Our interview with New York’s main man continues. After the jump, Tango talks about his music, his activism and what he thinks of the Stallionaires.
It’s interesting that the way you were portrayed on the show was as this nice, sensitive guy. And yet you were the person people had the most beef with in the house.
Isn’t that irony for you?
Do you think that was just a matter of people being threatened by you?
Yeah, that’s the key word: threatened. I played it cool and I was myself, and a lot of guys came on the show and they weren’t being themselves, they were putting on these little disguises of what they wanted people to perceive them as, or what New York wanted to see them as. So when they realized they were doing that and the nice, normal, everyday, real guy was on the show was actually doing well, they thought to themselves, "Oh crap, I gotta do something quick." New York, say what you want about her, she’s real. I’m pretty sure she saw through a lot of the fake guys that were on the show. Some of them she didn’t, she missed the one that was on at the end, but hey what are you gonna do? (Laughs)
So, what’s the final verdict on Chance? Is he real or fake?
He is as fake as they come. I’ve never met any thugs that lived on horse ranches. I was a little thrown by that. I don’t know how exactly where the thugging begins on a horse ranch. He was misrepresenting what he was. He used the word "thug," but really he was just throwing tantrums. I mean, he’d get pissed at something and he’d go bonkers. That’s totally different from being a thug, you know? There’s no place for thugs on reality television, in my opinion, so I mean the final verdict from me is, he should have taken the money. His brother got the wrong name as well. Real’s as fake as they come. And Whiteboy is as fake as they come. They were the fakest guys on the show.
I was reading something you said about Whiteboy, that the beef you had with him had racial implications?
I’m a strong black guy, and I come from a long line of strong black individuals. I have people in my family who are activists right now. There are some things about myself that I want to change to become a more respectable type of guy, and there’s a certain term I just threw out the door I just don’t even use it anymore, you know which is of course the "N-word." When you come from a long line of people who are activists or have been in slavery and what have you, you kind of want them to show a little respect by not even using the word. And I’ve used it before I’m kind ashamed of using it personally myself. But it’s totally different thing when someone not of color uses it. Whiteboy knew that I knew that he used the word, he knew that I didn’t agree with it. That was really my only issue with him, besides that he’s just fraudulent image-wise, I don’t believe him one bit.
Since you have that activist spirit, did you have any inclination to sort of challenge stereotypes by appearing on a show like this?
Until I was on the show, I was one of those guys sitting at home going, there’s no way a real person would survive on a show like this let alone win the show. There’s no way that a guy would even get past day one. My reason for going on the show was that I’m a nice guy. I’m going to be respectful, I’m going to treat a woman with respect. I’m not a pushover or what have you. I hope when people see the show besides the obvious reason I’m on the show which is to get New York, the other reason is to be on the show and portray someone who people can say, "Hey, I like that guy." So women can say, "I would love for a guy to treat me that way."
It definitely didn’t seem like you were on the show to further your career. Did you even mention your music during your stay?
No, never. The only time it ever came up on the show was one day when New York came downstairs from the guys upstairs, they actually figured out who I was. They told her that I was a rap artist and a record label owner and she came downstairs and she was more or less saying that I had an ulterior motive or whatever for being on the show. And I kind of mentioned to her: let’s not go backward. If had wanted to promote that I would have worn my shirt like Chance and Real did. There was nothing on me, at no point did I want that to be an aspect of the show. I’m a serious rap artist, and putting that out would have just more like playing my profession. I thought it would have been a total bad look. I have fans, and I didn’t want them to mix the two. I’m on the show for romantic reasons I’m not here to promote my career. But at the same time, I can’t deny what it’s done for my career, either. And you know it’s like I told New York: I don’t see how being on the show is going to help my street cred.
What has the show done for your career?
I write music. I was already a freelance writer. I’m a ghost rider for other artists, and on that point it’s a amazing how many people have come up on my MySpace page, on my regular web site asking me to write for music for them. Major labels and everything, which is really great. I actually have a contract now for a major, well two now. I’m just like, wow, like, whoa, it was worth the war on TV, I guess you could say.
What do you think of the Stallionaires?
I respect hip-hop music, and respecting it means accepting all forms of it. I have heard their stuff involuntarily. It’s not anything I’d ever listen to, but I respect them for going out there and trying to achieve their dreams, despite how I feel about them personally. I know they’re throwing disses, but musically this is what hip-hop is about. I do the music I do and they do what they do. Somebody’s going to like their music.
What’s up with your rap career?
Right now, I’m working with Nokio of Dru Hill. Through the grace of the show, I’m a little more recognizable now, even though I’ve been doing music for years. I’m working with him on a few singles and he’s working with me on the major-label front, making sure I go where it’s most suitable. Really, the music thing was something I was used to already, but now it’s on a much larger scale and I’m happy about that. The music wasn’t shocking to me, but the movie and television offers were. Some producers and directors saw something on the show that they think is good. I’ve been sent scripts, one for a movie and one for a mini-series. I don’t know how I can balance that and the music out, but I have to take these opportunities. But besides the music and the acting, the biggest thing that has come out of this experience is being able to use my celebrity to do things that I care about the most, which is some of the charitable things that I do. Sudan relief, AIDS and cancer research. That’s the most important thing. I have to thank VH1 for portraying me as I actually am in real life. I’m able to work with these charities. It’s kind of sad that more kids probably know me than Colin Powell. That’s kinda odd. It’s messed up. But be that as it may, I figure that I kind of have to use this to get people to see things that I think are really important, socially and politically. So that’s what I’m really happy about: I’m able to make a difference on a greater level.