Posted: 05 Jun 2013 01:14 AM PDT
We take an hour of Altimet's time to speak to him about his strict upbringing and his father's various rearing methods.
How were you raised?
I had a very strict upbringing. I never rebelled because my dad's stern, I knew the best thing to do was be patient. My father instilled great work ethic, discipline, and he always highlighted to do what was right and not be concerned about others thoughts. Also to work hard for anything I wanted because nothing was going to be given easily.
Was being a rapper your first career choice?
I wanted to be a Jedi knight in primary school then I found out it wasn't real. Rapping started off as a hobby and it grew gradually. My parents weren't supportive of the idea but now it's an uneasy truce because they can't stop or approve it. My father was an aircraft engineer, he never pushed the idea of me following in his foot steps, which I appreciate a whole lot because I failed physics.
Was your dad affectionate?
My dad didn't say "I love you" much, which was a good thing as I've learnt the value of the word. My parents are divorced and we attempted to talk about the situation 8 years ago, it was an intense talk. I basically told him to be a man and reap what he sows. Love is not a choice, like is a choice. There have been times in my life whereby I don't like him but that doesn't mean I don't love him.
How would you raise your own kids?
Definitely going to include my father's child rearing methods. He has a lot of rules but the one thing he didn't cut corners in was food. Wasting food in his house is a cardinal sin. One of his other methods – parents shouldn't wait for kids rather kids wait for the parents. Example, I was tying my shoes and both of them were in the car already and he drove off! Ever since then, I've appreciated punctuality. I'm probably the only on-time rapper you'll meet, and Malaysia is the worst place to be OCD about time. It's not good for my heart.
If your dad was less strict, do you think you would have turned out different?
I think I'd be a failure lah. At the end of the day, all the discipline he drilled in me was put to full use.
Do you see a lot of your father in yourself?
I do, I'm turning into him! He's quite independent, he doesn't rely on favors or friends. I'm making some of his mistakes too, like working too hard. I have become more religious than I was 5 years ago, and I think my dad knew that I would engage in religion sometime that's why he was not too worried about me.
Are you still very close to your family?
I have two families since the divorced so I split my time. In order to keep his family close, my dad gives religious classes to all of us. It's stuff that we already know but with more details. It's cool for us to get together once in two weeks for it. We have this dynamic; if he forces me to go for his religious classes, I won't go but once he's given up on asking, I'll show up. He understands our special relationship now.
Do you believe parents should give as much freedom to their child?
To a certain extent, I believe you have to consider the child's development. Give them simple tasks and see if they mess it up. When I was in primary school we'd go out for dinner, if you took too long to order, my dad would do it for us, it'd be mee mamak or nasi goreng kampung. It happened to me once and because of that I've become more organized.
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