Father is many things. He is one of the most original rappers coming out of the white-hot Atlanta hip-hop scene, responsible for the hit song “Look at Wrist.” He’s a ’90s nerd with a deep love of anime, Batman, and Hanna-Barbera. And he’s also the official owner of the handle @Father on both Instagram and Twitter. The one thing he isn’t? An actual father. Not even kind of. Fatherly spoke to, well, Father about his paternal moniker, deep love for ’90’s cartoons, and some actual advice for the real dads out there.
Your original name was not Father but “Father’s Liquor Cabinet”. Why’d you shorten it?
When I first came into it, I didn’t want to be perceived as one entity. I wanted to give off the feeling that there was a band behind me, and people would be surprised to find out its just one guy. I would be the Father of the band Father’s Liquor Cabinet. Then people started calling me Father’s Liquor Cabinet to my face, and it was sounded so weird that I shortened it.
What would we currently find in your actual liquor cabinet?
Some Casamigos. You know that tequila by George Clooney? Bulleit Bourbon is a favorite of mine, but it messes my stomach up so I’ve stopped drinking it. So right now Casamigos is definitely my go-to. Nice vanilla flavor to it. Clooney did a real good job with that one.
The Atlanta rap scene is white-hot these days, but a lot of the artists have a similar sound. You’re distinct. For instance, you steer clear of trap beats.
It’s mostly personal taste. I try to implement aspects of it because trap is very current. Almost like pop now. I still love it, but a lot of it can sound the same. It’s easy to get drowned out if you stick too closely to it. I avoid producers that make that specific sound.
Your first two albums, Young Hot and Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First, were unapologetically fun. Your most recent album, I’m a Piece of Shit, while fun, is more mature. Was that a deliberate choice?
It was somewhat deliberate because I was getting older. I want the vibe of my music to go with my age. I didn’t want to act like I didn’t learn anything from the previous year, talking about the same things. I was on plenty of “fuck shit.” By the third one, it had run its course. I was mad tired of the drugs and the girls. I still like having fun, but I’m over that stuff. That third album was a phase of my life. I was hopeless, but I’ve got a new fervor now.
How is that renewed spirit showing up in your music?
Music is fun again. I don’t hate everyone around me anymore.
Speaking of fun, you’ve credited a lot of ’90s cartoons for your style. Which are your biggest influences?
Aw man, there are so many. I need a second. I mean you got Hey Arnold! and Rocko’s Modern Life and all that twisted shit. Nineties cartoons were fucking nuts. That shit was so backwards. Honestly, though, a lot of my favorites are Hanna-Barbera which are a lot older. I love those. They’re my absolute favorites. Little Red Riding Hood and The World of Tomorrow are my two favorites. World of Tomorrow was like futuristic and shit. Nobody ever remembers them though.
We’ve heard you’re a huge comic book and anime fan.
I haven’t been keeping up as well lately, I kinda lost track a few years back after some of the newer stuff was less interesting to me. But I like the older art style like Akira, Ninja Scroll and shit like that. Everything now is too pristine and polished and pretty looking for me to like it. Except I really like Attack on Titan because it’s just so violent. That’s what draws me to anime. It’s so gory and so weird. A lot of it is cookie cutter as fuck now so I don’t get into it as much.
You’ve also got a soft spot for Batman.
I identify with the character. He’s this playboy billionaire, but then like at night he still feels this weird need to help people who aren’t doing anything for him. There’s a strange connection I feel to the character. I like that duality.
Finally, even though you’re not a Father, what words of wisdom would you have for the dads reading this?
Even when it seems like your kids don’t love you anymore, deep down inside, you still gotta hold that connection. The love is always there.
This interview has been edited and condensed.