Even as she referees a bunch of screaming kids in the background, Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle manages to keep a cool head while doing phone interviews back to back. The newly inducted reality show star is celebrating the success of “Tiny & Toya,” which is BET’s top-rated show in history. The breakout phenom garnered her and best friend/co-star, Antonia ‘Toya’ Carter, a second season, which they’re in the process of filming now. Tiny took some time out to talk about her unbreakable relationship with T.I., addresses rumors about the show being the idea of Joy Bounds (mother of R&B singer Lyfe Jennings’ two sons), and possibility sneaking her wedding nuptials a la Jay Z and Beyonce.
AllHipHop.com: Congratulations on the 2nd season of Tiny & Toya. Were you surprised at the huge response to the show?
Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle: I was surprised. The show broke all kinds of records. I felt the show was good, but I never knew it was going to be as big as it turned out to be. I worried that it didn’t have a whole lot of drama. And I know drama is what people like in the shows normally and I felt like our show was a little different. I was a little worried about that. I was like ‘Whoa, how we gon’ stay afloat?’ But ultimately, it turned out to go in a positive direction. It seem like people responded to the show because it was so positive. It seemed to help a lot of younger girls and I’m really excited about that. They reach out to me and Toya and tell us how our stories really touched them and how it changed their life. You can’t want anymore than that.
AllHipHop.com: The blogs are buzzing about Joy Bounds saying she created the concept for the show and that she was kicked off by Toya. Can you clear the air on this rumor?
Tiny: First of all, I came up with the show. It was my idea. And second of all, we were talking about doing a talk show. And we went to Jay (James DuBose). He was the one who came up with doing the reality show. And I really didn’t want to do that because I didn’t want it to be negative but he said he’ll make the sure the show won’t come out that way. Him and Joy fell out and she expected us to leave the situation. But the show is us, me and Toya. For her to say it’s hers, that she created it – my dad’s Alzheimer’s, and Toya’s mom on drugs and Tip going to jail – that’s our life. It’s not made up. You can’t take credit for somebody’s real life. It just don’t make sense. It’s just too much. I think she just wants attention. If she had a real real issue why is she just going at Toya? It’s Tiny and Toya. It’s evident that she’s upset because she’s the one that introduced us.
AllHipHop.com: So this is personal, not business?
Tiny: It’s personal. It’s evident that she’s a little bit upset. Toya’s moved on and Joy’s not doing anything. Toya’s bettering herself; she got a lot of stuff going on and Joy’s behind. She can’t take credit for Toya’s mama on drugs and her trying to help her get off of it. How can you? You can’t.
AllHipHop.com: What can we expect to see from the show this season?
Tiny: This season me and my partner Keisha trying to get a label deal for OMG Girls and me and Toya got a clothing line coming out. We got a lot of things in the works. It’s really about what we’re doing now. The second season has evolved from the first with us being more workingwomen. It’ll also be some family stuff.
AllHipHop.com: You faced some personal challenges in the first season. What have you learned about Tameka that has made you a better woman?
Tiny: Well, I’ve learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. If I really wanna do something I have to stop procrastinating and don’t be lazy about it and just focus. I can overcome the procrastination and make something happen. I also learned that it’s a lot of other things that I want to do that I can do that I haven’t done, I kept myself away from. With the music I kind of kept myself away from it and now I’m able to come back into the business with my daughter and OMG. I just wanna give them what I had and more.
AllHipHop.com: Are you still planning to wed once T.I. gets out?
Tiny:Definitely. I don’t plan on going anywhere. I just haven’t figured out when yet. We will sometime, but the date, I don’t have yet. But it’s gonna happen.
AllHipHop.com: Are you planning on sneaking and getting married like Jay Z and Beyonce?
Tiny: No, that’s not my plan. But I’m not sure. I can’t say because it may come out that way. We haven’t done a lot of planning so we might just wanna get married real real soon. But I wanna wait until he gets home anyway before I make any plans.
AllHipHop.com: What can people learn from you and T.I.’s relationship and commitment to each other that will help black families stay together?
Tiny: Stay strong for one another. Whatever he’s going through I got his back. I’mma be the strongest woman I can be to hold him down. Because me being weak is gonna make him weaker and vice versa. And we got a lot of love for each other. He’s my best friend. I don’t know what it is that draws us so much to each other but it’s just there.
AllHipHop.com: When you’re best friends you learn the good and bad stuff about each other. Like Chris Rock said, you got to love the crust of a person…
Tiny: That’s what makes a relationship really strong. When you know what you like and what you don’t like about a person and learn to love it anyway. People think if I could change this, if I could change that, but what about all the great things that you love. You got to learn to love everything about each other.
AllHipHop.com: Do people quit to soon in a relationship?
Tiny: I can’t say. If you see something that you don’t like or you can’t live with, it might be a reason that you should break up because I know a lot of time wasted is unnecessary. But I know the longer we lived together the more it helped us to learn more about each other. So now we know everything. I know everything I don’t like and everything I like. I know everything. I love it. I accept it. And it’ll make the marriage stronger, hopefully. I’ll let you know when I get there. (laughs)
AllHipHop.com: Reality shows tend to be relationship killers. How will you and Tip avoid its kiss of death?
Tiny: Well, reality shows tend to be relationship killers when they do them together. I always felt like I didn’t wanna do that because the relationships don’t ever last. With my show now, it doesn’t hinder us at all because he’s away. Now if he was here with the kids and I’m working on the reality show it might be kind of difficult because we’re so used to being together and spending all of our time together. He’s used to having me all of the time and it’s been about him and the kids.
AllHipHop.com: So that’s gonna change especially if the OMG Girls take off.
Tiny: Exactly. But he’s all about the OMG Girls too. He helps out as much as he can, giving advice, that kind of thing. He wants the girls to do good. So, it’ll all work out.