Mona Scott-Young’s ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ Overcomes Backlash

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  • ATLANTA (AP) — Mona Scott-Young used to wake up in cold sweat at night, wondering if she made the right decision to leave her list of high-profile hip-hop clients to branch off and create reality television shows.

    That’s a dilemma the creator of the popular reality series “Love & Hip-Hop” on VH1 doesn’t have to worry about anymore.

    “I was leaving something that I had built for nearly 20 years of my life,” recalled Scott-Young, who was the co-founder of Violator Management with the late Chris Lighty. Their company represented some of music’s top artists from LL Cool J to 50 Cent and Missy Elliot.

    Feeling complacent and unfulfilled, Scott-Young left Violator and started her own film production company, Monami Entertainment.

    The fear was strong, she said, “But it was exhilarating to start over because I had a new lease on life, venturing into territories unknown for me and just starting from scratch.”

    “Love & Hip-Hop,” created with Jim Ackerman, is broken up into two different shows – one based in New York and another in Atlanta. Each show primarily focuses on six women and the supporting cast of men who are connected to the hip-hop industry, following their personal lives and careers.

    The series doesn’t include any big names, but the over-the-top dramatic story lines make it compelling to watch – and also a target of criticism.

    The second season of “L&HH: Atlanta” premieres Monday night on VH1, starring Stevie J, K. Michelle, Lil Scrappy and Rasheeda. It returns after pulling in strong ratings last season with an average of 3.3 million viewers and 4.4 million in the second part of the show’s reunion last year, according to Nielsen.

    The New York version finished its third season last month, pulling in an average of nearly 2 million viewers. Some of the cast members include Yandy Smith, Tahiry Jose and Joe Budden.

    “Mona allowed these women to tell their story, and guys like me to be known,” said Stevie J, a Grammy-winning producer who is a self-proclaimed womanizer caught in a love triangle between longtime girlfriend Mimi Faust and Joseline Hernandez. “Before, people heard of my name but didn’t know what I looked like. I relish the character that I am on television. People are amused by our stories.”

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