All Articles Tagged "love and hip hop"

K. Michelle Is Right To Be A Little “Offended” By Iggy Azalea

May 30th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Instagram

K. Michelle’s biggest “problem” is that she is loud, unapologetic and at times obnoxious. But one thing I will give her is that she is rarely wrong.

Okay, she can be wrong as hell at times, but she is at least on the right track. In this case, I’m speaking in particular about her off-the-cuff comments made indirectly about Iggy Azalea. According to Necole Bitchie, the R&B singer and reality television star wrote this on Twitter about the Australian MC:

How can you be from another country and rap like you’re from Memphis TN? But u don’t hear me though #offended”

That is a good question, but not everyone thought so. Just ask gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who replied back to K. Michelle saying, “@kmichelle I think you chose the wrong hashtag and meant to say #jealous instead! x”

Zing! Honestly, it went on a little too long from there, with the both of them zinging each other until they got bored and moved on to zinging someone else. Nevertheless, the main gist of Perez’s critique of K. Michelle’s tweet was that she was just jealous and bitter because she is not as successful as the “Fancy” rapper is.

Is K. Michelle bitter? Maybe. According to Yahoo, the 23-year-old rapper from down under is the first act since the Beatles in 1964 to hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (the two singles are “Fancy,” which is #1 and Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” which features Azalea, and is at #2). The article also says that “Fancy” is #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. With that kind of momentum, you could certainly understand why the R&B singer’s eyes might be a little green.

But according to Billboard, K. Michelle’s Rebellious Soul album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album charts and number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts respectively, which is not bad for an artist, who was mostly known before the album release for shaking tables on Love & Hip Hop ATL (and an even briefer stint on Love & Hip Hop NY). Plus, her singles really didn’t get lots of radio play. And K. Michelle didn’t get many major endorsements from mainstream publications – although the gossip blogs and sites always kept her name relevant, which I imagine contributed to album sales. Azalea, on the other hand, would be embraced and celebrated in even the most un-hip-hopiest of places like Forbes Magazine, which would also use its platform to brashly declare that she “runs” a genre, which women have been grinding in forever; a genre where Nicki Minaj is still active (and has sold an impressive amount of albums), and a genre of music that has helped our most legendary femcees thrive.

Point is, K. Michelle has had some big success in her career – not as much success as she could have had already, and likely not as much success as Azalea is going to have. And granted, K. Michelle has had some “issues” over the years professionally. Some people have said she is difficult. She’s said some things to fans on social media that aren’t too nice. And her performance on Love & Hip Hop was oftentimes described as brash, slick talking, made-up like a Barbie and ratchet. However, isn’t that the image that Azalea sells to us?

Or at least parts of it. The marketable parts. Like the Southern accent. The dialect. The mannerisms. The styling. Even down to the big ol’ booty. Azalea, who just a few years ago was just another blond haired, blue-eyed struggle rapper in her home province of South Wales Australia, has been able to come to America and grab all sorts of attention – and all the financial gains, professional opportunities and open doors, that comes with it. And she has been able to do it while there are countless of hungry and waiting originals littering the ‘hoods and urban areas of America. I mean, if this is not the prime example of how our jobs are being shipped overseas then I don’t know what is…

And sorry folks, bouncing for a few years (seven to be exact) around the South before hooking up with T.I., moving to Cali, and signing a modeling contract with Wilhelmina is not struggling. Even for a natural born citizen, those are some extremely long odds. Nor is it enough time to adopt language patterns – which only seem to come out when you are rapping. That is just mimicry mixed with plain ol’ affirmative action and branding. Oh, and a bit of novelty sprinkled in with it all too.

So yeah, K. Michelle should be offended. And quite frankly, we all should. Not because Azalea is a white girl rapping, but because she should be able to rap in her own voice and dressed in her own roots and language patterns and find an audience. And the black, brown and yes, those authentically ghetto white girls too, should not have their art, culture and identities separated from them and commodified by society, which does not want to give proper attribution or allow for them to share in the profits. And I’m not talking about mass media and the record companies. I’m talking about us folks, the consumers of these images, who continue to support the minstrelsy of poor folks from the ‘hood while simultaneously hating the actuality of their lives.

Pass Or Play? K. Michelle Dedicates “A Mother’s Prayer” To Her Son Chase

May 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

K. Michelle has me about to cry in this mug. Today, just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, K. Michelle released a new single called “A Mother’s Prayer” dedicated to her son Chase. The visuals show a single mother working hard to raise her son until she, with the help of the boy’s father, send him off to college. Not only are the visuals beautifully done, the lyrics are very touching.

Last night I prayed on a fallen star

That you’d never have a broken heart

Though the world gets cold just remember who you are.

And I pray that you never have a rainy day and

No matter what the people say

Even when it hurts, it’ll be ok

 

The first time I saw you

I knew my life had changed

I would have been dead and gone

But I found purpose when I brought you home

And even though I’m not there to tuck you in everyday

I’m not far away.

 

This is what a mother prays

When I’m on the road

And can’t see your face

This music will never take your place

I love you Chase

I love my Chase

 

So sweet. Here’s what K. Michelle had to say about the song.

“My son Chase is the center of my universe. My fans and media don’t often see him in the spotlight with me and that is because I work really hard to keep his childhood as normal and carefree as possible. I think the most difficult part of my job is not being there each night to tuck my son in, but the sacrifices I make while working are all with his better interest in mind. Being a mother is the most challenging and rewarding part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

I can certainly respect K. Michelle keeping her son away from the limelight. People can be cruel. You can check out the video below. And then tell us what you think about the song, pass or play?

VH1 Lays Off Majority Of Their New York Development & Production Team

April 22nd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The majority of our televisions remain glued to VH1 for their reality shows like Basketball Wives LA  and the Love And Hip Hop franchise. Despite the success of all its shows, documentaries and editorial content, Variety says the network has laid off over 10 staffers. These lay offs occurred in the New York location in the development department. Two major executives, Brad Abramson and Kari McFarland, who were the vice presidents of VH1 East Coast production and development, were included in the staff who were let go.

In a statement released to Variety, a VH1 spokesman said:

“With ratings on an upswing and the pace of development increasing cross platform, we felt it was the right time to examine our overall production and development structure in New York. It’s imperative we accurately structure our teams to deliver the content that our growing number of viewers want from VH1 today.”

You can take away from the statement that, with the network’s success in the 18-to-49 age group, they need team players who are willing to take risks in order to remain relevant. VH1’s programing chief Susan Levison who was hired last year, has focused on restructuring the network. Therefore, she hired television veteran Nina Diaz who serves as the senior vice president of East Coast production and development. The network plans to hire people with the expertise in multi-platform programming because they plan on expanding the use of its app.

 

Peter Gunz Makes Unborn Daughter His #WCW

April 9th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Peter Gunz #WCW

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Last season of Love And Hip Hop New York, left us with tons of drama we were glad we didn’t have in our personal lives. The main story line and love triangle of LHHNY’s season 4 revolved around  Peter Gunz,  Amina Buddafly and Tara Wallace and during the reunion show, Amina Buddafly announced she was pregnant with Gunz’ child after he told viewers his relationship with Buddafly was a mistake. Despite these circumstances and Gunz continuously denying their relationship the two have remained together and it actually looks like Gunz might have the potential to be a decent father based on his Instagram posts.

Today he posted a sonogram picture of his and Amina’s new bundle of joy, allowing fans to pour in their love and support. In the caption for the photo he simply wrote: “My wcw… its a girl!” which is breaking news for fans who were curious about the gender of the couple’s first child together. Though we still don’t have a due date, we can’t help but wonder if their might be a premiere date in the works for some sort of Peter + Amina + baby reality show. You know Mona and VH1 love a spin-off…Either way, congrats to the happy family!

Race and Reality: Why Isn’t Black Reality TV Getting The Credit It Deserves?

April 5th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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the success of black reality tv

An article featured on The Hollywood Reporter questions why the success of rating kings like “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Love And Hip Hop” isn’t getting the credit that its counterparts may.

Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” swelled to a network best of 4.6 million viewers in February. VH1 has shared similar ratings success with shows like “Basketball Wives” and “Love and Hip-Hop”.

“Race and Reality” sheds light on the fact although reality shows with predominantly black casts are now among the biggest hits on television, their audiences still remain predominantly black. In a trend labeled “The Tyler Perry Effect”, Starcom MediaVest Group executive vp Esther Franklin, who researches media and consumer habits of African-Americans and other minority groups says that although she doesn’t see this trend extending on broadcast, she expects it will continue to play out on cable:

“I think you’re seeing the viewership increase because of more opportunities for African-Americans to see themselves and their experiences reflected back to them.”

The “Tyler Perry Effect” refers to producer/writer/actor/director’s successful move into TV, first at TBS and now OWN, which reinforces the fact that there is a hungry African-American audience to be tapped outside of traditional black-targeted networks.

Although The National Association of Broadcasters projects African-American buying power rising 25 percent to $1.2 trillion between 2010 and 2015, there is still a disparity between advertising revenue for white viewers — black audiences still command smaller rates for networks. This may explain why networks remain careful not to outwardly own the trend, even if their slates speak for themselves.

CEO Mona Scott Young, who segued into TV with her hit, “Love and Hip Hop” notes how positive reality TV has been for the black community:

“It’s opened the doors, and people want to hear what I have on the slate.”

“I think there’s a real interest in African-American culture overall. It’s an underserved audience.”

But who exactly are these shows opening doors for? Although these shows are ratings kings, it’s mostly because the black community supports them, and their audiences still struggle to find diversity. Franklin cautions the success of these shows send a message that doesn’t represent the black community in it’s entirety with the fighting and sensationalism these shows are often know for:

“I think it’s a double-edged sword.  While the community is excited to have these series, I think it’s going to be a challenge to make sure they stay in touch with the needs of the community so that this generation of programming doesn’t become the new generalization.”

“For us, by us,” could have negative impacts if the images we feel reflect our community are only seen by us.  And even if those images do spark the interests of other audiences, are they what we want representing us?

Do you think networks aren’t outwardly owning the success of black reality TV because of its sensationalized content or is the success once again limited to our own community?

Read “Race and Reality” in its entirety at The Hollywood Reporter.

 

Benjamin Button Effect: Why Do The Women Of Reality TV Act Like Children?

February 28th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

I wouldn’t say that I have a relationship with reality television.  I watch maybe three of those shows, then I leave my mental palette for other outlets, like books, scripted shows and creating balloon music.   However, one of the reality shows that I watch is “Real Housewives of Atlanta. I’ve been a fan since its first season, and have a standing date with Bravo on Sunday nights.  But, has it just been me, but do you feel as though sometimes when you’re watching it you’re seeing a reversal of growth?  Now, I know this might be hypocritical coming from a person who just admitted that they liked watching “Adventure Time” via a link, while also admitting that I’m going to be thirty in a few years, but still, I can’t be the only one feeling this way.

As a girl, I always found it hilarious when my father would yell at the television while watching his favorite sports team, and now I’ve adopted that same trait.  For the last few episodes of RHOA, starting with the wine tasting brunch fiasco, I found myself yelling at the television, as if these women could hear me.  Unlike my father, I wasn’t yelling things that the people should be doing, I found myself yelling things that they should know.  “YOU ARE GROWN WOMEN!!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!”

Along with Meg Butler’s hilarious article, I’ve began to feel embarrassed watching it and my other reality shows, but not for her same reason.  I find myself embarrassed for the women that I’m watching.  Knowing that the freedom to act-now-think-later is gone, and they have an entire audience (and in some cases, children) to have to account for.  That’s heavy.

Now, I’m not going to be tough on these participants (this isn’t just about the women, the men are just are immature acting as the women).  Lord knows if you have a camera following me all day, you’ll see some pretty unflattering moments.  I’m not the most mature, or upstanding individual at all times.  I’m also cognitive that though the emotions might be real, certain things are manipulated to increase drama and tension.  You put all of that in a fishbowl and that’s what brings the last few episodes of Bravo’s hit series and many other reality shows that are airing now, or just ended their seasons (“Love and Hip Hop”).

But at the same time, I’m just a little dumbfounded by some of the actions.  But then again, I’m beginning to see older women outside of the realm of reality television beginning to behave younger as well.  There isn’t an age limit on selfies, or posing with your butt sticking out, but you tend to think that that type of behavior is beneath people of a certain age.  But no.  Social media isn’t just for the young anymore, and you can come across your mentor in a bandage dress taking a bathroom selfie at any moment (don’t say I didn’t warn you).

I once wrote an article about my decision to stop shopping in the junior’s section, only to recently see a woman older than me shopping with her young daughter and trying on the clothes in that same section.

Is it them, or is it me?  Am I in too much of a hurry to be a mature adult that I’m forgetting to enjoy my youth?  My mother always says that “the only thing that age dictates is how long you’ve been on the earth, nothing else.”  So, am I placing ridiculous standards on older women and men?  At what point is someone just being themselves, and when does it get to the point that they should “grow up,” if they’re already grown?

Let’s seriously discuss this, because I’m beginning to feel lost in the sea of age-(in)appropriate behavior.

Tameka Raymond Allegedly Quits “Atlanta Exes” After Altercation With DJ Traci Steele

February 25th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Tameka Raymond Allegedly Quits "Atlanta Exes"

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Yesterday, we reported Love And Hip Hop Atlanta DJ Traci Steele will join the cast of Atlanta Exes. Unfortunately since Steele joined the cast, another cast member has reportedly decided to not be featured on the show.

According to Rolling Out, Usher’s ex-wife Tameka Raymond will no longer star in “Atlanta Exes” because while Raymond and Steele were filming this past Saturday, the two got into a heated argument at Raymond’s Estelle boutique. Apparently Raymond was hosting an event in honor of her son Kile who passed away two years ago when Steele approached Raymond to ask why she doesn’t get along with Steele’s friend and Kevin Hart’s ex-wife, Torrei Hart.

Michelle Brown from StraightFromTheA reported:

“With camera’s rolling, Steele immediately ‘turned up’ for the show and acted out at the event in front of several surprised customers. From what I’ve heard, Traci came into the store yelling and screaming at Tameka asking why she didn’t like Torrei and blah blah blah. Tameka could be heard stating, ‘this isn’t the place for this’ and Traci continued to press the issue.”

After their argument, Raymond allegedly resigned from the show because of the drama that ensued at her late son’s event. DJ Traci Steele, on the other hand, stated on her Instagram: @torreihart Why are they stalking my page???You are always going to be mad at what you see. @vh1 I’m making cast members quit.” She has since deleted her subliminal post.

“Atlanta Exes” will debut on VH1 this spring. What do you think about this mess?

Love Triangles, Meddling Parents & Ruined Friendships: 15 Reality Show Tropes

February 24th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Sources: Bravo, Instagram

Sources: Bravo, Instagram

I’ll be honest, I’m still a little naive when it comes to reality television.   I don’t think that everything is authentic (because if it was, then it would be called a documentary series, rather than a reality show); however, part of me doesn’t think that it’s as scripted as people make it out to be in various comment sections.  I’m not too big on watching a lot of reality television, but while watching an episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” this season, I experienced entertainment whiplash.

Now, I’m not sure if everything is scripted, but I do know that I’ve seen certain scenes before, like:

 Relationship Stress and Health Scares

A few episodes ago when Mama Joyce finally agreed to step out of Kandi’s and Todd’s relationship.  One of the reasons that she gave was due to her health.  Well… did anyone else have a flashback of “Flavor of Love 2″ when Sister Patterson, New York’s mother mentioned a health scare as a means of dealing with New York’s relationship with Flav?

“The Family Struggle” And 13 Other Reality TV Spin-offs We’d Actually Watch

February 21st, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Have you heard the rumor that Cyn Santana and Erica Mena from Love and Hip-Hop might get there own show? We’re not too excited about that, but here are a few reality TV spin-offs we would actually like to see.

Image Source: Instagram.com

Image Source: Instagram.com

“We Have Something In Common”

Nick Gordon and Bobbi Kristina just got hitched. And we’re sure we’re not the only ones who’d love to see a season or two of this particular chapter of black music royalty play itself out — unlike that Lifetime mess that came way too soon.

The Diva Debate: Are Any Women Singers Winning In The Reality TV Game?

February 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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BHMRoundtable_MIST_012914_07

Despite it’s name, we all know Love & Hip-Hop has about as much to do with Hip-Hop as the Country Music Awards. And just because you throw a bunch of women who can sang on one reality TV show together doesn’t mean the show is actually going to be about their musical talent as much as it is their ability to throw shade.

Thanks to these sad realities of (faux) reality TV, the general consensus is that the medium tends to do more harm than good and there’s little doubt Nicci Gilbert and Kelly Price wouldn’t co-sign that sentiment after their stints on R&B Divas. But then you have women like K. Michelle and Tamar Braxton whose antics on VH1 and WE tv have catapulted them to major success as singers (y’all can debate that later), which begs the question of whether the problem isn’t really reality TV, but how you use it — or let it use you.

That’s a question that was mulled over, among many others, as part of Music Choice’s Black History Month program entitled “The Diva Debate,” featuring MN’s Deputy Editor, Brande Victorian, alongside actor/singer Mack Wilds, Roc Nation singers Bridget Kelly and Melanie Fiona, Music Choice’s VP of Programming Damon Williams, Moguldum Media Group Managing Editor Anslem Samuel Rocque, and Essence.com Entertainment Editor Yolanda Sangweni, and hosted by Amanda Seales. While Bridget and Melanie vowed to never do reality TV, some entertainment writers noted that there are a few ladies who are doing it right.

Check out a clip of the debate in the video below and tell us what you think about the discussion. Are their any women singers winning in the reality TV game right now in your opinion?