If ever you considered getting dueling relationship advice from a super-fine crush and a swagged-out uncle, now’s your chance. Let’s refer to your hypothetical counsel as the new OWN show, It’s Not You, It’s Men. Hosted by singer-cum-actor Tyrese Gibson and hip-hip legend Rev. Run, the show focuses on the many nuances of relationships, from the male perspective. The good news is, this “conversation” won’t yield the sheer and utter awkwardness of talking about sex with your prospective boo, or your uncle. Promise.
“Imagine getting a green light for a talk show from the talk show queen [Oprah],” said Rev. Run during a recent interview on The Breakfast Club. He seemed a bit awed, and humbled to be hosting a talk show on the queen’s network. But after seeing Rev. Run and Tyrese Gibson at the Dream hotel in Manhattan together last week, engaging in conversation, a talk show seems like a good fit for the duo.
“We are just organically best friends,” says Gibson, describing his relationship with the Run-DMC front man. Tyrese says they communicate practically a dozen times each day. “What we are doing is not an implant. It is not orchestrated.” Gibson is insistent making the point that his friendship with Run isn’t a contrived gimmick. The two aren’t best buds just for the sake of the cameras.
The rev’s maturity, patience and poise temper Tyrese’s turn-up proclivities. They seem to balance each other out. Expect Rev. Run and Tyrese to discuss everything from love to lust and everything in between. But the hosts see relationships from two completely different vantage points.
Take being a born again virgin, for example.
At one point, 51-year-old Rev. Run was a born again virgin. He married his second wife, Justine Simmons, over two decades ago (June 1994), but the couple didn’t get busy before saying “I do.” Now, the Simmonses have two sons of their own—Daniel Simmons III and Russell Simmons II—and are thriving.
Tyrese is a bachelor. The 37-year-old is a divorced dad. He has an 8-year-old daughter, Shayla, whom we’ve seen train and affirm via social media and YouTube. (Does anyone remember the daddy-and-me “I am somebody” videos? Beyond adorable.) Most recently, news broke that he bought his little girl an island. (Balling! But I digress.)
The super dad admits that he has a problem with being single, but vociferously opposes being a born again virgin and/ or abstinence before marriage. Gibson’s theory: sex is an important part of relationships, and he’s not willing to marry PBV (potential bad vagina)—a view that had some men and women and men both nodding in agreement.
But aside from the debates around sex and sexuality, the friendship between Tyrese and Rev. Run has brought forth many lessons, as well as the 2014 New York Times bestseller, Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed.
Run is the elder statesman, and a reverend for goodness’ sakes. He has been a mentor, big brother and spiritual advisor to Tyrese.
“How can you naturally know how to be something you were never raised by?” Gibson said at one point of fatherhood. Not having a father growing up in Watts, California, the singer learned to break a cycle of which he was so deeply entrenched—and Rev. Run, as a family man, was no doubt a positive example.
“We are all trying to meet a better version of ourselves,” said Tyrese, channeling his inner Oprah Winfrey. On It’s Not You, It’s Men, Tyrese and Rev. Run hope to point women in that direction.
It’s Not You, It’s Men airs on OWN Saturdays at 9/8 C.
Felice León is a New York City-based writer, host, envelope pusher, and a semi-recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School. When León isn’t hosting or co-producing her web series, Running the Streets with Felice León, she works as a freelance multimedia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @RTSWFL.