The executive producer and creator of Love & Hip-Hop, Mona Scott-Young, is a straight-shooter and a woman about her business. The owner of Monami Entertainment is an executive vixen who understands taking a risky leap of faith for a dream. VIBE Vixen, who undeoubtedly adores our bossy ladies, snagged our WEEN woman right before a video shoot to chat about being modern-day mogul, the ladies of Love & Hip-Hop and the show's fashion. -Niki McGloster
Tell me about your reasoning for creating Love & Hip-Hop.
The whole idea was to give a realistic portrayal of these women, their lives and everything about them, and that includes their fabulosity. They all are very aspirational, and I really wanted to showcase not just the beautiful lifestyle but that these are beautiful women inside and out. Part of it, for my own selfish reason, was wanting an amazing poster for the show, so I wanted the cast to be absolutely gorgeous, and, luckily, these girls all had a great look, they all had a great sense of style and they had a self-confidence that lent itself to their sense of poise and style.
What were the key factors in choosing these particular ladies outside of their looks?
Their looks were not the first reasons we chose them. First and foremost, it was about their stories and their willingness to tell those stories in an open and honest way. Everything else was just icing on the cake. There's a certain image that comes with being in this industry and some of that has to do with putting on a certain front. What I love about these women is that they were all very honest about where they were in their lives. The ones that were in relationships love their men, but they wanted more and they were okay with talking about that. And that's what was important.
You did get lucky and pick a great group of girls who have it all. Right now, it's about halfway through the season and thus far, based on the reactions of viewers, do you think these women are portraying positive messages in life and love?
You know, I think those are two separate things. The reaction of the viewer has nothing to do with what these women are portraying. What I think is more important is these women's portrayals are honest and true to their lives. Are they sending out positive messages? I think they're sending out their reality and this is what it is. I think that women will appreciate that because a lot of times you have a tendency to think that the grass is greener on the other side, but when you can look at what somebody is going through, who you think is at a certain level, and it’s actually very relatable to your life, there’s a sense of kinship that comes with that. Listen, we can sugarcoat and lie to you and give you the picture perfect images, but I don’t think that’s what anybody really tunes into reality TV for.
I agree, especially with the situation of Emily B. A lot of women can relate to her.
Absolutely! And people can sit back at home and say whatever they want to say. ‘Girl, you stupid. Leave that man,’ but how many women actually do when they’re in love? So let’s all keep it real. [The show] is a mirror for a lot of people in a lot of ways.