Now that you’ve seen them in action via the Love & Hip Hop supertrailer, you can get to know the show’s cast a little better by reading their bios. But first a refresher on what the show’s all about via our spring greenlights post:
When people think of the hip hop life, they think of the players – the men who shape the music andtheblinged-out lifestyle that comes with success.The fact is the hip hop life is different for the women involved: the spouses, girlfriends or artists trying todefine themselvesin a world where men are still calling the shots. VH1's new, eight-part docu-soap series Love & Hip Hop follows five dynamic women whoare connected to the world of hip hop, whether it's through the men they love, ortheirstruggle to be heard as an artist. Love & Hip Hop provides adramatic,funny and sometimes heartbreakinglook intothefemaleside of theNew York hip hoplifeas these five women try to claim their own place in it.
Get to know those five women below…
Christine – Chrissy – Lampkin was born in Harlem to African American and Cuban parents. Separated from her parents and raised by her grandmother, she developed a keen sense of self preservation and used her bright young mind to learn the ins and outs of street life. Her outgoing personality and quick wit led to a notoriety that eventually caught the eye of fellow Harlemite, rapper Jim Jones. Their romance blossomed quickly and soon they were inseparable. Naturally, Chrissy's keen fashion sense influenced Jim's style of dress. Realizing she had a talent for styling, she committed to styling Jim and continues be a positive influence in his professional life. Her pet project of redesigning Jim's recording studio led to a successful foray into interior design.
Born in NYC, but raised in Virginia, Emily always knew fashion was her calling. From the time she was a young woman, she was determined to make it her career.
Emily became a mother very early in her life. Yet, unlike many teen mothers, instead of derailing her plans for success, she became even more determined to find her own identity and make her dreams come true. By working diligently, Emily soon established herself as a styling expert for local entertainers and athletes in Virginia.
At age 21, a chance meeting with Grammy-nominated rapper Fabolous would change her life forever, eventually resulting in Emily and her young daughter relocating from Virginia back to her hometown, New York City. Emily was not only thrust into a new, high-profile relationship, but she also had an opportunity to take her career to the next level. Now living in the fashion capital of the world, Emily quickly developed a reputation as one of the most respected and sought after fashion stylists in the entertainment business.
Balancing a demanding schedule along with motherhood and a serious relationship proved to be an immense challenge. As her career continued to skyrocket, she chose to remain behind the scenes to support her partner and combat the negative stereotypes often associated with being the girlfriend of a successful entertainer. As the person behind the camera for red carpets, music videos, and awards shows, Emily quietly built a clientele that includes some of the biggest names in music, television, and sports today.
The proud mother of two, is planning the launch of her own clothing line, “Emily B”.
Singing in talent shows, church, and at many a different open mics, Mashonda now realized that it was all worth it. This is the road she had to take before she found her way to the real world of music.
Mashonda is the name behind some of hip-hop’s most memorable hits. With a discography that could make any R&B debutante blush, Mashonda has remained mostly a behind-the-scenes force. The Boston born, Harlem raised singer/lyricist signed her first publishing deal with Warner Chapell music in 1998. She then signed her first recording deal with Columbia Records. Mashonda was originally heard on albums like Eve’s Let There Be Eve in 1999. Since then, she’s appeared on and written lyrics for Jay-Z, Cassidy, Mya, Lil Kim, LL Cool J, and DMX. January Joy, Mashonda's debut album, was released internationally in November 2005 under the Clive Davis label J Records. It featured tracks produced by Swizz Beatz, Raphael Saadiq, and Kanye West, including two singles: “Blackout” featuring Snoop Dog and “Back of Da Club”.
Mashonda is now focusing on writing and producing film. She still follows her passion for music as she writes songs for many different recording artists. Mentoring has become a love of hers as she speaks openly to women all over the nation about self empowerment and positivity. Mashonda admits that her number one priority is her 3-year-old son Kasseem Jr.
Mashonda Tifrere's story is a classic. A young girl growing up in the urban city of New York, chasing her dreams and her love and ultimately finding her reality. The pain that came from her very public divorce from her super producer, ex-husband Swizz Beatz, has given Mashonda the wisdom and strength to school each of us a little bit on life. Moving forward she believes that her life has just begun.
While most little girls were playing with dolls, Olivia was using her playtime to write music and poetry. She realized very early that she truly had a passion for the arts. At 19, she landed a meeting with an Arista executive who then introduced her to the legendary Clive Davis. He was so blown away by the 19-year-old’s vocal ability and raw talent that he decided to sign Olivia immediately as the first artist to his newly established label, J records. Clive took her under his wing mentoring her and showing her what the music business was all about; ultimately helping mold her into a super star. Her gold-selling song “Bizounce” was the lead single for the release of her self-titled debut album in 2000, which eventually sold close to 500,000 copies.
Later, after signing a deal with Interscope records, 50 Cent crowned her The First Lady of G-Unit. With Chris Lighty and the entire Violator team behind G-Unit’s only female R&B artist, she quickly flourished. Hits like “Candy Shop” and “Best Friend” brought the versatile artist to radio around the world.
Since leaving G-Unit, Olivia has been focused on creating a new persona that has expanded beyond just hip-hop.
Based off of the hypnotic first single, – Take It Off – , Olivia is forging a new flame in R&B. Her pursuit and love of music will cement her within the industry for years to come. She will continue to prove that she has numerous talents to show the world.
Somaya “Boss” Reece (LA Jefa)
The No. 1 Latin music artist on MySpace, Somaya Reece has leveraged her popularity on the site to build a thriving career as an actress, personality, and musician. – My tenacity and drive has helped me start to achieve what I have always dreamed of,” she gushes. – I love my career! –
Somaya Reece, hailed as “the next Sophia Loren,” is a voluptuous vixen with 40-28-46 dimensions. It’s easy to see why this Salvadorian beauty from South Central was recently named the Hottest Latina in Music by Maxim en EspaÃ±ol, UK and Philippines. In 2008, Somaya was nominated Internet Hottie By Spike TV Guys Choice Awards. Askmen ranks Somaya No. 74 of the Top 100 Hottest Women Celebrities, Telemundo calls her “the Latina Jessica Rabbit,” and she was called the “hottest woman on the web” by E! As a commercial actress/persona, she has appeared in high-profile campaigns for Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Colgate, Pepsi, Budweiser, and Coors Light. As a role model, she has won the hearts of millions by candidly sharing her life story and struggle on E! Television.
Somaya Reece released her first single – Tramp – off her distribution deal with Ingrooves in early 2010. Tramp rapidly climbed up www.ReverbNation.com charts, hitting the No. 11 artist spot in Electronica dance for the UK. Along with the release, director T-Burton created the masterpiece of a video/film to “Tramp,” a high-budget video, filmed on red cameras in a fashion-forward style. The video stormed its way into the viral market gaining 500,000 plays in less than a 48 hour time frame and debuting on – the TMZ Of Hip Hop – VladTV.com.