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T.I. and Tiny are cute together. Yeah I said it. I watched the two premiere episodes of “The Family Hustle,” their new reality show on VH1 and in that hour, I really came to like them together. This surprised me a lot too, because I stay slandering Tiny. Given that a lot of this roast is related to the fact that whatever plastic surgery she got made her look like a human Ms. Piggy. Plus, that bright red hair she rocked for a long time made her look like a fluffy Little Mermaid. And it doesn’t help that she needs subtitles to be understood when she speaks. And I’ve roasted T.I. A LOT in the past as well for the fact that every time he does hoodrat things with his friends, it lands him in jail for a year at a time. Let’s not forget that it took him fifty-eleven years to finally make Tiny his wife. Add that to the fact that he always rocks his hats like Adebisi from “Oz” and I go into roast tourettes. So yes, I was critical of them. Their story seemed like a movie starring Vivica Fox and Morris Chestnut, and I was critical of them.

However, all of that shadefulness aside (I can’t help myself), TI and Tiny won me over on Monday night. What I saw on my screen was a deeply flawed couple who had been through hell and back with each other. But more importantly, I saw two people who seemed to genuinely love (and like) each other. It was really cute too to see Tip’s romantic side as he surprised Tiny with an intimate dinner and gifts. Yes, this is material, but it showed he appreciated her in his life. Plus, any man who gifts with a fierce pair of shoes on gets extra points in my book.

Additionally, their love for their children was also evident. And I became a real fan of T.I. when he skipped the rehearsal for the BET Hip Hop Honors to go watch his son play football. My heart strings were tugged to see him being such a loving, doting father. And I caught a glimpse of what made Tiny fall head over heels for that man. That, and his cardigan game is kinda sexy.

Now, to be clear, I do like them together, but when one thinks about all they went through to get to where they are now, it’s easy to dismiss their relationship as another hood love affair. Very easy. They have six children between them, four with other people. T.I. has 2 ten-year olds and they aren’t twins. Well, they’re what folks like to refer to as “project twins.” AND it took like 8 years for him to finally realize that he wanted to marry Tiny. Add some jail trips, and you have the makings of a film called “Hood Love Affair, Part 26.” But after watching them together, I have to admit I like them. Their relationship works.

Would I have stayed while my man served consecutive back-to-back sentences for things that could have been avoided? I’m not sure. And do I have the patience to wait 7 or 8 years for him to realize I rock and he should spend the rest of his life with me? I can’t say that I do. However, I can’t really judge Tiny or say she’s stupid for doing it (as many folks did on Twitter). It worked for her and she seems happy in it. She may or may not be the exception to the rule but it’s working out so far.

People stay in really questionable relationships for a variety of reasons all the time. It’s not a question of class or education level, it’s about what the heart can take. But Tiny and T.I.’s relationship seems to be genuine. Tip treats her like a Queen, as he should. She’s earned Queendom treatment for standing by him through immaturity, petty crimes, felonies, and long bouts of celibacy. He better give Tiny ALL of the shoes and bags and houses and kisses he can dream up. But despite our judgments and pontifications about what we would have done had we been in their shoes, TI and Tiny seem to really be head-over-heels for each other. And that’s why I can’t even give them side-eyes.

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  • Laina

    I didn’t watch this show but watched a few episodes of Tiny and Toya. I liked the concern Tiny had for her father and the relationship she has with her mother. I thought she looked like her mother and talked like her also. You don’t like their life, so be it. I don’t think they are portraying themselves as role models. No, they are not two individuals that went to college, and then law and medical schools, with 2.5 children and speak English without any discernable accent. They are who they are and they represent the life of many Black people in terms of dealing with the criminal justice system even though they are not living in the projects. You don’t like her face, you think he is too short, oh well and life goes on and tomorrow is another day. By the way, it is not all about the money. She had money before he had money.