Cheating allegations and general f*ckboy-isms have managed to keep Clifford ‘T.I.’ Harris in the news over the last several months. In a short amount of time, he’s managed to cheat on his wife and mother to 3 of his 6 children and refer to their marriage as a “distraction” with a straight face. You know what bruh? Fine. Free Tiny from your drama and live freely. My only suggestion is that you let her do the same…except I doubt you’ll do that. Here’s why.
I came across this clip of the estranged couple talking about Tiny’s R&B group Xscape reuniting for a tour. T.I. beamed as Tiny shared her plans for the group and making that paper. But when the question of “parental provisions” came up, as in “Tiny, how you gone be on tour and mother these children?” T.I. lost his natural mind for not much reason at all.
Like nearly every woman entertainer with children has done before, Tiny mentioned that she’d take baby Heiress on tour with her. In that moment, the rubber band man‘s tone and demeanor changed, following an order for Tiny to stay home because “the road isn’t a place for a child.” If Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Underwood and legendary Whitney Houston hadn’t proved that this is a thing to do, I could have agreed with ol’ boy. You can find YouTube videos of some of your favorite singers on tour and see their children running in the background with nannies, though. Those children look well fed, well rested and have probably been on the road much longer than baby Heiress will be. As a working mother myself, I’m asking: What’s the problem, fam?
Tip reserves the right to be concerned about his children. I’m acknowledging that that is valid and a responsible thing to do. But since the concern is there, why can’t he do Tiny a solid and stay home with the kids while she kicks it on stage with the crew?
The moment I watched him demand Tiny, an actual singer, skip her long awaited tour so he wouldn’t have to alter his plans to parent their children for a few months, I understood that some men don’t mind you being great as long as you’re not as great as them. Tip told Angie Martinez that his mission is to take the Harris’ family name as far as he can so he could leave a legacy for his children, but is this as the expense of Tiny’s dreams? Should a tour that she, her group members, and their fans are excited about be put on hold until their baby becomes a toddler? The answer to both of those questions is no.
Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle is the poster child for what dope boys think a ride-or-die woman should be. She loved him before he was poppington. She took a charge for him. She held him down while he served two federal prison bids. Embarrassingly, she got caught trying to give him fellatio during a prison visit and had to explain that encounter to the blogs. She even asked his permission to have a girl’s night out with her friends while he was locked down and went to sleep in tears because he said no. From prison. With an attitude.
It’s a shame that the onus of child rearing is solely placed on the mother especially when she desires to contribute to the household. I can imagine for women like Tiny (and 50 Cent’s ex Shaniqua Tompkins) that it hurts a little more when she and her husband can actually afford hired help to pitch in for once in a lifetime opportunities like a reunion tour. Those cheating allegations are disheartening because we fell in love with the Harris’ ghetto love on VH1’s The Family Hustle. The show gave Tiny a voice and platform to show her personality while painting a softer and more positive image of Tip post-jail. Unfortunately, the southern rapper proved that he only learned a few moderately sized words and not how to actually treat a woman.
Tiny, may you find true happiness and freedom and a 3-month babysitter, sis. Blessings.
Ariel C. Williams is the founding editor-in-chief of Slay Culture. She’s a millennial who’s down for the culture, loves Netflix, and pegs Master P as one of her entrepreneurial heroes. Follow her @ArielSaysNow everywhere.