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Yandy Smith Chats Her Career, Beefs On 'Love & Hip Hop 2'

Yandy Smith, who is currently the president of Monami Entertainment, alongside founder, Mona Scott Young, and manager of Jim Jones, is transitioning from behind the camera to the front of the lens as the sixth cast member of Love & Hip Hop 2. Check out snippets from VIBE Vixen’s exclusive interview where she opens up about her career, beef on Love & Hip-Hop and more.

On Working With Jim Jones

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.

Joining the Show

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.

Kimbella dating Fab

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.

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Issa Rae And LaKeith Stanfield To Star In Will Packer's 'The Photograph'

The great talents of Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield are hitting the big screen soon in Will Packer’s latest film, The Photograph. The two actors have scored roles in the forthcoming movie, Deadline reports.

Stella Meghie will be directing the film, which is based on the parallels of love stories that intersect between the past and present. Both Rae and Stanfield have made their mark on and off the big screen. When Rae isn’t on her brilliant show, Insecure, she’s hustling in Hollywood by getting roles in movies like The Hate U Give and Little. Stanfield is known for his role on FX’s Atlanta, and his awesome contribution to Sorry To Bother To You.

It will be interesting to see Rae and Stanfield on screen together, especially considering both of their strong personalities and viewpoints on the world. During an interview with GQ, Stanfield expressed how he felt about the social-political conundrums of the racist events that have taken place since President Trump's election, like the race riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I’m interested chiefly in bringing justice to those who deserve it," he said. "Secondarily, I’d love to begin a campaign photographing all of the criminals. And villains of the world. And bringing them to justice."

"Sometimes the things that are the worst aspects of humanity are not in fact dark," he explained about his sentiments on the matter. "They are light. This represents a situation in the time that we are experiencing...a light time. A time full of light."

There is no release date yet for The Photograph.

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Terry Crews Believes 'White Chicks 2' Will "Happen One Day"

Terry Crews is eager to breathe life back into his controversial White Chicks character Latrell Spencer. During an interview with Us Weekly, the famed actor expressed his elation behind a possible sequel to the aforementioned film.

"I would love one! I'm staying in shape for White Chicks 2! I will never get out of shape—you know that, right?" Crews said. "I will be 75 and say, 'Here we go, I'm ready to go!' I will never, ever get out of shape because that movie's going to happen one day."

In 2004, Marlon and Shawn Wayans starred as two rich white women as they went undercover to apprehend a suspect in a kidnapping scheme. The film was also written by their older brother Keenen Ivory Wayans, and starred John Heard, Rochelle Aytes, Faune A. Chambers, and Drew Sidora. During the course of its debut, the reel raked in over $113 million a the box office.

In a 2018 interview with The Chicago Tribune, Marlon Wayans discussed the impact of his film. "White Chicks, to me, is one of the most underrated comedies ever. That's one where I have to say '(Forget) critics,'" he said. "You have to have no sense of humor to not like that movie — two black guys dressed up as white women. Anybody who hates White Chicks, something is wrong with them. They had a bad childhood."

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'Black Monday' Explores Mo's Backstory With Narration Of '60s Soul Music: Episode 8 Recap

For seven episodes, we got glimpses into the past that molded Mo into the savage trader he is. Episode “7042” finally takes us closer to his origin, and apparently, that leads us to Los Angeles in 1968. The Jheri curl is now a blown-out afro, and his ruthless mercantilism on Wall Street is replaced by altruism for underserved communities, as a member of the Black Panther Party. The glimpses into his past — the Church’s Chicken on his birthday, his visit with Jammer — all begin to congeal into one vision of a misguided man.

The domineering Xosha Roquemore plays the role of Candance, the woman who Jammer intimated broke Mo’s heart. Roquemore’s last recurring role was as comedian Dawn Lima on Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, a short-lived series about the seedy side of stand-up comedy in the early 1970s. Her as Candace is another stellar casting choice. Roquemore was able to speak honey-coated bullets that can pierce any man’s ego in a way that’s both comforting and impactful as a Black woman comic in the 1970s. It’s just as mesmerizing to watch on Black Monday as a Black Panther member in the 1960s.

This arc, while entertaining, seemed to continue an awkward trend in Black Monday: the Black woman bears the weight of the man’s faults. Candace is portrayed as the person who took Mo from thinking of others and drug-free to a staunch individualist who probably has cocaine residue in his DNA. Similarly, it’s Dawn who is the cause of Mo’s Jammer Group being partly owned by the Lehman Brothers in the episode “243,” and the one who feels the obligation to blow up her marriage and future love life to save a risky Georgina Play that Mo involved her in without her say. But, then again, Regina Hall and Roquemore deliver two of the most emotionally jarring performances of the episode and demonstrate two separate, but equally as profound, ways of Black women releasing themselves from the control of men.

Taking Black Monday to the 1960s accomplishes a number of worthwhile feats otherwise unlikely in the 1980s Wall Street timeline. For one, the first 90 seconds of this episode features a wider variety of Black faces than the last seven episodes had, combined. But, more than anything, the new timeline allows for the soul music of the ‘60s to narrate the story.

Music Narrator

Music has always played a noticeable part in the show, but more so as a reinforcement of the time period. In this episode, the sounds of the time guide the audience and take them deeper into the character than what they see on the screen.

In the episode’s opening, soul singer Harry Krapsho lets us know “I don’t care about money too much” and “I don’t have a dollar to my name, and if you don’t mind I’d like to keep it the same” on his song “Don’t Worry.” Those sentiments play as a Black man, whom we don’t realize is Mo, exits a bus in Los Angeles, California. Before we find out Mo wasn’t money-hungry in his past — and formerly known as Roland — the sweet sounds of Harry Krapsho let us know.

Candace deceptively persuades Mo to abandon his principles by smoking weed and going against the Black Panther Party’s wishes, as Sandy Szigeti’s “Make Believe World” scores the scene. After, the plot twist minutes later, the song is a shrewd act of foreshadowing by the showrunners. But, It’s the late, great Nina Simone’s rendition of the 1967 song “I Shall Be Released,” written by Bob Dylan, that expands the Black Monday world.

 

Near the end of the episode, Candace’s true identity is revealed while she’s looking into the eyes of the men and women who seem to have put her in such a position. When Nina’s voice wails out “I remember every face of every man who put me here,” Candace’s motives become more complex. Black Monday lets the music leave you with the thought that Candace may have been compromised by the FBI, and in order to avoid jail time, she would have to turn in her fellow Black people. The steely resolve in her final words to Mo — “I told you, ‘I got you.’”— further complicates that theory and adds an engrossing richness to Candace’s character.

Black Monday could’ve left Nina Simone’s rendition for the climax of the flashback arc and the episode would still be great. But, Nina returns for one last “I shall be released” after Mo sends Dawn packing following her revelation to Mo about who she really loves. The image of Dawn piercing her lips and steadying her gaze on the countryside instead of being shocked into submission by Mo’s thoughtless decision, while Nina belts out her hope for release, is a moment of Black perseverance we would’ve never thought a show like Black Monday would make a focal point in such an important episode.

The episode also ends with an uncharacteristically sentimental Mo reverting back to his selfish ways at the same time Ms. Simone sings about “release.” And just like that, one four-minute song helps set up the emotional stakes at hand in the final two episodes of Black Monday’s first season.

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