VH1 is supplying us with a bevy of holiday movies to help us get into the Christmas spirit as we endure our second COVID Christmas. On Dec. 6, we tuned into Hip Hop Family Christmas, which stars Keri Hilson, Redman, MC Lyte, Ne-Yo, Terrance J and Serayah, where we watch as hip-hop’s favorite family allows cameras to enter their home to film a reality-based Christmas special in order to repair their image. As the cameras are rolling, the family struggles keeping their personal lives private and their relationships intact.
When MADAMENOIRE got to chat with Hilson, she said the film, which was produced by Jamie Foxx, tells a story that many celebrities and public figures know far too well.
“The one thing we all noticed was that it was very authentic to how things go at times,” Hilson said. “The situations that each character found themselves in was really relatable to anyone who has had any level of fame. Or even if you’re just famous in your community you may encounter these things.”
Check out our conversation below a we got into why the Georgia beauty steers clear of reality television, how to deal with drama with the in-laws during the holidays and more.
MADAMENOIRE: Bringing reality television into the picture was problematic for the family in the movie. Is that why you’ve never gotten into it?
Keri Hilson: I have friends that have done it and I’ve always felt that it can be very damaging to friendships, to families, to relationships of all kinds. Having that insight is what has kept me outside of reality television.
MN: In the movie, your character had static with her fiancé’s mother. That’s an experience a lot of people go through during the holidays. What advice would you give someone for dealing with that kind of static this time of the year?
KH: Be yourself. Be kind, you know, don’t add to the turmoil or the drama. Try to stay on moral high ground, I’d say. Because, you know, when you’re dealing with in laws, these are people that your partner loves. And these are people that love your partner. So you never want to be the wedge, you know, to separate them from their friends or family even more. You know, hopefully, you haven’t done something already that’s deserving of the lashing you might get from their side. But if you’re completely innocent, and you know, even if you’re not innocent, you there’s always there’s always possibility, opportunity to turn things around and just just be the peaceful person. Take the high road…. And otherwise, you know, you’re gonna cause problems within your own relationship. So it’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot.
MN: What was one of your favorite things about shooting this film?
KH: We were away from home and I would say my favorite thing is just working with friends. Old friends like Ne-Yo and Terrence J and new friends like MC Lyte and Redman. We really bonded and I have to say that’s my favorite thing. Every day for lunch, we would sit at that long table that you see in the film and have our lunch every single day. We could have gone off on our phones, gone to take naps or go run lines. But we elected to sit there and break bread as friends. And so that’s the icing on the cake. We would go out to dinner even when we weren’t filming, or on weekends. You know, there were invites flying left and right now, you can’t take them all because you got to rest too. But yeah, we were really really making it a point. Or I wouldn’t even say make it a point because it wasn’t intentional, like oh, we need to bond let’s know, it was natural that we liked each other and wanted to be around each other. So that just makes being away from home and the gruesome filming long days, sleep deprivation, all the stress. It’s a high stress environment all the time. That makes it a lot more pleasurable. So I was you know, pleasantly surprised and most grateful for that.
MN: In the movie, the family was trying to repair their image. Things are so different now with social media being so influential. So what has your experience been like trying to keep your image intact?
KH: I guess speaking about speaking your truth… there’s not going to be any ploy or any format or blueprint for damage control other than just give it time, let things maybe air out, speak your truth, when you’re prepared to do so. Be authentic…I think just being vulnerable and being open. Because a lot of times, you’re just misunderstood. A lot of times you know, you people have a perception based on a headline that they’ve read. And so people have these multiple perceptions of you based on headlines that they have seen but everyone hasn’t seen everything. And so that can really shape how you’re perceived. So I say that to say the best way to combat that be seen in a more positive light is just to show who you are. You don’t have to be pressed to do so you don’t have to overdo it. But you can speak your heart at certain times. I think that’s really just the way it is honesty and keep your integrity intact. And show a little more of yourself because it’s usually just a warped view that people have with you.
Hip Hop Family Christmas premieres on Dec. 6 at 9:00 p.m on VH1.