Tahiry Jose is real. Not reality TV “real” but real as in she doesn’t mince her words or actions “real.” The dominicana model/singer lets her real life (including dirty laundry) be aired on VH1’s hit, Love & Hip Hop. “I’m just a regular woman going through regular woman situations,” she says “whether it’s work, relationships, personal baggage. I think women can look at me and they can relate!” For those who don’t know, Tahiry was in a long relationship with New Jersey rapper, Joe Budden. Per the show they’re now working on maintaining a friendship. Here the curvaceous bella talks about dating rappers, maintaining her figure, and her favorite Dominican things.
Would you recommend dating a rapper to women?
Oh wow (laughs)! To me, it’s not about the rapper. I’ve dated a rapper or two, but to me, my situation is a little different. These guys are either trying to find themselves in the industry, or just really talented. Again, when I met Joe, Joe was a rapper, but he really had nothing. He was hungry to get into the game. So I knew these people from way before that. Would I recommend it? I will just say that it’s a lot of work. When you’re dating somebody in the public eye: from the attention, to the women, to the money—everything is way harder. You just have to be ready and built for what you’re getting into.
In a recent episode of Love & Hip Hop, you get into a physical fight with Kaylin Garcia, Budden’s current girlfriend. Given what critics are saying about too much violence on reality TV, especially on shows geared towards Latinas and African American women, do you regret what happened?
I’m not very proud of the ways that I’ve handled certain situations. Again, you guys get to see 10 seconds of it, we’re there for an hour and a half, three hours, going back and forth, maybe arguing, whatever the case is. Of course I’m not proud of me putting my hands on anybody—it’s not the way to go. We should be able to speak on it. But I’m human, and I reacted. In a perfect world, or in retrospect, I can look back and say, “Maybe I could have just finished walking away.” Again, I’m not proud of it, but stuff happens in real life, and this is my real life.
As a proud dominicana, what are some of your favorite Dominican things?
My merengue! Merengue all the way! I’m more of an old school person because I believe everybody is stuck in this whole commercial phase. More Juan Luis Guerra. I love Olga Tañon, although she’s Puerto Rican. I love the language itself. How expressive it can be. If you say “Te amo” in Spanish, it sounds more passionate than “I love you” in English for some reason.
What do you do to stay in shape?
I work out three times a week. I eat cleaner now—a lot of veggies, fish, chicken. I drink a lot of water. I stay away from rice, bread. Those are my favorites, actually, but I have to stay away from it. I do, however, eat everything in moderation. If I am craving that rice, or that pork chop, or that fried chicken, I just eat little bits and pieces. I satisfy all my cravings, but I satisfy them all in moderation. I work out, I eat well, I do have my cheat days.
What is your pig out food?
Oh my God. See, when you're doing it the right way, on that one cheat day, you want it all, I’m not going to lie to you. Of course my rice, my beans, my pollo guisado. I love, love, love oxtail. I love my maduros, and I love sancocho! A perfect breakfast for me would be yuca, salami, queso frito, with a slice of aguacate.
Who do you find more romantic—Latinos or African Americans?
I think it doesn’t have to do much with where they’re from or nationalities. It has to do with the way the man is raised—a man who knows the difference between a female’s wants and needs. My first boyfriend was Dominican. I dated Latinos here and there, but Joe is African American. But that has a lot to do with your upbringing—how to cater to a female. But you know, you train people how to treat you. When it comes to men in relationships, period, its two different worlds and two different stages coming together, so you’re not always going to be 100% satisfied. You make it work, but it’s all about training. You know men! They don’t know much when it comes to some things like that. Behind every powerful man is a strong woman.
Watch Tahiry Jose on Love & Hip Hop Mondays at 8PM on VH1.