Podcasts are today’s “It” medium for getting your voice heard, and for Shaniqua Tompkins and Liza Morales, their newly launched 2 Queens From Queens audio show is the perfect platform to set the record straight.
With mic in hand, Tompkins, ex-girlfriend of rapper 50 Cent, and Morales, ex-wife of basketball star Lamar Odom are forging their own identity beyond their past romantic ties. Listeners can expect socially conscious and thought-provoking topics from politics to sex weekly, as well as A-list guests.
“I understand, especially in the beginning, that the media is going to constantly connect us to the fathers of our kids,” Morales says. “But once people actually hear our opinions, they’ll see that we’re so much more. It’s our time to come out and talk current events, things that matter in our community and things that matter to us as women and in relationships.”
Tompkins and Morales both grew up in loving households in Queens, New York—Jamaica and Woodhaven, respectively—but it wasn’t until the now defunct reality show Starter Wives Confidential, a show about the experiences of women who helped their high-profile exes become the stars they are today, that the yin-and-yang duo hit it off instantly.
“Liza is definitely more mild mannered and I’m more boisterous, but we just clicked,” Tompkins recalls, though she was only on one episode due to 50 Cent’s cease and desist order. “Our stories resonated with each other. Her ex is basketball player, my ex is a rapper, but we’ve gone through similar things.”
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The podcast game is stacked with a gamut of different themes, from women hosts having X-rated conversations to hip-hop locker room talk to conservative professional conversations. It begs the key question of how these women will make theirs unique, but Tompkins and Morales both agree that their clear view of humble beginnings and the Hollywood Hills gives them a fresh perspective.
“Years ago, Diddy had that song that said, ‘Go from trips to Delancey to trips to the Grammys,’ and we can definitely relate,” Morales says. “We can switch it up and our audience will see that.”
Given the headline-grabbing attention these women have garnered over the years, many listeners will initially tune in for juicy gossip. While both women won’t shy away from candor, don’t get it twisted; this is not a tell-all podcast.
“I definitely want to give my honest opinion and if it has to do with something I’ve experienced then yes, I will share that with the audience,” says Morales. “But with certain things, I may keep that private, like with my kids.”
On the other hand, Tompkins’ non-existent relationship with 50 Cent allows her to be more transparent than Morales, who is now in a cordial yet “work in progress” co-parenting relationship with Odom. “I just feel I’m gonna be as honest as I can be with all that I have inside of me,” she says. “My ex always has something to say, so I’m sure we’ll see something on Instagram but I welcome it. Free marketing.”
She does want to make one thing clear, however. “Me leaving him in 2008 really enforced a lot of abandonment issues that he suffered as a child, and he has used Marquise as an expendable resource to be used in his war against me. As a mother, I don’t take too kindly to that. People tend to call me the bitter ex, but how can I be bitter toward someone that I left? I’m not a bitter ex. I’m an angry mother.”
Regardless of the women’s approach to sharing their family drama (or lack thereof), both agree that women of color will feel empowered by their digital banter.
“We’re going to show women that you can be strong and opinionated and have a voice and not be bitter,” Morales says. “Being Latina, they come and say that you’re “spicy,” but I don’t hear that when Bethenny Frankel talks. She’s loud but they don’t give her those names that they give to women of color.”
“I don’t think we’ve gone through everything we’ve been through publicly and privately not to be able to help the fellow queen adjust her crown,” Tomkins adds. “I wanna share my hurt and my trials hoping it will help them heal theirs. Women of color are beautiful, not by default but by design. And I want to be apart of a new generation of women of color.”