Tyrese is making the news for becoming a fountain of raggedy wisdom for black women following his February 14 wedding to his “black queen” (his words, not mine) Samantha Schwalenberg. His posts went viral, with people seemingly horrified at the things he was saying. (I’m not going to rehash the shenanigans. You can catch up here, here and here.) But I think we’re asking the wrong question here. It’s not, “OMG why is Tyrese saying these things?” It’s, “OMG why are we listening to Tyrese?” If I may, let me just explain why I can’t take him seriously.
1. He keeps making the same movie over and over again. How many car-based heists am I supposed to care about? It’s good for Netflix on a Friday night, but I can’t pay $15 at the theater for a mashup of unoriginal plot lines. The Fast and Furious franchise is a box office juggernaut so, get your money, T. Just… not mine.
2. His relationship past is messy AF. Look, we all have a past. But I thought Tyrese would realize he’s perhaps not a great source of wisdom when the sordid details of his 2016 custody battle are all over the internet. And I do not say this in judgment. My personal life is definitely not neat. But it’s a ‘why get your meat butchered by a vegan?’ type of thing. Tyrese ain’t a guru. He’s as clueless as the rest of us. The only difference is he’s not self-aware enough to know that.
3. To that point, Tyrese is one of many black male ‘I got the keys for black women’ faux-relationship experts (along with Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry) whose public advice is inconsistent with their private lives or who, perhaps should be more concerned about their own affairs.
4. And honestly why does Tyrese need a new drama every year? Just last year Tank was accusing him of not acting right with the TGT money after the group’s implosion. Like, dude, lay low for a while.
5. Because even his newly-wedded “black queen” is out here denying her blackness. (She identifies as Latina, and during ‘black-queen-gate’ grumbled that her white heritage was being overlooked.) Look, it’s her right to identify however she wants. But, pro tip, check with your wife before assigning her black-ass hashtags on Instagram.
6. Because he cannot keep coasting off of the goodwill of Baby Boy. It’s been *sixteen* years brah. And you ain’t exactly at ‘cultural treasure’ status where the dumb shit you say is easily forgiven. (Incidentally, your Baby Boy co-star Taraji P. Henson is fast-approaching that status.)
7. Because I get the impression he thinks he’s more of a catch than he actually is. Look sir, I respect that you’re a black man with a 20-year career in Hollywood. You act, you sing, you model, you’re handsome. But Waist Deep ain’t exactly a thought-provoking cultural drama. You can’t be out here swagging like a Trevante Rhodes when you *chose* to star in a movie where Marky Mark ‘lowkey racist’ Wahlberg plays your brother.
8. Because I will never forget how hard Janelle Monae curved him. When you put all your cards on the table, and write out a long-ass Instagram post expressing your deep admiration and affection, and the response is a tight-lipped ‘thanks but no thanks’ you need to re-evaluate how much you think you know about women…
9. The way he keeps reminding people his wife has a masters degree feels very… 2004. It’s like he hopped into a ‘respectability politics’ time machine — before Black Lives Matter, before “wokeness’ was a thing, a few years before the Jamie Foxx remix of Neyo’s She Got Her Own was burning up the charts — when an advanced degree was widely accepted evidence of a woman’s irrefutable superiority. Is getting a masters admirable? Definitely. Is it worth repeated mentions and a TMZ article… probably not.
So remember this post next time Tyrese emerges with horrible advice for black women — because he will. Your refutations won’t be worth the energy.