As hard of a time as this may be for many people, including celebrities and influencers, Reginae Carter says being quarantined has been great for her. Not only has the 21-year-old TI & Tiny: The Friends and Family Hustle star had the chance to do some work on herself, but she also has a new appreciation for her own company.
“I feel like it’s matured me,” she told us over the phone. “It’s gotten me to understand myself more and to be able to be alone. Growing up I was the only child so I didn’t like being alone. Now I feel like I could be alone and do stuff on my own. But I’m definitely still ready for outside to open back up though!”
The burgeoning actress, reality TV star and recent new homeowner has been riding this pandemic solo, and it has certainly revved up her creative juices. She has gained a great deal of attention for her colorful and comical reenactments of Black film and pop culture moments on her Instagram page as of late. She’s received all sorts of positive feedback and says she’s been able to change her image from spoiled star’s kid to gifted star on the rise.
“That image of what I used to be, all of the old reality shows and poppin’ off, all that image is slowly vanishing. I’m getting good reviews,” she said. “Not that I care what people think, but nobody likes to be the bad guy. I know I don’t. I want people to know my heart and see my heart and know that I’m a a good person and I feel like people are starting to see that. They’re also starting to see my talent.”
Reginae was recently in the Lifetime movie Pride and Prejudice Atlanta and has been taking acting classes to showcase the chops she has on her. She says people have been tagging Tyler Perry in her videos and her agents have told her to keep the clips coming. She believes in the power of the tongue, so while she may not have things already on her schedule for when this COVID-19 crisis calms down, she is confident she will have all sorts of offers on the table.
“Of course, when everything opens back up I’m going to have a lot of different deals. I’m working on my clothing line right now. And I’m just being more active,” she said. “I could be lazy, because a lot of celebrity kids feel like ‘We gon’ be good.’ But I grew up and yeah I know my dad is always going to have it and my mom is always going to have my back, but I want my own. I want to always have my own and not have to ask for nothing.”
Reginae is ready for it all, including the pressures that can come with being a more prevalent figure in the public eye. She has already had to tackle comments made about her body on social media and isn’t interested in changing herself to fit in the industry. She’s dealt with that and will continue to buck trends and embrace her figure as is.
“I love myself. I really do love myself,” she said. “I really sit in the mirror and think that I’m the most beautiful. I know I am so beautiful and nobody can tell me who I am.”
“I was raised where I was always told, ‘you’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re educated,'” she added. “My parents, they love me and they’re going to tell me the real no matter what. I already heard it from them, and people I love, so I don’t need to take advice from nobody that’s typing online behind a computer and I don’t even know how you look.”
Being encouraged by her famous parents has helped the starlet to always know her worth. After an on-again, off-again relationship with ex YFN Lucci, she made it known that she was cutting ties with him out of respect for herself. These days she’s open to dating again, but she admitted to us that dating, especially in Atlanta as a part of Gen Z (the Internet generation), can be tough.
“I feel like in Atlanta, everybody knows everybody. I feel like the popular people, everybody’s been with everybody, so it’s kind of hard, but I feel like that’s everywhere in the industry,” she said. “It’s so hard to date in the industry. I feel like I would never date another rapper because I feel like that’s just going to be a lot of drama. I don’t want to be called the bandwagon girl or the girl who just likes rappers. ‘Oh, she’s messing with this rapper now.’ Now that I’m single, I am thinking about that because I’m very picky. People talk, and this generation of men, they’re just different; little boys actually. I’m just dating myself right now.”
And while she doesn’t want to entertain another rapper, she does have her eyes on ballers. However, she said she’s also open to giving everyday guys not in the public eye a shot. They just have to be making their own money and have their own success.
“I want the little football player, the little basketball player because I’m young and we would be cute,” she said. “But really, deep down, I have two sides to me. I feel like I really want somebody that’s low-key that nobody knows about but still makes his money and is on his stuff. That’s what I really want. So we be battling.”
She is hopeful about love though after watching her mother find it. Toya Johnson is engaged to be married to partner Robert “Red” Rushing, the father of Reginae’s baby sister, Reign. The young star has nothing but great things to say about her future father-in-law, whom she said has embraced her as a daughter since they were introduced.
“He’s a great man all around. Growing up, my mama never brought men around me. I’ve never seen hecka men come in and out the house,” she said. “When she finally brought Red around me, he was so family oriented, it just felt like I was his daughter. He loved me like his own. His parents came around and they’re like my grandparents. We went to Dubai because he does travel agency work and he got everything all together for me out there. Men don’t have to do that if that’s not your child. I feel like you have to be a good man, a family-oriented man, a respectful man for that, and he is that.”
“He sits down and talks with me. When I went through my stuff with my breakup, he talked to me,” she added. “Some people feel uncomfortable to talk to somebody else’s daughter, but not him. He took me to the side and talked to me. He’s a great man and I love Red. I love Red for my mom, too. She’s so happy with him.”
The joy felt by all parties is a far cry from where things were left when Toya’s last public relationship with Mickey “Memphitz” Wright fell apart in the public eye a few years ago. Reginae said she was pretty close to him as well, but things had to end for her mom to be where she is now.
“My relationship with him was very good. We were very close. He’s a Sagittarius like me so we kind of got each other,” she said. “It was really hard seeing that just all go down like that, but I’m a firm believer in God and that everything happens for a reason. That reason happened and now she’s happier. She has a family and this is the happiest I’ve ever seen my mom.”
And Reginae is quite content too. As previously mentioned, she is not only in a good place solo, but so are all of her relationships, including with her parents.
“Honestly, I feel like you have to grow as a person to grow your relationships,” she said. “Every relationship that I have now is healthy and I believe that’s because I’ve grown and I let hurt go and I understood that I was wrong at certain points. Me and my dad, we never had no headbutting relationship, but now I talk to him more. I’ll talk to him about anything now. That’s like my best friend.”
“And after my breakup I saw that my mother really cares for me. She’s a good mother,” Reginae added. “It’s some people that’s like, okay, you grown, you go about your own way, but no. My mother is going to tell me, ‘you’re grown but you’re my child and I’m going to look out for you no matter what.’ I respect and appreciate that about my mom. Friends aren’t promised. Boyfriends aren’t promised. But family? People can talk all day, but no one will have my back like my mother and my father. That’s why I will have their back no matter what.”
T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle airs on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on VH1.