A Short Convo With… Somaya Reece

Now that Joe Budden is on to the next one, it’s time to get familiar with his new arm candy. The South Central-bred beauty spoke with VIBE about the relationship, the Internet roasters and her own rap career.

What kind of reaction have you gotten since the video with Joe Budden went up last week?
All his fans are happy for us because they’ve taken the time to get to know me. But then there has been an overwhelming swarm of hatred. Being in the public eye I’m used to it but it’s really strange that people that don’t know me would crucify me for absolutely no reason, nor do they want to take the time to get to know me.
What is the hatred about?
The hatred is pretty much always the same thing. Either they think I’m trying to gain some sort of career-obviously they don’t know who I am, because I was already doing it. I have accomplished everything on my own without an agent or any help. And then his ex-girlfriend [Tahiry], there’s the comparisons: Oh you’re hotter or You’re nothing or His ex-girlfriend’s prettier. And that’s really unfortunate that other people are more obsessed about that than he is or I am.
Does that make you not want to be in the videos or in the public?
I’m already doing my own thing. I’m getting ready to release my song with a full push, so I’m used to this. The opinion of people that are hating is something I really don’t care about because they seem to be more obsessed with the fact that I’m his new girl. Joe is allowed to move on. His ex-girlfriend is completely allowed to move on, so what is the obsession?
Well, people were calling him an asshole for parading it when the–
The thing is we weren’t! This is the problem: the way it looks versus what was happening. Because his personality is very different [from mine]. He’s very out there with it. Me, I’m very direct but in a different way… Crooked I, who’s in his group [Slaughterhouse], is my music producer and my friend for many years so this was something that was very normal for us. It wasn’t like we were like, “Let’s go on the webcam and upset people.” We were comfortable, we were talking and personally his fans wanted to meet me.
When Joe was like “I got a girl with money now,” people took that a certain way and I guess he tried to clear it up in the video but…
I was like, “Oh my God, you didn’t just say that!” ‘Cause I know how the public is. He’s so vulgar; he’s just honest like that. He can blurt stuff out. He didn’t mean it like that. I think he was trying to defend me, ’cause there were people that were like, “She’s trying to come up off you” and he was basically trying to say she already has her own thing going on, but it came out all wrong.
What do you want people to know about you? What’s your heritage?
I’m Salvadorian and Puerto Rican. I was born an immigrant, extremely poor. I’ve been a maid my entire life with my mother, up until two years ago when I started getting very big serious deals. And I did it all on my own. Producers didn’t want to produce my music. I was dissed, I was mismanaged, I was completely just crucified the entire way coming up but I’ve never known anything but to work. I’m not ashamed to say I was a maid. I’m not ashamed to say we didn’t have a car. We grew up in a garage our whole life so everything that I have now is appreciated.
VIBE-Somaya_Reece.jpgWhat kind of music do you make?
I used to rap a lot of conscious rap. Music in general has been my first love, but I was always really an instrument type of girl. I love drums and things like that, so I started rapping and I haven’t really stopped. It’s just that if somebody doesn’t put you on, it’s really hard as a female MC. I’ve always liked dance music as well [so] now I’m mixing rap with the electro.
Did you meet Joe through your music?
Not through my music at all. Joe and I technically have known each other for a long time but from afar. Crooked I is really how the connection happened. [Joe] had a relationship and he’s been–and still is–very respectful towards [Tahiry]. So we didn’t really talk and we just started talking again. It was just a friend thing, and we really dig each other so it just turned into something else. I’ve been single for two years ’cause it’s hard meeting somebody that you can click with ’cause of what we do. Look at the results. [Laughs] We’re the number-one talked about thing on the Internet for what? For being happy?
How long have you guys been together?
I don’t wanna disclose that ’cause I don’t want that to start more drama.
Are you worried about being perceived as a rebound?
I don’t care how anyone perceives me ’cause at the end of the day I’m happy with him and he’s happy with me… This is all the hip-hop world. Nobody in my world is saying, “Oh you’re the rebound.”
Have you spoken to Tahiry, or is there anything you would say to her?
I don’t know anything about her. I think it’s wrong that everyone is judging her, as well. She had to have been a good person for him to have been with her and I think she’s beautiful. I’ve seen pictures of her. People move on, now everyone else needs to move on. –Clover Hope

Somaya Reece’s new main squeeze isn’t all she has going for her. Set to drop her female-empowerment single, “Tramp” (chorus goes: “I’m a boss woman and you’ll always be just a tramp”), she’s got her eyes set on a tall task–a freshly inked reality TV show with substance.