Father Time : Daddy Issues, Masculinity and Healing.

Let’s talk about daddy issues.

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog. I am glad to have you back here. If you are new here, welcome to one of the best sites on WordPress. I say this because in this house we have interesting conversations, some are conventional, and some are not. Today’s topic is a hybrid of conventionality and non-conventionality. Today is a melting pot of topics, shame, daddy issues, masculinity, and healing. This will be messy but I will try to give it a pretty face.

When I started the year, I said “shame” will be my main theme in my writing, there is a lot of shame that people walk around carrying for one reason or another. One type of shame is “daddy issues”. This term is informal and has historically been gendered and used to belittle women who have a complicated relationship with their fathers. The best definition I got was from verywellmind.com and their definition says “ ‘Daddy issues’ has no precise definition. Still, it’s become a popular catch-all phrase for how the relationship with one’s father in childhood impacts someone in adulthood, especially with a father who is absent or emotionally unavailable”.

The origin of this whole concept is a rabbit hole, and we will not get into it. It’s easy to get lost in the psychology behind it. However, I do not think this is something exclusive to women only, men also have daddy issues.

My philosophy when it comes to daddy issues is that they are not anyone’ fault, however, they are your responsibility as an adult to work through and eventually be set free from them.

So, the question is what do these daddy issues look like especially for men. The best I could find were from goodmenproject’s site. These are the symptoms listed:

  1. Being angry at your father
  2. Being aloof
  3. Being unconcerned
  4. Being disrespectful
  5. Being irresponsible
  6. Being commitment-phobic
  7. Being unaffectionate

If any of these resonate, then 2023 is the perfect time to make a goal towards working through these problems.

Speaking of goals, I rarely hear people talking about how healing is part of their vision board. People mention a lot of things, but I have yet to see therapy or healing in the vision boards that have flooded my timelines since the year started. I strongly believe that there is a mental health crisis especially among men, and I am glad conversations around mental health are growing online. In the year 2022, there were 2 suicide cases from 2 high profile male celebrities in South Africa and this increased a lot of wellness conversations online. This is progress to me.

Globally, Kendrick Lamar, a high-profile American rapper and arguably international superstar has addressed mental health in his latest album Mr Morale and The Big Steppers. Forgive me if this review will feel underwhelming because there is a lot to unpack, and it feels overwhelming to attempt to unpack everything. The theme of mental health and daddy issues is quite explicit in Father Time and that is why I titled this blog “ Father Time : Daddy Issues, Masculinity and Healing”.

The other songs on the album reference mental health in one way or another but in Father Time, Kendrick Lamar gets candid as he addresses both mental health and daddy issues in a way I haven’t seen from a celebrity of his stature. Mental health and healing take center stage in the intro to Father’s Time in a staged conversation between Kendrick and his staged partner.

Warning : Explicit Language Till The End of The Blog.

Woman: You really need some therapy

Kendrick: Real n***a need no therapy, f**k you talkin' about?

Woman: Nah, nah, you sound stupid as f**k

Kendrick: S**t, everybody stupid

Woman: Yeah, well, you need to talk to someone

Let’s unpack this for a minute. In this staged character, Kendrick Lamar is implying that most men refuse to go to therapy because “real men” do not need therapy pointing to issues around how therapy is gendered. It is viewed as less manly to seek help especially psychological treatment and these ideas are rooted in toxic masculinity to be honest. Although these ideas around therapy and masculinity are already changing, therapy has historically been seen as a feminine pursuit because women are perceived to be more comfortable talking about their feelings. His refusal to talk to someone links back to symptoms of daddy issues we mentioned earlier, this falls somewhere between “being aloof” and “being irresponsible” because in reality no one is above mental health problems and at the end of the day, it is up to you as an adult to start your healing journey.

The admission of daddy issues comes in the first verse of Father Time

“I come from a generation of home invasions and I got daddy issues, that's on me

Everything them four walls had taught me, made habits bury deep

That man knew a lot, but not enough to keep me past them streets”

The last line is interesting because after doing some research I found out Kendrick’s father used to be a gangster and so there is a possibility Kendrick Lamar was socialized to survive “ the streets” by being tough and masculine. After some growing up on my side, I believe this kind of socialization is not entirely bad, there is merits to it because the world is indeed a tough place. Previously I would have demonized it but I believe it has its merits because the world indeed needs tough people. However, it has its limitations because it produces men who are closed off emotionally who struggle when they enter relationships and this is evident in the intro we just discussed. Kendrick’s love interest in the staged conversation wants him to go therapy because they seem not to be managing and truth is a lot of men struggle with doing emotional labor needed to make relationships work. This is because they are socialized to be emotional beings as well. I honestly believe there is space for men to be socialized as strong and still raise them to have emotional intelligence. It doesn’t need to be black and white because the black side of this socialization leaves a lot of men struggling to handle interpersonal relationships.

This shortcoming is something Kendrick himself admits later on in the song:

Daddy issues, f**k everybody, go get your money, son

Protect yourself, trust nobody, only your mama'n'em

This made relationships seem cloudy, never attached to none

So, if you took some likings around me, I might reject the love

These lyrics are self-explanatory and need no further explaining. Linking these lyrics to our list of daddy issues symptoms this would fall between “being unaffectionate” and “commitment-phobic”. By this time, I think you can already see that daddy issues also affect men in relationships as well even though they have been historically weaponized against women. What made this song my favorite song on this album is the admission that he needs help towards the end of the song when he says he has healing to do and needs assistance with the way he was brought. I already liked Kendrick Lamar but I might become a super fan based on this song alone because the self-awareness is overwhelming and the production on this song makes it feels like a therapy session.

The ending of the song is also powerful because he says grown men with daddy issues should give women a break. The end is a resolution to the staged conversation that is in the beginning of the song where Kendrick’s staged character refuses to go for therapy. He seems to admit that it is time to start healing daddy issues. Although this is just a song and not a speech perse, I thought this was a great way for Kendrick to use his platform and rally men with daddy issues to start healing.

Healing daddy issues is not a small feat. It takes a lot of inner work because you need to let go of anger. Kendrick does not explicitly say he is angry at his father but in my opinion the anger is there but subtle.  His rap delivery has an aggressive tone to it which suggests that he has anger but also the fast-paced delivery suggests that he is letting that anger go by venting? All of this is hypothetical of course, I am just in my literature junkie state right now but this is a possibility. The best artists hide messages in tone, form and clever metaphors so I wouldn’t put it past him to express his anger this way as it would not be appropriate to explicitly say that he is angry at his father.

This is probably one of my longest blog posts, I wish I could go on but I will end here because I can go all day. Masculinity is one of my favorite topics and I will be exploring it in relation to healing a lot more this year.

If you got to the end, thank you and take care. See you soon!


13 thoughts on “Father Time : Daddy Issues, Masculinity and Healing.

  1. Deep stuff right here and there’s surely more about Mental Health generally and specifically where men are concerned. As for daddy issues, that’s another deep conversation that must be on-going. Mummy issues are real too and are similar to daddy issues raised herein. I like how you pointed out that we hardly include Healing in our vision boards and personal goals yet a lot of us need to work on healing from the inside out. Thank you for this eye-opening review👌👌👌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We do skip healing as part of our vision boards which is very interesting to be honest. Mummy issues is interesting too, would you be able to write on that? I would definitely read it. Otherwise, thank you for reading!


  2. I have so much to say and I don’t know where to start but you perfectly how I feel about the song.I wanted to still read more.This is an amazing piece about my best album from my best rapper about it’s best song.Krep up the good work and men for your sake,for the people you love’s sake try.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Deep stufffff
    These are the issues and you’ve done a great job in breaking them down and more importantly ,stirring hearts to heal . Well done and thanks for sharing 🫶🏾

    Liked by 2 people

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