Love & Hip Hop Atlanta

Hate it or love it, VH1 has officially pimped Black culture established itself as a contributor to the Black community – or, at least, the Black twitter community – by way of “Ratchet Mondays, ” which refers to the shenanigans that result whenever VH1’s hit reality show Love & Hip-Hop airs.

Initially meant as a relevance retention vehicle for the rap careers of New York-based artists Jim Jones and Olivia, amongst others, Love & Hip-Hop would spawn a spin-off in 2011, Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, that introduced us to mostly obscure people or one-hit wonders in the hip-hop world like Lil’ Scrappy and Rasheeda (AKA “The Bubble Gum Song” Girl). The spin-off became an overnight success for Mona Scott-Young’s braintrust. Viewers tuned in weekly to watch the shenanigans of mainly Joseline “the Puerto Rican Princess”; Stevie J (more popularly known as “Steebie J,” due to the way Joseline pronounces his name) and baby mama Mimi; Scrappy and his love foursome with his mother (Momma Dee), baby mother Erica, and side dip close female friend Shay “Buckeey” Johnson (yes, the same Buckeey who tongued down Flavor Flav who appeared in another VH1 reality series, Flavor of Love); the guy whose career Eminem absolutely obliterated and apparently took his neck with him Benzino; and lovelorn ratchet Southern girl songbird K. Michelle and #DatAss. The original LHH in New York would try to recreate that magic in its second season by adding Joe Budden and his love triangle with Tahiry and (at the time) girlfriend Kaylin Garcia, but nothing could dethrone the Atlanta edition.

In Season II, some things changed, some new characters were added to the cast (Drew, who deejays concerts for Chris Brown, and his baby moms Traci Steele), but mostly, many things stayed the same. For weeks, viewers laughed, cried (tears of laughter), and had moments of outrage (on twitter, anyway) at everything that went down. Last night, the season finale aired, and after next week’s Reunion Show, Ratchet Mondays will take a brief intermission for the fall. So I figured I’d share a few things I learned from LHHATL.

6. Simpin’ Ain’t Easy, Especially When You’re Missing a Neck

Where is Benzino's neck? It's a mystery that not even Encyclopedia Brown can solve.

Where’s Benzino’s neck? It’s even harder to find than Waldo & Carmen Sandiego.

Ironically, for much of Season 2, Benzino actually had some logic intact. He consistently advised his friend Kirk to not mess up or do further damage to his disintegrating marriage to Rasheeda – advice Kirk opted not to heed until it was too late – and, in the last episode, he also warned Stevie J that Joseline was seeking out a legitimate LIFETIME commitment to him.

However, he wasn’t perfect. He was an accomplice in Kirk’s infidelity, inviting the man out to a “getaway in the mountains” (#SuspectimusMaximus) with Bobby Valentino, but some girls eventually showed up. And it appears as though the grandma I wouldn’t hesitate to smash thirty-for-the-past-ten-years-old GMILF Karlie Redd still has his heart. In the last episode, Karlie essentially asked Benzino to become her sponsor as she sought to replace her faulty breast implants. Karlie practically trashed Benzino for most of last season as he was considering proposing to her – over some “single” with “Cash Money” that we still don’t know exists – yet Benzino still took her up on the deal… with a catch of “taking care of him.”

But for the life of me, I can’t understand why he’d opt to pay for breast implants for someone else, when he should have been trying to get a neck implant for himself. Priorities, son. Priorities should always trump the “p.”

5. Kirk Ultimately Won Out the B*tchass N*gga of The Year Award

Patron Saint of B*tchassness. Chef F*ckboiardee.

Patron Saint of B*tchassness. Chef F*ckboiardee.

Unlike Stevie J, who you want to hate but can’t help but like, Rasheeda’s husband Kirk (AKA 3Earringz) was the epitome of b*tchmadeness. This is a man who spent much of last season saying that Rasheeda had to quit doing music and focus on their family if they wanted to make it as a couple; yet this same man this season admonished his wife for getting pregnant. I guess he’s not the Pull Out King Benzino called him after all.

"You do you and I'ma do... someone else I'm not married to."

“You do you and I’ma do… someone else I’m not married to.”

But wait. There’s more. After a tumultuous argument on the set of one of Rasheeda’s photoshoots, during which the two agreed to “Let you do you and I’ma do me,” 3Earringz took that to mean he could step out on his wife without consequence. Which led to his motorcycle getting destroyed joining the aforementioned mountain getaway and “turning up” with some of the women present. It became clear this season that Kirk got married way too soon, before he understood the responsibilities and obligations that come with that. Once Kirk realized Benzino wasn’t giving it up what he had at home was worth more than he got that weekend, he tried to patch things up with Rasheeda. My man brought what looked like leftover Kroger floral department Valentine’s Day balloons as an “I’m Sorry” present, then offered up what had to be one of the worst apologies in the history of n*ggadom mankind. Black men took some serious Ls behind Kirk this season and for once, Light Skin N*ggas couldn’t be blamed.

4. A Switching Up of the Heaux Don’t Stop The Show: Stevie J Is Still in The Driver’s Seat of The Bus

Stevie J_LPG BABY

Not even a Ratface can save you when your “Life Partner Gang” gets a little too crowded

If I’m Stevie J, I’m building off the hype from last season’s “I Am God” t-shirt (Stevie J made it cool before Kanye did, by the way) and getting “Steebie Da Gawd” t-shirts printed and made available for sale online RIGHT now. I mean, this man’s pimp game was impeccable. He managed to keep Joseline’s fiery personality at bay (well, until the finale); still remain relevant in Mimi’s life even though they’re separated (and proceeded to stunt in front of her new man by giving her a new car at her birthday celebration… oh, and he bought her new boobs with Joseline’s money); and “adopt” a new artist in Che’ Mack. Stevie J gets a high off being the provider in these wimmenz’s lives and he plays that role so well. Ratface Nation was always proud.

His only failure? Stevie’s willingness to play Provider With Perks to all the women in his life backfired with his Life Partner Gang shenanigans in the finale. I notice Stevie’s famous shades didn’t come out in the elevator after Joseline hit him with a few love taps to the body and jaw. It’s simply not good form to be proposed to by a woman, accept her proposal in a “ceremony” and then give a ring to another woman in the same ceremony. Which brings me to…

The End of Part One.

I’m sorry. There was simply too much ratchet goodness in Season II for me to fit it all in one post. Part II, “More Things I Learned From LHHATL,” comes later this week.

*Photos Courtesy of VH1.com*