RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - While many children have ideas of what careers they would like to pursue when they grow up, one Virginia fifth grader is already living out his dream of being a rapper.
And he is quickly gaining national attention with his clean lyrics of inspiration and positivity.
Turn on the radio these days, and you are bound to hear songs from ‘rap royalty’ like Drake, Cardi B and Post Malone.
However, there is a new rap king on the rise - shiny crown and all.
His real name is Jairus Smith.
His rap name? ‘Young King Jai,’ and at only 10 years old, the Newport News native reigns supreme over clean rap music.
“My message is to spread positivity and motivate kids to do good in school,” said Smith.
He does just that through catchy songs like ‘Playground Status.'
“Playground Status is just like a fun song you can just bop to and have fun with,” said Smith.
Like many children, Jairus enjoys ‘bopping’ to all the popular rap songs.
“Because I can just vibe with it,” said Smith.
Yet, at times, the language used by some of his favorite artists kills his vibe.
“It’s kind of disrespectful,” said Smith.
Jairus decided to become his own lyricist, writing rhymes that show respect and teach positive lessons, not only to children his age, but to those even younger like his 4-year-old brother, Linden.
“A few months ago, when my dad went to Ohio, I wrote a rap and then I sent it to him, and then I said I wanted to rap. And then we worked on that rap, and then we actually recorded the rap,” said Smith.
“He enjoys the music, but at the same time, he understands the importance of the substance in his,” said Brewington Reid.
Jairus’ father, Brewington Reid, has experience in the music industry when it comes to promotion and branding.
After he and his wife helped their son put the finishing touches on his songs, Reid uploaded them to SoundCloud, where the songs have received over 4000 plays - showing Reid that people still desire good, clean music.
“We’re trying to show kids that you can be a kid. It’s fun to be a kid,” said Reid. “It’s cool to go to school. It’s cool to get good grades. It’s cool to be a kid that just goes and do your homework. It’s alright. So, that’s for the kids and the family.”
Jairus’ family-friendly message has earned him several performance spots on stages throughout the region.
“I had one in Hampton Roads at the Boys and Girls Club, and I went to Maryland and performed,” said Smith.
However, while Jairus hopes his music plays on radio stations nationwide and tops the rap charts one day, he, more importantly, wants his rap game to live up to his royal rap name of being a young king, which, for him, means -
“Loyal to other people and respects other people,” said Smith.
And it is a combination he believes is, and will be, music to everyone’s ears.
Young King Jai also has upcoming performances in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.
He also says his next song will focus on motivating students to make straight A’s in school.