August Alsina has overcome a lot of his publicized struggles over the years, but the toughest may be inadvertently becoming a parent after his sister, Chandra, died from cancer in 2018. The 30-year-old was brought to tears while speaking about the role he now plays in the lives of his three nieces.
“When my sister died, she asked me if I would take custody of my nieces and I told her I would, so I became the legal guardian of my three nieces,” the “Entanglements” artist said during the Monday (Nov. 21) finale of VH1’s The Surreal Life. “My relationship with my nieces is, I guess, a complex thing because I can sometimes feel like a bad parent, an absentee parent because of parts of my life and I’m missing out on certain parts of their life. And I just feel for them and parts of their journey.”
In a heartwarming moment, his nieces were asked what they love about their uncle. The first said, “I like that I can talk to him about anything.” The second followed up with: “He understands me.” The third child echoed the sentiment, shouting “Understanding!”
After Chandra passed away on Christmas Day of 2018, Alsina paid an emotional tribute to her on social media. “My Sister, My friend, life giver to my nieces, my hair magician, my biggest supporter, my number one fan,” he wrote on Instagram. “We lost such a beautiful soul on Christmas Night To the battle with cancer. I am Utterly devastated & Deeply shattered! Not only for myself, but for my 3 little nieces, whom are now robbed of BOTH parents.” His nieces’ father was shot and killed in 2010.
Despite the hardships, the New Orleans native is standing firm in who he is and recently revealed the new love of his life. “Love showed up – but in a new way. I wanna share that and really honor the person that I love and that loves me back and teaching me so much about love and healing,” he said about his new male partner. “I wanna do that in front of the world because it defies all the constructs that one would say love is supposed to be or love should look like.”
Watch Alsina’s candid conversation with his The Surreal Life castmate Dennis Rodman below. The Surreal Life airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. ET on VH1.