Dionte Gray, most known as Arrogant Tae’s talent is both undeniable and unreal. The wig and hair artist, whose work, particularly with wigs, has made him one of the most sought-after stylists of the times, has a clientele that includes Nicki Minaj and countless others. His impact on the hair industry is known far and wide, with him being referenced in the hit Drake and Lil Durk’s song “Laugh Now Cry Later,” with the lyrics, “we in Atlanta I buy her a wig, she’s telling me Tae is the best.” And it’s true, he is the best, so much so that women and men alike have vowed to beg, borrow and steal for the opportunity to get in his chair — and we mean that literally.
Well now, fans are able to get one step closer to Gray’s expertise. That’s because alongside his close friend and client La La Anthony, the duo has created the Tae X La Masterclass, an experience that’s just days away, and is proving to be the next best thing to getting in the hair icon’s chair.
You all’s relationship is so genuine and organic. How did you all connect?
LA LA: It’s so funny, I was thinking about it the other day because we’ve been friends for over a year now. I remember telling him that I wanted him to do my hair because I always would hear about how great he was, but I had never tried a lace front wig before. That’s because I would just see so many disaster stories. So I was like, if I ever do it, I want it to be by Tae. I just reached out to him and was like, “I really want you to my hair.” At that time he just happened to be in New York and was able to do it. Ever since then we’ve been like inseparable. I started with the best of the best.
TAE: You know how you always see someone growing up and come to admire them? That’s how I felt about La La. So then to actually be right there with her in real life, it was like damn, I really made it. I love and respect her so much, she’s been around my family and I’ve been around hers.
While you’re in such high-demand, Tae, you have a very small clientele. Was this class a step out of your comfort zone?
TAE: For sure, but I believe that when it comes to your craft, there really has to be some level of exclusivity. I like that I’ve been able to do that. But La really encouraged me.
LA LA: Yeah I really pushed him to do this. I really pushed him because you know, he’s so amazing at what he does. Actually, he is the best at what he does. So I’m really trying to walk him through the entrepreneurial side of his craft and how he can really turn this into a full business. I tell him all the time, “People are dying to learn from you, why not give the gift of teaching people how to do this so that they can build their businesses, their salon, and their careers? Then there are the girls who just want to look good and want to do so when they do their own wig. Why not do this masterclass because that’s the only way you can touch all these people. This is a class where people can really learn and better themselves. When I explained it to him, he was all for it. We knew it was going to be big, but the way it’s taken off, this is crazy.
There are women in your DMs, Tae, literally willing to give you their firstborn children for a chance to get their hair done by you. What’s it like knowing that you’re impacting hair culture in such a major way?
TAE: I still feel shocked sometimes honestly. But it’s amazing, it really is. Like I know I’m good at what I do but I’m not just walking around here being big-headed. I have to stay humble. So to see others speak about me and say that I’m the best, and to have people say such kind things to me about my work, it feels so good.
LA LA: And I tell him everyday how proud I am of him. If you could only see the numbers, the thousands of people that have signed up for our class and how excited people are to just feel like they can learn something from him, that’s something to be proud of. He’s so humble and I’m like, “Hey, it’s not a lot of people that I can say they’ve done this.” I don’t know anybody else who has Drake and Lil Durk rapping about them. So it’s exciting to stand by and watch as his friend and as somebody that wants to continue to see him grow.
Now that the class is almost live, what do you want people to take from this?
TAE: Whenever I do classes I always tell the students to take what I’m going to show them mix it in with their own unique style. Because ultimately, that’s, what’s gonna make them stand out. So when you come to my class, you’ll learn all the basics, but you need to take what you’ve learned and mix it in with like what you already know and what you come up with yourself.
Without giving away too much, will we get the full Arrogant Tae experience on Sunday?
TAE: Of course.You’re going to get a lot of things. Everyone asks how I do my baby hair so that will be a part of the class. Of course, I’ll be giving a step-by-step for how I apply the wigs from what areas in the wig that you need to plug to make it look like a natural hairline, how to cut it properly, applying the glue, you’ll learn everything.
LA LA: But what I like about our class is that I’m the one asking the questions. So often when a hairstylist is in their zone, they’re so serious. But with this, he’ll have to explain everything to me which will help the viewers learn even more. That’s just one part of the uniqueness about it because in his previous classes it would be like the audience asking questions but now it’s the model.
And five lucky fans will actually be able to connect with you all after the class correct for a full makeover?
LA LA: Yeah, people just wanted it so bad so we want to give women and men an amazing experience to feel beautiful. Like Tae is actually taking this time to make them look good, I’m going to be there, there’s a photoshoot with a makeover by Fashion Nova. Because we know that when you look good, you feel good. And what a gift to give to somebody to just transform them? It’s something that me and Tae both wanted to do because like we said, he’s not ever going to be able to do everybody’s hair, so to give three people this opportunity, I’m just excited to see it. I think it’ll be an emotional moment for everyone.
And after all this, you all deserve to celebrate. What’s the masterclass celebration looking like?
LALA: Well, we got two things. My son, Kiyan’s birthday is actually on the 7th, and then a couple of days later, March 11th is Tae’s birthday. So it’s Pisces season around here!
To purchase your tickets for the March 7th masterclass at 8 p.m., visit taemasterclass.com.