‘Love and Hip-Hop’: Bringing the heat to NY streets

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As the weather changed and the New Year approached, one show made its strut back to television.

 “Love and Hip-Hop” is known for bringing more drama then World Star videos.  

For season three, Mona Scott Young raised her standards and brought together an all-new cast with a few veterans back to New York City.

The new cast includes Yandy Smith, Mandeecees Harris, Erica Mena, Rich Dollas, Jen the Pen, Consequence, Olivia, Joe Budden, Tahiry Jones, Raqi Thunda, Lore’l, Winter Ramos and Rashidah.

Like every season of “Love and Hip Hop,” the bad boy of the group is rapper Joe Budden.

Caught up between his friendships with Raqi, his ex Tahiry, and dating his new fling, Budden stirs the pot on the first episodes.

Although his friendship with Raqi is dead, she has hope that they will reunite someday.

“My friendship with Joe is sad because I wanted show that a hip hop artist can be friends with a girl and not be sleeping with her.”

“However, reality shows are all about drama. Maybe next season we can mend our friendship.”

Raqi like many of the other cast mates this season is not the typical cast mate.

They actually have careers and jobs in the rap game.

“I wanted to be on radio since I was a little child,” said Raqi.

“I showed up at the radio station and called everyday to get a position with them.

Lore’l or “L is Real” is also not your average cast mate.

She is the only female rapper to be featured in the series. “I started out singing and I felt like all of the girls were doing that,” said Lore’l.

“People told me my voice is unique and I should rap. After many times writing verses, I improved and love it.”

Even though this show is not scripted and these women are ambitious ladies, when put in situations, it is up to them on how they will handle them.

Some situations have good results and others show us their real identities.

“I feel like Erica is a disgrace and you see that,” said Lore’l talking about her character.

After the argument that ended the questionable friendship, Lore’l perception of Erica is clear as day.

“[She’s] a supposed single mom and she doesn’t take care of her kid.”

“For her to be out there right now and use her platform to look crazy instead of good, I just don’t understand it.”

“Viewers see that whether it be her drinking or bathroom trips to do undisclosed things, she is not to be trusted.”

Another well-known controversy that brought the show more attention is Raqi’s racial altercation with Consequence’s girl, Jen.

After bringing the housewife aboard for a business opportunity at a radio station, viewers see that both yearned for the spotlight and only one could obtain it.

Raqi still regrets that decision on bringing her on. “Had I not been on a reality show, I would have never picked Jen to do a radio show with me,” said Raqi.” She is a taken care of woman, not a worker.”

 When discussing the situation on the show, Jen commented saying that she was white and could make it anywhere. This still rubs Raqi the wrong way.

“I am a woman of color and I hustled to get to where I am today.”

“People say that antagonized her or pushed her, but a lot of what she said was edited.”

Some cast mates that try to steer away from the drama and see themselves in a positive light.

Winter, in particular, found herself playing the relationship guru while watching herself on the show.

“Because of the editing and the format of the show, I am seen as the relationship expert and this is not me all the time.”

But who needs the show to bring the her own heat. Winter has released news about a tell all book that is being compared to Superhead’s book.

What’s the difference between her and the modern day scarlet letter?

“I have a lot of work experience and never shook my [behind] for anything,” said Winter.

“Once you read the book and compare me to her, you will see.”

With talking to few of the ladies from Love and Hip Hop, two thing are certain.

No rules apply and leave expectations at the door. Cast mates may come on set one way, but editing and Mona can lead you to look another.

As Erica flips her hair through the club, Jen flaunts her never struggling skin color and Tahiry sips drinks with Budden, we know that these ladies will never win drama’s game.

Check out season three of “Love and Hip Hop” Mondays on VH1 at 8 p.m.

  • Necole Jackson, Scene Editor