After the birth of his daughter Penny, Lazerbeak — local producer, record label exec and member of iconic Minneapolis-based hip hop collective, Doomtree — spoke to us about balancing his mega-watt career, marriage and new parenthood.
Shortly after our chat he and his wife, Brittany, found out that they were expecting TWIN BOYS. Of course we had to check in again…
If you could describe life with twins in just one word…
What, above all, was key in surviving that first year with two infants (and a toddler)
Grandmas. Our moms are seriously the reason why everyone is still in one piece to this day.
How is big sister Penny adjusting to not one, but two,
Oh man, it’s been quite a transition for her. She was only 22 months when the boys were born, which made explaining all the changes that were going on around the house pretty difficult. She’s finally starting to warm up to them now that they can actually play a little more, but God forbid either one of them goes after her plastic necklace collection. We’ve had to break up World War III several times over here.
Any “can’t live without” products specific to life with twins?
I still swear by those diaper genies, even though I know a lot of people don’t like them. They’ve kept our house smelling at least 70% less like human feces for the past three years now.
Now that there are three little ones, how do you and your wife balance work, family and that often overlooked restorative free time?
I think we’re still trying to figure out the whole balance thing, and its probably been the biggest challenge of this whole ordeal. Getting into a routine has helped a lot though. Every weeknight from 5-7 is “no phone” time. Running a label and managing a rap group doesn’t really make for any regular set hours, so it’s important that I unplug from that world for a little bit each day. Brittany and I make dinner and get all the kids fed, then it’s bath time and into jammies for everyone. It’s made for a really nice way of dealing with one of the more hectic parts of the day.
Are the boys a lot a like or do you see different personalities emerging?
They’re totally different. It still kind of blows my mind. We gave them the nicknames Crab Man Cam and Laid Back Lou right from the jump, and those personalities are still here to this day. Cam is generally very serious and contemplative (and crabby – but still awesome), and Lou is this little happy-go-lucky always-smiling dude. Cam is a problem solver and quick to learn everything, and Lou likes to take his time and keep it chill. I love how truly unique and different they each are. They do both share quite an affinity for CheezIts Snack Mix though.
Do any of your kids show interest in collaborating with Doomtree? Any musical prodigy evident?
Haha, I hope not for their sake. I’m gonna be the dad that makes them all become surgeons and accountants so they don’t have to struggle in the arts (kidding…mostly). They actually have all shown a lot of interest in music from an early age, which has been really awesome to watch. Penny is the singer. She loves prancing around and singing songs from her favorite movies (current favorites: the Owl City songs from The Croods and Wreck-It Ralph, and Frozen of course). Cam and Lou both get into percussive stuff, banging on all the children’s percussion stuff I have laying around the house. It’s like our own hippy drum circle over here most days, just without the pachouli and dreads.
We work with many parents of multiples — for those both new to the gig and those anxiously awaiting the arrival of more than one baby, what’s your from-the-trenches advice?
Roll with it. I feel like when I had one kid I could dish out all the advice in the world and really stand by it. Now that we jumped from 1 to 3 I feel just as clueless as before I had any. Literally, whatever works for you and allows you to create a loving and nurturing environment for you and your family, you should do that.
Last year was by far the most insane year of my life, and there were times where it really felt like it might be impossible to pull off raising kids, but that one-year mark really is a game changer. Just get through that first year and take every single person that offers you help up on it. You’re gonna need all that you can get. We COULD NOT have done this without the extreme help of both of our moms (and our dads and siblings and friends and co-workers, you get the idea). It really does take a village.