Social media comedian Kwaylon Rogers, aka BlameItOnKway, is known for his infamous character Titi, Rogers's own H-town interpretation of Tyler Perry’s Madea and Martin Lawrence’s Sheneneh.
He went viral when Titi told Tyra Banks to drop it down three notches after she yelled, “We were all rooting for you! How dare you?,” in an America’s Next Top Model parody. He then began making videos with his sister Lorraine (@LorraineBangz) as best friends Kendra and Titi, with the videos usually ending with Titi kicking out Kendra after a silly argument.
Rogers is popular: He has 3.9 million Instagram followers, and fans include celebrities like Rihanna—with whom he worked on a Fenty Beauty ad—and Janet Jackson—for whom he directed and guest starred in her “Made for Now” video.
While Rogers moved to Los Angeles (launching a show on the Zeus Network) and managed to find success outside social media, he has returned to Houston as a partner in the newly opened Krab Queenz, a Louisiana-based seafood concept where the line wrapped around the building during its Nov. 18 opening.
A couple of weeks after the restaurant’s opening, the line still wrapped around the building. We spoke with Rogers to learn more about Krab Queenz, new content, and a secret project.
You got together with Krab Queenz, which I understand is originally a Louisiana-based restaurant. How did this collaboration come about?
I got really close with the owner (Tonique Clay). She used to be a client when I worked at Christian Louboutin, and we clicked real easy, and we would share some of the same interests. So one of the interests was seafood and food in general. She told me she had a restaurant, and she would love for me to be a part of it. At the time, I wasn't ready to do the Baton Rouge location with her. But she came back around, and she was like, 'Listen, I'm fixing to open up in Houston,' and I said, 'Okay, I don't want to wait anymore,' because I saw her restaurant in Baton Rouge was super, super successful.
How would you describe Krab Queenz? Why go there?
I remember going to New Orleans a long time ago, and that was the first time I had ever like really fallen in love with crabs, you know? Crabs, and seafood. So, I felt like [it is] bringing those same spices, same quality … the same ingredients from Louisiana, bringing it over here to Houston. Because I'm a big foodie, I go to a lot of places here, and I haven't honestly ever witnessed this type of good food, especially seafood.
Oh, yeah. I always feel the same when it comes to Louisiana Cajun food. You know, it's not that same kind of flavor, which I think is hard to get right.
Right. Exactly. I'm also happy that it's black-owned. I'm super excited about that.
I saw on your Instagram video speaking to your staff. They didn't know they got the job, then you told them, 'I'm going to stop playing with y'all. You got the job!' Then in your video as Titi, you said you’re not going to pay your staff $2.13 an hour.
Yes, so the minimum wage here in Texas is $2.13 an hour (for tipped employees), and I think that's complete crap. So we wanted to take it up a notch and pay our employees $5.13. A three-dollar raise from pretty much everyone else in Houston.
In addition to the tips.
Yes, yes. In addition to tips.
After Houston, would you plan to take Krab Queenz to other locations?
We plan to go to Los Angeles first, then go to Atlanta, then Dallas.
Do you have a timeline for that?
We're already looking for a restaurant in Los Angeles right now. We plan to open no more than two months after we open here.
What was the inspiration for the restaurant’s interior?
Oh girl, trust me, all I did was approve yes or no. I don't know construction or none of that stuff. My business partner has experience with this stuff. She just told me, 'What do you think about this color or that color?''What you think about this being here or that being there?' for the most part.
Let’s talk about your videos. How did the character of Titi come about?
You know I've always been a fan of Madea and Sheneneh, and all of these legendary characters from back in the day. I felt like that area hasn't been tapped in social media, so I wanted to bring [Titi] over to social media.
Speaking of Madea and Tyler Perry, I saw a post of yours a few weeks back where you had your fans tagging him, and then he left you a voice message. So are you two going be working on something in the future or is that top secret right now?
I actually can't speak on it right now. But we plan to do something really dumb together.
Other than your restaurant, and your show on Zeus, what else can we look forward to?
I was just about to say—I have a hit show, a No. 1 show on Zeus right now, Titi, Do You Love Me? where Titi is finally looking for love. Titi ... always, for the past five years we've been on social media, Titi always had problems that's been consistent with one dude. Every video's a different dude, so I wanted to give her a shot at love. At finding, you know, real love on a dating show.
Other than that, I plan to launch my YouTube channel, and I got some cool projects coming up on that. People are always asking for longer content so, hey, I'm about to give them more than a minute-long video.
When’s your next video with your sister Lorraine? Are you two working on a video in the future as Titi and Kendra?
Yes, girl. We're planning to do something the next week. So that's exclusive news for you. [People] should be looking for something at the top of December for sure.
We're ready for that.
(In Titi's voice) Merry Christmas!
Krab Queenz, at 10852 Westheimer Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.