How old are your kids now?My oldest son, Noah, he’s seven. Tyrann Jr., he’s six. And then Mila—I call her “Sweets”—is nine months. That’s my baby girl right there. She’s got the keys to everything. [laughs]
On Tyrann: Jacket, $4,075, by Hermès / T-shirt (his own), and pants (his own), by Dior Men | On Mila: Top, and shorts (her own), from Jill Marie Boutique
Are your boys old enough to understand what’s been happening this summer, with coronavirus and the protests?Noah is. Tyrann Jr., he’s all about sports. He’s nothing else but sports, sports, sports. Noah is more sensitive to what’s going on around him. With coronavirus, it’s just reminding them to wash their hands, ’cause they’re kids. They’ll be running out of the house, don’t wash their hands, grab a burger, got dirt all over they face. You’re just trying to remind them that there’s a lot of people suffering. Outside of that, it’s just reminding them to be comfortable with who they are, to just love themselves.
I bought Tyrann Jr. a headband to wear for soccer. He’s got the hair like me, got the dreads. He was like, “Nah, Dad, I don’t wanna wear it.” He was just saying how it would look cool on him if he had lighter skin. It was my moment to explain to him it’s okay that your friends are a different color than you. I grew up around all Black people, and Tyrann Jr., he’s growing up around all white people. It’s a different kind of experience for him. But I just remind him: Yo, bro, all these people love you. They love your character. They love who you are. All your teachers speak highly of you. All these kids in the neighborhood love you. They all want to be hanging around with you. So love who you are. Don’t look when you go to practice and see, wow, I’m the only dark-colored kid here, or it’s just, like, two of us out here and the rest of my friends are white. We don’t look at the world that way, son. We all the same.
I don’t believe his friends or the guys on the team were telling him that. I don’t think that they were making him feel that way. I think that it’s just human to feel like, wow, I’m a little bit different than the rest of the guys. But, in actuality, y’all are all the same. You’re all six years old. You all don’t wash your hands when you come inside. [laughs] All y’all missing a shoe, missing a sock. Y’all all doing the same stuff. Don’t even worry about whether or not you look cool with the headband. Love yourself for who you are.
Coat, $2,750, hoodie (price upon request), t-shirt, $460, and pants, $910, by Burberry
What gives you hope, if anything, in this moment?What honestly continues to give me hope is to see more and more people listening, to see more and more people outraged. The moment is here. The attention is here. Everyone’s watching, everyone’s listening. Everybody’s trying to understand it. People care. People that may not even have anything to do with it, I think in some way, shape, or form, they realize they’re going to be affected by it. So they’re tired. The more people we have sitting down from different colors and having these conversations is the only hope we’ve got. To keep having that conversation. To keep shedding light on the issue. As long as we’re talking about it and shedding light on it, it’s time to clean it up, right? As long as the light’s on in the house, I can see what’s dirty.
This interview has been edited and condensed from two interviews.
PRODUCTION CREDITS:Styled by Kathryn Gosik and Cara GordonSpecial thanks to Kaseykeepsmefresh’ Wise Guys Barber Lounge