Many Georgia readers are familiar with the work of rap artist Ludacris. The artist has been making recent headlines, not over his newest musical ventures, but over a child custody case in which his song lyrics were portrayed as evidence that his fitness as a parent should be called into question. His child custody victory may be viewed as a fathers’ rights win for parents in Georgia and across the nation.
Many individuals might take offense to the lyrics that have made Ludacris a success within the rap industry. Misogyny in particular is a recurring theme, not only in this artist’s work but throughout the rap genre. When Ludacris’ former partner and the mother of his child attempted to bring those lyrics into court, however, the judge did not seem to be swayed by the argument that the content of his songs have any bearing on his credibility as a parent.
Specifically, a song in which date rape appears to be glorified was discussed within a child custody hearing. Lyrics included statements of preparing a woman a strong drink in an effort to get her to “let down all her defenses” before a sexual act was initiated. When asked on the stand whether the lyrics suggest date rape, the artist said that the song is about having a good time. When asked if he would like his 13-month-old daughter to have a similar experience as an adult, Ludacris answered that when she is older, she will have the right to have fun as she sees fit.
When the matter was concluded, Ludacris gained primary custody of his daughter. The case can be viewed as a fathers’ rights victory because the court seemingly refused to follow the argument that the father’s creative choices within his career are a reflection of his ability to effectively parent his daughter. While most Georgia dads do not have the nationally recognized musical career that Ludacris has achieved, there are still many cases in which a father’s career path is called into question within a family court proceeding, and it is a matter that may be considered within any child custody case.
Source: clatl.com, “Ludacris’ rap lyrics put on trial in custody battle“, Rodney Carmichael, Jan. 30, 2015