There’s a lot to be nervous about right now. With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s important to hear stories about real, authentic love. This week, Michael and Pele give us some good laughs as they talk with Tobe & Fat, a power couple in the Houston music community that have plenty to share about their experience as friends, partners, lovers, and business partners. Get a refreshing listen for your ears, as we all do our best to stay inside and keep our communities healthy.
- Follow Tobe @tobenwigwe
- Follow Fat @tobecallsmefat
[00:29] Michael Bennett: Before the guests come on today, they’ve got an interesting story. And they also work together. I think it’s really interesting, because we’ve done a lot of stuff together, but this is our first actual business together.
[00:43] Pele Bennett: But it’s in our own private time and space. But then doing a business that’s public like this, where you’re being more vulnerable and you’re getting, you know, deeper within yourself and each other, I think it does take it to another level.
[00:54] Michael Bennett: Yeah, I just think it’s just different because it’s just one of those things where you work differently than I work. And, you know, I work differently than you work. But at the same time, it’s like we’re coming together. You’re working within a business, so you also have to follow these guidelines. I think a lot of times that breaks a lot of relationships, business,. Because the business is your livelihood, and sometimes people care about the business more than they care about their significant other. That’s a hard balance to have because people want to be successful in their business, but they also want to be successful in a marriage.
[01:23] Pele Bennett: Right. And I think that our next guests have really displayed great partnership where they know them personally and they’ve shown how they work together, then have gotten married, are bringing up kids and they’re flourishing and doing so many great things. And I think it’s beautiful to have that type of healthy relationship reflected for people to see that that is obtainable.
[01:45] Michael Bennett: Also, I don’t think arguments and stuff like that doesn’t mean that there’s not a healthy relationship. I think that’s the issue that I feel a lot of people that work within business, there’s going to be arguments because you’re trying to make a product. If two people are working on a product to bring it together, it brings inspiration. So I feel like that’s OK within business to have that.
[02:11] Pele Bennett: I don’t think arguing about things is unhealthy. Because if everything was perfect every day, all the time, I don’t think that’s healthy, either. Because then you’re not really speaking your mind and opening up how you feel or your thoughts or opinions on anything. I think it’s important to be able to express yourself on whatever you feel the business decision needs to go, which direction, but also on the other end, the other person needs to be able to receive that information. Sometimes difficult is bringing those two together when you do not agree on something.
[02:38] Michael Bennett: I also think that within this workspace that the couple is sharing, whether it’s a restaurant or something, that they make sure that they don’t take that home. Because I feel like that can happen. Like, “oh, you feel that way? I didn’t know you feel that way.”
[02:50] Pele Bennett: So you’re saying to separate business from your relationship. And I’m saying that is difficult because they’re constantly both going all the time.
[03:00] Michael Bennett: We as individuals and we as couples have to find out if we choose to work with our partner, what does that bring to the table? What does that bring when we’re working with our partner in a business-like atmosphere? There’s gonna be some stresses that have happened to us. And just because the individual is stressing about the product or the job or the site doesn’t mean that the person has that feeling towards you, towards the work ethic that the person is having.
[03:23] Pele Bennett: Or if it’s towards your work ethic, that is towards you. Because you do kind of feel attacked when it’s against you or whatever role that you’re responsible for. But like, you have to have those clear lines where it’s like, no, no, I’m actually — this is constructive criticism for this area, not for you personally as a person.
[03:41] Michael Bennett: That’s why I think if you go into a business together, we should change our names right off the bat. Walk in and my name’s not Michael anymore. You gotta be someone else because it’s like those two people can argue, but when they leave, it’s like, “hey, Pele, how was your day?”
[03:55] Pele Bennett: That’s true because sometimes if we see someone and we’re like arguing and they’re like “hi, hello, how are you?” So maybe we should pretend. We’ll let you know if this works because this might not be a good idea.
[04:09] Michael Bennett: “That guy Marcus at my job today, he was a fucking asshole.” And I could be like, “oh, that’s true. He sounds like a jerk.” That’s a great idea. I’m pitching the idea to all listenerrs. Change your name with your partner at work. It’ll make it a lot easier.
[04:37] Michael Bennett: You grew up in a family business. I didn’t grow up in a family business. Both my parents worked in two different places. They still argued, though. But your family grew up in a family business, so I never knew what that dynamic was because it just wasn’t you, it wasn’t just your parents. It was all the siblings working together. What was that like?
[04:57] Pele Bennett: I can’t speak on — because I know every family business is different. But for our’s specifically, I think it brought us together. I truly believe that that’s another piece of our family, why we’re so close, and we have these great bonds and relationships and we’re able to talk. It’s because we worked together every day for years. And before my siblings came along, my parents were already working together for years along with their siblings. So it is a different dynamic, but I think it’s a beautiful thing that you can come together with your loved ones and grow something and work on a project, company. But I think it is true to specifically tell everyone what their role is and what they’re in charge of. And then let them handle that, because I mean, I can’t say it wasn’t perfect every time. You know, like we’ve had our different agreements and arguments. But I think at the end of the day, the bond, it does, it just forms and it grows. The more you spend time together and listen to each other’s decisions.
[05:53] Michael Bennett: I think that’s the biggest thing that I take from our conversation, and hopefully the conversation that we’re going to have with Tobe and Fat. If it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be growth within your relationship. So I just feel that it’s OK to understand that there’s got to be some rocky road, but being able to hold still through the tide. Just know that there’s going to be some ups and downs, but love conquers all. Love conquers hate. I’m changing my work name. Everybody that listens to this show, can you please choose two work names for me and Pele at work? Send them to us on our Twitter or Instagram, or hit up Lemonada Media. Let them know what names you pick. Don’t be vulgar.
[06:34] Pele Bennett: Give me a good name, please.
[06:37] Michael Bennett: Every day we come to work for our podcast, those are gonna be the names that we go by.
[06:52] Michael Bennett: Today, we’re talking to one of our good friends —
[06:55] Baby squeals.
[06:59] fff: Sorry.
[07:09] Pele Bennett: She did her own intro.
[07:10] Michael Bennett: Two of our good friends from Houston. Well, Fat’s not from Houston, she wishes she from Houston, but Tobe’s from Houston. Tobe is a rapper that — he really didn’t learn how to rap until we started freestyling together. Matter of fact, I still feel like really taught him how to freestyle. You know, him and his wife and their producer, they’ve put together some of the greatest messages for people to have today, these meaningful messages that they do within their raps. The way that they live their life. There’s not a lot of couples out there doing that. And they are what people want to have, relationship goals, how you can work with your partner, how you can be a great family and how you can do all those things together. I’m glad to have them on the show.
[08:31] Michael Bennett: How did you guys first meet? What’s the story behind it? I know your story is gonna be extravagant, but we need both sides of the story.
[08:41] Tobe: Hold on, are we literally jumping into it right now?
[08:45] Michael Bennett: We want to know how y’all met. I know what I know about it.
[08:58] Tobe: You might want Fat to go first. Because if I tell the story first, people will be thinking that I’m lying. So I don’t want people to think there’s any gas added to it. I just want you to hear the story in totality and then we’ll move from there.
[09:21] Fat: Well, first of all, how long do we have? You want the short version? The long version?
[09:28] Pele Bennett: You know, whatever information you want to give that will defend your story before Tobe speaks.
[09:32] Fat: The short version is I saw Tobe, I pulled Tobe and we got married. So the longer version is we met at church. Tobe was doing his nonprofit thing.
[09:51] Tobe: I was out here trying to give God my best.
[09:55] Fat: He had already transitioned in life from his college ways. He was try to live right for the Lord. And I had been doing that my whole life. And I was currently on a sabbatical when I met Tobe. So I was experiencing life. I met him at a church. And when I first saw him, we went to like the youth night at church and he ended up inviting us to his nonprofit meeting, like the next day or so or whatever. Me and my friends went and when I saw him, I knew that he was supposed to be with me. And when he saw me —
[10:40] Tobe: I knew that she was supposed to be for somebody else.
[10:44] Fat: So I initially wanted him and he wanted nothing to do with me. And then he was very vocal about that. He would tell me that he didn’t want a relationship, that he wasn’t into me, all of those things. And I was like, well, I got two options: I could ignore what I felt like God was telling me or I could not be putting it into the right context. So I probably jumped to relationships, and God was probably telling me I’m supposed to be helping with what he has going on. So I involved myself in his nonprofit.
[11:19] Tobe: And by involve herself in my nonprofit, she means whatever position was open, she tried to do all of it. Oh, we need somebody to do this. OK!
[11:32] Michael Bennett: So what I’m getting from this, Tobe and Fat, you’re saying that it’s OK to continuously pursue a relationship, even if you’re getting the wrong answer some time. You should continuously go.
[11:45] Fat: No, that is not what I did.
[11:50] Michael Bennett: I’m saying sometimes you’ve got to work to get what you want. Like sometimes in love, people when they hear the word no, or they hear something, they just give up. But with you, you wanted something and you kept pursuing it. I think that’s a positive message to have within a relationship. That goes to show that in the long run that you’re gonna be there because it’s what you really want.
[12:09] Fat: So I do agree with that. Some relationships that is the case. But in this specific one, I felt like I heard from God telling me that he was my husband. In my mind, I could have gassed it. So I wanted him to be. But he was sitting there telling me that, no, that wasn’t it. So I was like, maybe I embellished what God was telling me. So when he told me no, I put Tobe into a friend category and started helping him with whatever he had going on.
[12:37] Fat: When it first started off, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think you were necessarily in the friend category. I’ll be honest with you. So once Fat showed me she was genuinely there for me, and like a true friend — and I could just really see how much she loved me. The very first time that we decided to be together, it made me say, all right, let me see if I could get to loving her like she loves me. When we first got together for six months and then I literally just told her, like, hey, listen, I don’t think we should be together. I don’t love you like you love me. And you’re a phenomenal person and you deserve somebody who loves you, like you love them. And I’m not the person. So we stopped talking for like a year. No conversation, no communication, like she started like just doing her own thing. Being fully confident in who she is. And after a year we started talking straight platonic. And then I had an epiphany within myself. So once I had that epiphany, I knew for a fact that this is the person that I wanted to be with, not just so we could be like boyfriend, girlfriend. But I wanted to, like, fully commit to her and be with her for the rest of my life.
[13:58] Michael Bennett: Which is interesting, too, because you guys are in love, but you also run your business together. You guys are independent, right?
[14:06] Tobe: Definitely. I love how when you said we run our business together, Fat just started looking off into the distance. I feel like though I run the majority of the stuff that goes on, you run me. You make sure I have everything I need and I’m not going crazy. And I promise you that’s essential. I would not have went on vacation if you did not say, hey, let’s take a break.
[14:34] Michael Bennett: Being independent, what are the challenges that you notice? A lot of people who are probably listening to this, they may not be music artists, they may be somebody who wants to do their own book or whatever their own business. What are the challenges of being independent in something and putting everything into something that you believe in regardless of you have the backing behind you?
[14:50] Tobe: The challenge is your trajectory, your success, your whatever is all dependent upon the effort and the time and energy that you put into whatever it is that you’re doing. If you don’t do it, nobody’s gonna do it for you. And I think that’s one of the biggest struggles with being independent or being an entrepreneur. It’s a different lifestyle. The majority of people in the world, they value effort, they value how much time it took to do something.But for entrepreneurs and independent people, the only thing that we truly value is execution. And that it get done at the end of the day. And I feel like that’s how most business owners operate. For me specifically, though — I love everybody, I want the best for everybody — but when it comes down to what it is that I’m doing with my stuff, it’s either execution or die. A loss to me equals death to not just myself, not just to what I’m doing, but to my family, my kids, my wife. So I just look at things a whole different way I’m doing, even though my service is to the world.
[16:15] Pele Bennett: So what are some of the challenges that you guys have faced as a couple?
[16:18] Michael Bennett: And how did you brand love?
[16:23] Pele Bennett: Yeah, that’s what I mean, like how did they do it together?
[16:29] Fat: I would say one of the challenges is we ran into was the fact that Tobe was this very aggressive, just driven person when it pertains to the music and everything. And I’m more of a free spirit, let’s call it free spirit. And so it was clashing at one point because he was like, “Why you not doing this? Why you not doing this?” And I’m like, all right, I’ll do what needs to be done. If I don’t feel the importance of it in that moment, I will put it on my list based off of priority. And so I had different priorities, especially with us being a year in and then having a baby and then on the second baby. I had to have different priorities. Almost wasn’t a choice for me. But for him to understand that that was one of the challenges that we ran into. Because I was always there. I was always at the video shoots. I was always right by his side doing things. But the other stuff that he wants me to do, like with social media and stuff like that, I wasn’t able to do because I had to have different priorities because we were building a family.
[17:51] Tobe: I will say some of the challenges — I come from a sports background, so our whole thing is execution. No excuses, no softness, no weakness, no blah, blah, blah. All that type stuff. So I took that same football/workout/championship mindset to not just Fat, but my entire team. And I learned quickly that everybody didn’t play football. Everybody don’t move based upon like you challenging them.
[18:37] Fat: Everybody don’t respond to aggression.
[18:40] Tobe: And the number one person who don’t respond to aggression is Fat. I will say, not necessarily after we got married, but before we got married, I struggled with trying to motivate Fat the way I receive motivation. I would say stuff just too sternly. n=Not even in a loud voice. And Fat would be like, why are you talking to me like that? I’d be like, what? I had to realize, hey, hey, hey. She don’t work for you. This ain’t like a football team. This is a marriage. You will humble yourself when you talk to her in a way that she can receive it. Because we are partners for life. I used to be like, “you’re just sensitive. You gotta stop being sensitive.” No, she don’t got to stop being sensitive. I gotta stop talking like that. Because she is sensitive. She is not me. I had to understand. And this was before we got married, I had to understand that if I really love her and I’m truly marrying for the right reasons, then I accept her 100 percent as she is. Not that I don’t want her to get better. Not that I don’t like push her in a way that she can receive to get better. But I accept her wholeheartedly for who she is. And I appreciate her wholeheartedly and the differences that we have, because the differences that we have make us work so well together.
[20:22] Fat: And Mike, to answer your question, I don’t think our intention was to brand love. It was really to show people who we are. We’re saying in a video, on a podcast, on TV. Like, we’re the same in all those other spaces as we are in our actual home. And so it was really just to show people and to tell people who we are. And I feel like our marriage is built on a foundation of love, so it can’t help but shine through everything that we do.
[20:57] Michael Bennett: I just feel like in this generation where everything is so me, me, me. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. And when people talk about marriage, they talk about it as that old ball and chain, in a negative way. It just seems like when you guys talk about marriage, you talk as though it’s biblical and divine. It’s not instant. it’s something that you have to work through. There’s going to be tough times and hard times, you get to know somebody. I just think that’s a really cool aspect because there’s not a lot of people who have that within their relationship or who are sharing that within the world. People want to show they’re butts on Instagram they’re not showing what a healthy relationship is. And I just think that’s really, really dynamic.
[21:40] Tobe: I fully agree with you. And beyond like whole biblical thing, I really think that marriage is literally the most beautiful relationship you can have in your life. And I feel like it grows you the most. It grows you more than any other relationship that you have in your life because you’re dealing with somebody on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis who you can’t hide from. Who sees all your flaws. Like the whole naked and unashamed type thing. And this person, who has my best interests at heart, is going to hold me accountable for everything and like you can’t hide from the person. And you have to be who you say you are with this person.
You can always tell if someone is in like a healthy relationship by how they treat like the person closest to them. I look at life completely different now. I could be talking to a dude and if the dude say he got a wife, I’ll look at how that relationship is and how she responds to him and how she acts with him. And if they ain’t sweet together, then I probably don’t want to be in no type of relationship with them. What would you do with me if you would do the person that you’re with would like, the person that’s closest to you like that? How would you handle me? So I always look at life and family and relationships just completely different just because of my whole perspective of marriage. And because how we grew up, people’s always marriage seemed like it’s just the worst. It could be the worst thing possible for you if you get involved in it. And it is really the best thing that has ever happened in my life.
[23:33] Pele Bennett: I think unfortunately there are so many examples of failed marriages or bad marriages, so I think it think for me, when someone “we’re married” to me, that’s not a great thing because I don’t know them. I don’t know what happens behind the walls, what happens when the door closes. Because there’s so many people, you know, personally that are married and looks great on the outside, but they’re struggling and they’re literally just living through pain every day, even though they’re married. So I think that it’s so important to show a healthy marriage, what that looks like and what they can look like, but just know that it’s work. It’s so much work every day, but it’s rewarding.
[24:14] Fat: It’s so worth it. Like it really is, it really is. to go through the hard conversations and some of the arguments and then come out on the other side, and you’re closer, stronger together. It is so beneficial. But a lot of people just don’t want to put in the work, they would rather run and try to start something else.
[24:35] Michael Bennett: How do you guys go about putting such an artistic feel on the videos and stuff. And Tobe, particularly, the messages you do within your rap — we always talk about how rap has changed so much and everything. Then you come out with these messages that are just so positive? How do you not get caught in what is played on the radio? Staying true to your vision. And how do you continuously not become a gimmick person, but to keep your validity and your truth?
[25:08] Tobe: I think it’s real simple. Before I started doing any of this music stuff or nonprofit stuff, and I thank God for it, that I knew exactly who I was before I ever started doing music. So I didn’t know exactly how I was going to deliver the message in music, or delivered a message in my nonprofit organization and stuff like that. But I know exactly who I was. And I had already had the revelation on who Tobe was outside the football player, outside the talent, outside the charisma, outside of all of that, I knew exactly who I was. I knew exactly what my purpose was. I knew my purpose was to be a conduit to the realization that people of purpose in people’s lives. No matter what vehicle God has me in. So now that I know exactly who I am, I know exactly what I will and will not do. That’s why I feel real bad for child stars, kids that get into the business and they don’t have a chance to know who they fully are. It’s one of the saddest things to me when you have to see somebody grow up and be extremely popular and famous and deal with all the extra stuff and people have to watch you go through your trials and tribulations. Whereas I got to figure out who I was up to the age of 25.
[29:13] Pele Bennett: Share the story of how you got into music, because when I would think of you, Tobe, I would always think he’s gonna be a comedian because I always thought you were really funny, naturally. And then you start doing music, I just wanna hear the story of how you got into music, but then also both of you being on the creative side of doing music and your videos because the visuals are honestly just amazing. I love watching them when you guys first started. Even our kids would love to watch your videos. And they would love to watch the women that you had in there also dancing. It was like so many different things to look at. I want to know, how did you guys get into that and build that?
[29:52] Tobe: It started with my nonprofit organization. I didn’t necessarily think I was gonna ever be doing music, even though I love music. I got involved with Eric Thomas, who’s the number one motivational speaker in the world. Talent-wise, a little later on in life, he literally just told me I should do music. Because I didn’t have any friends that had the influence in my life and were as successful, I just listen to what they were saying. I humbled myself by listening to them. I never had no passion to make music. But I was like, if they think I should do it. Let me try out what they’re talking about. And I did it. Within two months I made like 20 songs. Now, mind you, at that time, all 20 of those songs to me, where I’m at right now, we’re all trash. They were all necessary to begin the process for me to get to where I am right now. Though music is not my passion, I have a passion to make purpose. I have a passion to fill the void that we have.
[31:03] Michael Bennett: Quick question. There’s a lot of mothers out there, you do a lot of stuff while you’re pregnant. When I went to the show a couple weeks ago, you were on stage dancing and shaking, jumping up and down, hitting the notes. I’m like, she’s pregnant. How do you maintain all that? Running a household, running this business, being pregnant, on tour? How does it take a toll on you?
[31:33] Fat: I definitely, definitely do get tired. But my situation is different, right? Because this is my norm. I didn’t have a pregnancy normal-like at home, going through all the motions and everything now. My first pregnancy, I was on tour. Like almost a whole pregnancy. And then had the baby then had the baby all on tour. I became my norm. So I just adjusted. I don’t know no different. Like, I don’t have that situation of just, you know, being able to be at home the whole time, or drop my kids off with the babysitter, go to work and all of that. No, my child is here. I’m almost seven months pregnant. And we going to move whenever we have to. But I try to do little things here and there for myself. Even when Tobe’s like, we got to go. I’m like, nah. Just little stuff here and there. Or I’ll go and get my nails done sometimes or, you know, just little things that give me like little breaks here and there mentally. But I love doing what I’m doing. I love taking care of my babies. My baby is very resilient. And she’s my little road dog. She’s right there with me. It is fun. I don’t have I don’t have a problem with it at all. It’s fun.
[33:01] Michael Bennett: You guys ever get scared about all the things that are happening in America and what your daughter’s going to be growing up in?
[33:10] Pele Bennett: There’s so much going on, and you guys are traveling through cities, through airports, through different things, like is there a fear of those situations?
[33:27] Fat: So concern, it arises for sure, but I am learning not to be fearful of those things because I feel like I am protected by God and whatever he has for me, he has for me, right. So concerned. Yes. Be knowledgeable. Yes. Be protective. Yes. But afraid? No. Because I live for a God and he’s protecting me and I’m confident in that. So when we travel and we go these different places, I know we’ll be OK because I’m with God.
[34:08] Tobe: And I’ll be honest, while Fat is learning not to be fearful, I don’t have no fear of nothing. I don’t fear nothing. I’ve already accepted all that there is to accept about this life. Am I weary of the ways of the world? The answer is yes. I’m weary of the ways of the world. But I’m also not fearful of anything. I look at everything that is going on and the only thing I try to do is stay prepared for whatever is coming. Like whatever trials that I have to face on this earth, I just try to stay as prepared as possible.
[34:48] Michael Bennett: But I know from your perspective — what gender is your next baby? A boy or a girl?
[34:52] Tobe: You know me, man. I had to double up on them girls.
[34:56] Michael Bennett: OK. So the simple fact — just to say if you were having a boy, would you feel differently with your son growing up, or with your daughter growing up, in this world? I’m saying like you can have no fear. You can have no fear. But when your child leaves the house, does that make you feel a certain way, fear for their world? Because, you know, you’re seeing a whole bunch of different sides of America from the places you might go in Detroit or other places you might go in Houston or L.A. like it’s different. So I do feel like sometimes as parents, we do feel a little bit of fear when we send our children into the world. I mean, one of the reasons why we homeschool is that.
[35:38] Tobe: I say a hundred percent homeschool. But we’re not going to homeschool our kids out of fear. I’m going to homeschool my kids because I’m not gonna let your biggest influence be the people at your school like it was for me. So us growing up, my biggest influence in my life was my peers. Maybe not you. Your dad is different than my pops. But I don’t want my kids’ biggest influence to be their peers or whatever is going because society is wild. I’m just gonna try to prepare my kids the absolute best way that we possibly can. And for me, I’m like, I’ve given you all that I can give you. Hopefully we’ve given you enough information that you could go out and lead a successful life and change your generation like we changed ours.
[36:34] Fat: A huge factor of that is us being overprotective, or just wanting our kids to be in a bubble. Rather than preparing them for outside the doors. If we do our due diligence in preparing them so they’re not naive. They understand that not all people are good, that they understand that some people’s intentions is to hurt you. That’s what they want to do. Don’t go out being naive and thinking that everybody’s nice, but just giving them a well rounded assessment of what type of world they’re going into. So that when they encounter these things and their faced with these challenges, that they are able to make the right decisions when you’re not around. And then that’s the best that we can do.
[38:43] Michael Bennett: Tobe, you’re Nigerian, and Fat, you’re African-American, right? How do you merge those two cultures? Because it’s a very rich culture in Nigeria, and American history. How do you tell those two stories, a story to your children about their past and the present. A lot of times people see two black people and they don’t expect their cultures to be different. And have you adjusted to being a part of another culture, too?
[39:12] Tobe: I think it’s real simple. You just tell the stories. I think the most beautiful thing about my situation is that I’m the first generation born here. So it means I had a full black experience going to school, and then I had a full Nigerian experience coming home and being with my family. I just think you just tell the stories I’ll tell the story of my grandpa. And I’ll tell the story that my grandpa told him. And we’ll go back home. You’ll be able to see where you come from. You’ll be able to see your lineage. I think the most beautiful thing is that I’m not too far removed so that I don’t know. Whereas Fat can’t go back that far in her lineage and get all the way back home. My kids will still have a connection to home.
[40:18] Fat: I think that there is a benefit within Tobe’s culture to be able to go back to his origin. And to know exactly where he comes from. Mine is a little bit broader. Our African-American heritage is just as important. And my kids do need to know that and that does involve telling the stories, educating them on that experience in my family, our traditions. But the fact that he can go all the way back to the actual origin of his culture is very beneficial. And so I’ve been considering it for a while now to go ahead and finding the whole history where I come from. When they ask me who was my great, great, great, I need to be able to tell her, too.
[41:17] Pele Bennett: I think that’s good on both sides, because even though you might not be able to trace far back to a specific place, you still have traditions within your own family, or things you did growing up that, you know, you want to implement into the family as well.
[41:30] Michael Bennett: But Tobe, you’re speaking to that African-American way of growing up. Did it influence your way of doing music? Because I’ve seen in a lot of your music, you have some of the African beat.
[41:47] Tobe: Hundred percent. Without a doubt. Like everything that I’ve experienced growing up has shaped and molded everything that I do. It is a unique style because I have two completely different cultures in me, genuinely.
[42:05] Pele Bennett: I also want to ask you guys real quick, because you guys are always on the go hustle, business, you know, as a part of your relationship. What do you guys do for your own alone time? And I don’t mean like you’ll have to give me the specifics, but like what you guys do, like hobbies, activities. Because I feel like that was going down the wrong direction. How do you find time? First of all, how do you find time, with babies, business, and then what do you guys like to do?
[42:35] Fat: Our real thing is watching movies. We just go to our friend’s house and sit on a couch, just watch movies with them. We used to go to the theater a lot, but we haven’t had the chance in a while.
[42:58] Tobe: We like to watch movies and do nothing. We’re bums.
[43:12] Pele Bennett: No, doing nothing sometimes is the best thing.
[43:16] Fat: Because we’re always, always going somewhere, always in a meeting or always on the road, always on a plane, always moving. So we just like to sit still..
[43:34] Tobe: Look how crazy this is. Tomorrow is Fat’s birthday. And life ain’t like it once was. I say Fat, Let’s go to Miami for your birthday. She said no.
[43:46] Fat: Nah, I said, for what?
[43:53] Tobe: I said, come on, let’s go. You get to see a beach for your birthday.
[43:55] Fat: He’s saying that because I love the beach. That’s my happy place, is going to the beach. But I’m just like I don’t feel like going anywhere. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to do nothing.
[44:06] Tobe: I say Fat, what you want to do? She said I don’t want to entertain nobody. I don’t want to see no people.
[44:21] Pele Bennett: I feel like sometimes me and Michael would go on vacation and the first thing we did, we’re like, what do you want to do? And we’re like, let’s take a nap.
[44:27] Fat: Yes.
[44:38] Tobe: Vacation for me, I promise you, we could go anywhere in the world. I promise nine times out of 10. I will not even leave the hotel room unless Fat says.
[44:52] Fat: And then the times when I do make him, he ends up enjoying it.
[44:56] Tobe: Yeah, we went on the yacht for the first time in Cabo and we saw some whales and seals. We didn’t get in the water. It is not normal for humans to be swimming with whales.
[45:41] If there are some things that you would tell people who are listening are into the business with their significant other, their partner, their lover, whoever they’re with. What would you tell them to avoid as pitfalls? You got to be very open now. Some pitfalls and things that you like about being in business with your partner. Things that people should avoid doing.
[46:33] Tobe: Just make sure your relationship is strong. Make sure your relationship with your spouse is solid. That comes before everything. Making sure your relationship with your spouse is solid and that you understand clearly. Hey, hey, hey. Your wife, your husband is not your employee. That’s your partner. I don’t care what the business rules are, that’s not your employee. And if you try to talk to them like they’re your employee, you’re going to have real heavy tension in your relationship.
[47:13] Fat: And once your relationship is solid, and your relationship with your kids is solid, that you need to not assume roles on the other person. It needs to be very clear who is responsible for what, that that person is OK with doing that. Because a lot of times people assume that this person is going to do this, and they’re going to do it this way. And execute it in a certain manner or timeframe. That becomes a huge issue and a huge area for conflict. Because once they don’t do that, then you’re looking at them like, why are you not doing it? And you’re disappointed. But if you clearly communicate your roles, and you don’t assume that the other person is going to be doing this, then it makes for a way better work relationship.
[48:09] Michael Bennett: So when it comes to sex, do you guys — I feel like sometimes in relationships in terms of sex, like it becomes like a task? But in your relationship, do they have to ask? Because Pele said in sexual relationships that communication is the most important thing. Do you guys feel it is important?
[48:37] Tobe: Pele, what you mean by communication is the most important thing?
[48:40] Pele Bennett: I think communicating before, like how you get it going. Let’s communicate. Cause I’m not feeling it right now. I’m just going to lay here. I’m going to go do something. My stomach hurts. You know whatever the situation is. But communicating that before and then during. Because during the act, sometimes you do need to guide your partner. And that’s OK, though. So how does that work?
[49:04] Fat: Absolutely. I 100 percent agree with you. The other person can’t read minds and you’ll be over there struggling if you don’t open your mouth and say something. A lot of the times it’s initiated, you know, both ways. Sometimes one person wants it, sometimes the other person doesn’t. It just the way of life. It’s not like you’re on a TV show and everything is always hot, steamy and oh, my God. I just want to, you know, sex you down. It’s not always like that.
So you communicate how you are and how you’re feeling in that moment and being open to the other person, however their feeling, or their needs or whatever they got going on is very important. Especially now for me, because I’m pregnant and my body is doing a whole lot of crazy stuff. And if I don’t communicate that to him, he has no idea.
[50:02] Tobe: Just imagine, you’re trying to have sex with somebody who got a whole other person inside them. But you got to stay true to the game, don’t let it distract you.
[50:32] Fat: Yeah. But you gotta communicate. You gotta stay open because when we first started encountering these issues, Tobe was like, you don’t desire me or initiate, and I was just like, dude, it’s exhausting making a baby.
[51:18] Michael Bennett: I feel like guys do feel like they initiate six more than women. Because I guess it’s like men initiate the dance. I guess men feel like that a lot of times. This is a true statement.
[51:30] Pele Bennett: Maybe there’s an issue why the woman is not initiating. If the communication isn’t there, that could be an issue.
[52:18] Michael Bennett: It is very hard because I feel like sex is not something that we taught to have that communication about. Even if we look back in school, it’s not something we learn to communicate. Most times you see sexual things on TV that’s what people envision is sex.
[52:36] Pele Bennett: Porn is just too much, too aggressive.
[52:39] Tobe: Oh, no, no, seriously. In real life, especially in marriage, sex don’t be nothing like that.
[52:51] Fat: And it’s OK that it’s not. That’s the media. It’s not real life, it’s not the norm. So it’s OK.
[53:06] Tobe: Hold on. Watch how crazy this is. I used to try to hold Fat to her loose ways that she had before. I’m not talking about loose with everybody, just talk about loose like, hey, I need you to —
[53:23] Fat: I was ready, willing and able.
[54:04] Tobe: I’m just as lean. I’m the exact same person that you met. She’s like, that ain’t it. I’m tired. When I was young, the energy was different.
[54:24] Fat: And it’s not that I love him any less. I’m not attracted to him any less. It’s not that my body literally is going through changes that I cannot control.
[54:37] Tobe: I just went from hey, what’s up, let’s do it, to nah, it’s OK, let me just rub your back. Let’s just go to sleep. It is what it is. Real relationships are built so much more than sex. Sex is not a necessity. It is a beautiful thing to have. But you’re not gonna die if you don’t have sex a couple nights, I promise.
[55:52] Pele Bennett: It’s more than that. But when that does come around, you know, communication is key.
[55:57] Fat: Communication is key. Absolutely.
[56:00] Michael Bennett: So we have this little game we play, nine or 10 yes or no questions. So, fufu or gumbo?
[56:24] Tobe and Fat: Fufu.
[56:29] Pele Bennett: We’re gonna do music. DJ Screw or Michael Watts?
[56:30] Tobe: DJ Screw.
[56:41] Michael Bennett: Sex: morning, night or morning and night?
[56:46] Tobe and Fat: Night.
[56:54] Pele Bennett: All right. Let’s get some drinks, wine or alcohol? Hard alcohol.
[56:57] Fat: Alcohol, because I’m pregnant. I’ve been pregnant too long.
[57:03] Pele Bennett: This is for Fat. Clear or brown?
[57:11] Pele Bennett: Oh, oh, oh. Staycation or vacation?
[57:23] Tobe: Staycation for me, vacation for Fat.
[58:17] Michael Bennett: Thank you guys, man.
[58:19] Tobe: We love you, too, man.
[58:29] Michael Bennett: All right, everybody, it’s that time of the week where we have our little pro tip.
[58:46] Pele Bennett: So today’s protip, we just want to talk about having love. I think you have love automatically being married. It looks like it, but also generally having love from both sides and bringing those together literally is a superpower.
[59:00] Michael Bennett: And keeping that love within the business, that’s a good tip too, because it’s so hard to easily be shattered by what’s happening in this workspace around you and what’s happening in the world? You could easily be influenced by other people’s relationships. It’s really about the love that you guys share. Unconditional love is hard.
[59:41] Pele Bennett: You did say, “don’t post selfies.” I said, why? “Because that’s my face.” I was like, whoa, you are getting a little crazy now.
[59:49] Michael Bennett: But it’s true, unconditional love was so hard because it’s something that we have to experience. We have to go through to have that unconditional love. So I feel like the pro tip is to really have an open heart. Because love comes with so many, so many strings. I mean, you’re dealing with the trauma of people, like of our own experiences is just I don’t know. I just feel like unconditional love is something that’s really hard, hard thing to do. If you have anything that you feel that’s been hard for you, unconditional love, just hit us on the feed and let us know. Maybe we could just talk about those things that have been hard for you to get over and really love your partner or the person’s family because of some kind of love that’s keeping you back from the unconditional side that’s blocking you.
[01:58] Pele Bennett: That’s it. That’s it. That’s the end. You don’t have to listen to Michael anymore. But come back next week for me on another episode of Mouthpeace with Michael and me, Pele Bennett.
[01:01:07] Michael Bennett: Next week, we’ll talk to James Beard-award winning chef of Edouardo Jordan. He’s the man behind the great restaurant June Baby, which is located in Seattle.
[01:01:16] Michael Bennett: Please subscribe to us or like us on anything that you’re listening to. Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, whatever you’re listening to get away from your family, whoever you don’t want to be around. And make sure you rate us or give us a comment. Even though we don’t give a fuck about your comments, give us a comment. Mouthpeace is a production of Lemonada Media, which you can find online on all social platforms @LemonadaMedia. You can follow me on social media, @MosesBread72. I love bread, and biblically, I always thought I was Moses.
[01:01:45] Pele Bennett: And you can follow me on Instagram at @pelepels. Mouthpeace with Michael and Pele Bennett is executive produced by us, the Bennetts. Our Lemonada Media executive producer is Eli Kramer, and our producer is Genevieve Garrity. Our assistant producer is Claire Jones and our audio is edited by Brian Castillo. Thank you to our ad sales and distribution partners at Westwood One, and to all of our sponsors for making this show possible.