Tammy Rivera is speaking her truth. First appearing on the Love and Hip Hop franchise at 24-years-old, it’s been almost a decade since the Baltimore native first graced the screens of reality television.
Proceeding on to executive producing her own show with rapper husband Waka Flocka, WE tv’s What the Flocka not only illustrates her highly publicized relationship, but her businesses, music, and the new challenge that is raising a teenager.
And after all these years of putting the needs of others before herself, the mother has also gotten real about her journey in finding herself.
“A lot of the things I go through, it’s not about my marriage,” Tammy explained about the new show. “Sometimes it’s about me as a woman.”
After moving out at freshly turned 18 with her daughter’s father, it was only 6 months later until she returned back to her hometown pregnant. After calling the experience the most miserable time of her life, she is doing everything to steer her daughter Charlie in the right direction.
Despite having a strong 7.4 million followers on Instagram, she’s feeling what most mothers feel when their daughter reaches this milestone, “Teenagers have a thing where they do not think their parents ever been through anything.”
In between designing swimwear, being a mom, and making music, Tammy squeezed some time to talk to Monsters & Critics about her ventures, Waka, and the upcoming brand new season of What the Flocka.
Exclusive Interview with Tammy Rivera:
Monsters & Critics: I thought it was really cool that you included Charlie’s quinceanera on the show. What was your favorite part about planning the whole thing for Charlie?
Tammy Rivera: Overall, it was the whole experience. Being able for her to be able to you know, do something that I wasn’t able to do and it’s crazy because everyone knows my dad is from Nicaragua.
So I was raised with my mom’s side of the family – I wasn’t raised with that side of my [dad’s] family, but when I got old enough, I was able to you know, reconnect with them. But It’s funny because Charlie, when she turned 12, she became obsessed with the culture. She’s like, way more involved than I ever was. It’s just so crazy how she was just so like, I’m having a quince like I don’t care if you ain’t have one, I’m having one.
I just thought it was so dope because a lot of people are like, you know, you’re only half Latina, you’re not really… At the end of the day, whether I was raised with my family or not, that’s still a part of my blood. I’m the only one who carries my dad’s last name. I’m his only child. I’m a Rivera so I want my daughter to be proud in her culture, period, no matter what anyone says.
Even if, you know, we were raised here or there, that’s still a part of her blood. It’s always going to be and no one can change that.
M&C: I really appreciated seeing the quinceanera on television. From the chambelanes to the carefully choreographed dances, you brought major representation to the traditional coming-of-age celebration.
Tammy Rivera: Thank you! It’s hard sometimes though because I don’t speak Spanish and I don’t ever want to misrepresent and I don’t ever want for anyone to think that I’m trying to be phony or fake but at the end of the day, like, I really can’t change who I am. That makes up a lot of who I am.
When I was younger I used to wear heels like when I was 12 years old, I was always dressing up, wearing makeup and my mom’s friends would always be like, ‘Why you let her dress like that?’ She was like ‘girl, that’s the Latina in her, I can’t change that.’
M&C: Seeing Charlie and Waka [Flocka] walking into her Quinceanera, that moment was so heartwarming. That’s the thing I like about this show, you know Waka as this rapper with hits like Grove St. Party and No Hands, but on this show, you see a completely different side of him – I don’t even know that man anymore.
Tammy Rivera: I know! Yeah, he’s definitely changed a lot and he’s an amazing father. It’s crazy because people be like ‘Oh how does it make you feel?’ I’m like, I’m definitely appreciative of him but that’s just, he’s been doing that for so long that it’s not like I’m not expecting anything else like that’s her father.
So it’s like, her dad did what her dad was supposed to do. It was hard for us because she’s older now. So even if you go back to Love and Hip Hop, when I was on that show, and other things I’ve done in the past, I’ve never ever really spoken on her biological dad. I’ve never ever spoken on the issues or anything. I’ve always been like, oh she goes to her dad for the summers and I always left it at that.
But now she’s older and even last season when the producer is saying, hey, does Charlie want to talk about this? She was like no, so I was like no. I’m not gonna bash her for that. I’m not gonna force her to do anything, like she has to be able to be ready to talk about it when she’s ready to talk about it.
M&C: I like that you show your family how it is – it’s real. You’re not trying to be this perfect little family that doesn’t argue ever.
Tammy Rivera: With TV, they only show a certain part of what happens. It’s only an hour so you got to like cram everything in, so I’ve been getting a lot of like, you should be more soft-spoken with Charlie, you should be more this and I’m like, everyone’s a parent that ain’t a parent. It’s easy to tell somebody what to do or how to parent.
I come from hard beginnings, like very humble beginnings. I’m very strong, even on both sides of my family. My mom, my grandmother on my mom’s side, very outspoken women and that’s just how we come from. So I don’t know how to be that mushy, mushy mom. I know how to tell you, okay, they hurt you? It’s okay it happens to all of us. Tie your shoes and up, get your s**t together, and let’s keep it moving.
M&C: What can fans look forward to most about this season of Waka and Tammy?
Tammy Rivera: I guess what fans can look forward to most is always just the rawness and the realness. I try my best not to give people what they think or kind of sugarcoat things. What I am in my space, is what I am.
A lot of the time the things that I go through, it’s not about my marriage. Sometimes it’s about me as a woman.
You can always expect for us to be 100% authentically who we are, and what we’re going through, is what you’re gonna get, whether you like it or not. I’m not asking to be the most likable person, I’m human. There’s gonna be things that you probably not gon like that I might say or do, and there’s going to be things that you’re like, damn, I can relate to her.
But as women, we grow, we make mistakes, we learn. As a parent, you grow, there’s no handbook on this s**t, you figure it out as you go. As a wife, it’s the same thing. As a person, I’m about to be 35, the first time people saw me on TV I was what, 24? I have grown a lot.
M&C: I recently watched some Love & Hip Hop, just seeing your growth has been..
Tammy Rivera: Girl! Like, spiritually, emotionally, physically, like, I have grown.
Watch our full interview here:
Waka & Tammy: What The Flocka airs Thursdays at 10/9c on WE tv.