In House With Tyrese: Singer Talks Chilli, Romance + Raising a Daughter — Exclusive
“Things got real heated on the set, but we were just doing our jobs,” Tyrese Gibson tells The BoomBox, describing his on-screen chemistry with his ‘Nothing on You’ video co-star Chilli of TLC. The singer-actor is our latest In House guest, and stopped by our offices to promote his new studio project, ‘Open Invitation: Reloaded.’ The deluxe re-release of his 2011 album, ‘Open Invitation,’ is in stores now and features new remixes with the likes of Faith Evans, T.I., Big Sean and Busta Rhymes. Of course, we had to ask about the Chilli dating rumors, his relationship deal breakers and how his once-carefree life is changing as he raises his 4-year-old daughter Shayla.
You have a reputation for really laying it on think when it comes to romance, but what’s the most romantic thing a woman has ever done for you?
I was at a nice restaurant, not cheap, and this girl really wanted to make an impression. The waiter walked up to me and said, “Mr. Gibson, the lady across the room offered to pay for your dinner tonight.” And I ordered a lot of stuff that night, so that was a really nice gesture. I don’t get this everyday! So I felt the need to go over there and meet this woman and say thank you, and she was nervous and said, “You don’t understand. I’m your biggest fan. Your music has helped me get through some rough patches in my life.” And her girl who was sitting at the table was like, “You should probably get her number, Tyrese.” Come to find out her father is some multi, multi [millionaire] who owns oil somewhere down south. So we exchange numbers and I say I want to show her around L.A. So I drove and met her where she asked me to meet her and there was a helicopter there. So she booked a helicopter so I could show her around L.A. Now that was crazy!
Your ‘Nothing on You’ music video stars Chilli from TLC, and there have been rumors that you two are hooking up.
Oh yeah, Chilli’s pregnant [laughs]! I’m just playing. That’s a good friend of mine. We’ve known each other for many years. I think there are only so many female entertainers left who are sweet, innocent, not jaded, who have natural beauty without implants and assistance. Doesn’t matter what camera angle you shoot them at, they’re just beautiful, and that’s who she is to me. And the fact that we already had a rapport and an energy about us, I just thought she was the perfect girl for the video. Things got real heated on the set, but we were just doing out jobs.
What did you do to get yourself ready to shoot the video’s more intimate scenes?
For me it was just doing push-ups, nothing else. I just wanted to maintain my sexy in the presence of sexy. I said, “I need to get my muscle game right,” ’cause we’re in the bed together, we’re wrestling. I felt a lot of pressure when Chilli showed up!
The song ‘Nothing on You’ is about how jealousy can interfere with an otherwise happy relationship. Is that something you have personal experience with?
Oh absolutely. I think a lot of men can identify with this song. I’ve been around long enough and have been in my share of relationships with very attractive women, and the more beautiful you are, in most cases, the more insecure you are. You may have opened up your heart to someone and they did wrong by you, cheated on you, whatever the case may be, you just find yourself carrying that baggage from one relationship to the next. And as a man you feel the need to give that reassurance, to give her that confidence and say, “These women ain’t got nothing on you. If I wanted to be with someone else then I would.”
Watch Highlights From Tyrese’s In House Visit
Videography by Elizabeth Bruneau & Kelly Mahan, Production by Elizabeth Bruneau
Is jealousy a relationship deal breaker?
Jealousy is not a deal breaker for me. It could be fun if you want it to be. The day that my girl stops being jealous, I would think she doesn’t love me as much as she used to. Sometimes being jealous, is that feeling of, “I want you and desire you only,” and you can have fun with that feeling … “Don’t worry baby, it’s just a little bubble! I just wanted to watch the bubble bounce by for a little bit, ain’t nothing wrong. I’m going home with you!” [Laughs] You can have fun with jealousy and certain other insecurities, but at a certain point, too much of anything can kill what you’re trying to build.
And I’ve realized a lot of the time when a girl is mad at you and yelling at you, she’s really yelling at her ex-boyfriend, or her father who wasn’t in the picture.
How has raising a daughter changed your relationships with the women you’re romantically involved with?
I now have a very aggressive bottom line that wasn’t there before she came in the picture. I now know that keeping horrible people — bad business people, friends, family, whomever — in your life who are taking away from your happiness, it’s only going to be her who suffers in the end. And I don’t love you enough to keep you in my life, compared to her. So I’ve gotten rid of people and situations that don’t belong, un-apologetically.