Meek Mill with his son. Photo courtesy of author

Meek Mill: Being a Father Means Giving My Son the Life He Deserves

Jun 19, 2015

Meek Mill is a chart-topping rapper from Philadelphia.

As a father, now I get to give my son the life I never had. Being able to give him anything he wants is one of the best feelings in the world—but it’s also scary. When you see how much one person can trust you, look up to you, and depend on you, the last thing you want to do is disappoint them. The fact that no one can teach you how to be a father means you are always learning on the job. I love my son with all my heart, and I would do anything for him. It's a crazy feeling knowing that I will help him become a great man.

With my career and my crazy schedule, sometimes it’s tough to be able to spend the amount of time with him that I want and that he deserves. After spending time away from him, one of my favorite things to do is get on my four wheeler with my little man in tow. Picture us riding around my neighborhood waving at all my neighbors. My son is fearless on his bike. Those are the moments I think about when I’m on the road.

Before I leave, I always explain to him that everything I do, I do for him. All the shows, all the nights in the studio, I do with my son in mind. It doesn’t make it any easier, but I’m blessed to be in the financial situation that I’m in. I’m grateful I don’t have to think twice about whether there is going to be food on his table. My son doesn’t have to worry about that the way that I did—nor does the rest of my family. I’m not just a father to my son, but a provider to my whole family. I provide for them not because I have to, but because I want to. They have all been there for me through my highs and lows. They've always made sure I was taken care of, and now it’s my turn to take care of them.

I never had a strong male figure in my life. I didn’t have that person to teach me things fathers teach their sons because my father was killed when I was young. It was just me, my mom, and my sister, so I had to be the man of the house. When I was younger, I remember being able to speak to my father and then in the blink of an eye, he was gone . My mom played the role of both mom and dad. We had nothing growing up, so my mom worked any job she could find to provide for me and my sister. I love her so much for that. But as much as I appreciated everything my mother did for me, she couldn’t fill the space that a father should hold in a child’s life.

I still miss my dad, and I always will. Growing up without a father made me realize just how special time is with my son and how much of an impact I can have on his life. There are so many single mothers out there struggling to fill both roles, raising their families all by themselves. They don’t get the credit they deserve. There’s not enough ways to really say thank you, but we celebrate them, too, for all they do. To all my family and friends who are celebrating Father’s Day with their children, we salute you for being role models for all the young fathers in our community.

Father's Day Special: LIFE With Famous Dads and Their Daughters

John Barrymore and daughter Diana, 1942.
John Barrymore and daughter Diana, 1942.Eliot Elisofon—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
John Barrymore and daughter Diana, 1942.
Alfred Hitchcock and daughter Patricia, 1942.
Orson Wells, Rita Hayworth and daughter Rebecca, 1945.
Michael Redgrave and daughter Lynn, 1946.
Gary Cooper and daughter Maria, 1949.
Jackie and Rachel Robinson with their infant daughter, Sharon, Los Angeles, 1950.
Pablo Picasso and daughter Paloma, 1951.
Harry Truman and daughter Margaret, 1952.
Desi Arnaz with daughter Lucie, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Jr., 1953.
Richard Burton and daughter Kate, 1957.
John F. Kennedy with daughter Caroline, 1958.
Dean Martin with daughter Gina Caroline, 1958.
John Glenn with daughter Lyn, 1959.
Henry Fonda with daughter Jane, 1960.
Ann-Margret with her father Gustav Olsson, 1961.
Burt Lancaster with daughter Sighle (pronounced Sheila), 1961.
Al Hirschfeld with his daughter Nina, 1961.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter with daughter Candy, 1962.
John Mills with daughter Hayley, 1962.
Steve McQueen kisses his daughter Terry goodnight in 1963.
Robert F. Kennedy with daughter Mary, 1963.
Lyndon Johnson with daughters Lucy and Lynda, 1964.
Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and daughter Hayley, 1965.
Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy (with Yul Brynner), 1965.
Charlie Chaplin and daughters Josephine and Victoria, 1966.
Charles M. Schulz and daughter Jill, 1967.
Paul Newman with daughter Clea and wife Joanne Woodward, 1968.
Robert Redford and daughter Shauna, 1969.
Dustin Hoffman with his daughter Karina, 1969.
Jack Nicholson and daughter Jennifer, 1969.
Donald Sutherland and daughter Rachel, 1970.
Richard Nixon and daughter Patricia, 1971.
Bill Clinton with daughter Chelsea and wife Hillary, 1993.
John Barrymore and daughter Diana, 1942.
Eliot Elisofon—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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