“In The News”
Black Tie Magazine “In The News” covers prominent, unique and inspirational stories taking place around the World.
“Not Just a Mob Wife”
Thankful & Reborn
Renee Graziano is known for being the daughter of Anthony Graziano, a former member of the Bonanno crime family. She starred in the Hit Reality TV show the Mob Wives which is created and executive produced by her sister Jenn Graziano. She also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, where she came in third place. Renee was also featured in the ninth season of Marriage Boot Camp with her then partner Joey Gambino. This Woman is much then a Reality TV Star. As a native of Staten Island, New York she is also an accomplished writer releasing two books: “Playing With Fire” and a cookbook, “How to Use a Meat Cleaver”; Secrets and Recipes from a Mob Family’s Kitchen.
Bobbi jo: So Renee! I want to thank you again for agreeing to do this interview for Black Tie Magazine. We are excited and honored to have this opportunity! You have a HUGE following and presence on or culture so lets get started!
Bobbi jo Q1 – We did a little research on the origination of your name. But we would rather hear it from you first so please tell us the story or meaning of your name. Where did it originate?
Renee A1 – I don’t know where my parents got the name Renee at all, I have an older sister Lana and a younger sister Jennifer. All three names really are not Italian however when I was younger I researched my name and Renee means reborn/rebirth. It suits me because going through so many things in my life such as addiction, depression, divorce and the loss of my father. I have to reinvent myself. Oh and let’s not leave out Mob Wives, so I am constantly becoming another person with the same soul. Evolving into a better form, a better version of myself. So Renee fits me perfectly. I’m grateful for my name and that is Renee with two ee’s. My last name Graziano, if you take off the A, N and the O you are left with Grazi which Means “Thank You”, so I have the perfect name Rebirth and Thank You all-in-one.
Bobbi Jo – I love your name its just as beautiful as you are and the meaning behind your name matches how amazing you are! We Love it!
Bobbi jo Q2- So, how are you and your family holding up through this pandemic? We hope everyone is doing well and in good spirits!
Renee A2 – As far as the pandemic girl let me tell you! I had Covid-19 two times back in July 2020. I went for a test and they said I had the antibodies but I never had any symptoms. Then this January of 2021, I was super sick. And tested positive. I got it while travelling between Las Vegas, Dallas and New Jersey. My mom also had it, and it went around the family but luckily we are all OK, thank God.
Bobbi jo- Well, I am very happy that everyone is back in good health. We can only thank the big man above for that. Good!
Bobbi jo Q3- What inspired you to begin this career path in life? What were you doing before or did you always have a gift for TV and writing?
Renee A3- I always had a Passion for entertainment. My parents used to say when I was about 3 years old. “Oh she’s gonna be famous one day.” Although I was infamous thanks to my father, I then came into my own skin and became as they say reality TV famous. I also became a life coach. I am a three time author, and an entrepreneur. I am a jack-of-all-trades. Oh and I also worked in the music industry as a wardrobe stylist under Tiffany Hasbourne for about 5 years. Very successful and I’m very grateful but before that my dreams were to be a wife and a mother. Although, the wife thing didn’t work out for me. I am super grateful to have my son Anthony John and now I am a grandmother as well so I soar when it comes to my family.
Bobbi jo Q4- You understand the meaning of hard work and dedication as it shows is all of your successes. What do you think is the difference between a hustler and being talented?
Renee A4 – I think the difference between talent and being a hustler is that one is a God-given gift and the other is a survival gift. I am very blessed to be a accomplished. I love to make people laugh and my ability to do what I do I think is just natural. My hustle comes from my father and my father alone. He is the greatest inspiration for anything that I succeed at in my life. Talent is also something that you have to constantly work at to better yourself. I am not an actress. I don’t have to read lines so when I am doing the Renee Graziano Mob Wife that is all natural. I’ve never ever read A-line, I’ve never ever taken anybody’s words. There always mine, and that comes from a mafia background.
That was easy-peasy as far as my ability to write books. I wrote a book about cooking in Italian. Hey, I wrote an erotic novel also! I definitely know that part of my life, and my children’s book “Grandma and Me on the Run” well that’s a little mob twist but a whole lot of my grandson.
Bobbi jo Q5 – On that note, what do you think is the difference between having something handed to you or an inheritance? Do you think your lifestyle is in your Blood?
Renee A5- One of having things handed to you, while I definitely have had a sense of entitlement in my life that is definitely a flaw and as far as working for it. I also did that, but I much prefer having it handed to me. An inheritance, that is something that is left to you from someone. My father left me the love, the loyalty, the respect and the family perseverance. I take that over money any day.
Bobbijo Q6- Were you destined to be who you are today or did you struggle in the beginning?
Renee A6- I firmly believe that God’s timing is way better than my own. Had I done Mob Wives Show in my mid thirties, people would have seen me struggling a lot worse than they did with addiction at 40 years old. I got clean for the 1st time and I was able to take all of what I learned and apply it. Although I’ve relapsed several times I never gave up! I push and I push and now I am finally Renee Graziano not just Anthony’s daughter not just Aj’s mother and Not just a Mob Wife.
Bobbijo Q7 – Tell everyone the story of how you got started in the entertainment industry.
Renee A7 I got started in the entertainment industry back in 2000 as a wardrobe stylist assistant to Tiffany Hasbourne. I also have a sister at the time who worked for the vice president of Sony and I must face it. I have the gift of gab so when Mob Wives was offered to me by my sister Jen who is the executive producer it was a automatic absolutely, “I’ll do it” and you all saw me do it and I was great at it. As far as becoming an author, well that came with Mob Wives the more people became interested in knowing my life. I’m writing an auto-biography now, but my cookbook is family oriented. The erotic novel, well that’s from experience. But, my grandson’s book is simply just pure.
Bobbijo Q8 – Did you ever have any other dreams or aspirations for yourself?
Renee A8 – My real dream is to become a drug counselor. I don’t want be a therapist because I have to go to school. To be honest, I wasn’t really the brightest light bulb although I am the most colorful crayon. So, life coaching became a second nature to me because of all of my experience and the wisdom I
possess in the underworld, in the entertainment field, and as a mother. I know I will go on to do great things. Actually my real true dream was to be on Saturday Night Live. I wanted to be a comedian. Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett are my idols
Bobbi jo Q9- What was the most transitional moment in your career that meant the most to you? A memory, place, person, or thing that you feel you will never forget.
Renee Q9 – I love this question. I knew I made it back in the day when I worked for Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan on “30 Rock”. My girlfriend had the catering company so we took care of all of their food and crafty. One day Tina Fey said to me “Your going to be on TV, Renee your going to be famous” and fast forward to April 2012, I appeared on the TV show “The View” and across from my dressing Room was Tina Fey’s dressing Room. When she went out on stage they asked her “Do you know anyone from Mob Wives Show and she said “Renee” and she did a little skit! It was at that particular moment that I knew I had arrived. Barbara Walters along with Sherri Shepherd, Will Goldberg and Joy Behar asked me many questions. I was so in my element. I knew in my heart of hearts that what I dreamed of was right there on the stage and I did that on my own merit no one helped me I did that.
Bobbijo WOW! Now that’s inspirational. Theirs so much that people need to know about you.
Renee A9- Cont. – A person, place or thing that reminds me of the moment I succeeded. There’s a couple of silly ones like when we were at the MTV Awards I forgot what it was for but Drake was their and me being a Huge music fan had come out and was like “That’s that Boss Lady” and then two minutes later Rihanna looked at my son and she was like “That’s AJ from Mob Wives”. I just think being recognized by people who are truly talented and truly famous makes my heart feel like, “Hey, they paid attention”. It’s THAT feeling of…“I did it, I made it.”
Bobbijo Q10- Who or What Inspires you and How or Why?
Renee A10- First and foremost my father is my inspiration as well as my son AJ. My sister Jennifer has a huge influence on me as well. As far as celebrities Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, and Women in Hollywood that are just so beautiful to me also. Like, Barbra Streisand funny lady funny girl Joan Rivers. Their roar and cut selves make me feel comfortable to be me because I’m different. Shout out to the late Stevie From Stevie TV, she was a young girl who reminded me of all the women above. She had a TV show for a short period of time and unfortunately she committed suicide. God rest her soul. You know what, I would put Share and Amy Winehouse in the same category as far as women
who were outspoken, beautiful and strong. We all battle addictions, some we win and some we lose.
Bobbi jo Q11- You are absolutely right. Life is a journey full of ups and downs, Struggles and Conquers. From where I am sitting your are destined to conquer and your journey is Far from over!
So , for the fans. What is your favorite Book or Movie?
Renee A11- OK, movies and books do not laugh but “Hope Floats” with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. God-bless Gena Rowlands, that is one of my favorite movies. I am a die hard romantic and I have faith, hope and freedom tattooed on my arm. I firmly believe there is hope. Now, let’s talk gangsta flicks! My All-Time favorite is “Goodfellas” than we have Casino, Godfather, Bronx tale, The Departed. Those movies, I can just relate to because half of them in there were my uncles. Kind of crazy but when you see your life on the big screen you know that other people are interested. It’s very rewarding. Oh let’s also talk about Donnie Brasco God rest Virgilio’s soul. He was a very dear friend of my father’s and I met him when I was a kid. I carry a mass card but something about that man always made me feel safe.
As far as books, “The Four Agreements” is my all time favorites followed up with “Playing with Fire”, “Gracianna” I love that book actually it is such an underrated excellent erotic novel.
Bobbijo Q12- What is your Favorite or most recent song your listening to?
Renee A12- How I love music. OK, let’s start with a very happy song. That would be by Fat Joe it’s called “Sunshine”-(the light). It’s his new song. It just puts you in a really great place. I am a huge fan of Donna Summer’s album “once upon a time” hence upon a time “try me” as probably one of my favorites. Let’s switch gears, I’m a Pop Smoke fan and I really love Dave East, he has a song with Mary J. Blige that is just phenomenal. But, we cannot forget the greats Al Green, Teddy Pendegrass. I can listen to Luther Vandross all day, his music tells a story and for me that’s what it is. I’m a huge R&B fan, I love Brian McKnight, Joe, Heather Headley, Estelle, Pink, Joan Jett, Blondie and we cannot forget the goat LL Cool J. There’s also this new song by Thundercat “Funny Thing”, it is an incredible song and just reminds me of the good days like The Bee Gees also one of my favorites.
Bobbijo Q13 – What did you do Last Thursday?
Renee A13- Last Thursday, I was cuddled up with my grandkids at my house.
Bobbijo Q14- Okay, Lets shift gears a little! So….Are you single, dating, engaged, married? Our audience is going to want to know so lets get it out now, lol.
Renee A14- Oh my God! The man department, I think I suck at this. I am attracted to men that are like my dad. Not meaning that they are old or going be doing illegal things. Hence the reason I’m probably still single, so I need to change my mojo up and start dating men that a more about me than the hustle and the street. That doesn’t mean there not hustlers that just means they don’t hustle. There’s a difference.
Bobbijo Q15 – I get what your saying exactly, so what type of person or partner are you attracted to?
Renee A15 – My preference in men that is definitely a good one. I obviously prefer a man who has a job and family oriented. I prefer black gentleman as much as I prefer a Sicilian man. I’ve never dated a man who is Chinese or Jewish or white. I prefer these type of man because this is what my culture is closest to. I will obviously date sicilian, as that is my culture but the urban culture I feel very comfortable with as well. I’ve also dated Spanish men, I am not against it but in the past few years I’ve dated more black men and occasioning Italian man. I just feel much more connected. Women in the urban community or simply Black Women are very strong and so are their personalities and so is mine as a Sicilian woman.
Bobbijo Q16- Okay, back to business. What do you think is a difference between being a hustler and being truly talented?
Renee A16 – A natural born hustler is someone who will do whatever it takes no matter what to get out there situation. They will bust their ass and make money they adapt to whatever situation. They will find a way to make money by any means. That’s a natural born hustler. Now there are just hustlers who will hustle you out of everything they are disloyal I don’t f*** with them.
Bobbijo Q17 – It’s looking like there may some light at the end of the tunnel soon. Many states are beginning to open up and lift covid-19 restrictions. What does this mean for you career?
Renee A17 – Thank God Almighty! They are lifting these Covid restrictions slowly but shortly and what’s next for me as television? I have two shows on the horizon so cross your fingers! I will start filming come July. The second show is the long awaited overdue mob wives season 7! Which we should state and make clear as of today that we will start shooting sometime in September! So get ready
people because your favorite Mob Wife That has no filter and keeps it real is coming back! That’s right I am once again going to be probably one of the main stars if not thee star of Mob Wives because the truth is I have more storyline than All the women put together. However, I have more issues than Kleenex makes tissues as well, which keeps it interesting.
Bobbi jo Q18 – Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
Renee A18 – Right now because I’m back in recovery, I had a bad relapse after my father died. But, I’m back on the horse and I am doing better than ever! I just like to take it day-by-day so if I could have it my way which I can’t because it’s God’s way. I see myself in 5 years retired possibly down in Dallas, Texas or my favorite place Savannah, Georgia. I love the South it’s peaceful and people have a different type of respect than us New Yorkers. Lately people don’t have much respect for the next person. I also see myself as a life coach or possibly one of the owners in a treatment center and doing more with women from different nationalities. It is really important to me that we stop calling people by the color of their skin or their religion. I love all women, and all people. If you are strong, I’m with you. I don’t care about those things such as color or nationality, but I would like to do something multicultural with women. I want to show there is no difference although some of us have different, sizes, hair, skin color, language, different color eyes. We are all beautiful and amazing in our own way. This is what I want to see more! Look, some of us have different figures at the end of the day we are all women we all have boobs. We all give birth, we all go through menopause we all have our hearts broken. There is no difference between any women as far as I’m concerned. I love everyone just the same if your strong, I rock with you!
Bobbijo – Renee it was such a pleasure talking with you! I learnt so much more about you as a friend and as a woman. I don’t think the world can handle your greatness but they better be ready because your bringing it! I’m so excited for you Girl! I love, love, love it! God Bless you all the way! Please, any last words or shout outs you want to make before we sign off?
Renee – Yes! You can expect new TV shows! I will also be producing a recovery show. I will be coming out with my auto-biography, and another children’s book for my granddaughter. I am also revisiting my jewelry line but mainly life coaching, charity work, and doing for other people especially lifting women up is what you can expect from me in the future. Oh and who knows maybe I’ll get remarried one day If not maybe I’ll date and have a boyfriend!
Bobbi Jo Kittchen is not your ordinary Magazine Staff Writer.
Bobbi Jo Kitchen
Newest writer at Black Tie Magazine, with a Bachelor’s degree in Media&Communication with an English minor. An Alumni of S.U.N.Y College at Old Westbury Long Island, NY. During and after college she worked as a production assistant to Spike Lee for 6 years until Spike Lee started putting her in front of the camera. She soon after joined SAG-AFTRA actors union and went on to shoot commercials for Gillette, KISS Cosmetics, JBS Prive Hair and many more. Bobbi Jo currently owns SBP Properties Inc. which is an Investment Property Company. She is also the Co-Founder of JAB Vision Llc., an Atlanta based media production company along with her Brother Jermel Wright.
With 15 years experience in the entertainment industry working as a Model, Actress, Host and even a booking agent. An extraordinary beauty, Bobbi Jo exploded onto the modeling scene as a lead in the Young Buck music video for the single “I know U Want Me,” featuring Jazze Pha. Immediately after Bobbi Jo was booked by 50 Cent to model for G-Unit Women’s Clothing Line and to be featured in the next three music videos for his G-Unit artist Young Buck, Prodigy, Hot Rod and Lloyd Banks at the time. The momentum maintained as she went on to be book Spotlight features in magazines such as XXL, King, Source, Upscale, and Black Men Model Gucci w/ Trey Songs as well as Multiple book covers. She also modeled for Coogi Women’s Clothing line for 5 years while booking music videos with Ray J, Wyclef, J cole, Ell Varner, Spragga Benz, Shaggy, R Kelly, Wiz Khalifa, and many More. She has shot over 30 campaigns with hair company’s such as Outre, Milky Way, Sensationnel , Janet hair cto name a few. She was an MTV MADE coach, for Ben McLarry Episode, season 12. IMDB credited and featured in Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus”, “The Perfect Age of Rock and Roll” with Taryn Manning, “Still a Teen Movie”. She is Mostly know for her KOA (Key of Awesome) Youtube Parody’s playing Rihanna which reached over 100 million views and still growing!
Welcome to the Team Bobbi jo!!