In This Episode
Ira and guest co-host Rae Sanni discuss the Love & Hip-Hop franchise and how she convinced Ira to marathon it all during lockdown. Then they’re joined by Mona Scott-Young creator and producer of the Love & Hip-Hop series to discuss her beginnings in the music industry and her new film, Love & Murder: Atlanta Playboy.
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Ira Madison III And we are back for an all new episode of Keep It Real. Ira Madison The Third. And I am quite excited that my co-host this episode is Rae Sanni, you know, y’all needed her on to talk about reality TV with me.
Rae Sanni Of course. What would it be like if you didn’t? I’d get beat up, is what would happen.
Ira Madison III Also because we’re interviewing Mona Scott-Young this week, the creator of Love & Hip Hop, and you are the person who really got me into this show and had me you had me marathoning this. I was texting you, like early.
Rae Sanni In the Pandemic..
Ira Madison III Pandemic. I was I was watching like five episodes of that shit a day.
Rae Sanni Yes. All right. I also cannot believe that you never did Love & Hip Hop before that, too.
Ira Madison III I had seen it before, but like, not enough to be like I was watching a full season, you know?
Rae Sanni Yeah, it. It was like, I’m telling you, I think, you know, I jumped on Love & Hip Hop because I knew the New York rappers on the New York version. So I got to grow up with the show. But your favorite was like Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.
Ira Madison III Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. I mean. Do you remember how much work I got out of that meme of our CarlyJoseline asking Carly, did you hit it with the Gucci? Yes, I hit her with the Gucci.
Rae Sanni No, there was another meme that you always use all the time. I think it was the one where MiMI is like, Ah, get in the game. That is the meme
Ira Madison III Which is when they’re in the office. Joseline is punching Stevie J. And she’s like.
Rae Sanni They’re in the counselor’s office. And it’s like couples therapy for the three of them.
Ira Madison III Yes. And the she says, I’m a just scoot on over and let you wack him. Get him again. Get him for me. Oh.
Rae Sanni So you were like the one person in my life who is ever been team MiMi in that. Oh, Joseline Hernandez. Like it was so crazy. Everyone hated Joseline Hernandez from the minute she showed up. And I mean, like over the course of, like the ten years, she’s probably brought TV. I mean, I can see why, but everyone hated her. And I don’t know, I was just like, this woman is the most amazing person I’ve ever seen on television in my life, barring Tiffany Pollard and Mimi, obviously. But I was just like, Oh, my God. But I love that you loved our heroine, our supposed to be heroine, Mimi And just.
Ira Madison III Well, so.
Rae Sanni Drama.
Ira Madison III The vibe of it didn’t like listen, getting into Love & Hip Hop, I was like, This is so much fun for me because it’s giving. It was giving me a different flavor for me, watching all the Bravo White Women and of course, Atlanta. But it was melting, you know, like a music genre that I love with people that I didn’t know at this point. I knew like like I knew who Scrappy was, obviously, you know, like I knew young Jock Cable show, like and people who had become famous from the show had proliferated enough into culture where I knew who they were like, even from just like posts on the Shade Room before before I deleted, before I blocked Shade Room on Instagram.
Rae Sanni Nicki Minaj’s ex-boyfriend.
Ira Madison III Safaree Yeah. So right before I blocked Shade Room on my Instagram, which I encourage people to do.
Rae Sanni You blocked them? I just unfollow
Ira Madison III I’m tired of them. Well, sometimes I have to unblock because there’s news I want to read, but.
Rae Sanni Exactly. That’s why I unfollow.
Ira Madison III I don’t want to support.
Rae Sanni No, I don’t want to support, but I do too. I like it’s if I open Instagram, it’s literally the first thing that it comes up when I enter a cursor into the search bar. So I get it. What was crazy to me though, about Love & Hip Hop, but I think something that you picked up on because it’s very like soap opera-y in that way. Soap opera-y. That’s what I meant to say. And it is that like all these shows are just series of the same love triangles. It’s just like.
Ira Madison III Yes.
Rae Sanni Different versions of the same love triangle. And for some reason, 15 years on, oh my God, it might even it might really be like ten, 11 years. I’m like, I why do I still care that Erica and Scrappy and Bambi have a love track? Like, why do I care? Why do I care? That was a love triangle the first season, you know, like I don’t know how these stories of three even women scoring like, I just don’t understand how it remains so compelling to me the whole time. The formula is exactly the same.
Ira Madison III Well, what I love about that, especially you asking me about supporting Mimi, our heroine, Right. I love Joseline, too. I mean, I thought Joseline was hilarious. Every time we would watch it episode at night, like we’d be cracking up at Joseline crying and aghast at how awful Stevie J was, but also supported Mimi too. It was giving that. You know, classic soap opera where all three of them were on a soap opera. Sometimes the writing can be bad where the the it’s lopsided in the triangle, right? Like, if the vixen, the schemer is so interesting and you hate the heroine or.
Rae Sanni Which is what it was for me. Joseline. Yes
Ira Madison III Yeah. Or you like the heroine so much. And maybe you just hate the schemer. Or you just think the man is dumb and you’re tired of him in the story. Right? But all three of them were just such fully realized people that I could support all of them. Stevie to an extent. Maybe once he got into season two. Once he got into season two, I couldn’t do it anymore.
Rae Sanni No, the rat. The rat face. The rat face he would make when he was up to trouble. It was too much. But what was what was also so crazy is a thing that’s underrated for aside from and I completely like, forget this sometimes Cardi B got her biggest like push before her first album came out from joining Love & Hip Hop New York. And it was like during those seasons where the infamous Peter Gunz,s who now hosts Cheaters, was having a crazy love triangle where he married this side chick but was in love with the baby mama. It was it was Art and Cardi B like she has been telling us, too, since ever since she was this. She’s like, Don’t have these. Make us out here. Look at stupid. Look at you embarrassing these two beautiful women. So you got them looking stupid. But it was. And you know that that very popular meme, What was the reason? That’s.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Rae Sanni Also Cardi on Love & Hip Hop New York.
Ira Madison III And of course, the what she made the song from me is we don’t have beef forever.
Rae Sanni I love it. But I love how she sounds like such a Dominican chick. It has never changed because I can hear that Jeff in my head. Like if a bitch before me, she beef with me for ever. I, i There’s so many classic lines from that show. And I know that for us, as to black people who love reality TV like it is pretty it’s like a part of our life, you know, it’s part of like our speech, Like there’s so many things that have been like, well, incorporated into like our pop cultural memory and just our mannerisms and slang and everything from this show.
Ira Madison III I mean, she loving the crew?
Rae Sanni She loving. Danger. She smashed the homies. When did I start saying smash when I say smack, but I, I would love for your audience to in not a creepy way don’t go studying black folk on reality TV. But like there is something really, really beautiful that you’re missing if all you have is Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, but you don’t get to like to enjoy the pleasure that Joseline Hernandez brings to television.
Ira Madison III One thing I love is I know if you know Joe Gunn on Twitter, he always is tweeting out memes and stuff of Yes, we are housewives means all the time. But then around the pandemic, when I was watching Love It, hip hop, he started watching. Love it. Hip hop, too, and what tweet out means of them. And so that’s how it was getting a lot of my memes. And he is he has such a braid for not even just a thing. That’s a meme that everyone’s tweeting just for a reaction. We’re like, So what says something weird or like says something a word, like something, You know, I’m the worst. The one I think. Where is it, Deborah or whoever? I’ve used this clip before of the. Absolutely not. Yeah. So it’s that it’s there’s just a fun way that everyone speaks with each other language And, you know, it’s it’s more fun. I mean, I’ve always enjoyed black reality shows more because we have they’re more entertaining. The only right the only girls who could keep up on Bravo really were always New York, the early edition of New York and then early Miami. Yes, because of but New York. It was like it was always a show where it was hilarious even if nothing was happening in the episode.
Rae Sanni Okay, that’s fair. That’s fair. I will say, though, with Beverly Hills, there was some keep up because there was always like a like they are extremely meme-able Those women.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Rae Sanni Especially that first like for three seasons there’s just something I’ve got a gift from everybody for everyone. You know.
Ira Madison III Lisa Vanderpump was a witch. She first started out. She was incredible. She was a trip. She was giving me everything, you know.
Rae Sanni And if you if you go back and watch she’s v asshole. Right. Which I didn’t. At the time, I just was in love with it because it is fucked up to call your friends to The Maloof Hoof. But was it funny? Yes. Did I enjoy it? And that’s the kind of like quick shade, you know, that that usually comes up in an a confessional. Unlike a black show, you know, that’s just the way that we talk to each other is different. And I just think that our way of telling stories is just, like, incredible. I don’t know what it is, but like, every one of like every person that I know has put the most incredible dialog or something together has been an off the cuff read in a fight on a VH1 show. And it’s like, No, my brain could never forever sit down and write these things that these amazing people say. And I just wish more people had access to these, like, genius minds because, I mean, I think it’s so underrated.
Ira Madison III My writing. I feel like when I write even like dialog and stuff for like original stuff of my own, I feel like one exercise that is always helpful for me. And if you are a person who watches reality TV, maybe this is helpful for you too. You have like a regular scene and like maybe some characters are having an argument or they’re interacting. You write your regular dialog, but then go back over that theme and step into like this character just said something like, What would this person maybe respond if it were a confessional or if they were like, So cameras around, then maybe they’ll be a little bit funnier, you know? Yeah.
Rae Sanni No, I totally like I totally agree with you. Like, I’m just. Well, now I’m going to write my magnum opus and it’s just going to be me picturing, like, Joseline Hernandez in some, like, beautiful, tragic, like, loss story or something like that. And I think she would give she would give good you know, I mean, she’s turned into a pimp over on the news network.
Ira Madison III That’s not happening over there. But she’s more she became likable again. Yes. I mean, just by boat, by blow, by berating, berating these bitches. I’m like, let me be hit them. She’s become people on the Internet, like, now.
Rae Sanni And she is she berating the right people now?
Ira Madison III No.
Rae Sanni Because she was reading the wrong people.
Ira Madison III She’s a bully.
Rae Sanni I was like Oh no. But we made her that way. And it’s kind of also fascinating to see, like what we have contributed to, like who these people become, because Joseline Hernandez was always unapologetic. But it’s a different kind of apology, unapologetic when the money and the popularity back up your delusion and, you know, like I’m I’m I’m part of why she’s terrible now. Holy shit. I’m part of why so many people are terrorists. But I mean, Stevie J should have been like, we should it. Why did we keep watching? Why did we keep watching? I mean, there were things that Stevie, just like I have never seen that kind of gaslighting in my life before and never did I know that gaslighting was entertaining. Forgive me, but it was it was crazy those years, you know?
Ira Madison III I know you tried to call Ralph aghast later on Real Housewives of Atlanta. That is not gasoline. That is an electric stove. Okay. Yes.
Rae Sanni But truly, nothing compared to the likes of Stevie J. Even Peter Gunz like Ray J. Oh, my God. Ray J on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. I’ve never seen such a thing. And I can’t believe that he’s still with Princess off and on these days. You you think Kim and Kroy keep filing and unfurling and filing and UN filing. Rage and Princess haven’t been married in divorce more than I like being a person you like. It’s. It’s ridiculous.
Ira Madison III All right, so this episode, we have got Mona Scott-Young coming up. We have a fun conversation with her. She’s a CEO. Okay. So there’s not a lot of mess, but it’s a great interview. And when we’re back, Rae and I chat with Mona Scott-Young. There’s no other word I can think of that describes our guest today besides visionary. She’s a CEO, producer, manager. Best known as the mastermind behind Love & Hip Hop. And now she’s back with a new movie for us, Love & Murder: Atlanta Playboy. I’m honored to say welcome to Keep It, Mona Scott-Young.
Mona Scott-Young Thank you for having me. Hello. Hello. That was a great introduction, by the way.
Ira Madison III Oh, thank you. You know, I mean, you deserve it. So thank you so much for everything that you’ve created. And also, I can think Rae here, who I’m so excited, is with me for this interview, because I could credit her for being the person who got me to fully deep dive into all of Love & Hip Hop. I had seen it like years before, but she was like, she kept hounding about like, No, you can’t just watch the memes. You can’t just have these clips. Like, there’s more going on. So like, I got all into it. Every every one during the pandemic.
Mona Scott-Young Oh, wow. Well, thank you, Ray.
Rae Sanni Yes. I was thinking this the other day. I think you’ve been through your work like, part of my entire life, being your managing artist, you know, managing also other visionaries. I mean, Missy Elliott, My goodness gracious. But and then. And then with my adult self, my older self, I got super invested in all of the love in hip hop’s New York, Atlanta, Hollywood, I, I didn’t even know I cared this much about Ray J. It was crazy. Like, I’m I’m so astonished at your ability to have such a hand in so much of my pop cultural. Now, I’m really amazed when you look yeah, when you look back at it that way, right? Sometimes every once in a while we’re supposed to kind of stop and take stock and, you know, give ourselves a little pat on the back every once in a while. But when I think about my life, it has been, you know, this amazing journey through pop culture, like you said, Right? Those moments in music early on, even now, you know, in this the 50th year of hip hop, all of the celebrations and reconnecting with all of those folks and thinking back on those moments a long time, you know, being in a room when a certain song was created, being part of, you know, bringing the collaborations together. Right. When I saw Busta go back on stage with Janet, I remember that moment of him going, I want to do a song with Janet Jackson. And I’m like.
Ira Madison III And that’s the song, The song that is thee song.
Mona Scott-Young And then, you know, going or else talking about, you know, wanting to do Hey Lover and Boys II Men hearing voices. So that’s how far back it goes then. Wow. Being part of connecting those dots. Yeah, it’s been an amazingly blessed journey and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of those moments and also just, you know, wanted to express like my real, real hype about the fact that you were an executive in a super male dominated space. I mean, hip hop is not easy for anybody, let alone a woman, let alone a woman in the mid-nineties, early 2000. So what was that like for you when on average was in OWS, Right? Exactly. That’s all we were. You know, it’s it’s, you know, something that I try to talk about, you know, without sounding dismissive of it, because I have a tendency to put these blinders on. Right. Because it’s like if I stop and I think about all of the barriers and all of the hurdles and all of the feelings, then it’s just, you know, it’s going to be paralysis by analysis right on my own track. So one of the things that I subscribe to and I always say to the talent, you know, that I’m working with is you’ve got to put those blinders on. You’ve got to stay focused on what’s in front of you. You got to, you know, navigate that and accomplish that to the best of your ability, because that’s all you’re capable of. Right. I could or would wish I could handle things or be somebody else, but I’m not. This is who I am. These are the skills that I have at my disposal. I’ve got to plan myself, stay focused. And then every once in a while, you look up and it’s like, Oh, crap. So yeah, when I think about what hip hop was like back then and just in terms of the lack of women that were really doing it in a way that, you know, blazed in-roads for me. And now I look to where we are today and how many female executives and how many high, you know, powered females doing big things. Never mind the artists that are dominating right now. That’s just the sign of progress. Right. And in order to make progress, we have to plow through. And so for me, you know, I think of myself as one of those those Plowers Throughers. Pioneers
Rae Sanni I thank you for plowing.
Ira Madison III When I think about the, you know, the creation of Love & Hip Hop. I want to ask you, I guess, a bit about when you were working in the industry before creating this show. What was your view of the representation of hip hop on TV, whether that be shows, whether that be just music like B.E.T. Or, you know, wherever else? What did you see was on TV that you were like, We should be doing something differently?
Mona Scott-Young I mean, it’s some it was more about what was not on TV, right? You heard the music. It was selling everything. You, you know, maybe had some artists here and there, but you didn’t have that world and you didn’t have the side of the world, which are the women, you know, and you didn’t have the inner workings of the world kind of being showcased on a show. And so that was, you know, be the real motivation and the opportunity that was there to pull the curtain back on a world that I had navigated and been part of. You know, but we got to fast forward because we got to talk about Love & Murder. We’re going to.
Ira Madison III Please, yes.
Mona Scott-Young Love & Murder.
Ira Madison III You know. So what’s the impetus behind, you know, creating Love & Murder, this film, Atlanta Playboy? What was what was the spark that created this for you?
Mona Scott-Young Well, one moving into scripted, right, wanting to find our way into scripted projects. We’ve done a movie, B-Boy Blues, that is up on Beats plus as well, and wanting to do more. And the passion thriller space we know was popular. Everybody wants to, you know, stories of like love Gone wrong. And the the whole banner was created in the hopes of being able to do more movies in that vein, right, To create a series of movies that are all in this space. And hopefully we find more stories that are ripped from the headlines. But if not creating stories that we can tell that kind of check those boxes. But this story in particular, Lance Herndon’s, it just was one of those, you know, unbelievable. Holy crap, look at this guy. He was a local, you know, celebrity in his own right. He, you know, done all this stuff in business in the tech space. He was that guy, you know, moving around town, the fancy parties. And then he died a horrific death. And there were so many people that could have been in that line up because he had so many people have stepped on so many toes in business, you know, scorned and angered a bunch of very, you know, strong willed women. So the the list of who could have done it was tremendous. And this was one of those stories that just checked all the boxes. So.
Rae Sanni Do you find yourself trying to sort of now want to enter this space you’ve dominated, basically reality TV. I mean, you have your own like mini Marvel Universe, you know, and now it’s like it’s like, okay, let’s enter scripted. What did you see was the need? I mean, you know, now I’m thinking about how in the nineties and the early 2000, we got mid mid-budget rom coms or black thrillers or just people who were black famous to us that we could always see on screen. And I can admit that I haven’t seen that in the same way, right pretty recently. Is that something on your mind? Is that a direction you’re trying to go in?
Mona Scott-Young That’s funny that you said that, because if you look at the way we populated Love & Murder, right, you’ll see some of the cast members in there peppered in with like a Taye Diggs, a Keesha Sharp, you know, actors who have been doing it for some time. And I always thought there was an opportunity to, you know, leverage in and provide a scripted platform for the talent, you know, from the franchise and from other unscripted programs. Because I think that, you know, as people we are incredible. Our ability to do whatever it is we set our mind to. So when you look at, you know, Carly Redd, her acting career, I think April does a tremendous job. I think we’ve seen, you know, Yandy take her turn as an actress. So, yeah, I love the idea of taking the cast and finding different projects so they become like this ensemble, you know, troupe that you’ll see populating different projects. So yeah, that’s an idea that I’ve toyed with. I also felt like the passion thriller space is a great one. Like I said, it appeals to the female audience that turns into unscripted docu series television. You know, we all love love a good, you know, murder mixed with love and passion and, you know, mystery. So.
Rae Sanni True crime and love is like.
Mona Scott-Young True crime and love. I call it love gone wrong.
Rae Sanni Love gone wrong. Yeah.
Ira Madison III What? What I’ve always loved too. Even when you were in the reality space was that love of hip hop was always so cinematic to me. You know, it always was giving. Even if you are having someone to have a voiceover or having, like, a scene with their partner, you really were sort of focusing on like, Well, let’s get this scene of, you know, like me, me like in the bathroom, you know, like putting on her makeup and like, stuff like that. So it feels like you’re watching, you know, it was cinematically.
Mona Scott-Young It was all very intentional. Yeah. Like putting it against this beautiful backdrop. It was like taking real life and art, directing it, you know, and stuff and making everything look beautiful and, you know, overly kind of colorized and saturated so that it. Yeah. Played out in life.
Ira Madison III Would you say that then, working on something like that, particularly for people like a Cali Red, you know, where it’s different than like if they’d done some other kind of reality show, like it may have helped and prepare them for stepping into this scripted space or prepared them. Have you seen like some of the people you’ve worked with and been like, they sort of have the skills that I think that would be good if they were reading.
Mona Scott-Young One session intact. Yeah, that’s interesting. It might be a little bit of the chicken and the egg, right? Because I think part of the casting process is looking for those personalities that can deliver on their emotions and articulate them in a way that the audience can understand whatever it is they’re going through. And I guess maybe, you know, there is a correlation there. If you look at, you know, Ray-j was acting prior to I believe Carly was, well, if I’m not mistaken, you look at, you know, a Cardi B and everything that she was doing on social before she even got onto Love & Hip Hop, I’m sure that there’s, you know, a long and successful acting career in front of somebody like her. So it’s that like you’re you’re casting people whose real lives have elements that we want to watch but who have the ability, personality, charisma, dynamism, to deliver it in a way that’s compelling for an audience.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm.
Rae Sanni It feels like. I don’t know. You have an eye for, like, black soap opera. I have never met in my life people who have given as much story or had as much story as some of the people that you’ve had on your shows. And I’m imagining that translates well into the scripted space as well, where you’re, you know, you’re you’re loving the dramatics and in a way that is thrilling. It’s thrilling. I don’t know why these people had me up thinking and arguing and fighting with my friends about certain things.
Mona Scott-Young And I think it’s because you understand, you relate. You have you know, emotions are are elicited right out triggered from the things that you’re watching. And that’s what I think, you know, storytelling is at its core the ability to take a situation to put into words and actions, to convey it in a medium that will elicit emotion. Right. Music does that and careers do that. We get emotional about people’s careers because if you look at a Beyonce, it’s not just about her body of work. Right. We feel like we were there when she was, you know, a survivor and wanting to make it and to see her ascent and to watch her get married and to have her children, you become invested and connected to the story of her life. So it’s that storytelling ability and then to find a way to make it compelling to watch. And it’s what you referred to, Ira, with, you know, setting it against the backdrops and within, you know, the constructs that make people go, oh, yes, she’s talking about cooking dinner, but it looks amazing. And I’m riveted by this, you know, recipe. Those are all the same skill sets you take in so scripted, Right? And more so because now you have, you know, where before the storytelling was confined to real life stories, these were the things that were going on in their lives. Now, the storytelling capability, the landscape is endless. Now we can imagine the unimaginable. Set the stories on space. Do you know what I’m saying? Like now that the boundaries have been lifted. So what would.
Ira Madison III You say were some of your early storytelling inspirations and sparks that got you? You know, what were you watching? What were you, you know, sort of listening to consuming that was like, this is something that I really want to do.
Mona Scott-Young Um, you know, it’s been an evolution for me. I don’t know that I set out to go, Oh, I want to be a television producer, right? It started out with me understanding, I guess if I had to think back on my earliest days of articulating a story, it would be me navigating the world, you know, figuring out who I was, how I wanted to present to the world, what I wanted to do with myself in my life. And in looking at that story, right, I realized like this was the tale of somebody who had a an ability to articulate and to create. Right. And then how do I apply that? I kind of stumbled into it with music art and utilized that there. And then I intentionally moved into it with television, and then I chose to seek it with scripted, you know. So the earliest days of storytelling were probably writing and shaping and trying to tell my story, which is still being written. You know.
Ira Madison III Of course, you know, the rest is still unwritten, as I say. But what are you are you make so much television and you know, you produce so much music for people. And I think what do you what do you sort of like take in on your downtime? You know, like what? What does Mona listen to to sort of like either inspire you or to just chill out when you’re not thinking of work that you were producing?
Mona Scott-Young Listen, it’s hard to say this to people and have them understand it, but I love procedurals, right? I go down the rabbit hole of, you know, anything from Law and Order to Criminal Minds, right? And then I also love good, mindless comedies, not mindless in the sense that they’re not well written, but just, you know, shows that I can lose myself in. And a lot of them are the real ones. Actually, I do a lot of like the Office or Modern Family or, you know, I just the shows that just make me laugh where I can lose myself.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm.
Rae Sanni That is such an interesting dichotomy comedy like and then procedurals, right? Because it sort of speaks to what I probably think of you, which is that you’re good at finding solutions, right? There’s an order. Here’s how I can execute. Here’s an hour procedural. Olivia Benson will save the day. It’ll happen. And then at the same time, you know, the silliness, the joyfulness, the like, over the top ness that you can find in farces and comedies. That makes ultimate sense in my brain.
Mona Scott-Young That was a good analysis, Rae. Yes, I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve never thought about it that way. But listening to you say it, yeah, it pretty much represents the duality of who I am.
Rae Sanni Yeah, I mean, yeah. We appreciate it.
Ira Madison III I think that there’s always just some reason, there’s always something online where people say, you know, there’s that joke that Olivia Benson, the one white woman that, you know, like black people trust, you know, they, they just love it. And I think it says, Right, right. There’s something I think about, you know, being watching a television show when your life may be sort of like there aren’t solutions in your life or the real world and every week or, you know, if it’s the USA network for 8 hours a day, you know, you can watch Olivia, you can watch, you know. STABLER You can watch them solve something. And then it feels like, you know, like something has happened.
Mona Scott-Young Feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment through watching this thing get completed. Absolutely. And I think to some extent, you know, it’s the same thing that you get with the escapism and the unscripted space. You know, I just want to lose myself in this person’s life and watch them try to figure out their problems. I’m a set mind to the sounds and it’s and out of there as well.
Ira Madison III That reminds me of truly and I’m sorry for, you know, blowing you up with this friend, but ever since we have one of Rae’s, she’s a stand up comedian, and one of my favorite jokes of hers ever is talking about how, you know, people say like, oh, like, you know, you you watch so much reality TV, you know, like you support, you know, like black women, you know, like being, you know, acting this way and you’re like you’re like, no, these black women act like there’s not me, you know? And so there’s that joy in watching people after fall on TV and knowing like, that’s not me. When I have a you, there’s some catharsis in when someone’s having a fight, you know, they’ll be like, Did you hit her with the Gucci? Yeah, I hit her with the energy, you know. Right. You can’t you’re not doing that, but you get cartharsis.
Mona Scott-Young Yeah, you’re living vicariously through the fact that I don’t know if I could have done that. But damn, I’m glad you just, you know. I don’t know.
Rae Sanni I mean, if I’m watching early, Love & Hip Hop New York, I’m the yandy. I’m the nerd who’s like, around all these cool people I’m in, I’m trying to do the business or whatever. I might have said something to Slick and now to Girlfriend Want to want me. And it’s like, Yeah, he got you and you got to dance in all girl space. I would never do. I would run away. And so it’s like, it’s nice to see people braver than I am. I think that’s what it is.
Mona Scott-Young That is hysterical.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And also, I mean, I mean, I would definitely be more like I loved Kylie Rhodes so much in the early, you know, love of hip hop. I felt like always the constantly failing in love, you know, and like, reacting angrily, like, especially, like, I mean, that Gucci Bible is truly one that I send my friends all the time because it is so funny watching it happen. And it’s like, that’s who you want to be. A question about her.
Mona Scott-Young That’s what I love about her. She’s fearless about it. She falls scrapes her knee, and picks herself up and that’s something we can all be more of in life. Yeah.
Rae Sanni Yes she she does not she does not hold on to shame. I’m really, really like impressed by and I don’t mean that as shade I it come out my mouth back right. I mean she like I have never seen someone with as much stick to itiveness as Carly has.
Mona Scott-Young Yeah yeah yep absolutely totally admire that. I mean about all of these women, right? They go through it, they come out of it and they keep it moving.
Rae Sanni Yeah. Yeah. That’s incredible.
Ira Madison III A question, You know, as someone who has crafted music and stuff so early in your career and then working on this show, obviously, you know, you have a lot of talent coming onto this show with their own careers. Were there ever points where people are specifically like asking for advice or were you sort of like, you know, you’re on the show making your own music? I’m like, I need to step back because, you know, like, I want it to unfold naturally on TV.
Mona Scott-Young I mean, no. Absolutely that, right? Nothing that would impact the course, but totally where they needed advice or had questions or needed an introduction. You know, totally was there for that at all times was it was about helping them get to whatever it is they were trying to do with their careers. So. Absolutely. And actually, you know, I thought where you were going with that was you were going to ask was I kind of invested in that. But that’s something I’ve always felt like if this platform can help them get their careers on track or off the ground, then by all means, you know, go forth and prosper. That was the goal of creating this to begin with. And so then when you go from working with people who perhaps even if they have all this gumption, they don’t necessarily have the same access or industry clout. And then you go to something as incredible is getting to work with Taye Diggs and Keesha Sharp. What is the what is the arc there? How does your position on a set or in a room change when you’re working with people who maybe aren’t is like confused or maybe not necessarily holding on to the kind of tangible success that you would think it really doesn’t? Because remember, I came into this as a manager, right? So I see potential and everyone that was kind of always part of my skill set as a manager, being able to say, okay, I see how this can be built or, you know, developed into something, you know, much larger. And so in music, I started out with Missy 27 years ago with Busta, you know, 30 years ago. So I’ve watched artists go from just talent to mega superstars, right? So coming into Love & Hip Hop, some of the talent I had already encountered, like, you know, Scrappy was, you know, with the management company that I co-founded, I knew some of the talent. Even on other networks. Kandi was represented by us at Violator at one point. And so I always saw the potential and all of the folks that we were working with and we’ve seen some people like Michelle came in. She was as talented it ever been. But I think we saw her career get a major boost by virtue of having that exposure. So there’s never a oh, you’re smaller talent. You’re bigger talent because I’ve been around so much talent. And for me to have the talent is what leveled the playing field. The success comes because of the factors that that talent is exposed to, right? The opportunities, the platform, the skill set of the people around them, the expertise. But there are so many talented people that just don’t have access to all of those things to fully realize their talent. So for me, it’s a level playing field, whether you’re Taye Diggs, Ray J, Missy, Elliot, K, Michelle, they’re all super talented.
Ira Madison III I guess lastly, I want to ask, you know, if you worked on so many people’s careers, you know, early on from, like you said, Missy, Busta, you know, there’s like John Nas as well. Do you have do you have just like a favorite record or song that you remember being in the room for that you’re like, I love listening to that song to this day and like remembering that moment.
Mona Scott-Young There are so many. I was at this event the other day and somebody played a Soul For Real Candy Rain, and I was like, Oh my God. I remember being in the studio for that. If you look on that, you know, I’m one of the EP’s on that project, so it’s, it’s too many to mention, right? Being in the room when Missy was like, What do you think of these records and get your freak on being one of the records that she played and going like, Oh God, this album, you know, that’s 10 minutes. So it’s it’s too many to mention too many things. I said before. Allow Hey, lover. Fantasia, you know what I hear? Free yourself. And that’s the collaboration with Missy while I was working with Fantasia. So it’s it’s yeah, it’s endless. And again, just blessed and grateful to have been a part of that moment, those moments in music history.
Ira Madison III Well, thank you so much for being here, Mona.
Mona Scott-Young Thank you. Thank you. And don’t forget, we’re going out tomorrow. Part two of Love & Murder.
Ira Madison III Yes, yes, yes. We’re excited to get to that.
Mona Scott-Young Drive that tune in.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Thank you to Rae Sanni for being here with me. Thank you to Mona Scott-Young for being here. And you can catch Love & Murder: Atlanta Playboy on B.E.T. Plus. Now, mean, what was the story about again, Rae?
Rae Sanni I’m pretty sure it was a true story about an Atlanta businessman and maybe the early nineties, like late eighties that was sleeping around. And one of his shorties probably murked him.
Ira Madison III He shouldn’t have done it. If you are rich and you leave the person you are with, you should probably expect to be killed. Okay. Unless they unless they get a settlement. Unless they get a big ass settlement, you know.
Rae Sanni Fair enough. But you’ll be surprised by who actually is the one who does it.
Ira Madison III Oh, okay. All right. Twists.
Rae Sanni Come on Mona. Come on story.
Ira Madison III Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third and Louis Virtel.
Louis Virtel This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Megan Patzel and Rachel Gaewski, and to Matt DeGroot and David Toles for production support every week.
Ira Madison III And as always, Keep It as recorded in front of a live studio audience.