By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
The "Love & Hip-Hop 2" reunion show was nothing short of mind-blowing. The fourth wall was literally demolished and the audience enjoyed a bird's eye view into the world of reality television, narrated by executive producer Mona Scott-Young. We learned that the idea of the show began seven years ago when rapper Jim Jones pitched a reality show concept about his life. Add in fiancé Chrissy Lampkin and the gaggle of women around Jim (his mother Mama Jones, manager Yandy Smith, friends Olivia Longott and Emily Bustamante, fellow artist Somaya Reece and ancillary character Erica Mena) and "Love & Hip-Hop 2" was born.
Mona interviewed each major cast member--except Chrissy who refused to speak directly to her--and we got juicy updates on their thoughts about the season (overwhelmingly negative) as well as behind-the-scenes tidbits sure to make tomorrow's water cooler talk.
Jim Jones: The man standing in the middle of the conflict between Yandy and Chrissy. Mona interviews Jim and asks him what went wrong. "Chrissy comes first," says Jim matter-of-factly, so it's clear that Yandy is SO yesterday to him. Jim attributes television as a major culprit in Yandy and Chrissy's falling out and we see some grimace-inducing footage of Jimmy himself unraveling because of the producer's demands of shooting, re-shooting and directing dialogue. Overall, Capo seems to regret doing the show. He admits that reality television can bolster one's buzz but the overexposure can be maddening and not what he signed up for. He explains he looks forward to season three of "Love & Hip-Hop" since he won't be on it!
Emily: We find out that Emily wanted to be on the show simply to get the attention of her good-for-nothing baby daddy Fabolous (a Hallmark card would probably have been easier). Emily's goal was supposedly to shame Fab into being monogamous (wake me up when that works on any man) and she hid her reconciliation with him from the producers. According to Emily, Fab claims he never had sexual intercourse with Kimbella (totally pulling a Bill Clinton on that one, aren't we Fab?) and now, the two lovebirds are dating again. Adorbs!
Chrissy: Smart, powerful and quick to speak her mind, Chrissy was the show's "queen bee," according to Mona. Unfortunately heavy is the head that wears the crown and Chrissy was convinced that she was set up by the producers to look bad. Things got so tense between Chrissy and Mona that she only agreed to appear on the reunion with producer Stefan Springman. Chrissy chides Stefan for inciting heat such as her public display of drama with Yandy in Miami while Stefan replies that that's what she signed up for. Chrissy stands her ground and reveals that she may not appear on season three of the show because of the producers' calculated story lines. She mentions the Rhythm Method (Medieval Europe called, they want their contraception back) and implies that she may be pregnant/working to get pregnant.
(Chrissy Lampkin on Kimbella fight)
Mama Jones: The "fan favorite" Mama Jones appeared fanning herself like a genteel Southern belle. She really may be the show's smartest bird, capitalizing on her exposure with her Psychotic t-shirt line and upping her Twitter followers. Gotta love this lady.
Yandy: The crux of Yandy's interview? Hands-down, when Mona asks her, "Have you and Jim ever slept together?" The million dollar question is answered with a flat "No!" Wompers. Yandy says that when her role on the show was expanded beyond supplementary cast, Chrissy had jealousy issues. Mona reveals that during a confessional behind-the-scenes interview, Chrissy outright censured Yandy's role. "Bitch you on my show!" she fumed. Jim even asked Yandy to quit the show but money and contractual obligations deterred Yandy from doing it.
(Yandy Smith on dealing with the family drama)
Olivia: "Private people don't make good reality TV," sums Mona about Olivia. Olivia--who looked about as comfortable as someone walking on coals-- doesn't agree that the show captured her true self and made her look "pathetic." "A lot of people think Rich is in love with you," says Mona, going for the jugular, to which Olivia replies that they're best friends. Best friends who cry over each other's record contracts? Alrighty then. Olivia reveals that she signed a deal with an undisclosed company for more than $500k. Go on girl!
Kimbella: The blonde bombshell was initially brought on the show because producers wanted another couple--Kim and Juelz Santana--to balance out the cast. Juelz quickly got cold feet about appearing on air which we can attribute to his lack of commitment to the overall relationship. We get some couch side therapy between Mona and Kimbella, where Kim admits that she and Juelz are not currently together but she is expecting his baby. Her message to him? "If a man is loyal, he should keep his dick in his pants!" Amen sister!
(Yandy and Kimbella on meeting the girls )
Erica Mena: She came on the show to boost her singing career but her ample "assets" upstaged her voice (not to mention her off-key caterwauling). The very covered up Erica tells Mona that her footage was edited inaccurately by the producers despite Mona showing her frame-by-frame fight with Kimbella. Erica eventually breaks down and gets emotional asking the audience to give her a chance. She says we are just like her (uh uh girlfriend) and then flashes us a peek of skin. She keeps us coming back for more, doesn't she?
Somaya Reece: The spitfire who fumed, "You're a kept bitch, I'm the type of bitch you keep," was a quiet disappointment come Season 2. Producers felt that Somaya--who clears the record that she is not really a man-- was more concerned about building her brand (tequila and shoes!) than having a tangible opinion. "A lot of it isn't real," Somaya counters and clearly still pissed about getting her airtime cut, calls Mona a "bitch." The two end up hugging it out but something tells me the old Somaya is back.
In the end, it's clear that reality television has its ups and downs, kids. The cameras may not capture what you want, but they sure will capture some good drama. One thing's for certain. We can't wait until "Love & Hip-Hop: 3" in Hotlanta.