Story and interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Interview Below ))) NSFW
Big Tigger's eternal legacy is that of a bengal tiger.
From September 13, 1999 to January 17, 2005, Big Tigger was the king of hip-hop television, hosting BET's Rap City: the Bassment and 106 & Park.
Big Tigg, a Bronx, NY native and graduate of University of Maryland College Park, was a popular radio DJ at WPCG 95.5 in Washington D.C. before smashin' and grabbin' the spotlight up at BET.
His BET days may be a pleasant memory but his swagger lives on via his nationally syndicated radio show, Live in the Den.
Big Tig's skill-sets aren't only positioned behind the mike, they extend all the way "to the bank", as well.
As Jay-Z says, "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business...man!"
Big Tigger 's celebrity line of "dubs", BT Wheels distributed by The Wheel Design Group are briskly flying out of the warehouse and on to "whips" everywhere.
He recently released the second edition of his popular modeling calendar, Big Tigger's Kittens-2007.
All the ladies say...Meow.
The Flow's own, Matthew Shack caught up with Big Tigg to talk about how to generate millions of dollars on the "quick and legit hustle tip".
TFM: Being a South Bronx native, which is where hip-hop originated, what do you feel about how the Bronx is being represented in hip-hop right now?
BT: I think that the few people the Bronx have in play, are doing what they do. I don’t know why the Bronx hasn’t produced more talent so to speak. I blame myself partially because I should’ve put out an album, but I didn’t. And I think for what we have representing us, we’re doing all right.
TFM: What was the process of you not putting out an album? You know everybody in the business, and you definitely got the skills…what’s the hold up?
BT: At the time when I was really interested in putting together a project, I wasn’t getting the right conversations from labels…et cetera…et cetera. Which was a problem for me. I am at all times first and foremost, a businessman. And I love music but it’s still a music business. And for me to do an album in the way I thought it needed to be done, I would have had to stop doing one or two things, in order to spend that time or redevote that time toward the album. I didn’t receive the type of deal or the type of interest from the labels, et cetera. And I wasn’t looking for a million dollar deal or nothing crazy. I didn’t receive the type of deal or interest in a deal that I felt would warrant me to stop doing something. I would have had to stop doing one of two things business wise…radio or television. . Some days, I still wish I would’ve done it,…somedays, I still think I could do it, somedays.. it really doesn’t matter.
TFM: So what’s the deal with Mike Jones' Ice Age Entertainment and Swizz Beatz' Full Surface Records?Are those deals still pending or are they in motion?
BT: I never had a deal with either one of those people.(Laughs)
TFM: (Laughs) Why is everyone saying that then?
BT: I have no idea…well..Ok. (Laughs) Full Surface and I’m still very good friends with Swizz…I love him to death. We were having a great conversation about it. It looked like it might happen, and then it got leaked that I was already signed…I took issue with that.But at the time when we were talking about it, there were other people potentially looking at me. And to hear that 'out of the blue' without any conversation kind of like, made me look kind of crazy.
TFM: I can see all of that happening.
BT: So I spoke to Swizz and we cleared it up in our own little way. The conversation never really was over, but it never really continued. Once again, it’s neither here nor there but 'it is what it is'. And with Ice Age, we never really had a conversation. Mike is a very good friend of mine, He considers me family; I consider him family. So Mike gave me an Ice Age piece (necklace), the second I put the Ice Age piece on?
TFM: It was over! (Laughs)
BT: And, when I think that they asked Mike [about it]…Mikekind of left it up in the air, like he didn’t really say if it was or it wasn’t. I guess it was a good rumor to have. (Laughs)
TFM: As a businessman myself, I’m curious to hear how you did this because we’re kind of in the same scenario here at The Flow . Your Big Tigger’s Kittens? How did that come about and what are your future plans on that? How are you going to expand it?
BT: "The Kittens" came about though back in "The Bassment". On a show, some girl wrote a letter saying that she wanted to be a "Tigger Kitten". I can’t even remember the girl’s name. She could probably sue me now if she wanted to. (Laughs) I ran with it from that point on a long time ago and I use to have a spot on my website called, "Tigger's Kittens". So over the years, it keep going. It's always been a part of my www.bigtigger.com website.
Then I met up with my man, Tori from Eye Candy Modeling and me and him clicked in a lot of different ways. One day I woke up and said, "I wanna do a calendar." He was like,"Aight..bet, let's do a calendar." So we kind of just did the calendar and we just kind of kept on going from there.
We just put out our second calendar, it's doing very well. It's available at Amazon.com. It's doing pretty good. I'm not mad at it at all. And I plan, if I can acquire enough business saavy to do things in the nature than I usually do things...I plan to turn it into a full-service modeling agency.
TFM: You need too!
BT: Oh no! I'm working on it! (Laughing) I'm not one of these people that do shit, just to do it. Like I have this saying,"I'd rather have NO look than a BAD look."
TFM: I like that shit...I'm about to steal it. (Laughing)
BT: (Laughs) A lot of people will just take the look because,"it's a look".
BT: That's not enough for me. It has to be a "good-look-slash-great-look"...you know what I'm saying? It's got to be on power with everything else I do,or there's no need to do it.
TFM: Tell us about these BT Wheels, man. You're following suit with Puffy and Master P on this wheel thing. When are they coming out?
BT: They're already out. I'm about to drop my fifth wheel in March ('07). This will be my third year of the line. I'm the only celebrity with a line. A couple of people have one wheel or two wheels. I'm the only celebrity with a wheel deal. I'm not only a celebrity with a wheel deal, I'm co-owner. We're doing pretty well, and I definitely got to show a lot of love to all the people riding around on BT's right now. It's a good feel and it's a great look. But, I can't leave you with just half the story.
TFM: Go on then...Make it happen.What else?
BT: I just signed on to be the Urban Ambassador for Courvoisier. So we'll be doing a bunch of ads, national ads. My syndicated radio show will be in 68 cities, and three countries. The show called, "Live in the den". Check it out at www.liveintheden.com.
((( Audio Interview Below ))) NSFW