Willow Smith and Tyler Cole are getting real about using their voices in the music industry.
The 19-year-old “Red Table Talk” co-host joined her mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris for the latest episode of the Facebook Watch series and welcomed a special guest, Willow’s rumoured boyfriend, Cole. Ice Cube, Van Jones and NFL star Brandon Marshall also appeared on Tuesday’s episode.
While only calling Cole a “close family friend”, Willow got excited about the one-time co-host. As Jada added, Cole is “extremely passionate about today’s ‘RTT’ so we had to have him at the table.”
“I feel like a huge dilemma for us as Black people is that the media and the industry wants to see us in a certain light,” Cole said. “In the music industry, you’re taught that oh, if you’re Black and you rap about violence and money that’s going to make you more money. Labels are going to want to sign you if you’re talking about violence more so than [something else].”
When looking for advice on how to “break the cycle,” Ice Cube said, “It’s complicated.”
“The positive music sometimes gets pushed to the side and the raunchy hardcore stuff gets promoted,” Ice Cube said. “It puts an imprint in other young artists coming up to [think], ‘Oh, this is the way I must need to do it to get on.’ And artists can’t be afraid to show something new.”
He added, “It’s really all about having courage to break the molds when you’re an artist and not letting anyone put you in the box, not even for own community.”
Willow and Cole are in the same band, The Anxiety, together.
“Red Table Talk” airs exclusively on Facebook Watch.