Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle Decoded: “Not Your Average Rapper’s Wife”
If you thought Tiny was your typical rapper’s wife, you are all wrong.
That’s because unlike so many other Hollywood spouses, she was doing the whole celebrity thing long before she married Clifford “T.I.â€ Harris and the two of them had a litter of kids, keeping audiences entertained each week on their reality show “T.I. and Tiny: Family Hustle.â€
A Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter with the multi-platinum ‘90s group Xscape, Tiny has managed to put together quite the entertainment empire since then.
Though she and T.I. partner on their show and other hustles — Tip, according to Complex.com, is one of the 20 richest rappers in the industry, worth an estimated $30 million — Tiny still steers her own money-making ship. In addition to “Family Hustleâ€ she executive produces two other TV shows, “Tiny and Toyaâ€ and her new baby, “Tiny Tonight,â€ on VH1.
“I’m really excited about this show,â€ the pint-size singer says over her cell phone from her hometown of Atlanta. “I’ve always wanted to do one and now we are,â€ she says excitedly of the well-received December 18 debut of her late-night series.
“[My team and I] have always wanted to do a show from a younger point of view and so we set up a meeting with VH1 a while back. They liked the idea. Once I kind of proved myself with ‘Family Hustle’ they came back to me and said they were interested,â€ she continues. “We came up with names and ideas and a cast and then shot it. It turned out awesome.â€
The next episode — which has a Valentine’s Day theme — airs on February 11.
“It’s the first late-night talk show VHI has ever done,â€ Tiny says proudly. “We’re trying to turn it into a weekly program.â€
While her new television deal is percolating Tiny’s focused on the music.
True to her roots she’s stayed very much involved in the music industry, only now as a label owner like her hubby. The petite singer runs Pretty Hustle — the counterpart to T.I.‘s Grand Hustle imprint — which the NAACP Image award-nominated OMG Girl are signed to. Not surprisingly the ATL-based girl group features Tiny’s own daughter Zonnique Pullins. It’s managed by veteran producer Jermaine Dupri.
“I’m so proud of the girls and see big things for their future,â€ says Tiny about the three-girl crew which she formed with a partner in 2009. “They’re all my babies,â€ she says of the trio, which has made appearances on two of Tiny’s three TV shows.
The show-biz entrepreneur is also busy overseeing the construction of a new full-service Atlanta beauty salon, since her original shop, Tiny’s Nail Bar, closed due to a fire around Labor Day.
“This next place is going to be much bigger and offer more services,â€ she promises of the pending spa-oriented salon. “We’re going to do hair and nails and basically offer anything a girl needs to look pretty,â€ she promises.
Tiny says she’s only able to keep all her business-related balls in the air because of how efficient her staff is.
“I have an accountant, a publicist and right now I’m looking for new management,â€ she says of her behind-the-scenes team, which is separate from her husband’s. “If your crew is right you it’s hard to go wrong.â€
Team cohesion is particularly important to Tiny right about now, particularly since her clique is about to inherit even more work.
“I’m working on my son Keith’s pajama line next,â€ Tiny says of her new fashion endeavors. “He’d stay in them all day, every day if he could,â€ she laughs. “Then I was thinking, well, why not just make identical adult pajamas so son’s can match their father’s?â€ she said. “Then everybody wins.â€
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