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After “Man and Wife”: Single Dad Dialogue with DJ Fatman Scoop
- Our love class exclusive interview series continues. Last week we spoke with Oprah Winfrey’s favorite matchmaker and Essence love guru, Paul Carrick Brunson. Today we speak with MTV personality Fatman Scoop.
Being a parent is challenging enough, but being a single parent definitely has a steep learning curve. For Fatman Scoop, being a celebrity single dad doesn’t make life any easier for him and his two kids.
In addition to being a Grammy Award winner and ‘Undisputed Voice of The Club’, Scoop is known for being open about all matters of love. Along with his wife, Shanda Freeman, Scoop hosted the pioneer video podcast “Man and Wife.” The series was ultimately picked up by MTV.
Week after week, fans tuned in to watch Scoop and Shanda broadcast from bed. They spoke about their own loving relationship as well as offered explicit advice on love, sex, dating and marriage.
Today this feel-good, high energy, party guy is letting us behind the scenes. Scoop is currently dealing with being separated from his wife and being a single father. Here he shares how he’s coping and what it means to raise a pre-teen daughter and a teenage son by himself.
Abiola: Mr. Isaac Freeman III…
Fatman Scoop: Only my momma calls me that. I never liked it until I started to go and look for a job but the only other person who ever called me that was Shanda.
I interviewed you and Shanda together in September 2008 about “Man and Wife”. That show was really groundbreaking. People were not used to seeing a married couple, in bed together, talking about love. Most men in hip hop create a persona around being a pimp or playboy. In contrast, you said ‘Here I am, man and wife’. Now, some of your fans will be very sad to know that your marriage to Shanda has come to a close.
Well, you know, it’s more of like a separation right now. You know, she’s talked about it on her YouTube series. We’re trying to figure out–can it be fixed and can it be worked out? I still talk to Shanda a lot. We have business together. We’re doing a boutique together and we decided that at some point, we’re going to go to therapy about it because it’s very tough with a separation.
A lot of black people feel that going to a therapist or psychologist is like, you’re nuts – you’re whacko. No, sometimes you need somebody in the middle. Sometimes you need somebody to talk to. Sometimes you need somebody to kind of regulate and say ‘Hey, but look at it this way.’ It doesn’t mean that things may change but it means we will have a chance and sit down and really talk about it and figure out.
I’m so happy to hear you say that. You’re right. Unfortunately some people of color tend to look at therapy as a failure. And I think that – no, that is a win – that it’s you saying ‘I care enough about either myself or this relationship or whatever it is, in order to go and get healthy.’ Whether it’s about figuring out how to part in a healthy way or how to move forward together in a healthy way.
Correct. And you know, if more people did that [therapy], maybe they would have a chance. And you know, for me, it’s that and it’s also just dealing with the facts of getting adjusted to a new form of life.
Now I was a guy who would just go make some money, and that’s it. And now I’m forced to really deal with stuff like – cook, do hair, the stuff that I never thought I would ever be doing. Like if somebody told me ‘You will be able to cook Shrimp Scampi and Diablo Chicken and Parmesan Crusted Meatloaf’, I’d be like: ‘Get out of here, I’m not doing nothing like that’. But you know, being forced to be in that situation, you adapt.
Are you the primary custodian right now of your children?
Yes, 100 percent, because my children are from a previous relationship. I have two kids. My daughter is 12 and my son’s a little older. But it’s learning those kind of things that is tough for me. Either adapt or you fail.
How is it raising a tween daughter?
It is scary because I don’t know anything about being a woman. So, I depend on my mom and other people that are around to get that female perspective. So what I try to do with my daughter is say ‘I don’t understand women’s things 100 percent, but I can tell you certain things from a man’s perspective.’
So, Scoop what do you want Miss Tiana to know the most about being a woman?
That you cannot sacrifice your body for every dude. That, everything I’ve been through for her, to be independent of anybody. You know, when a woman doesn’t have a sense of independence, she doesn’t have a sense of her own soul. So, I just want her to be independent–do her own thing and being able to take care of herself. And to be able to wear my family name in a fashion that I can be proud of. If I can do that, I’m good. Forget her getting a great job and being successful. That’s a plus. Success is relative,anyway. If I can just get her to be able to take care of herself, and be able to actually pick a man from the perspective of what her dad did, then I’m good. Because a lot of times what it really all boils down to, is that when a woman is looking for a man – they’re looking for somebody like their father. If you’ve never had a father, you don’t know what to judge from. Or if your father left you, you got trust issues or whatever.
So, I’m praying that I’m alive long enough to give her the proper idea of what a man should be. A guy who gets up in the morning, he works hard, he’s dedicated to his family, he loves his kids. I’m not the best person in the world but I’m hoping that all of the things that I’ve done she’ll look at it and be like ‘My dad’s a great guy, he worked hard for us and I wanna find a guy that’s like that’.
Scoop, where did you get your sense of self?
I grew up in a house with a mother and a father. So, that’s all I really know. I’ve always been the same person with the same moral compass. But I was more focused on making money. I never was forced into dealing 100 percent with my kids. I would deal with them but now I’m really, really dealing with them.
So now, the vision that I have is being shaped by dealing with them every single day, in every single way. When I’m not home, my parents jump in. My mom and my dad have been good enough to be my support system. But in terms of every day, it’s me. So, that’s number one – that’s how I am molding my vision. I’m molding it based upon what I want my kids to be. And I got that from my parents.
Are you heartbroken?