Guest Editor Kandi Talks Backlash from VIBE Cover, Meeting Evelyn Lozada and Chrissy

Some fans of reality TV and VIBE Magazine found themselves reacting after peeping the Sexy Issue cover--including cover girl (and Guest Editor) Kandi Burruss. The four femme fatales set the interwebs ablaze and did a good job of combating the e-haters that murdered their mentions.

VIBE caught up with the singer-songwriter to see just how much backlash she endured. As well, she dishes on meeting fellow reality celebs, Evelyn Lozada and Chrissy Lampkin, for the first time and explains why she was just a tad bummed that Sheree Whitfield made her exit. --Niki McGloster

VIBE: What did you think about the reactions for the Sexy Issue cover?
KANDI: Oh my gosh, I felt like it was overwhelmingly negative. So many people were just like, They are not role models. I mean, I got a lot of people that said, 'You’re the only person that should be considered a role model.' But any time I’m a part of a group or whatever, I don’t want to separate myself like I’m any better than anyone else. We’re all apart of reality TV. None of us knew that it was going have that title on the cover. We all know that reality TV can be a bit much sometimes.

Definitely. Was that your first time meeting the other girls?
Well actually Tamar and I have known each other long time, but it was my first time meeting Chrissy and Evelyn. That was my first time being around them and hanging out with them. When we did the photo shoot together, I really enjoyed myself with the girls. I understand how it is on television. People don’t get to see all sides of you. Of course, the part of television that gets the most viewers is when it’s drama or something crazy, so that’s what you’re going to see a lot of the time. Every now and then, I have my moments of maybe cussing somebody out or whatever; it may not be what I want you to see. Either way, I liked all of the ladies when I did the photo shoot with them, so I hate that it was so much negativity when it came to that.

What would you say you learned about them doing the shoot together? Things you didn't pick up from their TV personalities?
I thought that Evelyn was really sweet. I thought that Chrissy was really, really cool. Like, really cool. They both were people that I could see myself hanging out with. Some of the things they were talking about, I could definitely relate. Any time women have a lot of things going on business-wise, I can respect your hustle. That’s what it’s all about really; to take this little time we have on TV and turn it into something else that could be beneficial. So, when I hear Evelyn talking about her book deal, that’s something I admire because that’s something I’m trying to do myself. With Chrissy, she was talking about her new show and being an Executive Producer. That’s something that I definitely made sure I was doing on my show outside of Kandi Factory. Those are things I pay attention to, and if you’re paying attention to it, I can respect your business game.

People didn't notice that in business, the cover girls really are role models. Beyond Bedroom Kandi and Kandi Factory, what else is on the horizon for you?
I don’t want to add any more new things at the moment. I just want to build what I’ve already started. Next month, I’m opening up my second location of my store Tags here in Atlanta. We’re going to have two now. I was happy about that because a lot of businesses aren’t really able to maintain in this economy, but mine is doing well. Also, with Bedroom Kandi, we’re taking it to the next next level--my own home party network. That really just takes numbers to a whole 'nother level. With Bedroom Kandi, I didn’t realize I was becoming the face of something for Black women. I didn’t realize how many Black women were scared to talk about sex and sexuality in our community; it’s so hush-hush, so taboo.

Going back a bit. How do you feel about your daughter watching reality TV and her possibly looking at the women on TV as role models?
I don’t allow my daughter to watch our show. The only time I let her watch is if she’s going to be on the show; I may let her watch her part. We had to have a big discussion about this, because some of the parents at her old school would let their kids watch the show To me, everyone parents how they want to parent, but I don’t feel like our show is for little children. I don’t feel the need to let her watch that. She’s nine years old, and will be 10 in August. My daughter does act a little grown at times, so it’s not that she won't understand it, but I explained to her some things are not for children. I just feel like reality TV is for high school and up. My daughter’s channels are Disney and Nickelodeon. I’ve heard people saying we’re responsible for bullying. No, bullying has been going on for years. I feel that people cop out and try to find excuses for the way the world is. I feel if parents were a little more involved, if grandma was coming over more, if people weren’t tripping for your neighbor saying something to your kid, maybe it would be a little different.

Who are your role models?
Definitely is Queen Latifah. I don’t know her personally, but when I was younger she won the Sammie Davis Jr. Award; it was at the Soul Train Music Awards. When she won, she was doing her TV show, she had her management company, she was an artist, she had multiple things going on. I remember saying to Tiny, 'I’m going to win that award one day.' By seeing her doing so much at the same time, being successful in all areas entertainment, she was the one who inspired me to want her do all of these things. To see her do it, and do it in such a major way, it gave me a drive to want to go after it too. I’m sure she has no clue she inspired me to do a lot.

Where do you see yourself as far as reality TV shows? Will you continue to do them?
Well, now I’m doing the Kandi Factory and that’s a little bit more in my lane. It’s not about the drama, it’s about helping people and it’s more fun. It’s about the dream. I’d keep doing that forever if I could. As far as Housewives, I enjoyed being a part of the show. Really, it’s a big infomercial. You need to go on there with a plan of how you’re going to build your brand. The people who just are on there clowning and aren’t accomplishing anything, they’re wasting a bunch of energy, because when the show is over, you’re over. You’re only going to do this for so long, either you’re going to get tired of it or they’re going to get tired of you.

Are you sad to see Sheree Whitfield leave RHOA?
I was. I thought she brought a lot, as far as the craziness of the show. I know people don’t want to be associated with it, but it did bring entertainment. Yes, I wasn’t feeling her in the moment we got into it, but it wasn’t enough for me not to want her there. She’s a cool person. The whole Africa thing irritated the hell out of me, but it wasn’t enough for me to fall out with her forever. It was a moment where she just rubbed me the wrong way. We’ve hung out a few times since then.

Can we expect any special appearances on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta?
No, unfortunately, but Rasheeda and I are super tight. I pushed for her to be on the show. My close friends that are in entertainment we always help each other. Me, Rasheeda and Tiny, we all hang out on a regular basis. We always try to help each other come up. We boost each other.

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Nicolina Royale cufflinks are displayed at the launch of City Nights Playboy Menswear Collection at Bloomingdales on October 17, 2007 in Century City, California. These are not the cufflinks Morehouse grads were gifted.
Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images/Stock Image

Morehouse Grads Gifted Diamond Cufflinks In Addition To Student Loan Payoff

The blessings keep on rolling in for Morehouse College's 2019 graduates.

On Sunday (May 19),  billionaire Robert F. Smith effectively "broke the internet" after he announced that he would pay off Morehouse's class of 2019's student loans. Now it appears that not only will the graduates live free of student loan debt, they'll also receive another gift in honor of completing their undergrad.

Inspired by the generous act of Smith, jewelry company Jadelle Beverly Hills will create custom cufflinks for the graduates, that they hope to ship out to them in August. According to TMZ, the jewelers plan on using gold, silver, diamonds as well as Morehouse's name and the Smith's name.

The custom cufflinks won't be a collaborative effort between the Smith's and the jewelers, however, Smith's wife, Hope Dworaczyk Smith was contacted because they hope to use a family logo in the cufflinks. For the 396 graduates, the bill is expected to come to about $250k with Jadelle footing the bill. The jewelry company sees this as "a small gesture to support [the Smith's] tremendous, transformative contribution."

The brand is also a favorite among Hollywood figures like Jamie Foxx, Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jadelle Beverly Hills (@jadellebh) on May 17, 2019 at 5:34pm PDT

They also created custom pieces for Lauren London in honor or Nipsey Hussle.


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A post shared by Jadelle Beverly Hills (@jadellebh) on Apr 11, 2019 at 4:37pm PDT

During his speech on Sunday, Smith stood in solidarity with "his class," as he announced his gift. "Now I know my class will make sure they pay this forward. I want my class to look at these [alumni] — these beautiful Morehouse brothers — let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream." Smith is expected to pay off $40 million of student loan debt for the graduates.

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John Gibbins

Kellen Winslow II Keeps Straight Face During Rape Trial

Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II reportedly showed no emotion Monday (May 20) during the opening statements of his rape trial. The 35-year-old was said to be stoic when prosecutors said he “took what he wanted” from several women, including a 17-year-old who accused him of rape while he was a student at The University of Miami.

Winslow's father, a former San Diego Charger, sat inside the Southern California courtroom behind his son as a show of support.

Winslow was arrested in 2018 after authorities found evidence linking him to the break-ins of two elderly women in north San Diego's Encinitas neighborhood. However, the charges were dismissed by a judge during a preliminary hearing.

After posting bail, Winslow was arrested for allegedly raping two women. On March 17, a 54-year-old hitchhiker said Winslow offered her a ride and when she accepted, he attacked her in the parking lot of a shopping center. The New England Patriots' tight end supposedly threatened to kill the woman if she screamed, so she remained silent.

“She was too scared to scream,” Owens told jurors.

The woman reported the attack to authorities four days later but refused to be examined. She instead gave investigators Winslow's blood-stained paints she says he wore. DNA testing found Winslow's semen on the pants.

Owens said in May of that same year, Winslow befriended a 59-year-old homeless woman and sodomized her.

Winslow's attorney, Brian Watkins, told that jury that while his client repeatedly cheated on his wife, it doesn't mean he assaulted the several women accusing him of rape.

“It’s wrong. It’s immoral, but it is not illegal,” Watkins said.

Watkins contends the women who have accused Winslow are preying on him due to the media coverage of his rape allegations.

When Winslow was out on a $2 million bail, a 77-year-old woman accused the former New York Jet of exposing himself to her at a gym twice and masturbated in front of her. He has been held in jail without bail, since.

Winslow pled not guilty to 12 charges, and if found guilty, he could face life in prison.

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Nessa Confronts Janelle Evans Over Kaepernick Slander At 'Teen Mom 2' Reunion

If one thing is for sure, don't talk about Nessa Diab's family. The media personality and activist used her platform for good when she schooled Teen Mom 2 star Janelle Evans about hateful comments she made towards Diab's partner, Colin Kaepernick. 

The incident, which was intended to be a healthy conversation between the two aired Monday (May 20) during the Teen Mom 2 reunion. Throughout the season, Evans was reportedly upset about Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood speaking about her husband David Eason on social media. Surprisingly, Evans orchestrated the same behavior when she made a Facebook post about Kaepernick and his partnership with Nike. Evans reportedly slammed Nike for working with Kaepernick and allegedly burned Nike gear in protest of their decision.

While Nessa didn't break down everything Evans said, she shared the post on the screen behind them.“When I saw those comments, I did not attack you online, nor did I disrespect you over the years,” Nessa said. “My man uses his platform to peacefully protest police brutality against black people...that is the issue...I would’ve appreciated it if you contacted me.”

Nessa brought up the incident in an effort to show Evans how hypocritical she was being towards Portwood.

Evans denied doing the post and later accused MTV of using her. “I honestly have no idea who your boyfriend is...I would like to see [the comments] because what if it was an ad...was it an ad?” Jenelle asked. “I’m highly confused right now. I don’t know anything about your husband, and I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about. I swear to god, I’m done with this bulls**t. This is exactly why I didn’t want to f***ing come here,” she said. “This is about my storyline, and you want to bring up your issues? Okay. You got your show.”

As Evans stormed off stage, Nessa remained calm and detailed her working relationship with the mother of three.

“I’ve known Jenelle over the years, and I’ve always been fair and just to her," she said. "It wouldn’t have been authentic to who I am to be on this stage with someone who disrespected my family on social media.”

Shortly after the reunion aired, Evans continued to deny the allegations while her husband went on to attack Nessa and mock the death of slain rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.

If the reunion wasn’t about David Jenelle then why is he already going off and attacking Nessa? The amount this chick lies is seriously beyond incredible 🤣.

— Greenwalls4life (@Codybfan87) April 8, 2019

Fans of both women have defended their actions but Nessa has remained mum on what happened. Part 2 of the Teen Mom 2 finale will air next Monday on MTV. Watch the exchange up top.

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