New Couples of 'Love & Hip Hop' Spill on Relationship Struggles
Cast gets honest as new season approaches
It's a new year and with it comes a new season of "Love & Hip Hop" with a handful of new cast members who showed up (and out) at the advance screening of season 3's first episode Thursday night at New York's Kiss & Fly. Gone are Chrissy, Emily B., and Kimbella (the respective girlfriends and baby mamas of rappers Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Fabolous)—as well as aspiring artist Somaya—and in are at least 10 new faces. You read that right, so let's get started on introductions, shall we?
THE LOVE TRIAN-, UH, SQUARE: Joe Budden, Tahiry, Raqi Thunda and Kaylin
Rapper Joe Budden has his hands full this season, and it's no more evident than in the first few minutes of the premiere episode when he asks ex-girlfriend, video vixen Tahiry, to lunch. She left him after five years of dating because he wasn't handing his "business" and he feels that their "story" is still being written so, as you can expect from a former couple that's not on the same page, the meeting doesn't go well. But that doesn't mean they don't attempt to do the same twice more, including one must-see pool party at Budden's house that includes his current girlfriend, Kaylin, and a mutual friend he's rumored to have slept with named Raqi Thunda (who, red flag(!), refers to herself as the "Hip Hop Confidante.")
So what'd the foursome have to say at the party?
Tahiry: The world met me being with Joe, but a man never identifies who I am and, throughout the show, you'll be able to see that I'm an independent, fiery Latina doing what I gotta do when I gotta do it and how I gotta do it. We all move forward and life goes on. Whatever's happening, I'm an open book and I leave my cards out on the table.
Kaylin: I feel like [Joe] really wants a friendship with Tahiry and I'm okay for that. Whatever makes him happy, I'll do it.
Raqi (on her current status with former friend Tahiry): There is no relationship at all.
Joe (on deciding to do a reality show): I thought it would be interesting for the people that follow me a little bit. I'd like to think this is something we did via the Internet a long time ago, so I didn't think them putting a camera in front of me would alter anything at all.
THE 'BUSINESS VS. PLEASURE' BUNCH: Olivia, Rich Dollaz and Erica Mena
Though these three appeared on the last season—we watched as singer Olivia and her manager Rich struggled to regain her footing in the industry, and as model Erica mostly started fights while also trying to pursue a singing career—their dynamic has since changed because (dun, dun, dun!) Rich and Erica have started dating. This naturally puts Olivia at unease because she fears her career will take a backseat to their relationship or that she'll be blamed when it goes bad ("which it will," she says). In the premiere episode, we watch as the three meet for an awkward dinner: Olivia interrogates, Rich appears to get caught in a lie, and Erica storms out.
Here's what the new couple had to (drunkenly) say about their love:
Erica: In the game of love and hip hop, we all about business, and me and Rich have definitely been about that, but the dope part is that I found a really dope partner in the mix and he's taking a big risk right now. He's got me in the studio, and we just kinda been mixing and loving and working [laughs].
Rich: Shout-out to Ciroc for making me not be able to answer this as quickly as it's supposed to be answered. I gotta give it some thought because I'm a little twisted, but I think Erica's a good person, and in working with people, you are able to, um...
Erica: Make it sound believable baby, just a little bit.
Rich: Yo, real talk, we here. F**k it, I make stars, I'ma make her one. Moving on.
Erica: At the end of the day, I really don't give a f**k, so I don't really have an image to maintain, so whoever manages me got a lot to manage. We in love, b!
Later, Erica adds, I'm Puerto Rican and Dominican, so you definitely don't wanna f**k with me on my worst day, but I got a partner right now—and I have to justify this because I'm a crazy b*tch, FYI—I just found somebody that can somehow manage to tame this craziness.
(Olivia was not in attendance.)
THE INTER-EVERYTHING COUPLE: Consequence and Jen the Pen
Though rapper Consequence—cousin of rapper Q-Tip and former affiliate of Kanye West's GOOD Music label—and his girlfriend of five years Jen the Pen (a radio personality who first appeared on Dame Dash's BET reality competition show "The Ultimate Hustler) don't appear in the first episode, in a preview for the upcoming season, we watch as the two raise their son while struggling to agree on religion and equality (more specifically, over a meal, Consequence says straight out, "No, you're not equal.")
They tried to explain:
Consequence: You caught us in the midst of an argument. Equal is a sign in math so I'm talking about numbers. I'm not sexist but when I put that bread up to make her look like—stand up baby [she does, and spins]—and this s**t cost more than a mortgage and I swipe my s**t, sometimes I might say, 'Today, we not equal.' But you gotta tune in to see the whole conversation in its proper context.
Jen: It's not easy. I mean when we decided to do the show, when I stalked him for me to do the show, I really wanted to give the viewers my real life. I wanted people out there to understand that there's interracial and interfaith relationships and it's not easy. We're trying to raise a son together so I always feel like, 'Yeah, he makes more money than me, we know that, but I should always be equal to him. I'm the mother of his child.' It hurts me.
Also returning are Yandy (with her newborn baby and boyfriend Mandeecees), Tahiry's two friends Winter Ramos (a wardrobe stylist and assistant to Fabolous) and Rashidah Ali (who manages a promotion and artist development company), and Lore'l, an aspiring female rapper.
"Love & Hip Hop" Season 3 premieres Monday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. on VH1. Watch the supertrailer below!
What are you looking forward to most on this season's "Love & Hip Hop"? Tell us in the Comments section below!