NEW YORK — Tyrese was on cloud nine Monday night at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, introducing his rapping alter ego, Black Ty, to a crowd of fans and celebrities. But on Tuesday, the R&B-singer-turned-actor was quickly brought down from his high and forced to reflect on a startling series of events.
Among the people who came out to support him Monday night was none other than Fabolous. Ty said he was shocked when he heard the following day that Fab had been shot just hours after the concert (see "Fabolous Shot And Arrested In New York").
"I just heard this morning," Tyrese said Tuesday in the MTV News offices. "I was just with him. He was in my dressing room last night hanging out. He leaves my concert, goes to a restaurant, gets shot. Crazy. But that's what hip-hop is. Is it threatening, intimidating? Yeah. At times."
Police are still investigating the Fabolous shooting, and although the Brooklyn MC did not suffer life-threatening injuries, his troubles are not over. On Tuesday he was officially charged with criminal possession of a weapon and possession of a defaced firearm (see "Fabolous Slapped With Two Weapon-Possession Charges").
As disturbing as it was for Ty to hear about his friend Fab, he was comforted by other news Tuesday via a call from Cassidy, who he considers a brother. The rapper, who was critically injured in a separate recent car accident, had been in a coma (see "Cassidy's Lawyer Says Rapper Is On 'Road To Recovery' After Crash"). Now, with his medical condition improving, Cass is alert. He says they spoke for two hours.
"He feels like, within a year, so many horrible things have happened in his life, from the murder trial to now this accident," Tyrese explained. "So many things are going on in his life that the public don't know about, that I know about. And he's actually happy [the car crash] happened. He feels it's all a part of God's plan to make him a better man.
"He said to me, 'Tyrese, it's crazy. Six people in the car, I'm the only one that got hurt, the only one that ended in a coma. That was supposed to happen,' " Tyrese added. "He's learning, he's mannin' up. He was like, 'When I get out, I'm gonna be at about 75 percent, but I'm coming out a whole 'nother man. I'mma be at 50 to 75 percent mentally, but I'm gonna be at 150 percent as a man.' So he's actually feeling like what he's going through, he's happy it happened. He's blessed. I never heard it put like that."
Cassidy remains hospitalized. Meanwhile, Tyrese — who says he's the most determined man anyone will meet — presses on with his own career. His next project is called Alter Ego and is a double-LP featuring one disc of R&B selections and one consisting of nothing but raps from Black Ty (see "Tyrese Gives In To Rap Passion, Plans To 'Change The World' With Double LP"). The hip-hop side features friends such as Cassidy, Game, Snoop Dogg and Method Man. Meth appears on the single "Get It In," which was produced by Scott Storch. The song is a party record, and Ty says he's been lacking those in his catalog. "People don't dance to my R&B songs," he said.
"Everything about what I'm doing is real spiritual," he said about his rapping side. "We pray before we rhyme. We keep everything humble. We don't be in the studio rappin' about who shot you, bustin' heads on the curb. I want to make hip-hop fun again. Everything is so dark."
Ty — who also has a Black Ty mixtape on the streets called Ghetto Royalty — worked with the likes of Lil Jon and R. Kelly on the R&B half of Alter Ego. He has a single out as well, "One," in which he talks about settling down with one woman.
Alter Ego comes out on December 19.