Tyrese Gibson really hates when people put dogs in sneakers.
Perched on stage during iTunes’ “Meet The Author” event held in the SOHO Apple Store (February 6th) in promotion of his book with Reverend Run, Manology, Tyrese detoured from the discussion and took aim on an unsuspecting spectator in the front row holding a cocker spaniel dressed in a red coat, red shoes and a Yankees cap.
“I’m so mad at this dude sitting in the front row with a dog with shoes on,” he said unexpectedly, flanked by Rev Run and moderator K. Foxx of Hot 97’s Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg. “I feel like caving your forehead in right now.”
Gibson didn’t stop there: “What is going on? I can’t even focus on K. Foxx right now. Who is this dude? What is happening? At what point did you decide you were going to commit your look to that? [Mimicking the patron] ‘This is it right here. I’m gonna go see Rev Run and Tyrese in the front row like this.’ Did you think on the way up the elevator that this is not it?”
“You’re being grumpy,” K.Foxx responded in attempt to divert attention from Tyrese’s target.
“I’m not. This is weird,” he replied defiantly. “I ain’t never seen nothing like this in my life. I’m talking about [Manology] and he’s got a dog with shoes on in the front row.”
The exchange was lighthearted but intense, much like the book itself. Tyrese and Reverend Run wrote Manology to address relationship miscommunication with the intent to help women understand how men think and operate.
As the “Sweet Lady” singer detailed, the two built a friendship after he disagreed with one of Reverend Run’s Words Of Wisdom emails and replied. To his surprise, Run responded and asked Tyrese to call him to discuss further. The pair spoke on the phone for four hours, forming the foundation of their relationship.
“In a joking way on the phone because we had such a difference in opinion, we said, ‘Man, it would be crazy if one day we wrote a book...,’" said Tyrese. “It became a joke. Years later of us being best friends—he’s the mentor, I’m the mentee—we start sending out these #Manology tweets that were real inspirational because that’s what we do on Twitter. There was so much buzz around these tweets [that] we ended up landing a deal at Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and now we’re in the Apple Store with microphones and pretzels.”
“Basically, we’re just trying to set things straight for women to understand things about men,” said Reverend Run. “In the book, there’s things telling women to be powerful. Love yourself. When you truly love yourself, you take crap from no one.”
“I remember I was at the Soul Train Awards and Jay just pointed [to the stage] like, ‘Yo, I like her, man,’” he said. “I guess after that day, I didn’t see him. He ends up dating her, but I could just imagine that once he was calling her some time, she was like, ‘Hey Jay, I’m here at rehearsal.’ She had her whole life. Not to say that she would hang up [but] ‘I’ll see you later, boo.’ It was real. She wasn’t just fronting. She really is crazy about her career. But then after she’s finished rehearsal, I’m sure they went to dinner and she was just as sweet and nice as ever. ‘But you know I have to go to South America tomorrow,’ or whatever your job may be.
“[It’s] attractive to men that you have a life; that you take care of yourself; that you love yourself," he continued. "Not that you’re extra, extra career oriented, because that’s intimidating. When you’re sitting there and everything is all about your career, ‘I don’t need no man’ type of vibe—it’s intimidating. It has to have a perfect balance.”
Though Reverend Run and Tyrese’s relationship developed following an email exchange, it wasn’t the first time they met. Run shared his initial unflattering opinion of the Fast & Furious actor in Manology’s introduction.
“Back in the early 2000s, Run-D.M.C. agreed to perform at Watts Day, a charity event Tyrese was throwing in his old hood,” Run explained in the book. Just as Run-D.M.C. was set to perform “Run’s House,” Tyrese arrived at the festival grounds then left immediately after only one song. “This little punk is going to leave during a Run-D.M.C. set?,” Run wrote. “When we’re playing a free show at his charity event. Oh, hell naw!”
Speaking exclusively with HipHopDX, Tyrese said he was happy that Run included that anecdote in Manology because he "kept it real" and it explains the arc of their relationship. “He’s in the middle of performing and seeing my truck pull off and he’s like, ‘This fake-ass, Tyson Beckford-looking ass. Who does he think he is? I go from Madison Square Garden. I’m in Watts, [California]. He’s got 12 people in the audience and he’s gonna leave?’”
In 2011, Tyrese released his fifth studio album, Open Invitation, with features from Rick Ross, Ludacris, R Kelly and Jay Rock. “It’s so many metaphors around that record and how it came about,” he said, describing his collaboration with fellow Watts native and Top Dawg Entertainment’s Jay Rock on “I’m Home.”
“Jay Rock recorded 'I’m Home' at my home. He’s from my hometown. It’s crazy. It felt right at home to the record. The record made all the sense in the world. When it happened, when he heard the beat he was like, ‘You want me to jump on that? That’s crazy.’ Done. And he did it at my crib. He came by himself. It was just beautiful.”
The Transformers actor also expounded on Reverend Run’s mentorship, explaining that he’s a “powerful man of God.”
“He walks what he talks,” said Tyrese. “He’s also a work in progress in his own season of where he is in his life. I’m attracted to people that make something out of nothing. Will Smith is my mentor, Rev Run, my pastor named Bishop Almer—I got so many people that I look up to that I interact with and have these heavy conversations with about life, love, friendship, relationships and just all the above. I just talk to Rev more often, but I definitely have other powerful people in my life that have changed my life from what they brought to my life.”
Tyrese recorded Open Invitation at his home and released it independently in 2011. The album reached No. 1 on Billboard’s independent charts and was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, losing to Black Radio by The Robert Glasper Experiment.
Recently, Tyrese teamed with Ginuwine and Tank to form the R&B supergroup, TGT.