So this is what that top secret photo shoot was all about. Chrissy Lampkin, Evelyn Lozada, Kandi Burruss and Tamar Braxton all grace the cover of this month’s Vibe Magazine (the sexy issue!) and inside is a no-bulls— interview where the four women address the controversies around all of their shows and what it’s like to be a reality star and role model.
First, Evelyn is asked how she feels about Star Jones who has publicly spoken out against her spinoff, Ev And Ocho. Evelyn responds “Actually, I like the petition and I like the controversy because I’ve learned controversy is good. But I think she’s irrelevant. And she’s using our coattails to get relevant again. Nobody gives a f— about her.”
When Chrissy is asked later whether or not she knew Love And Hip Hop would blow up to become what it is, she said “I knew when they put that punch and kick in the trailer that would catch people’s eye. People watch reality TV for train wrecks. People wanna excuse their own bulls— and tune into yours…I was easily angered because I signed up for something that was supposed to be about girl power and women embracing each other in this crazy world of hip-hop. I thought it was gonna be more of a support thing instead of Gladiators,” she says, calling out the producers for orchestrating arguments. “They would always bring somebody to challenge me. I would knock ‘em down and they would bring somebody else. [The producers] would go as far as telling the new girl, ‘Chrissy thinks she’s Queen Bee around here so we need you to step up because nobody here has a strong enough personality. We need you to shut it down.’ They were feeding people this negative energy from the door. I have no reason to lie.” Read more…
LisaRaye McCoy is returning for a second season on Single Ladies, and like her character, Keisha Greene, she is a force to be reckoned with. From the way that she carries herself to the way she speaks, she comes off a little bit imposing (like a gal could take lessons on how to be a real woman from her), which is why it was kind of sweet the way our interview started. We were on the set of Keisha’s bedroom and LisaRaye pulled up a patch of bed and sort of patted at the seat next to her and told me it was time for “girl talk” to make me feel at home. Our first topic was the B2B Mixdown which she’s hosting in St. Thomas this weekend, but soon enough, we got to the juicy stuff. Last season, it was rumored that LisaRaye clashed with then-costar Stacey Dash, and when I bring up the fact that the vibe on the set seems different this season, she started to answer that question saying “I’m trying to be politically correct, but also very in-your-face like LisaRaye is,” before getting into why she needs to maintain that balance. But beyond that balance between politically correct and in-your-face, she was just honest, funny, and down to business. Like the real woman she is. Read more…
Season two of Mob Wives (original flavor) is winding down, with the final part of the reunion set to air on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Mob Wives Chicago will kick into full gear when it premieres on June 10 at 8 p.m. That means that show creator Jennifer Graziano will barely get any vacation time this summer (she also has Big Ang‘s spinoff in the pipes). Graziano spoke to The Hollywood Reporter recently to talk about all three shows, the casting process, and what’s next for our favorite ladies. Here are some of the highlights of the interview, which can be read in full here.
On casting Big Ang and her rise to fame: I did know going into this that Big Ang was a star. I’ve known her since I was a kid, and I always had her in mind, but what I wanted to do was build the brand around the initial four women who had real close, authentic relationships…And I think from a casting perspective, you always want to have something up your sleeve for the following season. Ang was my magic trick.
On why she chose Chicago for her next show: Even though Chicago is one of America’s major cities, it’s still is very much Midwestern. There’s that kind of laid back feel with the women. Although their mindset and their values and their “mob mentalities” are very much the same as New York, they just live their life a little bit slower and a little less aggressively. But for the most part, in terms of their beliefs and those “everybody keep your mouth shut” type of values, they’re very much the same…I just wanted to go next to a city that had that big mob backdrop — the history that’s somewhat still alive.
On making changes to the original show: Like I said, I always have something up my sleeve and I always want to be able to pepper something in so I’m thinking maybe. I’m not saying the original cast will change but there may be some addition.
On her plans to branch out into scripted series:Right now I’m in development on a series that is… I don’t want to say a spin-off, but it’s a “What happened before they were mob wives.” It’s set when they where 19-20 years old and what was going on in those days. I have a couple of other scripted projects in development as well.
On what we can expect from the Big Ang spinoff: There’s going to be a couple of characters added to her show that are really going to make a splash. So I think that this show is going to be much different than Mob Wives in the sense that it’s going to be a lot more lighthearted and a lot more colorful and fun. Given the circumstances of what’s been going on with Mob Wives and the intensity, I’m looking forward to some of that colorfulness.
It’s safe to say Renee Graziano has been through hell and back this season on Mob Wives. From a botched plastic surgery that left her hospitalized, to her ex-husband betraying her, her family, and their friends by cooperating with the FBI, she’s done a lot of living, and a lot of soul-searching lately. And yet despite her public bouts with depression and topics that would make a weaker woman retreat, she’s attacking life head on these days. I talked to her about all her family drama, but what’s surprising is all the good that’s come out of the bad. Her relationship with her dad is better than ever, her family is solid, and she has a fan base that has shown nothing but love. When I asked if she’s ever faced any nasty rumors in the press, her response said it all: “With the s— I go through, why make anything up?”
Is it a relief that the season is finally over?
Is it a relief that the season is over? YES. This season was extremely hard. I actually watched it as an outsider and I was pretty much saying “Call 911! This b—h is crazy!” I watched it very objectively and it was very depressing. So I didn’t watch a lot of it.
How are you able to take yourself out of it?
I put myself in that mindset when I saw myself break down. I watched a girl break down. It didn’t seem like that was me. It was easier for me this year to watch it objectively and I wasn’t as angry with everyone as I normally get. Read more…
La La andMelo‘s careers are so busy that they continue to pass each other like ships in the wind, and La La really misses her husband. “This kind of stuff is fine for a minute but it’s obvious that at this point, we can’t keep this up,” she says. Read more…
The men of Mob Wives play a very important role on the show. They’re the fathers, the husbands, the sons of the women we love, and even though they’re just supporting characters on the show, their presence is felt in every episode. On part two of the Mob Wives reunion, which will air next Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT (please note that special time, an hour earlier than usual), the show will dig a little deeper into some of the relationships we’ve seen on the show, like Carla and Joe, Karen and David, and Big Ang and her son AJ. But in the meantime, we’ve pulled our favorite moments from this season together in a playlist so you can watch them all again to refresh your memory. We’ll always have a soft spot for Carla and Joe, so take a look at Joe’s emotional, amazing homecoming in the clip above.
Karen Gravano has said on a few occasions that she’s the nicest castmember on Mob Wives, and when you hang out in person, she’s not lying. Gravano is a funny and sweet woman as long as you’re not threatening her or the people she loves. (I mean, aren’t we all?)
At the reunion this season, I spoke to her just before she took to the stage to see if she was at peace with the way this season played out and what her relationship with the rest of the cast was like now that peace has been achieved…for the most part. She told me that as far as Drita is concerned, “we called a truce, [but] we’ll never be friends,” and just hopes that no one talks out their face (to use a Mob Wives term). Because if you talk smack about her family, she won’t take that lying down.
Do you feel any different today as you’re preparing for this reunion, compared to last season at this time?
I feel good!
I feel like it’s less dramatic this year now that you’ve worked some issues out.
I don’t even think it’s dramatic because some people are just acting, you know what I mean. I’m very calm, cool, and collected, and I’m done with acting. Read more…
Prior to T.I. And Tiny: The Family Hustle, T.I. had never opened up his home or family life to the public. “I just think it was time for people to see who I was as a man,” he tells The Breakfast Club, when they asked him why he chose to open himself up to the cameras. He didn’t want to be defined by “small moments” in his life (we assume he means the illegal small moments), which he calls “isolated incidents,” which is why he and wife Tiny chose to show off their family and their parenting skills.
T.I. also talked about how he wants out of the music industry eventually, saying “Where the game is going to, and what it has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent. What I embody, this game contradicts that.” Putting it more simply, Charlamagne says “T.I. is real, and the game is fake.” That doesn’t mean he’s planning to withdraw from public life since he has his TV show, an acting career, and clothing line, but “me as an artist, I make attempts to evolve.” And it sounds like he’s evolving away from music. Watch the clip above for more. Read more…
“Season one was all about trying to find love…season two is more about finding herself,” is how LisaRaye McCoy describes Keisha Greene, the character she portrays on Single Ladies. In this profile, LisaRaye reveals what Keisha is up to in season two and where her relationship with Malcolm stands, but she also answers the question everyone seems to ask her, which is “Are there similarities between Keisha and the real LisaRaye?” She admits to bringing certain sassy qualities to Keisha, and says “Can I relate to Keisha? Absolutely. Am I Keisha? Mayyybe. Sometimes.” It’s the devilish look she gives while answering that makes you realize she’s telling the truth.
Single Ladies premieres on Monday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Read more…