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

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Even though “L&HH” has drawn millions of viewers, it has been under fire. Some petitioned for the show’s cancellation, saying it depicted African-American women in a negative light. Some also criticized the series for its frequent fights and focusing on the drama more than the music.

“I wish people would stop pointing the finger,” said Hernandez, who has taken the brunt of the criticism for her vulgar words exchanged and fights with others. She’s a former exotic dancer turned aspiring Latin rapper who was discovered by Stevie J.

“I know that I’m a good person, and I know where my heart is,” Hernandez continued. “I know that I’m talented and I’m a bad (expletive), so I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. We’re here to stay. People who criticize wish they were doing what we are doing.”

Scott-Young said she is taking the backlash to the show in stride, saying the positive responses from her music industry friends such as Diddy and LL Cool J gave her confidence to push forward. She said she welcomes the constructive criticism and is looking to minimize the violence in the series, but realizes the drama is what pulls in viewers.

Besides, the extra exposure is what Scott-Young and cast members are striving to capture. The show is a platform for established and up-and-coming artists to take their popularity to the next level.

The show has certainly benefited K. Michelle, a singer who didn’t have a record deal in the first season of “L&HH: Atlanta.” Now, she is signed to Warner Bros. Records and expects to release an album this summer.

“It gave people the awareness about my music,” said K. Michelle. “It gave people the opportunity to see me. Music that was out two years prior, they went back like it was brand new.”

Scott-Young hopes she can find more compelling stories like K. Michelle, Hernandez and Stevie J. She’s looking to expand the “Love & Hip-Hop” series to either Chicago, Houston, New Orleans or Miami.

“Hip-hop is global, it’s international,” said Scott-Young, who is also executive producing VH1’s “Gossip Game” and Bravo’s upcoming reality show “Taking Atlanta.” “I think the franchise is limitless. I’m here as long as they want me here.”

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