By Lakeia Brown
For two of hip-hops biggest names, T.I. and Lil Wayne, this year has been all about lockdown. While T.I. was trying to get out the clink, Weezy was trying not to go in. But for Tameka Tiny Cottle, T.I.s object of affection and mother of two of his children, and Antonia Toya Carter, ex-wife of Lil Wayne and mother of his first born, the last few months have been about freedom freedom to emerge from the shadows of the famous men in their lives, freedom to dispel rumors and freedom to narrate their own life stories without Lollipop or Rubberband Man blaring in the background. But does anyone really care?
BET seems to think so. On April 13, the network will premiere the second season of Tiny & Toya, a reality show that gives viewers a glimpse into the (ATL) lives of these two ladies. Many people, though, have wondered about the relevance of Tiny and Toya, sans Wayne and Tip. (Neither T.I. nor Weezy were seen on camera last season.) What qualifies either of these women to have their own cable television program? What makes their stories so compelling? Sure, Tiny is a celebrity of sorts in her own right as a member of the 90s R&B female group Xscape, but are former Xscape members LaTocha and Tamika Scott revving up for their own reality shows? And while Toyas journey has been colorful, it, unfortunately, is not that uncommon in the Black community.
Both Tiny and Toya know that these questions are looming. But neither seems to care. In fact, Tiny, who plans to wed Clifford T.I. Harris later this year, says she barely even knows how to log onto the blog sites, and when she occasionally does the comments dont bother her. And Toya Carter (who, despite Internet rumors, still shares the same last name as Beyoncé) seems baffled and annoyed by the criticism. You just cant knock people down. [They say] whats her claim to fame? Shes riding her ex-husband. You dont see me talking about Wayne all day or on the show. It has nothing to do with Wayne. Its Tiny and Toya. This is just the start, she stresses.
This season, Toya is off to a great start as she readies herself for a new book deal. Last time we saw her on the small screen, she was in talks with a publishing company to distribute her book but they werent pushing my project enough, she says. They wanted more of a tell-all and for me to talk about Wayne, but that was against what I really wanted.
Yeah, who wants to talk about their ex for a living? Toya says shes over Wayne and we get to see more of her dating escapades this time around. Last season she went on a blind date with cutie pie James Hardy of the Buffalo Bills, and since then she has been linked to MempHITZ of BETs The Deal. But its not all fun. Toya also delves into less sexy topics like the strained relationship with her mother Anita, who has struggled with a drug addiction. Meanwhile, Tiny continues to deal with family struggles of another kind. Her dad lives with Alzheimer's and this season the audience learns about Tinys Alzheimer's Foundation. T.I. showed up at the For the Love of Our Fathers fundraiser and seems to be more encouraging about Tinys involvement in music (she continues to manage OMG Girlz and Juice) this time around. [T.I.] understands and knows that Im working and OMG is my baby and my project. Hes being helpful with that and getting that process moving along. Hes been much more supportive.
Tiny and Toya will probably be linked to T.I. and Lil Wayne for a very long time. And while their decision to be intimately involved with these men is a big part of their lives, it doesnt have to be the only part. Both women have successfully used their relationships as a springboard to launch other ventures. And as BETs No. 1 original series premiere, Tiny & Toya looks to be relevant after all. Jay-Z said it best: Men lie, women lie, numbers dont.
"Tiny & Toya" airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday night on BET.
(Photo courtesy BET Networks)
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?