The happily-ever-after anecdote sounds romantic enough, but the real-life tale of schoolteacher Tiffney Cambridge and Compton rapper Jayceon “The Game” Taylor is a little more unique and, um, rough around the edges. Among VH1’s most recent reality uprising is Monday night gem Marrying The Game, an exclusive peek into Cambridge and Game’s seven-year relationship and current journey down the aisle. Sprinkle in four engagements, two kids (King and Cali) and a hip-hop lifestyle that begs late nights and months-long periods away from home, times have been quite trying. As you can guess (or have seen in the supertrailer), the road they’ve travelled is a bumpy one but they’re pulling back the curtain on how they make it work.
Vixen caught up with Game’s future wife to see what it’s really like to love him, the show’s offerings and how she spends her down time in LA.–Niki McGloster
VIBE VIXEN: How did you meet Jayceon (Game)?
Tiffney Cambridge: Through my sister’s kid’s dad. His sister does hair in his barbershop, so when I would go get my hair done, I would see Jayceon there. He would flirt back and forth with me, then I would see him sometimes at some parties and he’d just be flirting like, ‘Can I take you out?’ and all that kind of stuff. Back then, he just looked young and kind of acted young, so I wasn’t initially drawn to him or interested in dating him. But after my mother passed away, he was a good source of comfort for me and he consoled me and that’s how we hooked up.
What was it about him that made you fall head over heels for him?
We had a lot of fun together. When I was with him, I forgot about a lot of the grief that I was going through at that time. He helped me and I helped him when he first left G-Unit. We just really developed a unique friendship and through that we just kind of fell in love.
He has proposed four times. Why didn’t the others work out?
The first couple of proposals were him doing anything just to get me back. When I left him, it was, ‘Will you marry me? Come on, let’s go down to the justice of the peace.’ He would just do anything. The last one where he proposed to me at my school was probably the most memorable one, although I was mad at him for doing that because I was caught off guard. I just had gotten my wisdom teeth pulled, so I was in a lot pain. I was not at my best that day.
Many of us are aware of how difficult it is to be the wife or girlfriend of someone who is in the entertainment industry in general, so why did you choose to take that leap of faith and deal with his lifestyle?
I really don’t think I made a conscious effort to do that. It was kind of something that was already in play before Jayceon became a celebrity, so when he became a celebrity, it was like an added feature to what we already had in play. If I had taken the time to think about it, I might have done a couple of things differently. I didn’t actually think about what it would be like to be with somebody like that, so I’m kind of learning on the job.
Initially, were you nervous about letting cameras into you and Game’s private life?
YES! [Laughs] I think that I was worried and am still worried about inviting the public into my personal life and home. How is this going to affect my career? What are my kids going to think at school? You get concerned about people having something negative to say and passing judgment on you. It’s a lot. I really don’t think there is any way to deal with that; you just have to deal with it as it comes.
Being apart of the VH1 family now, who are some reality TV stars that you already know or hope to meet?
I know Evelyn [Lozada] and Shaunie [O’Neal]. Shaunie and I actually went to high school together, and Evelyn and I met through Jayceon because he and Chad are friends. I’m also friends with Imani from Basketball Wives LA and Daphne Wayans; she’ll be on the new Hollywood Exes. Those were all my girls before the reality show came to be, and it’s good that I have them because I can go and ask them for counsel.
What is some of the advice that Shaunie has given you?
She told me not to pay attention to the negative things that people say about me. We were watching Joel Olsteen and his sermon was having a “no stick” anointing. So whatever people say doesn’t stick to you it just flies on over.
That’s great advice for a venture like this. Now, in the super trailer you were arguing with Jayceon about traveling and women. What are your limits as far as the women in Game’s life?
VV: That’s great advice for a venture like this. Now, in the supertrailer you were arguing with Game about traveling and women. What are your limits as far as the women in Game’s life?
TC: The supertrailer just gave you a small part of what the conversation was about; when you see the full episode you’ll understand where I was coming from. You just don’t come up out of nowhere one day and say, ‘This is my assistant.’ It’s like what? How did we get here? It’s not so much that I don’t want any woman around him. Of course, he’s going to have women around him. It was taken a little out of context for the trailer, and when viewers see the entire episode, they’ll understand what I was talking about. When you do have females around your man that are in close proximity to him on a daily basis, I think you should have a certain comfort level with whomever that female is.
Certainly, a lot of women can understand that. There was also some back and forth with calling off the wedding. Were you having cold feet?
A little bit. Jayceon is a handful [laughs] It takes a strong mind, patience and endurance. It’s kind of like when you’re at the top of a roller coaster and it’s about to go down, you have that apprehension.
What do you want audiences to learn about your relationship from the show?
You can be polar opposites and make a relationship and family work. It takes a lot of work, but you can do it. A lot of people say, ‘Why are you with him?’ Just the fact that he’s with a more mature woman who has her head on straight and is not bouncing up and down at the club every week lends to the authenticity of our relationship. Through the show, you’ll be able to see who I am as an individual and how Jayceon is out of the spotlight of being The Game, and how people who are different in their lifestyles and careers can come together and make it work.
What are some of the other reality TV couples you love?
Jim and Chrissy are my number one favorite. I see a lot of parallels between their relationship and mine and Jayceon’s. You know Jimmy loves her to death, but he’s still Jimmy just like Jayceon loves me to death but he is still Game.
Do you want capitalize off the new limelight and dabble in passion projects as we’ve seen other reality stars do?
I’d like to stay somewhere in education. My girlfriend and I were thinking about writing some children’s books and maybe opening up a tutorial service where I can be one-on-one with the some kids so that if I’m not in a classroom environment everyday, I’m still able to share myself with our youth. Mentoring is very important to me.