Although these two can’t be any more different, one thing that both Yandy Smith and Rich Dollaz can agree on is getting money together. The two have come together to start their own label, Lenox Ave Records and are embarking on a nationwide tour to scout for new talent. Vixen caught up with them and they dished on what they seek when looking for new talent, old friends, and the perfect woman for Richie. Peep the interview below to find out:
On qualities they look for in new talent:
Yandy: In this day and age its not just about talent, its about the full package, people want to believe in your culture, they want to believe in your movement, the way we feel when you walk in a room. Of course talent is first, talent is very, very important but you also have to be a viable act to sell, you have to look the role, you have to be able to carry a brand, we want you to be a brand ambassador, so its not just about your talent anymore, its about the complete package.
Rich: Yeah [laughs]. You gotta be everything, you gotta take advantage of everything around you and be relevant and make people buy in to who you are and what you’re doing, its not just about records anymore.
On their new label:
Yandy: Rich may be many things, but one thing he is great at is finding talent and cultivating that talent. He can take someone who can’t sing and and make a great record and that alone was enough for me to see ok I want to be in business with him, and I’m really good at connecting the dots, and I have a lot of relationships in this business. I can walk in to pretty much record label and be respected as a player in the game so I felt with my behind the scenes and Rich’s forefront with the music, that was a great combination.
Artists they wish they could have got their hands on:
Yandy: Drake. Lil Wayne. Nicki Minaj.
Rich: Nicki Minaj. You know what’s crazy, artists come and go so quickly but I actually had the opportunity to sit with Rich Homie Quan about three years ago, and it never really panned out, and now I turn on the radio and the kid’s everywhere getting 25 grand a night so yea I think I missed out on that.
Yandy: Let me tell you who came in me and Mona’s office., he was a little boy with his mom and Scooter Braun, Justin Beiber. Before he got the records, before he put out a song, he was a YouTube sensation. He came into our office, Mona til this day swears up and down he was not looking for a manager that Scooter just brought him over to say ‘Oh hey look at my new act,” but I really believe he came over because he wanted us to manage him and we just dropped the ball on it. Imagine if I managed Justin Beiber right now, you know what my life would be?
Reality stars they relate to the most:
Rich: With different reality shows everyone comes from a different place, a different region, I’m not from Atlanta so I don’t my story is like anybody’s down there. The person I most relate to is Rich Dollaz. I don’t know that there’s another one of him.
Yandy: I might be tooting my own horn a little bit but I like Nene a lot, I like that she was able to use reality TV as a platform to do so many other things, she started from the bottom and now she’s definitely on top, so if I was going to say anybody I would say her.
Yandy on raising her son without Mendeecees:
Yandy: It’s harder, I don’t know what its like not to raise your child on your own because its kinda what I’ve done since I’ve had him. Mendeecees left us when he was six months old so I’ve been doing it for awhile, its all I know. It taught me time management, it taught me how to prioritize better because he’s my priority and everything falls in line after that. Its definitely been an experience but I’m so thankful for it, I’m so thankful that I get to get all the hugs and the sloppy wet smooches so I don’t have to share that with his dad right now.
Advice Yandy gives other women in her situation:
Yandy: Stay strong. Soak up all the love you can from your child and know that its not something that was given to you that you can’t handle. Everyday I have to remind myself that I was put in this situation because I can do it. Knowing that I can do it and there’s no one else that can do it like me makes me feel like I gotta be great at it. If you see something I’m doing and you feel like you admire that take notes.
Things Yandy can’t leave the house without:
Yandy: I love MAC lipgloss, I love my lips to pop. I love my Everything Girls Love accessories, they accessorize every outfit!
Favorite piece of fashion right now:
YS by Simply Intricate which happens to be my clothing line, you can check it out on my Instagram.
Rich: We have a good relationship, I think Liv is a great talent, we’re still working together in a different capacity right now, if it’s things that come across my desk and I think she’s good for them I’ll forward them off and hope that she can win but I’m not managing Olivia anymore.
On Rich’s friendship with K. Michelle:
Rich: We actually didn’t get along previously, I was real good friends with Memphitz, and I think that was a little bit weird, but I’ve known K for years. I knew K when she was signed at Jive, but now we’re friends again and its cool.I don’t think we’ve ever not been friends I just think that there was some miscommunications, but it’s good now.
On Erica Mena’s coverup tattoo:
No reaction. I had been hearing about that tattoo getting covered up about four months previously to seeing it on Black Ink. The deal was either I got a tattoo or she was getting her tattoo covered up, and we all know I was getting a tattoo so she was definitely getting hers covered up.
On Rich being single:
Rich: I’m absolutely single.
Yandy: Single with five girlfriends! [laughs]
On their ideal mate:
Rich: I like beautiful women. I don’t have a specific thing where you can be like, “oh that’s Richie’s type.”
Yandy: She doesn’t have to speak English, she doesn’t have to have a job, she doesn’t have to have all teeth, toes, one foot is fine, and even seven toes on one foot.
Rich: That’s fine too. A pretty face and that’s it. If Yandy thinks she’s alright, I love her. She has to have all her teeth or a good dental plan where she’s got some nice dentures.
Yandy: He doesn’t’ mind if she doesn’t have all her teeth, he told me that before. [laughs]
Rich: I just like beautiful women. Latin women. Black women. European women. I just like women, just make sure everyone knows that I like women.
On what to expect from them this season:
Yandy: You’ll see me really being a mom, you’ll see me navigating through different businesses, you’ll also see me being the same old me where I’m kinda the same voice in crazy situations. I always end up in the midst of someone else’s crazy situation. You’ll also see me trying to balance being a career mom, just trying to be great at both. Rich and I are getting ready to go on a national tour, trying to find talent for our label, and we’re looking for the full package.
Rich: The new label, I started a modeling agency as well, its gonna be some ups and downs, some plate throwing, some arguments, some glasses throwing, you know the regular Richie Dollaz s**t. I’m a little bit cleaner this year, I’m not as bad as last year.
Photo Credit: ballertalert.com