"So Proud"

Kasseem Dean Jr. is moving on to high school. The youngster graduated from Middle School last week with his mom, Mashonda, and dad, Swizz Beatz, by his side. Kasseem’s stepmom, Alicia Keys, was also present at the commencement ceremony.


“Graduation Day,” Swizz shared on his son’s special day. “Level up,” the celebrity father said. Swizz celebrated Kasseem’s accomplishment as well as Egypt’s commencement, which was days prior to his older brother’s graduation.

“We’re so proud of you kings,” Beatz wrote to his sons. “Let’s keep it going strong.”

Mashonda, Swizz Beatz, and Alicia Keys have been the epitome of upstanding co-parenting. Not only do Swizz and Mashonda rear their son harmoniously, but Alicia Keys also gives Kasseem Jr. a level of support that makes the Dean’s blended family work well.

Mashonda opens up about her journey to co-parenting with Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys in her book, Blend. The author shared the driving force behind her desire to work with her son’s father and his wife during a recent interview with ESSENCE.

“What many parents don’t realize is that co-parenting starts with self-care,” Mashonda shared. “It’s normal to feel hurt and disappointed after a breakup, but don’t allow your- self to be swallowed up by the pain. Find a way to release the feelings of anger and move on. You will never be able to properly love anyone—your child included—if you don’t love yourself first.”

Mashonda further explained, “You have to make time to get to know yourself again. You have probably heard the experts say that communication is important in relationships. We must also learn how to communicate with our co-parent. Your tone, your ego, your mood—all these things need to be checked before picking up that phone.”

“I also believe you have to begin with a new understanding that only comes from airing your feelings. It’s that first difficult conversation in which you acknowledge and dissect each other’s pain that sets the foundation for a better relationship, one built on acceptance and trust.”

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys have two kids, Egypt and Genesis, together. Swizz has five kids – Egypt, Genesis, Kasseem Jr., Nasir, and Nicole – in all.

Photo: Swizz Beatz/Instagram



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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