Check out Music From T.I.’s son, Domani
[*Editor’s Note: This article originally appears in XXL‘s March 2012 issue, on stands now]
This past October, when T.I. was in the middle of an interview with MTV News on the set of Young Jeezy’s “F.A.M.E.” video, in Atlanta, his oldest son, Domani Harris, interrupted his father to let him know he wanted some camera time. Tip acknowledged the charismatic 10-year-old and then told the aspiring MC (hence his disruption) to spit for the producers.
The young’n then rapped a few bars with a bravado similar to the one his pops is known for. Domani hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and rhyme for a living. And he’s currently working to get the swagger just right. “I just like seeing people cheer for me,” says the fifth grader, when asked about his MC dreams.
Spitting for MTV isn’t the first time Domani, one of T.I.’s six children, has rhymed for an audience, either. Just weeks before laying down those bars, the rookie rapper made his onstage debut, performing his first song, “Stacks on Deck,” in Atlanta as a guest of the OMG Girlz, the teenage R&B/pop group that includes Zonnique Pullins, Tip’s 15-year-old daughter and Domani’s older sister. “I kind of put him on the spot to say, ‘Okay, what if Zonnique lets you come out on the Scream tour and do a song in the middle of their show?’” T.I. says. “He was like, ‘Aight.’ At this point, I’m just going through the motions and waiting for him to back out. I’m calling his bluff. But he went all the way through with it and ripped it. Ever since then, he’s never been the same.”
Domani admits he was jumpy at the start of the performance, but his excitement took over. “I was nervous at first, but when I got onstage, it was adrenaline,” he says.
Since then, Domani has reworked T.I.’s “I’m Flexin’” and created “Go Go Gadget,” which he spits to a beefed-up instrumental from the old Inspector Gadget cartoon.
So what exactly does the young son of a rap star rhyme about? “Just having fun and talking about how to live and stuff. Big houses, nice cars,” says Domani, triggering a hearty laugh from Tip. The proud dad, who is seen guiding Domani’s budding rap career on the VH1 reality series T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, has also set forth some heavy incentives for his son. “He wants to shoot a video [for “Stacks on Deck”], and I told him the only way we’ll do it is if he gets his grades up,” T.I. says.
“My dad must not be thinking right—he’s mistaking me for someone else,” interrupts Domani, causing T.I. to erupt in laughter once again. “My grades are good. They could be better, though. I want the video.”
Grand hustle. —Mark Lelinwalla (@xxl_mark)
Watch some videos of Domani rapping below