Love & Hip-Hop Comes Out Swingin’ For Season 2
Love & Hip-Hop, a reality show based on the lives of various women in the rap world, returns tonight with a season opener nothing short of a doozy.
The cast (Jim Jones‘ fiancée Chrissy Lampkin, singer Olivia, Fabolous‘ ex-girlfriend Emily Bustamente, rapper Somaya Reece, Juelz Santana‘s girlfriend Kimbella and Jim Jones’ manager, Yandy Smith) has a very real, visible tension amongst them and as show creator Mona Scott-Young emphasized during a preview screening of the episode last week (sponsored by Bartenura Moscato), nothing with this production is staged.
Building on rumors the show was almost canceled after a somewhat lackluster first season, this season appears to be a rollercoaster ride. Tonight’s episode involves various story lines, beginning with Jim Jones and Chrissy shopping for a new engagement ring. Chrissy proposed to Jim last season and he’s somehow lost the ring in the interim, cementing Chrissy’s “ride or die” status (’cause seriously, how many women would be patient enough to put up with a nightmare like that?). Emily’s update is shown next; a heartbroken mother of two who’s decided to move away from the house she shares with Fabolous and whose teachings to her daughter (“Sometimes to love is to let go”) are filled with such pain it’s hard to believe she means a word of them.
Olivia’s one of the most likable characters on the show, an artist with real talent whose relationship with manager Rich Dollaz is tough, genuine and obviously built on trust and loyalty. Her drive and passion are admirable and while it remains to be seen if the reality show format will pay off for her career, things appear to be moving in the right direction (during the screening, Rich announced his artist’s impending deal with Don Julio tequila).
Yandy Smith is introduced as a new character this season, both as Jim Jones’ manager and an aspiring entrepreneur within her own right. Her relationship with Kimbella sets the stage for instant rivalries, as Kimbella is obviously here to stir up the pot when it comes to the ladies’ friendship. Where Kimbella is portrayed as the stereotypical shallow video vixen (and she does nothing to dispel that description in episode one), Somaya Reece’s character is also there for obvious laughs. While her aspirations to be a star can be commended, her game plan as played out via this show makes her tough to cheer for.
The characters all come to a head during Emily’s housewarming, and in a scene reminiscent of Basketball Wives‘ Evelyn Lozada and Tami Roman‘s brawl, Kimbella and Chrissy get it poppin’ once Kimbella reveals to the group she was sleeping with Fabolous while he was with Emily. While grown women fighting on camera is never a good look, it’s not a shock that things come to a head for a group of females with street smarts, emotions running high and various loyalties.
Let’s not forget Mama Jones, Jim’s mom who decides to put her feelings for Chrissy on wax and record a track that makes it to WorldStarHipHop.com. With lyrics like, “I’m the only one, numero uno, biiiitch,” her scenes alone are worth watching the entire show for.
Love & Hip-Hop airs 9pm ET tonight on VH1.