Here’s a Bad Perm salute to some truly amazing Moms…
A former opera musician, and mother to rapper/producers Illa J and the great J. Dilla, Ms. Yancey, affectionately known in the hip hop world as “Ma Dukes” is a true force within hip hop. When J. Dilla passed in 2006, Ma Dukes turned tragedy to triumph by creating The J. Dilla Foundation, whose mission is to help musically gifted young people who are affected by poverty. Through scholarships, grants, and programs like “Be Instrumental”, which pairs budding artists with gently used instruments, The J. Dilla Foundation is helping to make a lasting impact in music education. Ms. Yancey is a champion for positive change and thanks to her, J. Dilla’s memory continues to live on.
Not only is she a remarkable singer, brilliant rapper, and accomplished actress, but Lauryn Hill is also a mother raising 6 beautiful children. SIX. While she has taken flak over the years for her abrupt hiatus from the music industry, I admire that she stands firm in her decision to put music on the back burner for the sake of her kids — no matter how much it kills the fans! In a 2010 interview with Fuse TV, the 8 time Grammy Award winner said this about her time off:
“I was a stay-at-home mom, making sure that my kids have normalcy, privacy and the right to be real people. I wanted them to have a real childhood”.
Hats off to L-Boogie for putting her kids first!
It’s easy to see where artist Talib Kweli gets his lyrical prowess from when looking at his mother, Dr. Brenda Greene. A College Professor at Medgar Evers College, Dr. Greene was among seven New Yorkers to be honoured earlier this year at the 1st annual Women in Arts and Culture Awards presented by the City College of New York. Dr. Green is also the Executive Director for the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers, and Director of the National Black Writers Conference.
But, I totally digress.
Ms. Badu makes the list, not only for being super mom to three lovely kiddies, and not just for her charity work in her hometown of Dallas, TX, but also for helping other mothers bring life into the world. That’s right, when Ms. Badu isn’t blessing the mic, acting, raising her kids or being a community activist, she is a doula, providing support to expectant mothers before and during childbirth. Talk about superwoman. I bet she also juggles chainsaws.
Mother of Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Gloria Carter is helping to better her community through the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, which she and her son created to help poverty-stricken youth to pursue a higher education. In 2007, she received a proclamation from the New York City Council for her work with the scholarship fund, as well as her efforts to provide relief to Hurricane Katrina victims.
Take a look around the site and explore some of the other mothers who help to fuel the genre we all love. Happy Mother’s Day to these mothers and all of the women who nurture us!