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3 Reasons “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Is Totally Scripted

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” VH1’s latest addition to its reality show lineup, seems to be a hit. The show that takes viewers inside the lives of some of hip-hop’s Georgia peaches is serving up all of the juicy drama audiences love.

While we can debate whether or not the show does black women and our image a disservice, there’s one thing I am almost certain of: This reality show is anything but reality; it's totally scripted.

Although I’m well aware that most reality shows have some element of staged drama, the conflicts, characters, and situations on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” just feel more like a bad primetime soap opera than how real folks actually live. As one of my Twitter followers put it the other night, “‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ is a bad telenovela, but with negroes.”

I agree. And here’s why.

Stevie J is a horrible actor — and it shows

I’m sorry, but one of the main reasons I can’t take this show seriously is Stevie J. Instead of coming off like a real person, he sounds like he’s serving up his best Blaxplotation performance or Mase impersonation. His reaction to everything is just so lackluster and monotone and is not anything close to being real.

Pregnant jump-off? Stevie’s expression is placid. Angry girlfriend? Stevie’s face is so still (and his voice so flat) he must sweat Botox. Getting them “paws” put on him? Stevie was talking to Scrappy like he was asking for some Grey Poupon instead of getting ready to fight.

If the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” folks want me to believe this show isn’t a horribly acted dramedy, then I’m going to need Stevie J. to seem a little less plastic and a lot more real.

People don't actually talk like this, do they?

I’m not from the South, so somebody school me. But between Stevie J’s threat to Joseline that he “has papers” on her, Karlie’s conversation with Mimi about Joseline “being down” for her man, and Lil’ Scrappy’s threat to “put them paws” on Stevie J. for dissing his woman, I can’t help but wonder if folks down South actually talk like this.

The way these folks sound makes me feel like I’m caught up in a bad street lit novel rather than listening in on normal conversations. And when you couple their dialogue with the super stylized camera shots, I just can’t take these folks at face value.

Mimi can’t possibly be this dumb … I hope

While “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” is about several people, it looks like the show’s producers are going to center the drama around Mimi and Stevie J.  To call their relationship “troubled” is an understatement; it’s a train wreck.

While Mimi is off cleaning office buildings (she owns a service), Stevie J. is holed up in his studio with his jump-off/protégé. Although it’s clear Stevie is cheating, and according to various reports he has been for years, Mimi is choosing to look the other way while pretending to be upset about it.

But she’s not fooling me. Although she claims she and Stevie have been together for 15 years, I distinctly remember his very high-profile engagement to Eve back in the early noughties. And while that relationship could have happened when Mimi and Stevie were on a break, I don’t know how many more times she needs to have him look into her eyes and promise he isn’t sleeping around before she gets a clue.

For her sake, I hope Mimi isn’t as dumb as she seems and is really playing along with this foolishness just to cash a check, because the alternative — that she really is this spineless — is just too sad for words.

Do you think “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” is completely scripted?

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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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