Love and Hip Hop TV Poster Image

Love and Hip Hop

(i)

 

Reality rap soap puts emphasis on being sexy, aiding men.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights the various struggles of women who choose to live their lives connected to the rap music industry and underscores some of the sexist expectations that define this culture.

Positive role models

Some of the women define themselves according to their husband’s careers; others hide themselves and their children from the spotlight so as not to ruin their partner's womanizing image.

Violence

The women are often shown arguing and/or screaming at their partners or at each other. Bikini-clad women are shown boxing. 

Sex

Lots of references to looking sexy. A rapper advises a cast member to use her looks and sexuality as much as possible to market and promote her music. One cast member has images of her bikini-clad body online.

Language

Words like "ass" are audible, while curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Labels for alcoholic beverages like Llord’s gin are sometimes visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking (champagne, hard liquor, cocktails), which sometimes leads to inappropriate behavior among the women.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- featuring women connected to the rap industry -- sends mixed messages about the relationship between sexism and female empowerment. Cast members use some strong language ("bitch," "ass"; "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped), lots of drinking (champagne, hard liquor), frequent images of scantily dressed women, and lots of references to being sexy.

Kids say

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What's the story?

LOVE AND HIP HOP chronicles the lives of four women connected to the rap music scene. The show focuses on Chrissy Lampkin, the girlfriend of rapper Jim Jones; Emily Bustamente, the stylist and behind-the-scenes girlfriend of rapper Fabolous; singer and former 50 Cent G-Unit member Olivia Longott; and model and up-and-coming rap artist Somaya Reece. Occasionally joining the group is R&B singer Mashonda Tifrere. Together they attempt to cope with the challenges they face living in the rap music world, which include being unable to get their rap artist partners to commit to them and struggling to make their own mark in the rap industry.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This docudrama attempts to show the flip side of the luxurious, high profile world of rap by featuring women who are struggling to build the careers and secure the relationships they want in a male-dominated industry that markets womanizing bachelorhood and female objectification. Unfortunately, the significance of this message gets lost in the endless catty arguments and trashy behavior exhibited by some of the cast.

The women featured here are choosing to be part of the rapper lifestyle, but some don’t appear to be very happy with these choices. Meanwhile, the fact that some of them are defining themselves and their lives according to the needs and goals of their rapping romantic partners and business associates makes them less than ideal role models for young women. It's hard to figure out exactly what it is that you're supposed to take away from this series, but ultimately, the message it sends to women isn’t very empowering.

Families can talk about...

  • Parents can talk about rap music. What's the history of rap music and the culture that surrounds it? Talk about the messages that rap music and hip-hop culture promote -- both the good and the bad. 

  • Talk about the women in this show. How do they fit into hip-hop culture? How are women typically talked about in rap music and/or rap music videos? Why? Does this kind of music perpetuate specific stereotypes about the African-American community?

TV details

Premiere date:March 6, 2011
Cast:Chrissy Lampkin, Emily Bustamente, Olivia Longott
Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Love and Hip Hop was written by

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Quality

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Educator and Parent Written bycourageousmom February 1, 2012

A Show That Reinforces Negative Stereotypes of Women

Do NOT let your kids watch this! It reinforces negative stereotypes of women - that they're catty, overly emotional, competitive over petty matters, concerned mainly with beauty and fashion and obsessed about getting or keeping a man. The women constantly use vulgar language, dress provocatively, and engage in physical fights. They have no idea how to respect themselves or others. It's truly a shame that these women chose to behave in such a ridiculous and self-deprecating manner just for ratings. The only reason to watch this show is to know how NOT to behave.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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