“Let’s stay together” is not just a song. It’s a mantra for my Renaissance Man guests who literally wrote the book about sustaining your relationship through children, infidelity and fame. RaaShaun Casey, aka Breakfast Club co-host DJ Envy, and his significant other, Gia, revealed all the details from their new tome, Real Life, Real Love: Life Lessons on Joy, Pain & the Magic. flowed in. That keeps us together.”
And the high school sweethearts have been incredibly transparent and vulnerable, even opening up about Envy’s high-profile cheating scandal when he floundered with a reality star about a decade ago — and how they got through it with divine intervention.
“God intervened in our relationship in a very significant way,” Gia told me. “And one of the people who stood up for him was my best friend Rashid – and another person was Tyrese [Gibson].”
“They both walked into our lives and said that God sent them to save our relationship,” Gia continued, adding that the couple really didn’t know the singer-actor apart from the occasional work event. “There were a lot of things that happened in this story that I couldn’t attribute to chance. I knew that God spoke to me through people. And in the end, I was convinced that that was his will, that we stay together, continue raising our family… And that’s exactly what we did.”
Envy noted that Rashid wasn’t a fan of his. And the feeling was mutual.
“He thought the relationship was toxic, which it was. So the fact that he flew in [to meet with us and] Say, ‘Hey, God sent me to save your relationship,'” resonated with him.
As for Tyrese, Envy assumed he was trying to fund a project. Instead, Tyrese told him he was praying for her.
The parents of six stayed together, rebuilding their marriage and now making their hardships a part of their identity. And now that their book is out, they’re making cheeky revelations, like Gia admitting she’s been faking orgasms.
“We could talk about anything else. Why not talk about relationships?” Envy said. “We also did it because we wanted to let people know they’re not the only ones going through things we’re going through. You know, people post on Instagram [so their] marriages and life [look] perfect, but it’s not,” he said.
It’s hard to turn your back on a story like hers. They met as students at St. Francis Prep in Queens and got serious straight away.
“When I met RaaShaun, I met him as DJ Shrimp and he was spinning sweet 16s,” she noted. And when they first met in the school hall, he tried to get her attention.
“I thought he was cute. There was just something special about him. But I wanted to settle in first. But he was relentless, and that relentlessness paid off,” Gia said.
Before Shrimp became Envy, he was just RaaShaun, marveling at his neighbor Ernesto’s BMW 3 Series.
“I thought he was selling drugs. I didn’t know what he was doing.” He said one day Ernesto invited him. “After school his mother opened the door and said [he] was below. I go downstairs and I see vinyl records, cassette players in turntables and I’m like, “Well, what are you doing?” He was like, ‘I’m a DJ.’” Ernesto’s turntable name? The famous DJ Clue.
Clue sparked something in Envy, whose father is a retired police officer and whose mother worked for an insurance company. After seeing his father complain about his job, Clue’s career “got stuck with me because I thought I’ll never be in a position where I have to go to work… So, when I started DJing.” I didn’t mean to say it’s an easy job but I love it. I would do it for free. I enjoy it. I like to talk on the radio.”
From Gia’s point of view, as Envy’s success grew, so did his ego.
“It was then that he developed a personality and a boast about himself. So when he was out on the street, he was Envy. But when he was home he was RaaShaun, so I never knew him as DJ Envy. He was always just my baby, my boo, my husband, and then my husband. But DJ Envy was a lot less familiar to me.”
In the book, Gia talks about being attacked when she was 15 when her face and inner thigh were slashed open with viscous.
“[In the book,] There is actually a picture of the wound before I was stitched. When I got to the hospital, the doctors and the anesthetist didn’t want me to see the wound… They were afraid I would leave [into] Shock.” But before she was stitched, her friend took a picture of the horrific cuts.
They use their tome to talk about their children, their family mission statement, and how they raise their children to success. But I wanted to know how they keep their love alive after all these years. What is a perfect romantic evening?
“I can make up something that sounds amazing and otherworldly, but the truth is: lock the door, strip, cuddle, and watch Netflix until we’re done binge-watching, and we can have intimate time together without.” that the children burst in. This is a dream date night,” Gia said. Although they love a night at Tao Downtown or the Brooklyn Chop House.
As for your favorite fictional couple? Envy went with Claire and Cliff Huxtable, but Gia told Marty and Wendy Byrde on “Ozark.” And that’s not advocating money laundering for a cartel — it’s because “they have each other’s backs.”
That sounds familiar.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five that shook up the college hoop world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA before blossoming into a media personality. Rose is currently an analyst for NBA Countdown and Get Up and co-hosts Jalen & Jacoby. He was executive producer of The Fab Five for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, author of the bestselling book Got To Give the People What They Want, a fashion tastemaker, and co-founder of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter public school in his Hometown.