By Kathy Iandoli
This week, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s 9 year old daughter, Willow, unleashed her debut single, “Whip My Hair” onto the Internet. No sooner did we realize that Jaden wasn’t the only talented Smith seed, but Willow was scooped up by Jay-Z and added to the Roc Nation roster.
Willow is an example of a long line of artists’ children that have carried on the tradition of their musical parents. Artists like Romeo (son of Master P), Lil Eazy-E (son of the late Eazy-E) and Cory Gunz (son of rapper Peter Gunz) have all walked in their parents’ footsteps, pursuing music as their passion. As Willow Smith’s success is just beginning, we’ve compiled our list of other new artists that can thank genetics for their undeniable talent. Some of these young artists you might now, and others are worth getting to know.
Sun God (Son of Ghostface Killah)
Years back, when Ghostface Killah introduced us to the Theodore Unit, he was also introducing us to his son, Sun God. Sun God has been present on many of Ghostface’s albums, including Fishscale (“Dogs of War”), More Fish (“Miguel Sanchez” and “Street Opera”) and many others, most recently “Gunshowers” on the Wu Massacre compilation. When your father happens to be the rapper with the biggest cult following next to MF Doom, it’s hard not to be inspired to create music too.
Young B (Son of Bun B)
The legendary Bun B had a career rebirth this past year with the release of Trill OG. Now, Bun B’s son, Young B, is ready to continue his father’s legacy. While Bun isn’t Young’s biological father, he raised him as such. The skills were definitely inherited, as Young B formed his own group YNC (Youngest N Charge) with two friends, B.P. and Young Mike. Their track “She Gotta Ass” is making its rounds and Young B is well on his way to trillionaire status.
Square Off (Sons of Doug E. Fresh)
Square Off is comprised of Slim, Trips and Nick Gleamz. While Slim and Trips are Doug E. Fresh’s sons, Nick Gleamz is their uncle. Sound confusing? It might be, but their music isn’t. Square Off has been pounding the pavement for a while, popping up on mixtapes, freestyles and even working with Doug E. Fresh on a track called “Left Right.” The Harlem trio is readying their debut album, and when they do, the world will find out that Doug E. isn’t the only one who’s fresh in the family.
Justice Allah (Son of GZA)
On Wu-Tang Clan’s Masta Killa’s first solo album, No Said Date, a skit called “The Future” highlighted a few sons of Wu members in a cypher, one of which was Justice Allah, the son of GZA. He was just a little man back then, but now the young man is growing into a cutting-edge producer. With one classic album already under his belt (Justice produced “We Will Rob You” off Raekwon’s epic sequel Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II), hopefully Justice Allah will pop up on his father’s long-awaited Liquid Swords II.
Doughboy and OMG (Sons of Ice Cube)
For starters, Doughboy and OMG are featured on their father’s triumphant return to music, I Am the West, dropping later this month. The duo appear on the Bangladesh-produced track “She Couldn’t Make It On Her Own,” which is already meeting rave reviews Web-wide. Can these two make it on their own when the time comes to release their own record? Probably. With OMG already a mild force in rap and Doughboy taking his name from Ice Cube’s most notable film role, there’s bound to be something good to come from Cube’s two sons.
Young Dirty Bastard (Son of Ol’ Dirty Bastard)
Young Dirty Bastard had the greatest honor this year at Rock the Bells. With Wu-Tang performing the entire Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album for the outdoor hip-hop festival, Young Dirty had the privilege of performing his father’s parts on the classic album. He has already been touring with the Wu for years, and like his dad, already has an alias, Boy Jones. Rumors have circulated that YDB is the newest addition to the Wu-Tang Clan, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Curtis Young (Son of Dr. Dre)
Dre may be the doctor, but his son Curtis calls himself the Hood Surgeon. A lyrical spitfire, this young rapper has taken his career to the mixtapes, gearing up for his full-length album debut, Product Of My DNA. Curtis even has his own label, Young Entertainment, Inc., making Dr. Dre a very proud father. Not to beat a dead horse, but if Curtis Young’s first album drops before Detox, it might be time for Dre to sit back and let his son take the reins.
Diggy Simmons (Son of Rev Run)
Diggy Simmons was the biggest surprise to hip-hop in a very long time. Watching episodes of “Run’s House,” in retrospect, it was a natural progression for Diggy. From watching him pitch clothing line ideas to constantly entertaining, hip-hop was almost a rite of passage for him, especially with a legendary father. All superficial qualities aside, Diggy Simmons can rap. He has a signature flow, takes cues from the greats, and has the mind of an entrepreneur. Don’t be surprised if he’s around for a while.