The Barbs were out at 2022 Essence Festival, as Nicki Minaj came and shut down the stage on night one. While fans were awaiting the hip hop icon’s arrival, daytime television host and Minaj fan in her own right, Tamron Hall, kept the crowd entertained. Hall hyped the crowd in her all-pink outfit, showing everyone in attendance how much she rocks with the “Anaconda” rapper.
In addition to putting her love for Minaj on full display, Hall took a few moments to sit down with REVOLT. She discussed her daytime talk show, the moment that shaped her into the professional she is today, and the best part about being a Black woman. Get into our interesting conversation below.
— ryan mitchell (@TheSlayGawd) July 2, 2022
You were at Essence Fest killing it. How did it feel?
It felt so good. The last time we were there was in 2019 and I was launching my talk show. Now we’re starting season four in the fall. It’s like a charge — it really reinvigorates me, and it gets me ready to go back into the studio.
Let’s talk about season four of “Tamron Hall.” What are some changes you’d like to see or expand on for the new season?
I like that you said “expand” — we’ve been making a lot of changes from season one ’til three, and now we know who we are. To see how the fans have been responding to the changes, from laughing together and crying together, chatting about love — there’s no better feeling than being real and authentic. I love that you used the word “expand” because we don’t have to always change things — there’s growth that you can experience and that’s what we’re doing.
“The Wonder Years” is such a fantastic show and you hosted the panel for it at Essence Fest. Reminiscing on your wonder years, is there a moment that shaped you for your career?
When I met my English teacher Mrs. Rose in ninth grade. Everyone in my school at the time would tell me to not take her class — “She’s hard” and “She’s so mean,” describing her like Debbie Allen’s character in Fame. I somehow got stuck in her class and it was life-changing. I love her so deeply and she opened my eyes to Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez. She opened my world and is a part of the reason that I’m here now.
As daytime television continues to expand with shows from Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd, do you have any advice for the new ladies of daytime?
I am not in the position to give anyone advice (laughs) but I’ll tell you this — I’ll give you the advice that the real Queen of Daytime gave me, which is Oprah Winfrey. Have your intention and be authentic. That will serve you in anything that you do, whether you’re a daytime talk show host, a teacher … it doesn’t matter. If we can keep our authenticity, that is the guide in life for everything. They’ve done incredible things within their fields, and I know the advice that Oprah gave me will serve them well.
What’s the best part about being a Black woman?
The best thing about being a Black woman is having a Black mama (laughs). That’s your crutch. My mother is my crutch and seeing her, my aunts, and all of these strong women raise me in Texas, in our church — I am them and that is the best part about being a Black woman.
As you continue to progress, what are you hoping to accomplish in the daytime television circuit?
Oh, wow. I hope to show people that you can have a daytime television show of substance. You can have real, adult, grown people conversations. We had a show on medical gaslighting and the number of women who go into their doctor’s office and aren’t heard, who are subsequently dying. The number of Black women who are dying in childbirth — we did that show and it was highly rated so we’re able to, in one hour, chat about the things that your friends are talking about. It’s like being at brunch, two drinks in, and the people who we really like are gone — now we’re having real conversations. I love fun and the variety we have — we can do all of that but I felt in that time, what was missing is that conversation that we really needed to sit down and talk like grown people. That’s what we’re doing.
Would you ever pivot into podcasting?
I just wrote my second book in my novel series “As The Wicked Watch” and I went to publishers to pitch that idea. I was told this was the first crime novel written by a Black woman with a Black female protagonist that is a journalist. It had never been done and just like how I became the first Black woman to host the “Today” show, the first Black woman in 25 years to have ABC Disney back this show since “The Oprah Winfrey Show” — I’m a little busy (laughs). I’ll never close a door — I tell the young kids that I mentor all the time let there be a sliver, I’m going to bust it all the way in. Right now I’m focused on the novel and raising my baby Moses … dedicating my heart and soul to the “Tamron Hall” show.
You’re definitely a Nicki Minaj fan. We saw you on night one in your all-pink outfit, hyping up the crowd before she came out to perform. What is it about Nicki Minaj that does it for you?
I just love her — she is so talented and multifaceted as she can act, sing, and of course rap. I feel like women in hip hop get no love. One of the most legendary Vibe covers had Lauryn Hill, Lil Kim, Missy Elliott and Foxy Brown featured and it was iconic — the queens of hip hop at the time. Even Queen Latifah was on there. These legendary female hip hop artists did not get their due and don’t get the longevity that the men get. Nicki reminded us when she hit the stage — and still does — of the greatness of a female hip hop artist. I am here for Nicki and I don’t care what anyone says.
What’s your favorite Nicki Minaj song that you’ve rapped to yourself in the mirror?
“Roman’s Revenge” (laughs).
Word for word, Tamron?
Listen, you better not get in my way (laughs). I always visualize what it was like when she recorded that and “Monster.” Everyone just had to walk out the room, I’m sure. She’s incredible — it’s so important for us as Black women to not shrink ourselves down, as we’re often told to so people won’t think we’re too loud or intrusive. She is too, too, too everything and I love it because that’s how we should be.
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