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Not even Stevie J and Joseline could scare this franchise out of existence…unfortunately.  VH1's Love & Hip Hop is set to return in January, and hopefully the original show will get back to the original premise and leave Atlanta's scripted ridiculousness behind.  I have my fingers crossed, but I'm not holding my breath! 

It will be the third season for the network hit, and undoubtedly drama-filled.  Rumor has it that first season cast members Olivia Longott and Rich Dollaz will return along with second season additions Erica Mena and new mom Yandy Smith.  It looks like the show has totally cleaned house, although given the success of Chrissy Lampkin and Jim Jones' spin-off, I'm not shocked they are absent from the roster.

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The third season will premiere on Monday, January 7, and it promises to bring drama, heartache, and craziness as viewers follow an (almost) all new cast trying to break into the hip hop game in New York City.  Erica and Rich are now together, mixing business with pleasure, while Yandy struggles to balance motherhood, her relationship, and a booming career.  Let's meet the newbies, shall we?

According to VH1, the new cast members are as follows:

Joe Budden- Fierce free-styling artist Joe Budden is widely considered one of hip hop’s most gifted lyricists. His Grammy award-winning song “Pump It Up” was featured in the hit movie 2 Fast 2 Furious. This ladies’ man is also known for posting about his very public relationships and break-ups online.

Tahiry Jose – Tahiry is a charismatic urban model who is best known for her rapid-fire sarcasm as well as her painful and very public break-up with Joe Budden.

Raqi Thunda- Radio personality and DJ Raqi Thunda has no problem keeping it real. Raqi and Joe Budden insist they are just long-time friends. However, Raqi and Joe’s ex, Tahiry don’t see eye- to- eye and have a tumultuous relationship.

Consequence- NYC rapper Consequence has established a successful career working with the likes of Kanye West and A Tribe Called Quest. His five year relationship with fellow cast member Jen Bayer and their 1-year old son Caiden has left the couple bickering about how to raise the child based on differing cultural and religious beliefs.

Jen “The Pen” Bayer- Known for dishing up gossip with DJ Whoo Kid and The Hot Boyz of Chicago, Jen has spent the past year raising Caiden, her son with cast member Consequence.

Winter Ramos- With a brief appearance in the second season of “Love And Hip Hop,” Winter Ramos, former assistant to rapper Fabolous, is making her name in hip hop history as she writes a tell-all book on her roster of famous ex-boyfriends and her life in the music industry. She is currently the Creative Costume Designer for Flavor Unit Films.

Rashidah Ali- Known as the “Blinged Out Bombshell,” Rashidah is most known for being a shoe consultant to the stars and is currently working on launching her own shoe line, Encore.

That's a lot of folks to follow, don't you think?  Sometimes revamping a show with a semi-clean plate can work wonders, but I have a feeling that we're meeting these newcomers because most of the original cast declined to return.  That's never a good thing!

Olivia is working her butt off with her new album, and she's trying to come to terms with the fact that her trusted manager is now sleeping in Erica's bed.  The show is once again produced by Mona Scott-Young, and it promises all the craziness, heartbreak, and awesome new music of seasons past.  Me?  I'm just thanking my lucky stars I don't have to translate for Stevie and Joseline…yet!

TELL US-ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE THIRD SEASON OF LOVE & HIP HOP?

Photo Credit: Wenn.com

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