As you know, hip hop is heralded for its excesses. Rappers are expected to flout convention, law, even common sense. Parenting, though, involves restraint, restriction and reflection; managing that tension isn’t easy but some hip hop pops have found a way. Today, BBD sits down with Elias Wallace, the LA based vocalist of the Copenhagen based hip hop group, DaFuniks.
I met Elias many moons ago at The Foundation Funkollective open mic in the 909. We share a mutual interest in theology, social justice and wackness-aversion.
My wife is named Monica. We have 3 children. One girl and two boys. My daughter is 11 and getting tall and long like her mother. She’s already 5’4″ and looking like a runway model. Scared son. I’ll avoid the sexist cliches about having a baseball bat or gun, but I will say I’m trying to raise a confident, strong woman who will make her own choices and choose the RIGHT kind of boy when she gets to that point. My 2 boys are 9 and 5. They are handsome, bright, and above average in everything. I know, all parents think this but it’s crazy, they excel in sports, music, and art and they are all social. All of my children are bilingual, speaking reading and writing Spanish and English. They are half Mexican and half American Caucasian hybrid–meaning they are Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Syrian, and Native American. They also study Mandarin Chinese on Saturdays so they can add a non European language to their lexicon. I want them to have that Nas state of mind and think the world is theirs–but with the language skills to make it happen.
What does the ideal Sunday morning look like for the fam bam?
An ideal Sunday morning for my family consists of waking up, me making breakfast for everyone while my wife sleeps in. I’ll make sure everyone has eaten and gotten dressed for church. Then my wife will come out looking radiant and make sure the kids have put lotion on. “Si poniste crema?” shouts go out in 3 directions. The rest of the day is spent together and it doesn’t really matter what is being done. Being together and spending time with one another is a big part of our family’s happiness.
Family Amusement Park Trip: Disneyland or Six Flags Magic Mountain?
Right now my kids are pretty small so Disneyland, as much as I personally abhor it, would be a better choice than Magic Mountain. Nothing worse than taking kids to a park where you have to drop down a couple days wages just to get in, and then have to tell your kids, you can’t ride that one and then do the parent relay games—you stay with this kid, I’ll stay with them, tag team at the ride exit in half an hour.
What would your kid’s say is the best dish you make? How did you learn how to make it?
My kids would probably say my Carne Asada is great. It’s not healthy so I don’t make it too often but there are enough UFC fights and boxing matches on for me to have it every couple of weeks. My first time having carne asada was when I was 16. My future mother in law made it for me and I immediately fell in love. I figured if there was a God in heaven, there would be a taco man at the heavenly banquets. I plan to be standing with a Cerveza in my hand right by the taco man. Later I learned to love adobada, pastor, and many others but I prefer to grill up some Asada.
Did you ever consult a parenting book or website during the child rearing years? Or, was it more go with the flow and tradition?
I never consulted a parenting book or website but I have a BA in Education so I have read a lot of child psychology already. I do not rear my children in the same way that I was raised. My parents were great but my father was from the South and there is a lot of ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ thinking there. I was whooped a lot. I don’t spank my own children and prefer positive reinforcement and cognitive coaching. I want my children to be sophisticated thinkers not resentful authoritarians. That isn’t to suggest that all people who were disciplined in this way turned out like that, I just think that you are trying to discipline and correct behavior not coerce behavior via threat of violence.
Favorite Hip Hop group?
Favorite hip hop group—wow. I don’t have one Favorite hip hop group honestly. Hip hop has a timeline and I’m on it. ATCQ was my favorite for a long time so I guess they could be there. Today I have so many different groups that I love. I really dig what Killer Mike and EL P do with Run the Jewels. I really like the Roots. In terms of most influential I see groups like Freestyle Fellowship and Organized Konfusion as really important. It really depends on my mood.
Favorite Hip Hop experience in France?
I have had a ton of amazing experiences on stage in France. I’ve toured there the last 3 years and met some amazing people, artists and fans. I’ll share a small show of about 300 at a place called Run ar Puns in Bretagne, France. It was a small ancient venue surrounded by beautiful countryside. The venue wasn’t much to look at and looked a bit worn out. In France, sometimes that is a great sign—it means people come there. We played that night around 11 or so the crowd seemed pretty ‘iffy’ based on the really good band that went before us. They didn’t really seem ‘into it’. But when we got up to rock the whole place jumped off hardcore from intro to the constant screams for more songs. We played our whole set. They cheered for 5 minutes for extra. We played 15 minutes extra. They cheered for 10 minutes fore more. We came out and played even more. We just had to stop after that so that we wouldn’t make the promoter or venue operator mad at us but the crowd was off the chain.
What’s the family up to this Summer?
We’re taking a tour van and driving to a bunch of national parks and camping. Pray for me…and them.
If you’re taking a road trip this Summer, play music from Elias’ newest project, Otis Stacks. Big Brown Dad is digging the West Coast vibe on this one.