When a man becomes a father, something shifts in his manner. The way in which they think, move, decide—elevates. They no longer consider themselves alone; they align with the miracle of life they have co-created.

From Jay-Z learning to swim for Blue Ivy's safety to Ta-Nehisi Coates intellectual love letter to his teenage son in the form of a bestselling book, Between The World And Me, these brothers personify their position as "father."

Luna Stephens and Miles Stephens with their dad, John Legend. Image: @johnlegend

A lot of it is about the example you set for your kids—how you talk to them, how you talk to other people around them.

John Legend
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, with his kids Jaden, Trey and Willow.

On parenting: "I think there's like, no rules. It's more art than it is science.

Will Smith
Ta-Nehisi Coates with his son, Samori. Image: courtesy Random House

I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Stephan Curry with his children, Ryan, Riley and Cannon. Image: @currydome

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the idea of women’s equality has become a little more personal for me, lately, and a little more real. I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period.

Stephan Curry
Blue Ivy Carter and her dad, Jay Z. Image: Getty Images

I didn't learn how to swim until Blue was born. If she ever fell in the water and I couldn’t get her, I couldn’t even fathom that thought."

Corrine Foxx and Annalise Bishop with their father, Jamie Foxx. Image: Getty Images

The main thing is staying really, really close to them and making them understand that you’ve been through things and you can help them, but don’t try to live your life for them.

Jamie Foxx

Book me for a show/And I can't bring my wife and my babies/I'm leavin'/Big Daddy energy speakin'

Tobe Nwigwe
Olivia Washington, Denzel Washington and wife-Pauletta, with their kids, Olivia, John David and Katia. Image: Getty Images

One of the things that saddens me the most about my people is fathers that don’t take care of their sons and daughters. And you can’t blame that on The Man... Take responsibility. Look in the mirror and say, 'What can I do better?'

denzel washington
Kevin Hart his wife Eniko Parish, with children Hendrix, Heaven and Kenzo. Image: Lisa O'Connor/AFP via Getty Images

Spending time with my kids is one of the dopest things I have the privilege of doing.

Kevin Hart

Fatherhood, to me, isn’t something you do for awards or acclaim. It’s a privilege and a huge responsibility.

Dwyane wade
Eddie Murphy with partner Paige Butcher and seven of his children.

Everybody’s really cool with each other and it’s all love all the way around. Everybody gets along that’s a good thing. It’s a love fest at the house.

Eddie Murphy
Iman Shumpert and his first-born, Iman Tayla Shumpert, Jr. (aka Junie). Image: Twitter/@imanshumpert

This father stuff will turn you soft man, really soft.

Iman Shumpert