DJ Mustard may have broken into the hip-hop game as the King of Ratchet, but his rise to the top of the list of go-to producers both within and without hip-hop hasn’t been his only job. The young beatmaker—who just turned 25 earlier this month—is also a proud father to two adorable children, his three-year-old son and four-month-old daughter, who he announced to the world via Instagram on Feb. 9 of this year. Raising kids is, of course, never easy with a full time job, but the life of an entertainer requires extra dedication with traveling taking Mustard out of town more frequently than he’d like.
But there’s one day a year when fathers around the world get to finally put their feet up; in theory, at least. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and while the rest of us are busy hanging out with our dads, frantically trying to send last-minute cards or remembering the men who helped raise us, DJ Mustard just wants to relax and spend some time with his two little ones. Just before he hopped on stage for a DJ set at Firefly Festival this afternoon, DJ Mustard called in to XXL to talk about the importance of fatherhood, his plans for Father’s Day and how having kids has changed his life. —Dan Rys
XXL: You’re a pretty young guy. Were you nervous about becoming a father?
DJ Mustard: Of course, you know. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals. It’s interesting, but after you have your kids it’s a blessing. It’s not as hard as people may think it is.
What’d you do on your first Father’s Day?
I think I was just chillin’ at the house, had a barbecue or something like that. I think.
What do you have planned for this one?
I’m just lookin’ to chill, ’cause I’m always gone away from my house. Hopefully I can just chill at my house with my kids, watch TV, watch a few movies, something like that.
Is it tough for you to be traveling all the time?
It’s not tough to stay in touch. My son, he has an iPad and he FaceTimes me whenever he wants. My daughter, she’s still too young to know what’s going on. So it’s not hard to keep in touch; the only hard part is coming back and seeing what you missed. Or not coming back and seeing what you missed, but coming back and seeing them that they’re learning stuff and you missed the process of them learning some of that sometimes.
What does it mean to you to be a father?
It means everything to be a father. I had a father growing up, so I wanted my kids to have a father as well. And I just wanted to actually be there in their lives and make sure they got whatever they need and just keep them away from bullshit and danger, you know, a lot of the bullshit that goes on.
How has it changed your life?
Kids just make you grind harder. They make you stay sober. When I first had my son, I didn’t have any money, I wasn’t doing anything, really. Well, I was doin’ things, but I wasn’t in business like I am now. I feel like having a son made me go harder and work harder. And now that I got a daughter it’s the same grind, staying focused on what I have to do for them.
Do you have any tips for dads that you picked up along the way?
I wouldn’t say it’s a tip, I would just say be there for your kid. Always be around and don’t neglect your children. Phone calls, FaceTime, iPhone, iPads. Just call them, talk to them, make sure you’re around. Don’t just be a mystery to your kids. You need your kids to know you and know they can call you whenever they need you.