From back when he was only known as that dude who sat at the back of the bus and sang the hell out of the Coca-Cola jingle up until now, Tyrese has added a new a.k.a. to his repertoire: Renaissance Man. Oh, you must have thought that I was going to say, “Black-Ty”. Well Tyrese has been Black-Ty from the start. He was just wise enough to know what was best for his blossoming career at that time.
Tyrese has done it all from modeling clothing for Tommy Hilfiger to knocking out exceptional performances on the big screen. The man who indirectly helped Morris Chestnut in bringing chocolate back (I thank you both, because my game with the ladies became that much easier) is able to adjust on the fly as if he wore the number 18 on his back for the Indianapolis Colts. His drive is unwavering, yet strategically calculated – anything less would be uncivilized.
His latest musical contribution, “Alter Ego” which was released on December 5th, is currently #23 on the Billboard Top 200 charts selling 116,000 copies in its first week. For a long list of artists out there, selling over 100,000 copies in the first week is a cause for celebration. But for Tyrese, it leaves him to wonder what could have been if he was backed by his label on a higher scale.
(This conversation took place a day after the release of his double album, “Alter Ego”)
It has only been a day since Alter Ego hit the shelves. Have you taken any early looks at your sales so far or do you normally wait it out to know the entire first week total…
Tyrese: It’s funny that you ask me about sales. I’m actually sitting down in an office in J. Records at this time. I truly believe that my fan base is like a cult following. So I’m just going to be real with you… based on my video not necessarily being #1 on BET or Mtv and based on my spot on the charts, there was a set projection on how many albums to put out there. But we’ve been getting so many calls and emails that Target, Best Buy,
So right now, they are trying to fix it to make sure that it is available. But as an example, there’s like 150,000 units in back orders because of my fans that came in who weren’t able to get a copy, put there name on a list to receive it once copies made it back to the store. It’s a beautiful thing, but truthfully, I’ve been doing this for so long I’ve actually removed myself from being caught up in numbers (sales). The numbers don’t make or break me. I don’t really care about the awards, or any of that. For me, my drive is all about the passion.
Tyrese: I used to be a part of a rap group before I started singing called, “Triple Impact.” And as the R&B opportunity came up, I just wanted to get off the block to go and see the world. I’ve never been the one to question the order of the blessings. People say that it’s a jungle out here, but they choose to only swing on one vine – but once that vine loses its grip and falls, you never hear from them again. I am willing to figure out a way to stay creative and take advantage of the access that I have to people. So I go from one situation to the other. The crazy thing is, for the many things that I’m known for, there are so many things that I’m not known for that I actually do. I write movies, and I also run a multi-media empire called Headquarter Entertainment which is 10 different businesses under one roof. For me, there’s a lot of shit going on, but at the end of the day, the reason why I go as far as I go to spread my wings is because you’re not promised tomorrow. If you think about all of the natural disasters that are taking lives everyday; think about the fact that one of the greatest R&B singers that has ever done it, Gerald Levert has passed on, God Bless him. There were so many things that Gerald wanted to do, and that makes it even more disappointing that he passed on because there was so much more that we wanted to hear from him. There was just so much more that Gerald had to offer to the world – not just in music, he was also a great person. I’m 27 years old, so everyday I am on a mission to find a way to expand this opportunity. I was raised on these words: Every blessing taken for granted becomes a curse. The opportunity would never have been presented to you, if you weren’t supposed to find a way to take advantage of it. My career started from a 30 second Coca-Cola commercial, and I’m still here.
Tyrese: To all of my fans, I just want to say thank you. There’s so many other people out there doing films; there are so many people out there dropping albums this week. I just want to say that I love ya’ll for showing up. I love ya’ll for getting behind me and believing in me. And I know that I’ve been away from the music thing for a minute because I’ve been away doing films, but when you go out and get this double album, you need to know that I gave you my best. I was not away from the music game this long, to come back and give you some bullshit. This is my best R&B album, and this is the best of me as Black-Ty. I took my time, this is a double album that is being sold as if it was one, and when you hear it, you’ll know that I gave it my best. Thank you, I love ya’ll…