*EURweb.com was in the house once again at an exclusive press screening at a posh New York City locale. This time it was at The Griffin in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.
Executive producer Mona Scott-Young and most of the cast of VH-1’s “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” were in attendance to give the media the run down on the ups and downs of this season’s most controversial new reality television show. Rapper Rasheeda and R&B singer Karlie Redd weren’t in attendance, but the show’s remaining protagonists and alleged antagonists were.
After a question and answer session that resembled a feeding frenzy, journalists were paired off with their counterpart from other media outlets to make the one on one sessions go faster. Luckily I was paired with a savvy veteran in the guise of the equal parts quick-witted and intelligent Courtney Brown of the Source magazine. Our first pairing was with Grammy-winning producer Stevie J and his … um … protege Joseline Hernandez.
We decided on a method of “good cop & bad cop” to get the ball rolling. Seeing as though I started the whole Q&A off playing “bad cop” (video to come) I decided to ask Joseline about her musical sound and what we can expect. Just to play it safe.
“It’s reggaeton. It’s everything is like Daddy Yankee, Pit Bull, Lil’ Kim…all of that. A little bit of everybody because I have everything inside of me,” said Joseline.
“For her to be new at this, and for her to have just 6 and a half months ago, there’s tremendous success, tremendous progress,” Stevie chimmed in. “On top of that, when I met her I had the confidence in her to see that she could be where she is right now. I’ve seen guys work for 5 years and haven’t accomplished being in 50 million plus livings rooms. Guys c’mon. That speaks for itself.”
Though the show and its demonstrated ability to introduce Joceline to a broad audience are apparent, what is not apparent is how Stevie plans on parlaying that into a sustainable career. Only time will tell.
Courtney Brown started off with what was meant to be a complimentary statement. She explained Joceline how she apparently has a fanbase amongst “girls in the hood”. However, it didn’t appear as if Joceline took it as a compliment. Forever on the defensive, she had this to say.
“First of all, I’m from the hood. Straight out the hood.,” said Hernandez. “I’m definitely going to give a big up to my fans, but it’s not necessary for everybody to feel me. But I know all my real bitches feel me. Hey, if you feel me then you feel me. There’s no way around that. But if you’re a bitch, then you’re a bitch and if you’re a real motherfucker then you’re a real motherfucker. Guess what? Real motherf*ckers are gonna feel you. If they’re gonna ride with you then they’re going to ride with you.”
Can someone please explain to us the difference between a real b*tch and a real motherf*cker so we can put this into perspective?
“I’m riding with Stevie J,” she continued. “He’s one of the best producers in the world, I love him and I’m riding with Stevie J. I don’t give a f*ck about what nobody say.”
Alrighty then! When asked by Brown what prompted his foray into reality television here’s what Stevie J had to say.
“You have to have other avenues, other revenue streams, to connect you to whole new universe that’s not formal,” he explained. ” I f*cked up the music game by charging $100,000 a track and doing $2 million videos, and we’re doing the same thing in the TV world. We’re f*cking it up. I brought my girl along, and we f*cking up the numbers, and their saying we’re making an imprint on television right.”
“Motherf*cking right,” said Joseline, parroting Stevie J. “You better motherf*cking believe it.”
The next duo we were slated to chat with were rapper Lil’ Scrappy and R&B singer K. Michelle. I asked him how Scrappy felt about his new found notoriety resulting from “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” here’s what he had to say.
“To those that didn’t know, and to those that did know, they didn’t want to look at me,” said Scrappy of the time when he wasn’t considered “hot”. “They were like ‘Ok, it’s Scrappy’. Now that the TV show is out it’s like ‘Scrap, Scrap!’ I got the new song and I hit the ground running with my music, ya feel me? I thought it was bullsh*t.
“When Mona first came to me with the idea I was like ‘I ain’t in love with nobody’. Ya feel me?” he continued. “She was like ‘For real, who do you f*ck with?’ Who do you want those checks to go to? I was like ‘Baby mama and Mama’. Ya dig? Me and Erica (Dixon) are like best friends. Even though the show might have went too deep in it. I done been there. I done been there where I have been fighting, and Erica is right behind me knocking somebody ass out. Ya feel me? I f*cks with that. With our situations? She never gave it to me straight up like how I did it to her. She didn’t give it to me, but it’s just some of the things that have happened in her life are the reason why. With me, and some of the stuff that I done did, when you be real with somebody and they be real with you it just goes by faster. I don’t think I really gave her a chance to do that because I was f*cked up too.”
Umm, ok! We suppose an Atlanta to English translation is in order for some. Long story short, he and Erica are connected for life. No matter what. Ms. Brown asked whether or not Scrappy had gotten over Diamond, one of his female acquaintances from the show.
“A thousand percent. I mean, I’m over and done with it. I’m over the whole situation and the only reason I say that is because the only thing that’s been there for me is Erica. She could’ve have just said ‘Do your thing’ and kept on going. But she didn’t say that.”
The lovely K. Michelle is the product of Memphis, Tenesee with an attitude every bit as tangy as the sauce from the world-famous BBQ that locale is also famous for. After noticing the mastery she had over her craft while listening to some of her prior work, I asked K. Michelle what she felt was the main reason her career hadn’t taken off the way it should have.
“I think the Jews believed in me, but they had the black guy that they put in the street that they thought was in tune with the streets but turned out to be a fraud,” said the songstress. “But nobody can take what’s given to you. You can’t deny the fact that I play classical piano. You can’t take that from me. You can’t take away the fact that I play guitar. You can’t deny the fact that I know how to use my vocal range. I’ve always wanted to stay behind the scenes. I never wanted to make no records. But R. Kelly said ‘You are the sh*t’. Big artists have asked for the stuff I write, but I never gave it to them. So, it is what it is. I am happy with the show though.”
What is raw? Realness accessed whenever you want it, or even when you don’t. Raw and uncut is how K. Michelle can come off. However, raw isn’t necessarily a negative term when it comes to emotions. She continued with her frankness when I asked whether or not we could expect her to release any major label offerings anytime soon.
“I don’t know if the game deserves me,” said K.Michelle with a deadpan serious expression on her face. “I just know that, as an artist, you will never be the best. There’s probably somebody better that never got the shine. I just love this so much, but I hate how people get into my field when they can’t do sh*t else. Everybody wants to be a rapper when all else fails, everybody wants to be a singer when all else fails. God gave everybody some shoes. Don’t try to fill my shoes when everything else don’t work for you. I just get a little angry. I ain’t got time to do this sh*t when nobody care. This game ain’t fair, but the art is supposed to be pure. All this bullshit you gotta do to get into it. If it was a fair game then I might be alright but it’s not. Right now family is fair to me. Marriage is fair to me. I kinda wanna get married. Kinda wanna be happy.”
K. Michelle is not alone when it comes to ‘kinda wanting’ to be married and happy. But it would appear as though her happily ever off is a little further off than you might think. Beauty, talent and a kind heart aside, she admits to having her own issues to sort through.
“A king might have approached me, but I don’t know how to deal with a king right now,” said the reality TV star. “You can’t always say every ni**a bad, you know? I did have my Grandfather, my stepfather and my father. They (her potential suitors) might have been kings, but in my head I think kind of different. Who knows, but I do believe in love.”
When asked about some of her fellow female castmembers, K. Michelle’s eyes were filled fire. Here’s what she had to say when asked about the countering interests Joceline and Mimi (the mother of Stevie J’s child and his girlfriend for 15 years) have in Stevie J and how she’s dealing with her own relationship with the women as well.
“She takes a stand, which is more than I can say for a lot of other b*tches,” said K. Michelle of Joceline. “Don’t let them b*tches tell you ‘Oh but I’m holding’. B*tch you not holding! But I have a heart for Mimi. That woman is a lady. So, you kind of get caught in the middle but it is what it is. A hoe gonna be a hoe, a b*tch gonna be a b*tch and a woman gonna be a woman. People are gonna do what they do.”
But if you like that then you’re going to really love how our favorite little reality TV flame thrower goes in on Karlie Redd when asked by Courtney Brown of the Source about her dealings, or lack there of, with Redd.
“I’m not scared of her. I’ll never be scared of a fake b*tch. I was gonna save this for the reunion show, but f*ck it. I might be scared by a real b*tch but I’ll never be scared of a b*tch who got a bad ass job. I’m not gonna be scared by a b*tch who don’t raise her own child. You don’t raise your child. So, anything that you say after that, and that performance on ‘Love and Hip Hop’, you can’t say sh*t else b*tch. You got up there with the two-step, hoe! There’s nothing you can say. You’re a opportunist, you got one deflated ass cheek, and your teeth are in a crunch on the bottom. I’m not fixin’ to be scared of you.”
Very well then! If you thought these quotes were on flame then keep an eye out for some choice video I was able to capture at the affair. It’s currently in the editing stage and should be posted in a day or so. In the meantime, you can always catch up on past episodes of “Love & Hip Hop ATL” at www.vh1.com. Also, you can tune in every Monday to check out the show live on VH1.