The rule of thumb for VH1? If a show brings the brawls and the drama, by all means give it a spin-off! The most recent phenomenon is Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. After a very glossy introduction, it seems more like I’m watching night time soap (which, let’s call a spade a spade…) than a reality show. The series promises a lot of skin, a lot of crying, and, of course, a lot of drama. This isn’t Bravo’s Atlanta, that’s for sure, although I’d love to see a Phaedra Parks crossover since she’s friends with Rasheeda. Make it happen, Apollo!
We meet Mimi Faust and her boyfriend of fifteen plus years, Grammy winning record producer Stevie J. They have a two-year-old daughter together, and Mimi is more than ready for her beau to step up to the plate. Mimi is done turning a blind eye to his after-hour antics. After over fifteen years, I’d say he’s probably used to getting his own way. Stevie surprises Mimi with a beautiful home way outside of Atlanta for her and their daughter. Basically, he wants to move her far away so he can “do him” in the ATL. She wishes that he wanted the house to be for the three of them, and he seems to think she is being ungrateful. So, I’m guessing we’re going to watch yet another season of women who complain that the men in their lives are dirty dogs, yet they do nothing to change their situation. Glad I tuned in!
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Erica Dixon is a single mom who has been dating rapper Lil’ Scrappy on and off for the past decade. They have a six-year-old daughter. Scrappy hit it big in 2006 when he scored “Money in the Bank” with Lil’ John. Once Scrappy got a taste of fame, he had a very public affair with a rapper named Diamond. While his behavior hurt Erica immensely, she knew she couldn’t hold him down from his career. Scrappy got burned when Diamond left him for Soulja Boy, and Erica took him back when he went crawling home with his tail between his legs.
Erica questions whether he would have come back to her had Diamond not left him for Soulja Boy. He avoids answering directly, but he says he’s happy that their daughter will get to see them trying to be a family. He wishes Erica would be more affectionate, but she’s clearly struggling with trust issues. She is stunning and eloquent, while VH1 is probably going to need to invest in some subtitles for Scrappy. Something about him seems really genuine though…plus, how can you not like someone with a “Lil'” in front of their name. I don’t think it’s humanly possible.
K. Michelle is working on her album with producer J. Que. She is a single mother, singer, and pianist. After recently hightailing it out of a bad relationship, she’s ready to tell her story through music. K. Michelle has quite a voice on her.
Mimi fills in her old friend Ariane about Stevie’s plans. Ariane isn’t seeing through his BS and immediately asks if he’ll be keeping a place in the city. She wants to know if it’s Stevie’s (ahem, cough, cough, blush) that keeps Mimi around. That certainly isn’t the case, as Mimi has never met a (ahem, cough, cough, blush) that made her do cartwheels. The fact of the matter is that when things are good, they are really good. Not to mention, she understands the lifestyle. Ariane believes that Mimi is making excuses for Stevie, especially if she continues to accept his behavior. She makes a good point, don’t you think? Ariane doesn’t think that Stevie has any respect for women.
Ariane asks Mimi where Stevie is at that very moment, and Mimi hesitates before saying “the studio.” We are then treated to a scene of tiny hot pants and combat boots. What is it about this franchise that makes VH1 insist on placing a rap video cliche into every episode? The hot pants, combat boots, and practically exposed tatas belong to Joseline, a rapper, actress (to be fair, she didn’t clarify the film genre), dancer, and all around entertainer.
Mimi was correct…Stevie is in the studio. With Joseline. Who he greets…with an innocent enough kiss on the cheek. And then she does a slight ass grope. I think they’re just friends. She inquires as to whether Stevie likes her shorts and receives a quick bum smack. How much powder does she have on? Stevie touts Joseline as the next international superstar. With Stevie, Joseline knows it’s not just about the sex…she wants him for life. It’s not like he just wants to get into her pants, he wants to bleep her brain. Wow VH1. Taking it to a whole other level with a televised affair. Classy! We’re treated to some rapping and an almost lap dance before the scene ends.
Momma Dee is visited by her son “world famous rapper” Lil’ Scrappy. Geez…VH1 certainly doesn’t deviate from a formula, does it? She’s building a house, and she’s extremely hardcore. She supported her young family back in the day by pimping and dealing drugs. Scrappy reveals his issues with Erica, but Momma Dee tries to get her son to understand how is girlfriend is feeling. She can’t stand that he got caught up with Diamond, who was basically “with him” (I’ll spare you her words) for money. Momma Dee thinks she should have been pimping out Diamond since that is how she was acting with her son. Momma Dee is not a Diamond fan. She’s clearly taking a page from the Mama Jones playbook with her antics.
K. Michelle meets with Rasheeda. She admits that she had a record deal with Jive, and she began dating her producer. Not only did he beat the crap out of her, he spent millions in her earnings. She didn’t think that Jive had her back, and the company practically turned a blind eye. K. Michelle is looking forward to a fresh start.
Momma Dee invites Erica over to discuss her son’s relationship and his need for affection. Erica thinks that Momma Dee is overstepping her bounds as a mother by meddling in her son’s relationship, but Momma Dee is quick to scream that she’s doing what normal mother’s do…Erica just wouldn’t know because she didn’t have a mother. Yelling ensues, and there is some funny back and forth about Erica’s mom exposing her to drugs. Erica finds this accusation pretty hypocritical given what Momma Dee used to do for a living. Just as quickly as they are fighting, they are joking. I am confused, but I hope Momma Dee takes her meds before getting off her throne. Do what?
Mimi tells Stevie that she doesn’t want to accept the house on the outskirts. She wants her family to be together. Stevie understands where she’s coming from, so he’s willing to come home when he’s done working…although he can’t really say how often that will be. When Mimi suggests building a studio in the house, he says that would stunt his
ability to cheat on her creativity. I’ll give Stevie credit though…he’s quite the charmer.
Stevie and Joseline (who I’m convinced is stealing from Rihanna’s closet) meet up with singer/rapper Karlie and her boyfriend Antonio Reed. He’s the son of the legendary music mogul L.A. Reed. Karlie, who is from Trinidad, is dying to work with Stevie, and he’s impressed with her Jamaican rap style. Joseline is all over Stevie during the foursome’s lunch, so Karlie assumes she’s more than just one of his “artists” which is how she was introduced. Joseline thinks that Stevie should definitely bring Karlie into the studio…and she’ll be right there the entire time they are working together. When Karlie asks about the pair’s relationship, Joseline replies, “He’s my manager.” More like MAN-ager! Antonio’s got jokes! Karlie admits she’ll sleep in the studio if need be, but she says she hopes Stevie wants her for her talent and not for pleasure. Both women then show off their bodies to Stevie and a drooling Antonio. I am losing brain cells as I type!
K. Michelle is celebrating her birthday at a downtown club. What in God’s name is she wearing? It looks like a pink lace body stocking with two dead kittens on her feet. Karlie joins her, and Ariane and Mimi aren’t far behind. Karlie is beyond thrilled that to see Mimi. She had no clue that Mimi and K. Michelle were friends. The ladies used to be tight when they lived in L.A., but–shocker–they have lost touch over the years. Karlie is anxious to hear all about what is going on in Mimi’s life.
The women toast K. Michelle, and Karlie is quick to say that they must all look in each others’ eyes to avoid seven years of bad sex. Oh, did I mention that at lunch with Stevie J, Joseline toasted the crowd but made sure to have Stevie look into her eyes. She told the table that it was bad luck–seven years of bad sex luck–if you didn’t look your toaster in the eye. Karlie reveals that she heard that tidbit of advice from Joseline who is “ride or die” for her man. Ariane wants to make sure she heard right…Joseline? Surely she and Mimi have to know who she is if she works with Stevie. Karlie talks about how close Joseline is with her man Stevie J. Um, no. Mimi interrupts to tell Karlie that Stevie J is with her. Even though she was super pumped to see Mimi, it doesn’t keep Karlie from arguing with her about whether Joseline is with him or just works with him.
Mimi requests an explanation, and Karlie tells her that she’s seen them together. They definitely have more than a “working relationship.” As if that isn’t enough, Stevie arrives at the club with Joseline. He’s sporting a smug smile. K. Michelle quickly exits stage left. She just got her hair done, and she knows girls have terrible aim when hurling drinks. I like her already. Mimi fills in Stevie and Joseline about her trust issues. Joseline wonders why Mimi doesn’t trust her man…Mimi shouldn’t worry about her with Stevie, as they only have a professional relationship. See her professions prior…she’s technically not lying. This show has to be scripted.
Karlie asks Mimi if she would like her to confront the pair. While Mimi doesn’t want to put Karlie in that position, she’s happy to stick up for her old friend. Joseline warns Karlie that she’s going to look stupid if she’s telling lies about Stevie. Ariane, who appears to be the only one with any sense, leaves because she’s too disgusted to be around Joseline and Stevie. Stevie and Joseline try to joke their way out of it. Stevie thinks Karlie is a rat. I doubt she’ll be working with him on a record any time soon. Ariane comes to get Mimi. Stevie wants her to stay with him. They are basically playing tug-of-war with Mimi, who takes a lot of convincing to leave Stevie’s side. Ariane wishes her friend wasn’t such an enabler. Stevie follows Mimi out of the club, prompting Joseline to throw her drink at him.
In the parking lot, Stevie retaliates by throwing his own drink on Joseline. They get into a scuffle, and Joseline tells him that she’s done. Mimi watches as Stevie crawls in the car with Joseline. When she yanks him out of the car, he pretends that he was in the vehicle looking for her. Bwahahaha! Joseline starts calling Stevie, and Mimi is enraged when he answers. He invites Mimi to join he and Joseline in the studio. Joseline is angry that Mimi is keeping her from recording. Um, it’s one in the morning. I’m sure they need to go “record.” Stevie climbs in the car with Joseline, and they speed off into the night. If she takes him back next week after these shenanigans, she truly deserves whatever she gets from that dbag.
Welp. This season, Mimi continues to question whether Stevie is sleeping with Joseline. She believes him when he says no. Cut to he and Joseline in her bedroom talking all lovey-dovey. Rasheeda and her manager husband Kirk Frost are at odds, while Erica wonders if there is hope for rebuilding her relationship with Scrappy. Scrappy and Kirk feud, and looky here…Joseline gets pregnant. I have a headache.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LOVE & HIP HOP ATLANTA? ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW SEASON?
[Photo Credit: VH1]