disappointment”. On Twitter, she claimed the rapper had nothing positive to say about their daughter, Destiny. She believed he had a false depiction of her. Destiny eventually embraced “Daughters” and was seen with her father on the set of the song’s video shoot.