Still in New York networking after her Music Matters showcase this week (Aug. 13), singer/songwriter Tiara Thomas stopped by Hot 97 to speak up about her take on why she didn't sign with Wale. "On my part, I feel that there was no disloyalty," she told the radio station's Laura Stylze.
In February, Thomas hit the charts for the first time as a featured artist on Wale's "Bad." The song reached Billboard's Top 40 and also became Wale's highest charting single as a lead artist. And just before his The Gifted released in June, Wale added a remix of it with Rihanna to the rotation.
The rumor mill was buzzing that Thomas was going to sign with Wale, but soon after, she announced that she had a record deal with producer Rico Love's Division 1. Wale shrugged it off as being a "casualty" of the game.
Still, Thomas says there's been lingering accusations that she was "disloyal." She wants to make clear that she was already in talks with Love before "Bad" blew up. "I met Rico Love last summer ... way before the Wale situation," she said. "'Bad' was just my song then, and I played it for Rico ... he offered me a record deal two weeks after that ... I knew Wale for three years and I was never offered a record deal."
Wale maintains that he was building a relationship with her without "paperwork."
Regardless of how it unfolded, she insists, "I am very appreciative of the fact that Wale did use my record because obviously that's when everything popped off, so I'm extremely grateful. But with Rico I just felt like that was the most comfortable situation for me to be in." As far as her and Wale, "we're still cool, we're good."
Ti Ti's next gig will be at Hot 97's Harlem Day (Aug. 18), where Roc Nation's Bridget Kelly is also slated to play. Her forthcoming EP, Dear Sallie Mae, is scheduled for release "this quarter." Though there are no features on it, she hasn't become shy about collaborating at all. She said she hopes her debut album will include features with Music Matters artists J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)