Rapper T.I. reveals he was initially a fan of his children embarking on their own journey in the entertainment industry.
The father of seven shares three kids — Heiress, 7, Major Harris, 16 and King Harris, 19 — with his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris. He has three older children, Messiah, 23, Domani, 22, and Deyjah, 22, and Tiny has a 27-year-old daughter, Zonnique, who was a teen when they got married in 2010.
Major is focused on high school, while Deyjah makes a living as a model and social media influencer for several fashion brands. The other Harris kids have each ventured into the music industry catering to their signature sound. Heiress is currently training to sing like their mother, whereas Zonnique had been in the industry since 2009 as a member of the OMG Girlz before embarking on her own solo career.
But their Grammy-winning father says he never wanted any of his kids to come up in the same industry he dived into over 20 years ago.
“To be honest with you I never wanted them involved,” T.I. told host Arian Simone during his interview on her “Welcome to the Fearlessly Living” podcast. “Not just my daughters, none of my children.”
His son King is also a rising rapper and Domani’s flow has often been compared to the likes of his father at a young age and J. Cole. Meanwhile, Messiah has built his own following as a country-blues artist under the stage name Buddy Red.
“I just know how much treachery, how much betrayal … how much of the dark side exists in this and I never wanted to expose them to that,” said the “Urban Legend” artist. “I always wanted them to be able to tailor make their own path and create they own motion coming from different areas given the influence that we’ve already created in this industry.”
T.I., who opened his first affordable, local housing project in Atlanta last year under his Buy Back The Block initiative, said he wishes that his kids had gone into more impactful job fields not commonly pursued in Black homes.
“It’s not enough lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects … It’s not enough of them in the world coming from our households.”
The 43-year-old admitted there are thousands of rappers including himself, as well as thousands of models, actors, producers, DJs, etc. But he believes the Black community as a whole could benefit from being exposed to other avenues of elevation.
“To keep us where we need to be, to get us … post-metamorphosis, to allow us to evolve the way that I envision us evolving, we need more Thurgood Marshalls,” T.I. explained. “We need more Ben Crumps. We need more than just entertainment. We can’t entertain our way out of the slump that we in.”
Many online seemed to agree with T.I.’s stance, including noting the fact that as he currently prepares his retirement album, T.I. is also building his reputation as a stand-up comic. Yet, others questioned if the children were exposed to other career fields than one their parents were pursuing.
One said, “He knows what’s up, salute to TI also for switching to the comedy side of the industry,” while another said, “Did he tell his kids what he’s telling us now? And as a parent, if you wanted to cultivate that in your children, did you expose them to something other than entertainment?”
The Harris clan was on reality television for years thanks to their family series, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” which aired on VH1 for six seasons followed by “T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle.”
T.I. was joined by his wife, Tiny, and their blended family onstage during the 20th-anniversary celebration of his sophomore album, “Trap Muzik.”
T.I. was being honored for Trap Muzik 20th Anniversary in Atlanta
— Latrell Phillips (@TrizzeTrell) December 13, 2023