Mona Scott-Young’s life has all the makings of must see reality TV.
As Executive Producer of runaway reality hits Love and Hip-Hop, and Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta, the Monami Entertainment CEO has unadulterated inside scoop on all the drama surrounding her cast members. This should only increase now that her new show This is Hot 97—about New York-based hip-hop radio station 97.1FM—has hit the airwaves.
As if she isn’t busy enough, Scott-Young has partnered with rapper Nicki Minaj to push Myx Fusions moscato. The duo are rare females in the lucrative, male-dominated world of spirits. And she serves on the boards of The RSQ Foundation, The GrassROOTS Foundation, and The Haitian Roundtable.
But perhaps the most compelling aspect of Scott-Young’s storyline is her refreshingly progressive partnership with her husband. While Scott-Young earns her living outside the home, her husband Shawn Young holds down the fort as a stay-at-home-dad to their two children.
The onetime co-founder with Chris Lighty of hip-hop management group Violator recognizes their situation smashes hip-hop’s misogynistic characterizations of women as sex objects whose worth is determined by their proximity to powerful men — depictions that are in part perpetuated by some of the scenarios on Scott-Young’s shows.
“He isn’t just taking care of the kids,” Scott-Young said of her husband, squeezing time out of her non-stop schedule for a phone interview. “He’s taking care of me.”
“He’s taking care of our home, and our household, and, you know, taking care of all the things that allow me to go out there and do what I do for… the personal fulfillment that I derive from realizing my full potential.” She added, “[He’s] also, allowing me the freedom to build something for our children, and to build a legacy for our family.”
Scott-Young praises her partner for being man enough to buck narrow gender roles.
“My husband came from Brevoort, Brooklyn, and he came up in the era of hip-hop’s heyday and I actually met him while he was working for Busta Rhymes, who was one of my clients at the time. So he, in essence, should have been a product of the hip-hop, you know, male-dominating mentality, but he’s also an individual with a different experience that he brings to who he is as a man. And that’s what defined him and that’s what allowed us to have the dynamic that we have within our family, which allows us to have had a successful marriage and relationship for the past 17 years.”
This is a side of love and hip-hop sorely lacking on the small and big screens — and in the wider discussion of rapidly shifting gender roles.
With white women like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and former Hillary Clinton aide Anne-Marie Slaughter leading the heated discussion around what it means to be a mother in the modern-day workplace (even as Yoncé explores a “***Flawless,” very sexual brand of feminism), Scott-Young is in a position to expand the conversation both on screen and off.
But she demurs.
“I think I’m boring,” she says. “I enjoy being behind the scenes. I enjoy producing. And [starring in a reality show] would be a distraction from all of those things. As a matter of fact, it became increasingly difficult to both produce and host the reunion show.”