On a good day, rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris have enough drama going on in their lives to test the very limits of the reality show they’ve inhabited since 2011 on T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, and the past few months have been particularly dramatic—even by their standards.
Never ones to handle things anything close to quietly, Tip and Tiny have apparently decided to address the situation through a pair of songs about their relationship. Yesterday, T.I. released a new single, “Stay,” a slow jam with an early-Kanye-style chipmunk soul sample and nostalgia-drenched lyrics that profess undying devotion to a woman with the clumsily earnest hyperbole of a New Edition song. (“Girl, together or apart / But you’ll be forever in my heart, I swear.”)
T.I. and boxer Floyd Mayweather have been beefing recently, and back in May the situation escalated when Mayweather seemingly claimed during a press conference to have slept with Tiny. (Mayweather says he was misheard.) At the same time, the runaway success of T.I.’s protege Iggy Azalea has reignited longstanding rumors that their relationship extends beyond business.
At nearly the same time “Stay” went online, Tiny was posting a new video for “What You Gon Do?” which offers a much different take, and as its combative title suggests (the dirty version is actually called “What The F@#K You Gon Do?”), it doesn’t share “Stay”‘s optimistic perspective. The co-writer of “No Scrubs,” Harris is an expert at airing out men who don’t meet her standards, and the lyrics run down a long list of a partner’s shortcomings, interspersed with threats to up and leave him. The combination of unflinching frankness and a beat that consists of little more than a fantastically deep bass line is enough to blow the sappy “Stay” out of the water. If Tiny and T.I. are entering a full-blown feud with one another (whether actual, scripted or somewhere in between), she’s taking an early lead.