You’ve were the co-owner of Violator Management for 18 years and then decided to start Monami Entertainment. What was your motivation for taking that leap of faith and creating your own company?
It was years and years of having worked in the same environment and doing, in a sense, the same kind of things. I mean, Chris is a purist in how he sees the business, and the fact that we were an urban management company, even though they now have pop artists, there was a very specific thought process and there were always other things that I wanted to pursue in television and in film. It was really about me having this urge to do other things and to be free to explore other areas, and it was a major act of trust on my part that no matter what happened I’d be resilient and figure it out. I spent 18 years building a company; I was partner, I was comfortable and I was complacent and that kind of started reflecting itself in the rest of my life, and I wanted to shake myself up a little bit.
With Love & Hip-Hop, do you feel that fulfillment again?
Absolutely. This was a labor of love like no other because this show started out as one thing, and through the commitment of VH1 and our executive Jim Ackerman, we were able to really morph this show into something totally different. The end result was certainly not where the show started so that took a lot of effort and believing in the show and cast and the concept. There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction coming from that and the way it’s been received because there was a little bit of trepidation. This is based on people who I know and who I work with and who I am close to, so how is all of that going to be received but the reception has been tremendous.
This show buzzing heavy right now, and especially in the areas of fashion. Are the ladies styled specifically for certain shots or is this their everyday fashion wear?
My running joke is, ‘God dang it! Is this how y’all go to the supermarket?’ [Laughs] This is all them. We didn’t have a stylist on the show by any means, so it’s all out of their closets. I mean, they probably went shopping; I know I would if I was going to be on TV. But the bottom line is it’s all reflective of their own sense of style. This is all them through and through. These girls, they’re sexy, they’re sophisticated, they’re fashionable, they look great at all times, they know their bodies and have a greats sense of style. They actually made that part of it easy for us.