Tyrese indulges two sides of his musical personality with this week’s “Alter Ego” (J). The hip-hop side finds the singer/actor rhyming under the rap persona Black Ty and features guest appearances by the Game, Snoop Dogg, David Banner, Method Man and Lil Scrappy, among others. Producers include R. Kelly, Bryan Michael-Cox, Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch.
The Underdogs produced the R&B-leaning lead single “One.” “I didn’t write any of the lyrics but they were speaking my language,” Tyrese says. “You get to a point where you’re just tired of sleeping around and being on the phone with 12 different girls a day. I’m saying I’m just cool with one.”
Other album cuts include “Better To Know,” “Gotta Get It,” produced by Bryan Michael-Cox, the Lil Jon-produced “Turn You Out” and “Lights On,” one of Tyrese’s personal favorites. “The concept [of that song] is about this girl who I was about to go there with and she wanted to leave the lights on,” he says. “Everybody’s always singing about ‘Baby, turn the lights off’ but she wanted the lights on. That record excites me.”
As for Tyrese the rapper, the Watts, Calif., native actually got his first taste of rhyming as a member of the local rap group Triple Impact. “This rap thing has always been in me and I’m never gonna disrespect my creativity by not bringing it to light,” he says. “For me, Black Ty can rhyme about things that Tyrese would never be able to sing about. When I was young it was all about gangsta rap – N.W.A., Eazy E, Ice Cube, Snoop, Dr. Dre — that was our sh*t.”