Kanye West joined Jay-Z in fatherhood this weekend (though we're not quite sure what his kid's name is), thus fulfilling the prophecy the pair rapped about on Watch the Throne's tender "New Day." There's just one problem: They both had daughters. That's not strange, exactly (there was around a 25% chance of it happening) and it's not disappointing (Jay-Z seems pleased as punch with Blue Ivy, and we're guessing Kanye feels that same about Baby To Be Named), but it does make "New Day" a little bit funny in retrospect. Because "New Day" is not just a song about having children—it's a song about having sons.
Kanye's verse leads off the song, and like a lot of Watch the Throne, it's mostly a way for Kanye to talk about himself. In this telling, the life of his future son is notable for the ways it will join up with and diverge from the path Kanye blazed through his adult life. Of course my kid would be a boy, Kanye seems to say, I'm a boy! But as a side effect of this, the verse actually works pretty well if you just swap the pronouns around. All you need to do is ignore the part about strippers.
And I’ll never let my son have an ego
He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go
I mean, I might even make ‘em be Republican
So everybody know he love white people
And I’ll never let ‘em leave his college girlfriend
And get caught up with the groupies in the whirlwind
And I’ll never let ‘em ever hit the telethon
I mean even if people dyin’ and the world ends
See, I just want ‘im to have an easy life, not like Yeezy life
Just want ‘im to be someone people like
Don’t want ‘im to be hated, all the time judged
Don’t be like your daddy that would never budge
And I’ll never let ‘im ever hit a strip club
I learned the hard way, that ain’t the place to get love
And I’ll never let his mom move to L.A.
Knowin’ she couldn’t take the pressure, now we all pray
Jay's verse, though, is wrapped up entirely with the idea of having a son. (See how he introduces his unborn child as "junior.") Hova wants an heir, someone he can do all the old masculine rituals with. He wants to take his kid to the barber, tell him how to speak up for himself, show him the right way to drink—teach him, in other words, how to be a man. There's even going to be a bar mitzvah, just to hammer the point home. Why this obsession with sons? As with Kanye, you can trace it back to his personal history. Jay-Z grew up as a fatherless son; he was so focused on the cycle he didn't want to repeat that it didn't occur to him he might father a daughter.
Sorry junior, I already ruined ya
‘Cause you ain’t even alive, paparazzi pursuin’ ya
Sins of a father make yo’ life ten times harder
I just wanna take ya to a barber
Bondin’ on charters, all the shit that I never did
Teach ya good values, so you cherish it
Took me 26 years to find my path
My only job is cuttin’ the time in half
So at 13 we’ll have our first drink together
Black bar mitzvahs, mazel tov, mogul talk
Look a man dead in his eyes
So he know you talk truth when you speak it, give your word, keep it
And if the day comes I only see him on the weekend
I just pray we was in love on the night that we conceived him
Promise to never leave him even if his mama tweakin’
Cause my dad left me and I promise never repeat him
Never repeat him, never repeat him
We guarantee it, this song will be brought up in at least one family argument before either of these girls turn 18.