In preparation of his newest music project Son Of A Legend, the son of late comedian Robin Harris talked one on one with Comedy Hype. In our discussion he covers his father’s legacy, why he decided to not pursue comedy, favorite comedians, and more.
CH: YOUR NEW PROJECT IS CALLED SON OF A LEGEND, HOW DID THE NAME OF YOUR TITLE COME ABOUT?
I decided to title it Son Of A Legend, after researching my dad and seeing his impact on the world. I didn’t realize how important he really was until the last few years seeing different things online. I can go on the internet and type in Robin Harris and pages and pages will come up. Twitter also has really showed me that I’m a son of a legend. I’ve been humbled and now understand that my dad was really legendary at what he did.
CH: WILL WE SEE REMINDERS OF ROBIN HARRIS IN YOUR UPCOMING PROJECT?
I actually have one track out right now called, “We Made It”. I sample my dad in the beginning. It starts off with a scene of him from House Party when he was looking for his son. His son comes out and the beat drops.
CH: DO YOU SEE ANY COMEDIANS TODAY WHOSE STYLE REMINDS YOU OF YOUR FATHERS?
After researching and studying my dad, I do see comics that our out now as wells as comedians of the last decade who remind me of him. From Martin Lawrence, Cedric The Entertainer, Steve Harvey, and all those type of guys I see the similiarities. I think even now with Kevin Hart, I see a parallel. Kevin’s comedy style and my dad showed their ability to improv. Yeah you have a routine but at the same time your able to come up with a joke on the spot. A lot of old schoolers would tell me that my dad had that talent to just talk about you and all you could do is laugh. Just seeing Kevin Hart’s recent stand-up movies I see a little bit of that style.
CH: WHOSE YOUR FAVORITE COMEDIAN OUT TODAY?
Right now, I would have to go off the the top of my head and say Kevin Hart because of his consistency. But in general, I would need a top 5. My favorites are My dad, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Dave Chappelle, and Bernie Mac. Cedric The Entertainer too. I love Cedric and Bernie Mac. I just seen Cedric in an interview saying that my dad was a comedian that changed his life.
CH: WHAT DO YOU THINK SEPARATED YOUR DAD FROM OTHER COMEDIANS WHEN HE WAS COMING UP?
What really made him stand out the most was probably his work ethic. Its crazy but I’m understanding that I have the same type of work ethic. What my mom, and close comedians told me was that he was always working. He was always trying to figure out how he could be better. He would kill a show but he would be so focused on how he could make it better. I didn’t realize that I have the same characteristic until I got into sports and music. Im always figuring out what can I do, to be better than I was yesterday. How can I be a better artist? You find yourself with different things to add to your craft.
CH: WHATS SOMETHING ELSE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR DAD?
Work ethic and you never know whose lives you can impact, wether their black, white, or orange. I think thats another reason why people loved him too is that he treated everybody with respect. Thats the same type of way I am because you don’t know who you can impact in the world with your gift.
CH: IF ROBIN HARRIS WAS STILL WITH US, WHERE WOULD HE BE IN HIS CAREER?
Probably somewhere big, he’s legendary now, but I think the world would have got to see him. The African American community knows my dad but i think different races would have too. He would have blew up way bigger.
CH: WHAT ARE YOUR MOST ENJOYED MOMENTS FROM YOUR DAD?
Theres a lot of them. I think one of the most funniest moments to me would be his “It’s A Small world” saying. But theres so many things, from his comedy albums, to his spare change joke. I want to use a lot of his stuff in my music to just show how hilarious he was.
CH: WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHTS ON TV ONES’S EPISODE OF UNSUNG ABOUT YOUR FATHER’S LIFE?
I think they told the story great. Theres another movie on my dad called We Don’t Die We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story. I think what made the TV One story on my dad so much bigger was that you didn’t just have the comedians talking about my dad. You had Magic Johnson, different directors, and genders talking about how great my dad was. I think it was more emotion going into it too. Sometimes its difficult to talk about. The reaction I think was pretty great. I remember a ton of people out of nowhere started following me on Twitter and instantly mention me. I think with the internet and social media being so big also helped made the Unsung story good. What really tripped me out was when people at school came up to me and shared how they saw the story on my dad.
CH: HAVE YOU CONSIDERED A CAREER AS A COMEDIAN?
For one, Robin Harris shoes would be too difficult to feel, and its just not really me. I’m naturally funny but that just isn’t me. A lot of times when I was little everybody would always ask me, “Tell me a joke, tell me a joke”, and I would ask “why do I have to tell you a joke?”. It would just get awkward (laughs). My brother and mother helped me find an identity for myself when I was little. They would tell me, “If you don’t want to be a comedian, you don’t have to be a comedian, just because your Robin Harris Jr., doesn’t mean you have to be a comedian” When I was younger I started touching into music because at the time I was wondering why I didn’t have my dad around. So I just started writing and putting those emotions on paper and they started coming out like raps. Thats how I started identifying myself in music instead of comedy.
CH: ANY FUTURE PROJECTS BASED AROUND ROBIN HARRIS COMING OUT?
Right now regarding him, or Bebe kids I really don’t have that knowledge. My mom founded the Robbin Harris foundation. We have a comedy tribute every year. This year will be our 5th year in August. We have it at the comedy act theatre in Los Angeles near Leimert Park. The mission of the foundation is to promote to kids that not everybody is going to be a rapper or an athlete and help find them different things they want to do. Every year we try to make it bigger and bigger.
CH: WHAT ARE YOU WANTING YOUR OWN LEGACY TO BE REMEMBERED AS?
The main thing is that I am Robin Harris but i’m not a comedian. A lot of people don’t know that I didn’t grow up away from a lot of things. I have friends that have been killed, went to jail, and friends that have went to college. I got two sides of perspective. In this whole album i’m telling my story. My message is to find out what you want to do and pursue it. Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want to do.
Song: “Robin Harris”