Ta'Rhonda Jones host

You may recognize Ta’Rhonda Jones from her standout role as Porsha Taylor on FOX’s hit television series Empire alongside Taraji P. Henson, but she’s actually so much more. Beyond the small screen, Jones is an activist, director, producer, celebrity master chef champion, fashion designer, host, comedian, rapper, songwriter and philanthropist.

Most recently, Jones landed her dream role hosting the newest show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s titled The Never Ever Mets. The show follows seven couples as they transform their online dating relationship into real life, meeting for the first time in person. Thankfully, Jones is there to facilitate every step of the way.

The Source spoke with Ta’Rhonda Jones about her love for Hip-Hop and how it landed her this new role.

How long have you been rapping?

I’ve been rapping since I was 10, 11 years old. Since I was a kid. I’ve been doing this a long time.

Did the acting kind of fall in your lap?
It did. [laughs] I remember my brother calling me in the middle of the night saying “Hey, Terrence Howard is looking for this female rapper in their 20’s. I think you’d be dope for this opportunity. I do music with an engineer here and they passed the message along to him, he passed the message to my brother and that’s when my brother called me. But somehow the message got misconstrued, it was related to me wrong. 

Terrence Howard was not looking for rappers, Empire was looking for women who were musically-inclined. When I went in, I’m thinking I’m gon’ find Terrence sitting in front of me spitting these bars. He was nowhere to be found! [laughs] They’re like, “Got your lines?” I’m like, what lines? Where’s Terrence? Because I’m supposed to be rapping for him. The rest was history. Empire fell in my lap. [laughs] Because I’ve never acted before. I’ve never even considered acting. I knew I wanted to be an entertainer, but not on the scale of acting. 

That’s what happened with this show. I asked the producer after we got well acquainted with one another. I said what made you guys choose me? He said, “Well, I came across a video of you rapping in the studio. I thought, ‘Oh, this girl is something else.’” Wait, not because you think I’m a capable host, but because you saw me rapping in the studio? He said “Yeah.” [laughs] What a full circle home. I always say my music is the thing that’s going to open the doors for me, and that’s what it did with this opportunity with The Never Ever Mets. 

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What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?

I remember rapping this Shawnna song. I want to “lick you from your…” Now I was a kid, and I remember my grandma whooped me so good for singing that song. I didn’t realize until I got older, when you say the lyrics. When you listen to stuff now that you’re older and can understand the song, you’re like what? I was singing about cocaine this whole time? “Do you wanna ride on the white horse…” 

You just never know until you get a little older. You mean to tell me I was rapping about cocaine this whole time? When I used to sing Shawnna, my grandma whooped me something good for rapping that song. I’m like what is the problem? Watching 106 & Park and TRL, trying to rush home to catch those moments? Oh my God, love music. Fell in love with music. My first CD was Destiny’s Child, The Writing’s on the Wall. I got a CD player for Christmas, and that was my first CD. Look, listen: R&B, Hip-Hop? That’s my thing.

The post Ta’Rhonda Jones Remembers Getting Whooped For Singing Shawnna’s Lyrics In “What’s Your Fantasy” first appeared on The Source.

The post Ta’Rhonda Jones Remembers Getting Whooped For Singing Shawnna’s Lyrics In “What’s Your Fantasy” appeared first on The Source.

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