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Fouad Abou-Rizk
Jam The Hype Writing

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Why Beleaf Started Beleaf in Fatherhood

This article was originally written and published in 2016.
“Beleaf In Fatherhood became this cry out for everybody to believe in fathers. Be present and let your presence be a gift.”
“I’ve always been an avid TV watcher and have always wanted to do something with video but didn’t know how. Every time I watched these shows with a family, the dad was this fat, dumb character who always ruined stuff.”
Beleaf says that throughout his youth and adulthood he knew that he wanted to be a father and to be an important part of his family.
Beleaf In Fatherhood is a vlog that Kings Dream Entertainment artist and Dream Junkies member Beleaf started in Fall 2015 documenting his life as a stay at home father and rapper.
He had the idea for Beleaf In Fatherhood in the summer of 2015, but didn’t know how to do it. Beleaf enjoyed watching the daily vlogs of Casey Neistat, a vlogger with almost three million subscribers on YouTube.
“I really do love what I do. I think it’s different from the regular vlogs. It’s a little bit on that Casey Niestat route but its different because it’s about a specific thing.”
beleaf kids.jpg
Beleaf says that in order to make his videos, “I hang around with the kids and plan my day. It never goes as planned and I just try to have cameras rolling.” He tries to make what happens in his videos to look as if they were all captured in one day, but sometimes that is not the case.
He films his video on iPhones that people no longer use and have given to him, as well as a GoPro camera. Beleaf thinks that his videos about being a father can be more influential than his music.
“I think for longevity I have a voice to speak to parents. I have a voice to speak to moms and dads and kids so I kind of want to do that.”
He believes that his success is not measured by how popular he is as an artist, but by how he can impact others by his example as a parent.
“The only way that I’m successful is if men stop leaving their wives and children and stay at home, when stay at home moms are respected for their jobs. I was one of those people who felt like stay at home moms didn’t do anything all day until I stayed home.” Beleaf says that being a stay at home father is a mix of fun, disrespect, and education.
His sons, Theo and Uriah, love to watch Beleaf In Fatherhood. They don’t like to be filmed, so Beleaf tries to hide from them when they are being filmed as if they are not. “If I do it [film with the iPhone] front facing and they can see themselves, they just sit there and make funny faces.”
Beleaf’s favorite thing about making these videos is their YouTube comments. “When people tell me ‘I never wanted to be a dad until I watched this,’ or ‘You got me so excited to have a kid,’ all that is life changing for me.” He also says
“Its really encouraging, man. It’s the first time I feel like I’m going to be doing something that is going to change the world. I’m really excited about it.”
He says that all parents make mistakes, but your presence is very important. “You’re still around to apologize and say sorry. You’re still around to turn everything around and teach your children how to forgive, teach them how not to gossip. It’s not about being a perfect parent, its just about being there.”
Beleaf’s father did not live with him and his mother, but visited occasionally. “I could say, ‘Man, I wish I had a better growing up, but if it wasn’t for those things, I wouldn’t do what I was doing now.’”
He says that without a father in the house, it will be hard for boys to learn how to be men, that they will only learn from their peers. There are tens of millions of fatherless homes in America, an epidemic plaguing families and especially kids.
“I think men believe that as long as they are providing financially, they don’t have to do anything else. It’s such a sad belief. I wish more men could understand how important it is to put down your phone, put down whatever you’re focused on, look into your kids eyes.”
Beleaf thinks that many parents want to raise their children to be well-behaved children, rather than becoming strong adults.
From making Beleaf In Fatherhood, he has learned that “my work will never be done with my children, but also my work will never be done with my parents. I feel like fatherhood has pushed me to be a better son, to be more forgiving and loving. I do feel like my heart is being tugged in a direction I’m not comfortable with, and that is to minister to my father and my mother.”
Beleaf says that one of the strangest parts about being a stay at home parent is that he is a man.
“You go to the playground and all the stay at home moms with their daughters and nannys look at you like you’ve got leprosy, like you don’t belong there.”
He says that is gives him perspectives to his working friend dealing with their stay at home wives, to show them that being a stay at home parent is hard work, not a time to be lazy.
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