Love & Hip Hop

[N.B. If you are not up to date with episodes in Season 2, this review may reveal some spoilers]

This show barely needs an introduction. Its reputation is infamous and it’s not hard to see why. I love good quality American shows, and getting caught up in this was definitely like opting for Chick Chicken instead of KFC. However, I looked at it this way; last year Single Ladies was my guilty pleasure for 2011 (a show I won’t be returning too, please God help me to keep that promise); in 2012 I decided for Love & Hip Hop to fill that category…and I have not regretted it.

It is the most appalling, infuriating, disgraceful and downright addictive American reality TV show I have ever watched.

There is not room enough to dance over even one-quarter of the dramatics/screaming matches/fights/confrontations in this show, but I had to share some of the reasons why I paradoxically love and hate some of its characters.

Somaya

Bless her soul. She think’s she’s a rapper, but as I have said before, even little 1-year-old Khalil in that video that went viral, can rap better than her *bedubadubedah bedubedah dah dah dah*. I mean, when you’re coming up with raps where the punchline is ‘Who runs the world?? B**** I do!’, it’s kind of hard to take you seriously. This is something that Chrissy and Olivia in Season 1 antagonistically taunted her about and was the source of a lot of screaming matches, contention and almost got her manager beaten up in that season. But, despite all of that, I like Somaya, in fact she’s my favourite out of them all. This is because for one, she is the only person that Chrissy would not dare lay a hand on because she knows Somaya will turn her inside out upside down like pounded yam. All 6’ 4’’ of her. Yes, I like her because she forces that small microscopic grain of respect in Chrissy, and if you know Chrissy…well…I’ll get to her later. But most of all I like her, because she has been through a lot in life (shootings, stabbings, being seriously beat up by a boyfriend at a young age) yet despite all that, she’s not lying down crying in a corner, out of all the cast her determination is unrivalled, she’s working very hard to improve her prospects in life and is not afraid to challenge unreasonable behaviour in people (namely Chrissy). She is also one stunning woman.

Jim

Jim is one of those men that make womankind despair completely of mankind. I look at him, listen to him and I just feel like knocking his head and asking if there’s anyone there. In Season 1, his contributions were little more than slurred VTs with his eyes half-closed looking like he was as high as a kite and sounding like it too. Jubilation does not cover what I felt to see that he had ditched that dead cornrow style for Season 2. All he ever had to contribute was sniggers and ‘my moms is my moms’ and other such pointless pontificating mostly in reaction to his mother and girlfriend’s (Chrissy) wild confrontations. Beyond that, he was just a phantom in the background floating into visibility in the studio where he rapped with an ‘energy’ I didn’t think it was humanly or supernaturally possible for him to possess. I had to Google, YouTube, Wiki, and then pray for understanding as to why anyone would buy his music and why is he so rich off it. As in seriously..if it’s that easy to make money, I’m in the wrong job! Admittedly in Season 2 he has appeared more coherent….we even saw a few teardrops from him concerning a certain ongoing conflict (Thank God! He’s not an empty vessel after all), but any empathy or sympathy respect? for him quickly vanishes when you see his inherent refusal (because I believe he can) to tame the zoo antics of Chrissy. Furthermore, what kind of man gets proposed to by his girlfriend and says ‘I’m witchyou’ in reply? I can’t….

Nancy

She is every girlfriend/fiancé/wife’s nightmare. Voice like toad with a sore throat and worse than Chucky, Freddie and Gollum combined. She is a meddler to the core and is one of those women who will forever use the excuse that because they gave birth to a son, they are somehow entitled some kind of lifelong control/management/say in anything their son does. The point where I realised she really was irreparably deranged was when she demanded, of Chrissy ‘Where’s my grandchild!! I want my grandchild’ [sorry…what???!]. Chrissy’s response, was understandably…emotional [those who’ve watched the show know I’m putting it lightly] after which Nancy began one of the key exchanges of both series ‘ you a selfish b****’. Chrissy: You’re a psychotic b****. Words can’t really explain the disbelief with which I watched this entire exchange (I had to tip my eyeballs back into their eye sockets), but the most amusing part for me was the way Nancy used this exchange to her advantage. She made an insulting song entitled what Chrissy called her, made a video for it which she posted to Worldstar Hip Hop (I think that adequately alludes to the calibre of this song) and rang Chrissy to tell her to watch it and now has a t-shirt merchandise with those precise words on. And that’s why I love her, because despite all the drama she had with Chrissy, the insult-hurling, the family feuds, etc, she still had enough entrepreneurial spirit to come up with a way to make some money out of an insult that was directed at her. If only her potential daughter-in-law could be as entrepreneurial…

I’ve got a lot to say about this woman. Most all bad. But here goes….

Chrissy

Don’t be fooled by the pretty picture. She’s a barbarian, a hoodlum, and as someone tweeted, complete ‘savage’. She respects no-one, never apologizes to anyone, and will start a ruckus with anyone irrespective of who you are or how long she’s known you. If she feels she’s been disrespected, all of the demons of hell combined will not compare to the manifestations she will present with. For Chrissy, a friend, can become a foe in the time it takes to blink. If this is the way she is in real life, she is one of the most horrific people I’ve ever seen. A demon in an angel’s face. That’s not to say she’s all bad – the parts of the show where it cuts to her describing her actions are utterly hilarious; she has a good sense of humour, but they also reveal how ruthlessly she thinks and operates. I can respect the way she loves Jim and wants the best for him and wants him to commit to her, but then you see the way she behaves (at 40+ years no less!), and even though you don’t really rate Jim that much (well at least I don’t), there’s something in you that wants to yell at him ‘FLEE’ (there’s no point rebuking her. She will not flee; she presents as a higher pedigree of demon if it were possible). Every time I start to empathise with her situation, she appalls me with yet another display of screaming at women she feels threatened by and doesn’t know at all, or she’s throwing punches like a rabid ape. The only reason why she has not had to face the consequences of her actions is Jim. For some reason (I CANNOT fathom why), people are afraid of Jim and what Jim will do, and so it follows that they’re afraid of Chrissy because Jim never puts her in her place. The woman cannot stay in her lane. She has no career, no purpose, yet in an instant will strip to shreds other womens’ with her only back-up being ‘wait till Jim hears about this’. More irritatingly, she wades into Jim’s business and affairs (without his prior agreement, I don’t understand why he tolerates this), and basically annihilates business relationships in a matter of seconds whether by verbal or physical abuse. Without Jim who is she really? She has spent so much of her life, living off his glory, seeing peers sail past her focussing on their talents, she is now a very bitter and angry middle-aged woman with nothing better to do than cause brawls and try to humiliate people. It really angers me to see her live so uselessly, unchallenged. And it angers me more to see people being lazily persuaded by Jim to apologise to her, yet there is absolutely no movement on her side ever to apologise for what she has done and Jim never tells her to. She is almost totally vile and a disgrace to women. If she thinks marrying Jim will make her happy, and come together, she is deluded. Her issues are patently much deeper than that, and Jim is a fool for marrying her without in any way encouraging her to get those issues addressed, because if he lets this woman carry on the way she is going, a lot of his business and personal relationships are going to get destroyed by her uncontrollable mouth. She has no idea how to function like an ordinary human being; she only knows hoodrat.

Olivia

Olivia is a very pretty, very boring individual and a key factor in a lot of the beef that Chrissy gets into. She is a stirrer, and subsequently a coward when her stirring is brought to hers and everyone’s attention. She could not even tolerate a confrontation with Emily, and Emily is the equivalent of cotton wool; press her & she’ll flatten. Despite this however, she has to be commended on her voice which is very good, however as everyone points out, she needs demonstrate she is more interesting than a slice of Rivita for anyone to take her seriously as an artist, and that’s something she seriously needs to work on. She’s little more than an extra to be honest.

Emily

Emily is the kind of woman that makes women despair of womankind. She is quite clearly being used by Fabolous, because she is giving him everything for free and for EIGHT years! Season 1 consisted of a lot of her crying about the situation and being unhappy. In Season 2 she appeared to have grown some intelligence, but that growth turned out for her to be malignant to her life [‘I can’t live without him’] and we can see she is already backsliding into mugu territory. It’s at the point where you don’t even have the capacity to feel sorry for her and every time you see a silver stream slide down her cheek, you want to happy slap her so the brain cells that you hope she has, rearrange into their divinely appointed order, and she arises and lives life as more than the woman the man goes back to because he knows she’ll be there no matter what. She’s a beautiful woman, but her respect for herself and true consideration of the impact her choices will have on her children is virtually non-existent.

Season 2 additions

Kimbella
There’s not much we know about Kimbella beyond the fact she is apparently a glamour model for a living, is Juelz’ (from Dipset) girlfriend and has a child with him and that she was unknowingly sleeping with Fabolous when Emily was pregnant with their child. It’s a pity she chose to introduce herself into the mix as that, but that in no way excused Chrissy’s violent reaction. Regarding another key situation of violence that she was involved in, I have to say, I was quite surprised at her reaction to Erica (as she’s usually so calm, patronising, but calm), not that Erica didn’t bring that situation on herself. How can you allow your mouth to run riot to someone’s face about them and you’ve never met them before? All because you have some sort of exalted perception of your position and standing in the world? Idiotic. I also respected the way she refused to rise to a lot of Chrissy’s unprovoked taunts. Even Chrissy had to acknowledge that ‘She’s not really coming for me’ and decided to calm down a little on her hostility. What I don’t rate about Kimbella, is her career. She talks a lot about respect and about how her home life wasn’t great and how her mother wasn’t much of a role model, yet she’s posing half-naked on the cover of magazines. Tell me how that will empower your children. Please.

Yandy

I love Yandy. In fact she could probably share the status of my favourite character along with Somaya (who has suddenly disappeared, what’s that about??). Yandy is gorgeous, fun-loving, and a manager for Jim Jones. So of course Chrissy was not happy with that and decided to stick her oar in, and as they say, the rest is history. I was the most disgusted by the disintegration of this relationship (between her, Chrissy and Jim), due to the fact that they have all known each other several years, and the way Chrissy flipped on her was absolutely phenomenal. Unparalleled. Chrissy saw insults where none were intended, and turned the smallest dispute into a ginormous feud. What I respected about Yandy is that she resisted the ghetto chick reaction and was actually quite civil in her confrontations with Chrissy, while Chrissy called her every name under the sun, and was brave enough to try to throw mud over Yandy’s profession and professional and personal interests towards Jim. After how many years of her managing him! I think the course of action that Yandy took in the end was the right one and I respect her for not tolerating being verbally and physically manhandled by a bored housegirlfriend unlike everybody else in the show apart from Somaya.

So there you have it. Just some of my thoughts on the cast of Love & Hip Hop. As you can tell, it’s not for the faint-hearted…but to be honest, if you watch things like Eastenders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, etc., this is just the, American, real-life, hood, version.

Enjoy the rest of the season which will be drawing to a close very soon. I predict a riot…

Yours Truly

xx

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