Juggling music, motherhood and marriage has proven tough for ‘Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’ star RaSheeda, but she manages to pull it off.
The outspoken Georgia peach sat down with VIBE to talk about being compared to Nicki Minaj, how reality TV has affected her relationship with her husband and how she gets along with the other 'Love and Hip Hop' ladies.
VIBE: How do like the whole ‘Love & Hip Hop’ experience so far?
Rasheeda: It’s been a pretty amazing experience. It’s reality TV [which] I’ve learned is like a give and take. You gotta take some bullshit and you get to have fun sometimes and sometimes you sittin’ there like “What the hell is goin’ on?”
How do you think you’ve been received? Because you already had a pretty loyal fan base that’s been with you since “Bubblegum.” Are your fans feeling you on the show?
Yes. It’s been kind of crazy because even if I’m tryna be slick with a hat on or something, [people] still know who I am. The crazy part is I came to New York and I was like “Ain’t nobody gon’ know who I am.” And it’s all races and nationalities [that do]. Even little white girls come up to me, like “I watch ‘Love and Hip Hop’ every Monday night!”
Well, ‘Love and Hip Hop’ was [said to be] the most watched show over all social media outlets a couple of weeks ago. Even my mom watches.
My mom watches too, of course. (laughs) But her and my aunts and everybody be like “So what’s happening? And I’m like, I can’t tell you because I don’t know. I watch it just like you do!
As far as music goes, what do you think your chances in the game right now when you have Nicki Minaj and newcomers like Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks and Brianna Perry?
I think my path is my path. From where I’m sitting now, shit, ain’t no tellin’ what direction I’m goin’ in. I know it’s up, but it’s just a matter of how high I go at this point. Things are going really well. My situation is different from Nicki Minaj and the other girls so my music is reaching a whole ‘nother level of fans and people are embracing it. There’s people that are like “Wait a minute, that is Rasheeda from ‘Bubblegum’” and I’m gaining so many people who are getting familiar with me. I know the “Marry Me” record is doing extremely well and I’m excited.
Let’s talk about “Marry Me.” On some un-aired footage from VH1.com, Deb [Antney] basically said it wasn’t a hit record. What’s your response to that?
Oh, she can have the opinion she want. On the other hand, that’s not what the fans think and I’m not doing music for Deb. I’m really not even doing music that I specifically feel comfortable with. You put mixtapes out there and you see what people like. When I initially put the song out on my mixtape, the response was crazy. So I said, ‘Let’s go and put it out there.’ But I’m not mad at them, everybody aint gon’ like yo shit. People be goin in on “Marry Me” but it ain’t no comparison to how many people love it.
Did you end up signing under Deb’s management?
Well you know I can’t tell you that! But I ain’t mad at you for trying (laughs).
What would you say to critics who might say that ship has sailed on your rap career?
I don’t give a fuck what you think. (laughs) I’m sorry, I just gotta be real. I really don’t. Because one thing about me, I know God put this talent in me and it’s just all about continuing to go with what you know and do you. I’m a successful independent artist and people tend to look at things one-sided like, ‘Aww well she ain’t Nicki Minaj.’ I’m not her, I’m not going to be her and I don’t want to be her. I just continue to do me and people gon’ talk all the time, even more when you in the spotlight on one of the biggest shows out right now. People always got shit to say but girl, look, as I’m sleepin, them downloads is goin’ ham on iTunes so I ain’t even trippin.
Sometimes it just takes people a little longer to reach success. Not saying that you’re not successful but look at 2Chainz. It took him a very long time to reach that mainstream audience.
Me and him went to school together. I know Tauheed! It took him a minute.
When it’s your time, it’s your time. Now you’re married, but from some of your lyrics, one would think that you were single. Does [your husband] Kirk ever side-eye you when he hears something that you’ve written?
Look here, honey, we can’t be married and then my songs gotta reflect married stuff all the time. Don’t nobody wanna hear that ‘cause everybody can’t relate to that. He is totally supportive and he’s the first person who always hears stuff. When I write stuff, he’s like “that shit whack” or “that shit hot” so he rocks with it.
So he’s not a yes man to you?
Oh no! He keep it real! If anybody is gon’ keep it real, it’s gon be him. He gon’ be like “that outfit, I ain’t really feelin’ that. That song is whack, you need to re-write that verse.”
You and Scrappy are like brother and sister, how do you feel about this whole child support issue with him and Erica?
That shit ain’t nothing. That lil’ child support mess, they ain’t stuntin’ that. It’s something that I’m glad came up because it’s something that happens. A lot of people go through that situation. I’m glad they actually put it out there so people can see, but as far as it’s concerned, him and Erica are doing just fine.
So there’s no him and Shay “Buckeey” Johnson? She’s all on the show saying that’s her man.
I don’t know. (laughs)
Are you cool with Shay?
We’re cordial but me and Erica have developed a good friendship and she’s a really sweet girl. I like her a lot.
What’s your relationship with the other women on the show? We saw you giving K. Michelle some advice on an un-aired scene so it looks like you two were once cool..
We were building a relationship, let’s just say that.
What about you and Mimi?
I’ve known Mimi for a real long time, Mimi is real cool.
How about Joseline and Karlie Redd?
The funny thing is, [Joseline] and I never really filmed together, maybe once, and when we shot the reunion yesterday. Joseline is cool though, the funny thing is, I had to tell her like, “You keep that shit 100!” and I am not mad at her. Some people might get a little intimidated by her because she just so outspoken, but I rock with that.
She definitely had confidence, especially for the backlash that she gets. It’s important to have that confidence.
Exactly. Karlie is a sweet girl, I think she kind of gets the shit end of the stick, but I think she’s cool.
Is she really like 50 [years-old]? K. Michelle told us...
Naw! Ya’ll better quit believing everything that girl say.
When Deb said that DLO was the common denominator and the reason why you haven’t been as successful on a mainstream scale, did you feel like she was right?
I feel like, to be a really successful artist, I don’t think that him and I could do it alone. I don’t think DLO is the problem. DLO is really me and him and one thing that I wanted people to understand, for me to be the type of artist that I am, that takes a lot of work. There’s a lot of people that who will never get to this place yet I still have so far to go. But point blank, DLO has to be a part of my career. I’m loyal to that. Finding something else that can help us elevate is the ultimate goal. DLO is able to have an artist like myself who has a strong, real fanbase and hasn’t been shoved down people’s throat and made to be liked. A lot comes with building an artist like that. It’s only so far we can go independently.
In another episode, we saw Kirk mention pulling back financially with his older children. Do you think that was a sacrifice that he made in order to keep the you and DLO afloat?
I will say, it was more on a personal level. You can’t just do everything for your kids all the time. At a certain point in life, they have to learn how to be responsible for themselves. And sometimes we [parents] can be enablers. So that’s where he was coming from with that. But when you’re independent, you spendin’ yo’ own money. We have my rap career, other business ventures and kids. Kirk has grandchildren. I’m a step grandma. We have one child together, who is 11, but as a wife, you take on everything. He just wanted to be cautious and I can’t keep shellin’ out money to an adult.
We see a lot of tension brewing between you and Kirk on the show. Has this experience added negative aspects to your marriage?
It really hasn’t. I feel like the show has actually helped us. Because as we sit back and watch, I can really see, “Ok, I do be goin’ off [or] ok, that’s not cool” and we can talk about the things, reflect and laugh. They do tend to show us bumpin’ heads but that’s reality because we are married and we are in business together. He and I are very strong though, and we’ve been through shit way bigger than anything y’all have seen.
What’s the vision that you have for the Boss Bitch movement?
Of course, whatever you’re doing as a Boss Bitch, you gotta have Boss Bitch music playing in the background. Expect more music, my website [imbossy.com] I have accessories, and t-shirts that are all lyrics from my songs. I’m looking to possibly expand into a physical location. And exploring other avenues as far as cosmetics, etc. I’m definitely looking to expand. I only do things that Rasheeda would really do.
How important is it for you to capitalize on this popularity?
Really important. I have to stay on top of my game, have a plan and follow through. I already had things laid out so I was able to push those things forward with the show being so big. Sometimes people get in these positions, then you look up and you like, “I ain’t did shit. I ain’t got no more checks comin in”.
What should we know about the end of the season?
As far as what I can say is, the reunion show is gonna be freakin’ bananas. And just always keep in mind that when you see reality TV, sometimes everything you see ain’t exactly how it went down.