A Rose By Any Other Name: Tyrese Says Rap Alter Ego Is Here To Stay

Singer/MC says Black Ty 'ain't going nowhere'; reveals plans for next album.

NEW YORK — Tyrese may have raised a few eyebrows last year when he introduced his rap alias, Black Ty, on his most recent release, Alter Ego. But now that he's earned his respect as an MC from both fans and peers alike, he said, Black Ty is officially here to stay.

In fact, Tyrese says he's already 14 tracks deep into his next project, Black Rose, a single-disc album that will again be split evenly between his R&B and rap personas.

"For the most part, I try to keep [the identities] separate," Tyrese said last week while in Manhattan for a show. "It's one person, but it's two different experiences. And I got real hip-hop fans now who don't even f--- with Tyrese 'cause they love what Black Ty talks about. Then I got fans that are open-minded, who love me as a singer but [also] love me as an MC, which totally catches me off-guard. I would love to do another double album, I don't know yet. [J Records] allowed me to stretch my song cap compared to the amount of records I normally put out on a single album. So that caps still exists, it's not [even] a numbers thing, it's a respect thing."

The singer/rapper is still early in the recording process, so he did admit he doesn't have a full plan formulated for the album just yet. But he'd probably love to have one of his Alter Ego collaborators on there — Tyrese heaped praise on Snoop Dogg. He said Snoop supported his rap ambitions from day one and has been putting in a good word for him. "In radio interviews, whatever, Snoop has been there, and I can't put a price on that," Tyrese said.

Currently, Tyrese is on the road for the next few weeks in support of Alter Ego, but once his tour wraps, he'll head back to the studio as soon as he can. He explained he still enjoys R&B, but his rap career brought on a new challenge for him that singing couldn't quite match. And now, as a rapper, Tyrese claims he's risen to the challenge.

"I've mastered myself as an MC," he said. "All I can do now is come with lyrics and concepts and whatever comes to me from here on out. Black Ty is here, I ain't going nowhere."

Tyrese tour dates:

  • 3/16 - Jackson, MS @ Freelon's Nightclub
  • 3/17 - Atlanta, GA @ TBA
  • 3/18 - Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
  • 3/21 - St. Louis, Mo @ The Society
  • 3/23 - Memphis, TN @ Plush
  • 3/24 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Deja Vu Nightclub
  • 3/25 - Shreveport, LA @ Shreveport Convention Center
  • 3/27 - Toledo, OH @ The Bijou
  • 3/28 - Jackson, MI @ The Rocket
  • 3/29 - Mount Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino
  • 3/30 - Traverse City, MI @ Streeter's
  • 4/1 - Minneapolis, MN @ Trocadero
  • 4/5 - Alcorn State, MS @ Alcorn State University