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Okay, I'll be honest.  I didn't think I'd grow to like this new group on Love & Hip Hop.  I certainly didn't fathom that I'd start changing my tune during the second episode…but I did.  I'm still iffy about Raqi Thunda, but I like Rashidah AliJoe Budden and Tahiry Jose are going to bring the drama

When we last left the new crew, Tahiry and Raqi were involved in some behavior unbecoming of a pool party…unless your on a VH1 reality show.  So, they totally fit right in, I'd say.  Tahiry heads to Rashidah's house to vent to her friend about the situation.  Rashidah is floored to hear that Tahiry went to Joe's pool party, and she's even more floored to hear that Raqi was there.  Rashidah considers her to be "IP"…or Industry What the fab 90's rap song OPP was about.  Classy.  Tahiry admits to blacking out during her altercation with Raqi, and Rashidah accuses her friend of "dumbing down" for Joe.  I like this chick.  She calls it like it is!  Tahiry thinks that something is off with Joe, and she's worried about him. 

We are introduced to Jen Bayer, better known as Jen the Pen.  She's a hip hop gossip blogger and has a radio show.   She is dating rapper Consequence, who is the self-proclaimed best ghost writers in the history of rap.  They've been together for five years and have a baby boy.  He has an impressive resume as he's written with tiny rapper Kanye West, Diddy, and Beyonce.  Jen meets her friend Winter Ramos (who made a brief appearance at that fateful pool party) at Consequence's sound check.  She is Fab's assistant, but she worked with (and slept with) a slew of famous name rappers.  Jen shares with Winter that she's ready to go back to work after the baby.  Winter has recently written a tell-all about her experience in the music industry.  She's put a lot of controversial details in her book, but she's not worried about any backlash. 

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Joe is preparing for a show when Raqi arrives.  She scolds him for how he treated her at the pool party.  Joe doesn't have time for her drama.  Joe is curious as to why Raqi is getting so upset about having Tahiry in his life.  Joe can't be neutral as Tahiry is the closest person to him, and he doesn't have time for a friendship with her if she's going to be so crazy.  He maintains he was saving her from landing in the hospital.  Apparently, Joe's money is on Tahiry's ability to execute an ass whipping.  Raqi decides that the two deserve each other and storms out of the club.

 

Jen is planning their son Caden's first birthday.  She and Cons are fighting over the budget.  He wants her to make her own money and stop paying for everything with his cash.  I am pretty sure that I've never seen Cons before, so can someone please enlighten me as to who he looks like?  Jen wants an allowance, but Consequence wasn't raised in a place where anyone would have free range with his money.  They are really cute together even when they are bickering.

Erica Mena is getting a pedicure with another up-and-coming hip hop star, rapper Lore'l.  Erica tells her friend about her issues with Rich Dollaz…she shouldn't have mixed business with pleasure.  Lore'l thinks that Erica needs to figure out which she wants, because she's playing wirh fire if she wants to try to have both. 

At Joe's house, he's meeting with his mama Fay to explain why he treated Raqi like he did.  Off the bat, Fay seems a whole lot calmer and less crazy than psychotic Mama Jones or Lil' Scrappy's queen mother.  Joe admits to his mom that he's relapsed, and he was high the day of the pool party.  He also thinks that perhaps Raqi was under the influence.  Joe reveals that he was sober for fourteen years, and he recently began dabbling in pills and "other stuff."  Fay listens and urges her tearful son to make sure he surrounds himself with people who are supportive and encouraging of positive behavior, not negative behavior.  It is really heartbreaking to watch.  I know a Joe.  I dated a Joe for five long years, and watching Tahiry, I understand her struggles…although please be assured that I've never gotten into any sort of verbal altercation (EVER!) nor am I skilled in Drink Throwing 101.  It's so sad to watch Joe try to come to grips with relapsing. 

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Rich welcomes Erica into his apartment so she can pick up her portfolio.  He wonders why one fight means that their romantic relationship has to end.  Rich apologizes again, but Erica doesn't want to deal with his BS and his flipping out over small things.  He explains that he was really drunk (is Dr. Drew going to come out of the kitchen at some point to help these folks?), and Erica forgives him after saying that she's not down with his liquor problems.  As that couple makes up, Jen and Cons are fighting over Caden's birthday party because of how much Jen has spent.  Jen is embarrassed that Cons expects her to pony up for half the party.  What will the guests think?

Tahiry is meeting Rich to discuss her potential music career.  Poor Rich has a tiny crush on his friend.  There are his puppy dog eyes again.  Tahiry wants him to recommend a good entertainment attorney to assist her with an upcoming deal.  Rich is happy to help because he likes her.  Wait what?  Tahiry wants to know whether he likes her likes her or he likes her likes her.  I am immediately catapulted back to sixth grade.  Apparently so is Rich who fumbles over his words.  Tahiry then asks about Erica, and he avoids the question.  Oh, Rich.  Tahiry reminds Rich that won't mix business with pleasure and shuts him down when he tries to kiss her cheek.

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Joe hops into his jacuzzi with new girlfriend Kaylin.  They have been together five months.  Where did she come from?  She was also at the pool party and is super close with Raqi.  What?  So Raqi has it out for his ex-girlfriend, but she's thick as thieves with his new one?  Joe fills her in on the reason for his horrible behavior, and Kaylin reminds him that she will always have Raqi's back.  He wants to explain to Raqi that he was high at the party.  They have a deep conversation about Joe's addiction. 

It's date night for Rich and Erica.  Erica is excited to tell him about a collaboration with Lore'l.  Rich doesn't want to talk business on a date, but Erica thinks that the pair is capable of separating the two.  Rich disagrees.  He knows that if he tells Erica what he thinks about Lore'l, he'll be sleeping on the couch later.  She doesn't want to hear that Rich thinks a collaboration would be a bad idea because they are both up-and-coming.  He thinks a record together would turn into a "Pants On the Ground" situation.  Hilarious.  Erica needs to realize that this is Rich's job, and he needs her to trust him.

Kaylin and Raqi are meeting to chat about Joe's relapse.  Raqi tries to warn Kaylin that he'll never change, but Kaylin believes that she can help him recover.  It's weird that Raqi is fine with being friends with Joe, but she doesn't think anyone else is capable of it.  Kaylin give Raqi a tearful plea for friendship.  I'm not quite sure that is the best thing…

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Rich is going to one of Tahiry's event, and he's sandwiched in between Erica and Lore'l.  He knows he's going to get an earful about not wanting them to do the record.  Erica turns very jealous when Tahiry comes over to thank Rich for coming.  Lore'l brings up the record, and Rich puts his foot down.  He storms off when Erica won't listen to his input, and he heads over to flirt with Tahiry.  Erica is done…she goes up and demands that they leave stat.  Rich feels disrespected, and he gets into it with her on the sidewalk.  Lore'l tries to calm her friend, but it totally backfires.  She makes a not so innocent comment that Erica needs to chill before she kicks Rich in the head…much like she once did her baby's father.  Uh oh.  Erica's anger is now directed elsewhere.  Rich tries to contain his girlfriend's rage, but she hops in a cab.

Next week, Erica and Lore'l continue their beef over lunch, and Raqi and Joe's friendship is still very rocky (or Raqi–haha!).  Olivia Longott and Rich fight over her doing a record with Erica.  Yandy Smith, much like on last night's episode, seems to be a no-show.  Good times!

TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE?  IS THE NEW CAST GROWING ON YOU?

[Photo Credit: VH1]

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