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Vixen Exclusive: Yandy Smith Talks "Love & Hip-Hop 2" Debut + Everything Girls Love Accessories

If you don’t know who Yandy Smith is, get familiar. This boss Vixen is definitely a woman to be watched! Currently the president of Monami Entertainment, alongside founder, Mona Scott Young, Yandy is transitioning from behind the camera to the front of the lens as the sixth cast member of Love & Hip Hop. This November, the Harlem, New York native (and Howard University alum) is a well-respected force in the music industry. Having worked with artists such as 50 Cent, Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes under Violator Entertainment, this proverbial peacemaker is the manager of Jim Jones and the glue which holds the Dipset crew together. Ready to show the world she’s more than just Jim Jones’ manager, will she convince viewers it takes more brains than beauty to make it in hip-hop? Check out VIBE Vixen’s exclusive interview with Yandy Smith as she opens up about her personality, Love & Hip-Hop Debut, Everything Girls Love brand and more!

How did you originally get involved with the music industry?
When I graduated from Howard [University], I thought I was going to get into Entertainment Law, but then I got an internship with Violator Management, just to see what it was all about. I fell in love with hip-hop, as cliché as that sounds, and I opted not to pursue my law degree and go full speed ahead into management.

One of your main clients happens to be Jim Jones, your castmate Chrissy’s significant other. When did your business relationship begin?
I met Jim on a private jet. Russell Simmons was going to Detroit for a hip-hop summit, and I was doctored in. I was an ambassador for Dr. Ben Chavis to help get young people to vote. Jim happened to be the person I was sitting next to on the jet, and we started talking about how he wanted to break into the hip-hop world as far as being an artist goes but he had been managing The Diplomats and he was trying to put an album out. This was right when Pro-Tools just came out, and he was talking about the system and the possible addition of a booth at home. We exchanged information, and I let him know I worked at this managing firm and I let him know I was down to help him. I gave him my number, but I didn’t know that would lead to a call everyday about needing DVDs or help elsewhere. It got to a point where I told him, 'You’re going to need to pay me, if you want me to do this at my job.' That’s how the ball really got rolling. I was helping Mona out with the clients at Violator, but I was also doing work for Jim during or after work as well.

Now, how did you get onboard for Love & Hip Hop?
Originally, the show came about through an idea I pitched to VH1 called Keeping up with the Joneses about Jim. We shot a pilot for it, and it was great. VH1 wanted to see more, but, after a while, there were issues going on within the camp which didn’t allow for Jim to give what the network wanted. Stack Bundles got killed and Max B got arrested. When you’re taping a show, it’s not just the cameras are on you, you have to be at certain places at certain times to follow up with various storylines. At that point, Jim had too much going on in his life. I went to Mona for help because I didn’t want to lose the show at VH1. She had another show she was pitching to another network about the women behind the men in hip-hop. So I asked her if she work Jim, Chrissy and Jim’s mother into the mix. She came up with the idea of finding women who were in the hip-hop industry and sprinkle them around Jim so he’s not that overwhelmed and it could be a great show.

Did you face any difficult moments being the new girl?
I never felt like the new girl because I fit in with any and everybody. I’m comfortable in own skin, so if you say, 'No, we don’t know you,' I’m still like, 'Okay, cool.' So being new didn’t bother me at all. I got reacquainted with Olivia. We used to manage her at Violator when she was in the group, and I never got the chance to peel back the layers to get to know who she really was a person. Working closely with her now on the show, she’s a beautiful person, driven and focused on coming out and being a superstar. I think she’ll make it.

Kimbella mentioned you two as friends in an interview with Vixen.
I first met Kim at a concert; Juelz brought her. I was skeptical at first because Juelz is like my brother. I’m very over-protective of him, so I had to get to know her first. But once I got to know her and saw the type of woman she was, she was way more than what meets the eye. She’s a great mom, very compassionate, good-hearted, and I just took a very strong liking to her. Then, she moved up to New York and didn’t know anybody, so I had to show her around, take her out, and help her out with her new baby. We grew very close from that.

With the reports swirling around about Kimbella and altercations between certain cast members, how do you feel about it?
As far as the Fab situation, everyone has a past. There was a time when we all have been single and, I don’t think that should matter if we were single. It wasn’t even worth bringing up. Even if [Kimbella] did date [Fab], that’s not a bad thing. He’s a good-looking dude. I don’t see the hurt or harm, especially if she didn’t know he had a prior situation. As far as if someone attacking her, that would be hard for any friend to see or deal with, and of course you’d want to protect your friend. I’m just a peacemaker all around. I hate drama, cattiness and foolishness, so being in the middle of it, I’m like, Oh my gosh. I have to stop this. I have to make this right. That’s the part where I get caught up in the show.

Tell me about your accessories brand.
Everything Girls Love was started when I found out I got casted for the show. I looked at the ratings, how often it’s played, the viewership, and thought, People lie, but numbers don’t lie. I’m going to start something. I don’t know what it is yet, but this is a commercial platform for whatever I’m starting. I looked around my room and saw all of the accessory trees and jewelry boxes and realized that I was going to do accessories. I had a friend who worked at Saks or Bergdorf Goodman in the accessories department, so I asked for her help and made her my partner. We came up with designs, went to Japan, ordered samples, came back and I loved every single thing! I started doing this three months before the show, and it just kept expanding into loungewear and makeup.

Right now it’s starting out as a jewelry line, but we’re getting back samples of the loungewear and the nail polish now. We’re moving. So why not advertise it once a week, four times a day for 10 weeks? Why not! I’m not putting limitations on anything I do. Today at the taping, they asked me is management the end-all-be-all to everything I do? I said, 'No.' I’m not putting limitations at anything at all.

See the supertrailer for Love & Hip Hop 2 here!

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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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