had the opportunity to speak with singer/actor/author Tyrese Gibson. From his new album, to racism in mainstream media, acting roles, and his personal life, Tyrese takes us on quite an emotional roller coaster.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that Gibson’s new album entitled “Black Rose” was his first solo album to make it to #1 in 15 countries. In fact, his single with Jennifer Hudson, ‘Shame,” has been #1 for 11 weeks now. Naturally, this made Tyrese question why certain radio stations weren’t playing his song; “If i’m number the number one R&B song, my song deserves to be heard by the world. You can’t expect me to sell albums when you’re limiting my reach.”
Tyrese believes it’s an injustice and says “white radio is racist,” backing it up with artists like Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, even Robin Thicke.
“I love and respect their music, but how is it possible when they sing R&B soul specifically, top 40 radio rhythmic crossover stations are playing their music… We spread love, so why doesn’t it work both ways?” Gibson explains. “If they sand “Shame” instead of me, it’d be played on all formats of radio around the world and that’s not right.”
He continues: “If they want to twist my words to this being a rant or an angry black man using the race card, they they are trying to distract the people the real issue… I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I probably have more white friends than white people. I’m speaking facts. I’m on a mission that is much bigger than me. I’m on a mission that’s been a little uncomfortable at times.”
Gibson believes this is proof that R&B is dying and is concerned that some of our favorite singers won’t get deals because they’re not willing to twerk or “watch me Nae Nae,” and he doesn’t appreciate it. “God has blessed me with being articulate… I’m very focused and this is all to the benefit of R&B.”
Tyrese explains “I was in a deep space. It wiped me out emotionally.” But he explains this isn’t an apology album, it’s a confession album. “I was in a relationship for 5 years and when it ended, I said and did some things i was ashamed of… Some of the best albums come when people are singing their truth. I wanted to speak about the space I was in and on a mission to sing from my heart. Love has many colors and I wanted to display as many colors as I could.” He goes on: “Losing my brother Paul Walker. my friend of 14 years. the nicest guy you’ll ever know and meet. that wiped me out emotionally. So trying to get to me to sing when I wasn’t in my best emotional and spiritual state, it was a challenge.”
For the past three years, Tyrese has been in and out of court fighting for custody of his daughter, and even turned down a role on the hit show “Empire” because of it. In addition, he was also originally casted as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the film “Selma.” He says “I was casted by Lee Daniels.” But unfortunately timing just wasn’t right for him. Lee Daniels dropped from the film and the people he casted got dropped as well. However, now that he won 50/50 custody of his baby girl, he feels charged and again. But will that change effect his music? YES. He says he doesn’t plan on doing an international tour, not even a domestic one because he is a dad first. So although Gibson says this 6th album will be his final solo album, he will still continue putting out new music.
Tyrese is currently promoting a mini-documentary he made about his life, called “A Black Rose That Grew Through Concrete.” The short film is directed by Denzel Washington. Tyrese says it was such an honor to work with his hero Denzel because he looked up to him through for 8 (plus) years. “I’m very excited and blessed,” Tyrese says. The trailer shows Gibson’s character fighting demons, abusing his wife, played by Jennifer Hudson.
So with all that is said and done, I asked Tyrese is he could go back and redo anything, would he and why. His answer was simple; “No way. No regrets. No turning back. Nothing at all. That’s not how my mind works at all.”
I had the opportunity to meet Tyrese back in 2006 and since then I’ve watched him grow emotionally and spiritually. It was an honor to be on this call.
Thank you Tyrese for your knowledge, strength and inspiration. Continue growing and teaching!
‘Black Rose’ is available on iTunes. Download it here.
You can also watch Tyrese’s #1 Single “Shame” on Vimeo.
Check out the video of Tyrese’s song “Dumb Shit” featuring Snoop Dogg on youtube.
Vin Diesel hosts Tyrese’s “Black Rose” private listening session. Watch it here: here.