Tahiry has the internet going nuts, literally. The New York-bred Dominicana first went viral when photos of her, her apple bottom and her boyfriend Joe Budden, surfaced on several gossip hip-hop blogs.
Soon after, TeeTee sporadically began popping up on Jump Off’s Joe Budden TV. It turns out web heads were more into Tahiry’s curves than hearing Joey warn rappers about putting his “foot in their ass.” Initially limited to brief cameos, she quickly nabbed a lead role-resulting in spiking YouTube views and a buzz of her own, a buzz so deafening that King magazine, XXL‘s sister publication, came calling.
Now arguably Joe Budden TV‘s main draw, the web star-turned-pinup is splitting King‘s last cover with Keyshia Cole. XXL recently caught up with Tahiry to discuss her past video vixen ambitions, the other bad girlfriend, Amber Rose, and whether or not her butt really has a bigger buzz than Joe.
XXL: How did your first appearance on Joe Budden TV happen? Did Joe just turn on the camera or did he prep you before hand?
Tahiry: No there was no prepping at all, not even now… it was just taping. Joey is very computer savvy. He loves his cameras and his computers. He happened to have bought the camera. He was at the studio all night and he just walked in and I had the covers on my head and when I look up he’s recording me and making fun so I just cursed him out. So it was pretty much just him being happy with his new toy.
XXL: Has there ever been something he filmed, something you felt was inappropriate to go online and told him, “Joe, you not putting this online?”
T: No we pretty much…lemme see, everything is just what it is. We do look back at what we film and laugh about it but we never had any time where we were like, “no this is not going up.”
XXL: At what point did you realize you were getting some kind of buzz?
T: After the “Come Upstairs 4 A Minute” [webisode] and after we put it up and I think after a couple hours it had 6 to 8 thousand views. To me it was incredible. I’m not the computer savvy girl so I sat down and looked at Joey and said, “10,000 people watched, is that even possible?” The response was huge really quickly.
XXL: You got a buzz without being in a video, was being in videos something that ever crossed your mind before?
T: Yes, when I was younger.
XXL: Did you go through with it?
T: No I didn’t do a video, never. I’m really shy, I’m really timid.
XXL: We can’t tell.
T: You know why people can’t tell, because I’m at my home you know it’s my camera. I’m in control, it’s the dynamics between me and my boyfriend, it’s how we act on a regular basis, it’s nothing planned, so it’s what I know. That’s why I’m so comfortable. People approached me throughout the years. I thought about doing it, but the fact that I’m shy held me back so I’ve never done one. You know every girl thinks about that when they watch TV when they look at these girls and they play dress up and they look cute in the video, everybody’s like, “Oh, I want to do that one day,” but you know because I’m shy…
XXL: I think I remember an episode where you said people were starting to recognize you and they were coming up to you now. What are they usually saying when they come up to you?
T: Well I got a number of guys at bars where I work at, they did the star struck line. I had a guy hyperventilate and not understand, like he was just really at awe when I approached him about what he wanted to drink. He was like, “Oh my God, oh my God, does anybody know who you are? You’re famous, oh my God.” And you get the “Oh my God” for like half and hour and I was like, “Dude can I get you a Heineken? Hello, it’s okay, it’s me relax.” They walking around with their iPhones on one of the episodes and they point out and they call me over like “This is you, this is you.” I get a lot of that.
XXL: So you still work as a bartender?
T: I work in all my regular spots, yeah. I have a number of bartending jobs.
XXL: We won’t make them public ’cause next thing you know they’ll be a bunch of people there just trying to get a glimpse?
T: I’m getting that. I walked in on Friday at work and I had like 18 guys that I’ve never seen before just stand there and watch me, then after a half hour they ordered and then after they ordered they sat there and everybody’s just quiet and then when I start cracking jokes they’re like, “Oh my God, you really are that cool. I get that already.
XXL: How has it been doing interviews? I’m assuming it’s something new for you.
T: It’s so new that I’m nervous right now. Joey is pretty much a very resourceful guy. He really helps me out with these things because you know I’m like I said, shy. I don’t know… this is just all new, like now I’m looking at like, “3 O’clock, oh my God, interview.” It’s been cool, but I feel like I still have a lot to learn.
XXL: You said comments online used to bother you. What kind of negative comments are you getting?
T: I think I have a 50/50. Hold up, I’m lying. I think I have an 80/20, an 80 of like, “Girl do your thing,” you know, “F the haters” and then of course you have the haters that say, “Joey’s exploiting you, we don’t want to hear her speak” or “I’m tired of hearing her speak” or “Joey stop posting your girlfriend.” Those are like the comments but I no longer read them. If I do run into one or hear one or somebody calls me about it, it’s funny to me now. Like I said Joey, he guides me through this whole process. He has the thickest skin ever in life. You know you used to be everywhere, in the hood and people always have things to say, but it’s on a different level now. It bothered [me] for maybe 2.2 seconds, but then I look over at my partner who deals with this everyday and he’s able to get up and do what he has to do, then it motivates me to be like, “You know what, F them. I’m fine, we’re going to be fine. Don’t pay it no mind.” Obviously it’s funny to me. I don’t care anymore.
XXL: So you’re starting to be mentioned with another celebrity girlfriend, Amber Rose. We even did a Amber Rose vs. Tahiry blog. How do you like being compared or pit against her?
T: Well I’m actually flattered. I’m just a regular girl and to even be mentioned… I think Amber Rose is sexy and extremely beautiful, so I think it’s awesome. I’m flattered, I’m honored to have another girl, another woman who’s fucking amazing and people to actually put our names in the same sentence.
XXL: How did the King shoot happen?
T: They contacted Joey’s manager Crystal about having me actually doing a page, I think three pages and like I said I’m very shy and things started happening way too fast. So, it took me a while to soak it all in. In the beginning I was like, “you know what, nah I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m ready for this.” Joey again since he is my guide, he sat down and tried to explain to me what’s happening, and me being timid again I said, “No, I need some time.” Eventually I put the S on my chest and I said, “Let’s do it.” I got the cover which wasn’t expected either.
XXL: How was the experience with the shoot? I know you said you’re shy.
T: I was very nervous. To me, like I said you watch videos and you think it’s like playing dress up, every girl likes to get their hair and make up done and put on some outfits and pose for the camera. Every girl wants to feel sexy and do things like that but it’s hard work. It’s a lot of hard work, but it was great, I’ll do it again.
XXL: So where are you trying to take this King cover. It’s a pretty big platform, a big stepping stone.
T: Well I don’t know, there’s a foundation I wanna pursue acting because I can’t sing I’m gonna keep it real because you know how everyone goes to singer or rapping and I can’t do none of that so I’d probably pursue my passion in acting.
XXL: So that was something you were doing before?
T: Actually I didn’t really have the time because I’m the oldest of three and my family comes first. So I was out handling my business, taking care my family and so my passion and the things I wanna do, I put it all the way at the back. And now I’m at a point where I can go out there and do it because Joe Budden TV pushed me. So now I’m gonna take advantage of this time that I have.
XXL: Does your butt really have a bigger buzz than Joe?
T: No. My boyfriend is extremely talented I don’t know that my butt has a bigger buzz, but you know I don’t even know how to answer that question to be quite honest with you. To me it’s not about the buzz, my boyfriend is extremely talented, he’s fucking great and as far as my butt, that’s just a line when [Joe and Saigon] were beefin’. He just wanted to go and try and diss him. But I don’t even know how to answer that. I don’t think so. I think Joey and me are together, so if I have a buzz, we have a buzz.-Carl Chery
King magazine’s 51st and last issue featuring Tahiry Jose and Keyshia Cole on the covers, hits newsstands April 21st.