EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Reginae Carter talks to us about stepping into a lane all her own, and while the reality star continues to shine, she's standing on the wise advice given to her from her father, Lil Wayne, and her mother, Toya Johnson.
If there’s one word to describe this season of Reginae Carter’s life, it’s “growth.” It feels as if we've all collectively watched her mature right before our eyes from Lil Wayne and Toya Johnson's little girl to the young woman she is today. As the child of two celebrities, Reginae has managed to do what many other famous kids haven't: remain level-headed and focused on her future. Sure, she's had her moments of social media outbursts like many others, but the 21-year-old doesn't have issues with admitting her faults. If you ask Reginae Carter, it's all a learning process as she carves out her own paths in both her personal and professional life.
Just in case you've been living under a rock, Reginae is a central figure on VH1's T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle. In this current season of the VH1 reality series, viewers will notice that the person they've become accustomed to seeing in the media has shifted as Reginae works through her first real heartbreak while cameras capture every moment. For the last few months, Reginae's name has been intertwined with YFN Lucci's, as she and the Atlanta rapper were once a hot item in hip hop. However, the infamous Cucumber Party was the straw that broke the camel's back for Reginae, and now she's hoping to showcase her authentic self, and her talents, to the world.
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We chatted with Reginae about her ongoing transformation, and she shared with us that she's been using her many artistic avenues to develop herself as a performer. She told us that she's been working in various areas of the entertainment industry, including music, so we wanted to know how she manages to make that work when with a father who is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time.
“That’s why I gravitate so much to acting and I do so much with that because that’s like, my own lane,” Reginae answered. “My dad does music, my mom [is a businesswoman]. I feel like [acting] is my own lane. People can see me for my talent and don’t see me as Lil Wayne’s daughter or Toya’s daughter, this or that. They can see me as the actress I am.”
If you've been keeping up with her social media accounts, then you have seen Reginae delivering TikTok videos where she puts those acting skills on full display. She admitted that there were "so many people" that she would love to work with on the big and small screens, but she was able to name a few. “Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson," she began. "I had the honor to work with Vivica Fox already. I worked with Jackée [Harry]. I worked with some really, really dope people already but like, honestly I’m just so grateful to work with anybody that has any tools and anything that I can learn from and pick up from so, just to get in that field, I’m thankful to even do that.”
As far as her music career is concerned, crafting hits in the studio isn't something that she's looking to be a cornerstone of her artistic endeavors. “I just want to have fun with music. Honestly, I’ve only done music with my friends and me and my dad had songs," said Reginae. "I did one song after my breakup, that’s gonna show on [T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle], too. What people don’t know is that we filmed right after my breakup so they got it like, freshly out [of a relationship]. You’re gonna hear about it but you’re gonna also see me growing and coming into myself and doing my own ventures and growing all around. So, with music, I just dabble with music a little bit. I don’t take that as like, a big thing because I don’t feel like that’s my industry. Acting is what I wanna do. Fashion is what I want to do.”
As she carefully builds her entertainment and fashion industry takeover brick by brick, Reginae Carter readily admits that there's much for her to learn— not just professionally but as a young woman. Her breakup with YFN Lucci has been a staple in headlines, and it's still something that she continues to work through and heal from. Reality television viewers may be watching her go through her split with the rapper while the wounds to her heart were fresh, but speaking with her now, it's clear that she's on the other side of heartbreak. There are infinite ways to recover from the devastation of heartache, but Reginae shared a bit of advice for others who may be going through a similar situation— and they're all notes that she put into practice.
“Get to know yourself spiritually and mentally. Take the time to get to know yourself,” Reginae said. “Don’t bring everything on that person, as well. Understand what you’ve done wrong and what the things that you can do in your next relationship. I feel like when you’re going through something, it can bring you down all around. It can mess up a lot of relationships, not just that one. Your energy is down when you’re down... Finally taking some time. Also, hanging out with friends. Just distract yourself. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be hurt. I feel like a lot of people try to put a hard coat on. I did, but I was hurt. It’s okay to miss somebody, so understand that, hey, they're better off. You’re better off. It’s okay to be mature and figure things out.”
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Her parents have been right by her side as she makes strides like purchasing her first home and preparing the launch of her fashion line, Tom Girl. Lil Wayne and Toya Johnson are allowing their daughter to make mistakes and find her way, but she relies on their advice to make it through. “Don’t let anybody tell you what you can and you can’t do as far as business. As long as you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want to do. [That’s] from my father,” Reginae said as she revealed the advice she's received from her parents. “Remain classy. Always keep your head high."
Although her mother and father have instilled in her to learn how to accept criticism gracefully, Reginae admits that still something that she fights through. "Growing up I had a problem with that. I still work on that now," she said. "Just accepting constructive criticism and understanding that not everybody is out to get you because, in this world, it’s a lot of people that I have to watch [for]." It doesn't come as a surprise to hear from Reginae that there have been people in her life who have tried to take advantage of her.
"I keep a guard up. Usually, I tend to push people away that's probably not bad for me, but I don’t want them to hurt me," Reginae continued. Because of her experiences, she's learned to carefully separate areas of her life. "Business is business. Hollywood is Hollywood. So, you just have to maneuver." The most important thing that her parents taught her is to be herself. "That’s the number one thing. Don’t be nobody else because everybody else is taken. Just be yourself.”
The expectations that Reginae has for herself are exceptional, but with the world watching and waiting for her star to shine as bright as Lil Wayne's, the pressure can be overwhelming. Yet, as we chatted with Reginae, she seems to take it all in stride. Anyone familiar with her seems to have formed an opinion about her without knowing her personally, so we were curious as to what she would hope the world would see in her underneath the layers of celebrity, gossip, and speculative reports.
“I have a great heart. My heart is really big and I care for a lot of people. I care for everyone,” Reginae replied. “Over the years I feel like it’s been a different look on me because of different reality shows and different editing.” She paused to note that she’s particularly thankful for how T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle portrays her because they are presenting her as her authentic self. “[I feel as if] people are starting to love me and they’re starting to see the real [me]. I just want people to understand..." Reginae interrupts that thought and decided to acknowledge that she owns some of the criticisms thrown at her.
"Yes, I am spoiled, but my parents kept me humble. I know not to walk around here like I’m better than everybody," she added. Contrary to what people may believe, her parents do keep her in check when she goes off the rails. "At the end of the day, I am growing, so I want people to know that when they do see me... When I do pop off, my parents are making sure that I know that that’s not right. You see me not do that again, but you gotta understand that I’m growing. So, it’s like, I want people to know that I’m a great person, aside from all of that other stuff."
We're excited for all of Reginae's plans to unfold in the years to come, but don't expect to see too much more of those sexy shots of her rocking lingerie as a Savage x Fenty ambassador. Earlier this year, she surprised the masses with a series of photos that got quite a few of her followers hot under the collar. While her love for Rihanna runs deep and her compliments for the popular brand were unending, she doesn't think that glamor modeling is her lane. "When I was picking out the clothes, I was trying to pick out... I don’t really show off too much, but Imma do it for Savage," Reginae said with a laugh. Make sure to tune in to T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle on VH1 every Monday at 8/7C.