Somaya Reece

Love & Hip Hop’s Yandy Smith is the epitome of reality gold — love her or hate her, viewers are definitely talking about Yandy.

In a recent interview with, the controversial former manager of rapper Jim Jones discusses her edit on the show, her real friends and how she got to the top of her profession… that, and a little rumor about her boyfriend’s fight with Jim Jones. Because it’s not reality television if there isn’t fighting — even off-camera — right? An excerpt from that interview is below.

Yandy, you came out the Violator Management camp. Exactly how long have you been in the industry?
I got an internship with Violator in 2004, right out of college at Howard. Then I turned that into a position there.

When and where did you meet Jim Jones?
I met Jim in 2005 on a private jet chartered by Russell Simmons. They were flying us to Detroit for the Hip Hop summit to register young voters and Jim and I sat next to one another. He kept telling me that he managed this group The Diplomats and I told him to hit me up if he needed any help. He started calling me every day and eventually I was like ‘You’re going to have to pay me for this.” So I became his official manager and left Violator in 2005.

On the show you’re definitely portrayed as a woman about her business. Were you always that way? Or was there a situation that brought that out of you?
You know what, when I went to Howard, I got a scholarship the first two years. But my mother made me pay for the last two years. So that really taught me to be about my business. Yeah, being social was great and I did that too but I definitely learned quickly that I had to handle mine. And when school was over, I brought that same mindset to Violator Management. I knew I had to hurry up and find a job so I could pay back my student loans. So I came in on my business.


So on the show you made the statement that at the end of the day, for you it’s about making money…
See that was only part of the statement. What they didn’t show you was that I also said how much I love Jim. See a lot of that is changed in editing or manipulated by producers.

Let’s talk about that. Are you happy with the way you’ve been represented?
(Groans) See, here’s the thing: most people don’t realize how this really works. If the producers contact me and say there’s a woman named Erica Mena interested in meeting with me about management, I don’t know what an Erica Mena is. But I took the meeting and all the sudden its made to look like I’m starting something. Or if Emily [Bustamante] invites me along with the rest of the girls to her party, I don’t know what type of party it is until I get there. And really I didn’t come with Kimbella. The camera just shows us walking up to the house together, so now it looks like I’ve brought Kimbella [Vanderhee] and I didn’t.

So have you been portrayed wrong?
Listen, you can’t edit something that you do. I am who I am on the show with one exception: I really don’t have any drama in my life. I’m not around grown women fighting and all of that. That doesn’t happen in my normal life. A lot of that is manipulated because it makes sense in the storyline.

Would you consider your cast mates friends in real life?
No. I’m friends with Kimbella. She is genuinely my friend. I like Somaya [Reece]. I like Olivia. I knew Olivia from my Violator days. I wasn’t on her day to day team but we got to know each other better after that.

What about Chrissy?
I never had a reason to be close with Chrissy [Lampkin]. Before the show I really only had a relationship with Chrissy through Jim. If we were going somewhere and Jim was like ‘I’m bringing Chrissy’ then I was like cool. But we never hung out or had dinner at each others houses. I have that relationship with Juelz and Kim. I’m the God mother of their child.

So you’ve finished filming and I know you’ve got a big episode coming up and you can’t tell us too much. So let me ask you this, are you at peace with how the situation ended with you and Jim?
I’m at peace. Absolutely. You know what? The show brought a lot of things to light. I’m quick to brother out somebody. I’m super quick to call a dude my brother – and part of that comes from being a woman in this industry. Calling someone my brother lets other people know there’s nothing going on and it sends a message to that dude that there’s a line he shouldn’t cross with me. But Jim? Jim was deeper than my brother. In a lot of ways I think of Jim as my first born. He really was my very first project. We were broke together and then got rich together.

So where is that relationship now?
I will always love Mama Jones. Mama Jones and I used to talk for hours about all sorts of things – not just Jim – so I will always have a relationship with her.

What about Jim?
I’ll just say this: Jim will always be a very important factor in my career history. Like I said, he was there in the beginning, so my appreciation for that will always be there.

[If] they asked you back for Season 3, would you do it?
I don’t know at this point. Honestly. The people that can really affect my bottom line, know what it is. But the other people that see the show and call me the Don King of the show, they think ‘oh Yandy’s messy.’ I don’t know if there’s anywhere else for me to go on the show. And I don’t need my own show. America likes to watch a train wreck. Chrissy could have her own show. But I’m not a train wreck. So I don’t know.

Do you have a boyfriend?
(Laughs) Yes, I have a boo.

Did he beat up Jim Jones?
I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I heard Jim say it was a botched robbery in Harlem.

Did your boyfriend attempt to rob Jim Jones, in Harlem?
No. My boyfriend definitely doesn’t need to rob anyone.

Whoa! According to the rumor mill, Yandy’s boyfriend allegedly beat up Jim Jones a few weeks ago in NYC. Sources close to Jim have, however, insisted it was a botched robbery. That is some pretty hefty stuff if you ask me. Personally, I enjoy some Yandy on the show, but all the ladies bring that certain something (read: DRAMZ!) to each episode.


After last week’s romantic (?) proposal, Love & Hip Hop resumed with some slight back story behind Jim Jones’ decision to head to Miami. There is a video montage of the pair from season one intermixed with Jim preparing to pop the question.

As he waxes poetic in the background about what it means to have Chrissy as a lady and confidante, why she is perfect for him, and what all they’ve been through, we watch him shower (he totes has a body under those baggy clothes!), profess his love for Chrissy in the steamy mirror and contemplate choosing the perfect ring. Oh VH1, how cheesy lovely.

After Chrissy says yes, it turns out the entire Miami trip was a set-up by Jim. He has all her friends and family at the restaurant, and apparently Emily, Teairra, and Olivia were in on the plan as well. I clearly didn’t give Jim enough credit. That was a pretty sweet proposal. In her interview, Chrissy cries about how wonderful it feels to be a Jones, compliments crizazy Mama Jones (love!) for raising such a wonderful son and ends with a tearful, “Even if we never get married… I will always have love for Jim in my f*&^ing heart.” And here I was thinking that Jim was the more romantic out of the two. Chrissy is like a female Shakespeare!


On last night’s Love & Hip Hop, it was all about talking. Blah. Blah. Blah. Everyone wants to discuss Kimbella and Erica’s fight. Yandy wants to talk about her issues with Chrissy which are weighing on her professional relationship with Jim and Chrissy just wants to cry about how Jim isn’t ready to commit.

We begin with Yandy Smith meeting up with Erica Mena about her brawl with Kimbella Vanderhee. Yandy can’t understand why Erica instigated such a hurtful confrontation. Yandy is so confused with Erica’s belief that her behavior was alright. Erica thinks that Kimbella talking about the pair being on the same level career-wise was enough to provoke her insults. Yandy sets her straight… Erica isn’t Yandy’s friend, she is nothing more than a potential client that proved she had a dirty mouth and ugly intentions.


If you’ve been keeping up with the second season of Love & Hip Hop, you know we’ve been getting two cast mates for the price of — or should I say at the cost of – one. Emily Bustamante’s BFF, the level-headed/match-making/one-liner slinging (three-one-thrizzle, anyone?) Teairra is a staple in recent episodes. Not to mention, viewers have recently been introduced to Erica, the “model” who has a penchant for hair-pulling and hating on video chicks.

So, where is Somaya Reece? The season one alum, musician and resident pot-stirrer has been increasingly absent as the new season progresses. So much so, in fact, that Twitter recently erupted in pleas to bring back the fan favorite… for more than just the opening credits. In a recent interview with the site, the VH1 star opens up about her recent edit (to put it mildly!), her relationship with her cast mates, upcoming opportunities and whether we’ll get so see her again this season.

Excerpts from her discussion are below.

Monica: Why don’t we see you as much on Love & Hip Hop this season?

Somaya: I was in the first few episodes. I have no idea what happened because I did have a lot of story to add yet I don’t see it on the show. The fans made sure they bought me back! There was so much you didn’t see this season, my life is on fast forward right now with great stuff happening and they showed none of it. Like what happens with Swift, the album, the developing friendship with Chrissy [Lampkin], my rap single Eh Mama, my re-negotiation with Barry, my family issues, the image development, my signing with the top talent agency in Hollywood that I got by myself? What happened to all of that?

Monica: Speaking of music, what’s up with your music career?

Somaya: They are covering everyone else’s music process and career development on Love & Hip Hop….interesting! After I signed with my investor I made a mix tape series called “Rebel with a Cause” drops in Jan 2012. Each tape has future album cuts on it! They didn’t show my team. Grammy award producer Richy Pena and a Denver team KMG. I just signed with Rebel entertainment partners who also rep Mario Lopez, Eva Longoria and the list goes on! I have evolved so much since season 1… But fans didn’t get to see any of it!

Monica: Did you know you were cut out of so much of this season of Love & Hip Hop?

Somaya: Not at first, but I honestly am in such a good place, I am working on so many projects that it wasn’t until my fans got pissed that I realized how much I mattered to the show. I’m humbled by the love from the fans.

Monica: What is your relationship with the other girls from the show like now?

Somaya: Do not mistake what you see on TV to be real relationships! None of those girls reach out to me really. I like the girls regardless but truth is the ones that reach out off the show are: Mama Jones, Kimbella [Vanderhee] and Yandy [Smith] once in a while. Emily now and then!

Monica: How many more episodes will we see you in?

Somaya: Love & Hip Hop is on episode 6 out of 10 but I’m only on one more episode! Later there is drama with Kimbella and someone else… I walked Kimbella off the edge, I was a mentor because she is a nice person, I don’t want her to lose her children or go to jail. I realize what she said was just bad timing at Emily’s party. But she is a likable person in real life. I don’t want that to happen to anyone, I’m just not cold hearted like that. Oh and back to this note to anyone though, I can forgive but if you bring s*** to me it’s on! But I’m not looking for it.

Monica: Are you coming back for another season of Love & Hip Hop?

Somaya: Ratings are good but…… I need to decide what I’m going to do because other TV projects that will respect and see the value in my story are scouting me. I’m excited no matter what I decide. I love TV.

Somaya ends the interview with her own star struck situation of late, revealing, “I recently met Beyonce while we were shopping for shoes and she said, “Congratulations Somaya on your career and what you’ve accomplished I’m proud.'”

She continues, “Remember I told Olivia about Beyonce? Beyonce has everything she wants in life and did not have to even acknowledge my presence. Yet she was so humble and took the time to talk to me and tell me she knew me from the show and congratulated me. Now that shows class, and that is how all artists should be. If you know you a bad b***** then you don’t have to hate on another artist. I nearly fainted at her humility! She has inspired me to go harder.”

Here are the pluses I take away from this interview: First, Beyonce is a Somaya fan — that’s pretty Sasha fierce! Second, she still keeps in touch with Mama Jones… and let’s be honest, if I were ever involved in some way, shape, or form with rap videos, “dating” hip-hop moguls or birthing the next generation of adorable little mini-players, Mama Jones would be my most favorite friend and ally. Because I’m “phsychotic.” Finally, she’s being “scouted” for other television venues? Seems like VH1 needs to jump back on the bandwagon it created. And to think, Somaya used to get on my nerves!

[Photo Credit: Mr Blue/]


Last night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop was a hodgepodge of car shopping, conversations with Chrissy’s aunt Cookie and cat fights. Chrissy still struggles with the status of her relationship with Jim, while Yandy introduces an interloper with some awesome hair-pulling skills.

Jim Jones is buying me a car at the Audi dealership looking for his first white car (he lost a bet) and mocking Chrissy’s reaction when she finds out about his new purchase. It is a beautiful car, fit for a hustler. Jim’s words, not mine. His friend promises to get the bleeped ready (after much rewinding I am going to definitively type he said he’d get the “puff puff” ready) so they can christen the car on the ride home. That gorgeous car won’t even be off the lot before it reeks of marijuana.


Without a doubt, the ladies of Love & Hip Hop definitely know how to turn up the heat where drama is concerned. Lately, it’s been a clash of the musical egos between the former First Lady of 50 Cent’s G Unit Olivia Longott and Latin music sensation and model Somaya Reece.

In a recent VH1 blog, Olivia admits, “I took a lot of heat [on a past episode] because of my attitude toward Somaya. What people need to understand: I’ve made bad decisions in my career, but what I will say is that someone saw the talent in me. Say what you wanna, that I didn’t blow up, that I’m wack, or love me, but the fact is, I was signed to Clive Davis as the first act on J Records, and also traveled the world with 50.” That’s a pretty decent resume, I’d say.

“But don’t get it twisted,” she continues. “I know I’m starting over, doing it alone, but I won’t ever say Somaya and I are on the same level, because I don’t think she has much talent. That’s not hate, I’m allowed to have my opinion.” Opinions, hate… what’s the difference on these shows?

While Olivia applauds her cast mate’s willingness to work she believes the only thing Somaya has in her favor is the show itself. She reveals, “Her work ethic is insane and of course a TV show kinda evens [the] playing field, but reality is, if Love & Hip Hop didn’t exist, this conversation wouldn’t ever come up, so I get that too. Not too mention the lies she’s told on my manager, but hey, that’s for another day…” Mee and Yow!

And if one series isn’t enough, it looks like Love & Hip Hop may be getting its own spin-off on VH1, an insider tells Sister2Sister. Because the show is doing so well, the network is hoping to double the popularity with a similar show based in Atlanta and starring rapper Diamond.

The same source reveals that fellow Atlanta rapper Rasheeda and Rici, who served as Yung Joc’s former assistant are also being approached about potentially starring in the series. While nothing is set in stone, it is rumored that how Diamond will be portrayed is a source of contention. While Diamond’s publicist wants her to appear polished on the show, producers are calling for the rapper to totally be herself while the cameras are rolling. If the producers get their way, “Diamond would definitely be the Chrissy [Lampkin]” of the spin-off, the insider promises.

Regardless whether the two sides can come to an agreement, one thing is for certain, says the source. “New York don’t have nothing on Atlanta.”


Last night’s Love & Hip Hop was filled with everything it should have been: a family feud between Jim Jones’ loud lady and rapping mother, Fab’s exes getting slightly friendly and, of course, Kimbella’s hair getting up close and personal with a candle wick. Priceless!

The episode begins with Chrissy Lampkin and Jim Jones discussing her chat with Yandy Smith over the ladies’ recent blow-up. Chrissy tells Jim that she feels like she could be a better manager for Jim than Yandy is. Poor Jim. He can barely get through his interview without looking like a kid off of his ADD meds… the last thing he needs is for his lady and manager to be feuding. He offers to let Chrissy help him design some coats for his collection instead. Chrissy’s on board until they pair gets in a tiff over her cut of the check. Jim laughs, saying that Chrissy is “[messing] up his concentration.” What did I just say about ADD? Those who have it can certainly spot it!


Love and Hip Hop Season 2 Cast

With just a week until the season 2 premiere, VH1 has released the all new Love and Hip Hop season 2 cast photos!

As we previously reported, the new season also comes with some new changes. Not only is the show getting two new cast members, but the weekly series will now be an hour long!

Below are more pics of the entire cast including returning cast members Chrissy Lampkin, Somaya Reece, Emily Bustamente and singer Olivia. Plus, newbies Kimbella Vanderhee (model/girlfriend/baby mama to rapper Juelz Santana) and Yandy Smith (manager of Jim Jones).


In other news, did Chrissy finally get a proposal from long-term boyfriend/rapper Jim Jones? According to a report that is the case! If you recall, Chrissy proposed to Jim last season yet nothing ultimately came from that.

According to a report by Bossip, Jim finally popped the question to Chrissy last month in Miami. Sources tell the blog: “Jimmy had a super romantic outdoor proposal planned, the rainy weather forced him to take it indoors.” The proposal reportedly took place in the ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Miami with most of Chrissy’s castmates present. No word yet on whether or not VH1’s cameras were on hand to capture this moment.

The new season of Love & Hip Hop premieres Monday, November 14 on VH1.


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