For a while now, there has been a conversation surrounding “Nepotism Babies,” or kids of celebrities who often shoot to the top of their fields without having to go through the same struggles as others who have tried to get into the industry. The New York Times recently published an article about Nepo Babies, where they break down what the concept is. No babies are also in the hip-hop world; look at Lil Romeo, Jaden and Willow Smith, and King Combs.
Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., also a Nepo Baby, responded to the NYT article by talking about his experience in working towards playing his dad in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton and gave a more nuanced definition of a nepotism baby.
“My dad told me in a perfect world, I would play him in [Straight Outta Compton],” Jackson wrote. “I was already in college for screenwriting at USC. I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role.”
He added that he realized his father couldn’t be with him every step of his career and had to work hard to achieve his success. “After that it was up to me, he couldn’t hold my hand through my career. I had to get my ass up and make it work. … Once the door was opened it was up to me to walk through it and thrive.”
“But none of that. NONE. OF. THAT. Happens that way without the love of my father,” Jackson adds. “The work he put in to get us to a place of opportunity. And for me to ignore that or not accept and use as a guide would be foolish and disrespectful. I am grateful and I use his teachings daily.”
Jackson went on to tell people who are Nepo Babies or a part of generational talent or wealth to embrace it and never to let people diminish their accomplishments just because they are a product of nepotism.
“I say this to say. To the people who are 2nd, 3rd or any number of generational talent/wealth. Embrace that shit. Because it’s something that’s been happening for centuries. Do not let anyone get it in your head that you should feel bad or your accomplishments are less than what they are. Bust your ass! Do the work! And leave something for your kids to do the same thing! It is not a shadow for you to get out of! It is an empire to which you are growing! But it all starts with love of yourself. Love of those before you. A strong mind & WORK.”
O’Shea ended by saying that he wishes everybody would be able to give their child opportunities to succeed. “I wish everyone in this world to be able to present opportunities for their children to succeed. No matter how big or small. It’s something all parents work for. How many people you know working multiple jobs to put they kids through school. Making opportunities is a parents goal”
“Family first. May everyone who reads this, blaze a trail for their family to be able to walk in the future. And teach them to love themselves. To love their family. And pave the way for the next. Thank you that was my TED talk.”
This content was originally published here.