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This Is What Tiffany Haddish Did With $300 (from Kevin Hart) And A Dream

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There's a heavy weight of truth that comes with being an independent woman. The sweet nectar of fulfillment tastes a little different when you're able to look back on your own hard work and self-fulfilled ideal of success.

For Tiffany Haddish, her journey from being homeless to being a box office-smashing actress was nothing short of hardship.


At a point in her early career, Tiffany was living out of her car in Beverly Hills and using money borrowed from actor/comedian Kevin Hart to utilize motel bathrooms. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Tiffany detailed the pivotal moment when Kevin learned that she was living in her car. At the time, both of the comedians were up-and-coming and had been working at The Laugh Factory. Kevin suggested that Tiffany use her pretty looks to take advantage of shacking up with a man for shelter.

That wasn't an option for Tiffany, because she knew the type of woman she was and what her end goal was. She told the mag:

"He saw all the stuff in my car. He had like this long discussion with me, you know? Basically like, 'You're a beautiful woman. You could stay with any man. Why don't you just stay with a man, like?' And I was also like, 'I'm not sleeping with nobody for a roof over my head. I'm just not that type of person.'

"And Kevin was like, 'Oh, that's real commendable, look at your homeless ass.' And he gave me $300 and told me I shouldn't be sleeping in my car. He was asking me where I was sleeping. I told him, 'Beverly Hills. If Imma be homeless, I'm gonna be homeless in the best area.' I would park my car in Beverly Hills and I would sleep over there, and the police would come every morning and make me move. That was like my wake-up call. I got to know a lot of police officers like that.

"Kevin gave me $300, told me to get a room for a week, and I was like, 'I don't know where you can get a room for a week in Los Angeles for $300, that's impossible.' But I got me a motel room, and he told me to write out a list of goals and start doing something every day toward those goals.'"
There is nothing wrong with receiving support from a counterpart, but there's something to be said about us looking deep within and recognizing our own abilities to be independent and create the life we've imagined for ourselves.

Even with homelessness staring Tiffany in the face every day, she was able to separate herself from the pulls of temptation to depend on someone else to get her out of her situation. A week later, Tiffany moved into a motel room with the $300 that Kevin had given her, and started goal-setting.

"I wrote: Get myself an apartment. Do these things, all these people I wanna work with, everything. I pretty much tackled almost all those goals."

By the next day, she received a call about an apartment that was available. At $550 a month, a broken refrigerator, and a stove "full of roaches," it was truly humble beginnings. But it was hers and she worked for it, and that what mattered most to Tiffany.

Tiffany has gone on to make her mark in Hollywood, including revitalizing the comedy genre with a role on The Carmichael Show and her breakout performance in the box office success Girls Trip. She has also written a book (The Last Black Unicorn), and has become the first spokesperson for Groupon that the company has had in decades. Tiffany and Kevin Hart are even in the process of a major full circle moment as the two are set to star in the upcoming Hart Beat Productions/Will Packer Productions comedy film Night School.

When asked how Kevin feels about her achieving major success, she revealed:

"When he sees me, he says he's so proud of me and stuff. And he's always giving me the best advice. And I try to listen to him. Sometimes I don't. And then I'll be like, 'Dang, I should've listened.' . . . Sometimes he gets on my nerves 'cause he tries to play the brother and tries to clown, but for the most part he's an awesome dude. I mean he gave me a job on Real Husbands of Hollywood, and I kept trying to give him his $300 back. He's like, 'I don't want that money. You keep that money. If I need you to be in something else, you just make sure you can do it.'
Then, when I got Night School and we were working on it, I tried to give him the money back again. He's like, 'I don't want your money. Just know your lines and be good in this damn movie.'

We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

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As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

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