I’ve been a watcher of the Love & Hip Hop franchise for years now. I dedicated real life space to the Hollywood cast, was marginally invested in the New York cast until the past few seasons thanks largely to the shenanigans of one Peter Pankey aka Peter Gunz, and Atlanta has had its fits and starts.
While the show was intended to give us a look-see into the life and times of several has-beens and als0-rans, it has mostly just provided more “is reality TV destroying the Black community” think-piece fodder and ideas for apps to keep track of the number of children Peter has, and with whom. Love & Hip Hop, while entertaining, hasn’t exactly brought much to the table, and could easily be argued that the franchise has actually taken stuff off the table and possibly took the table.
But in the midst of the nincompoopery, every so often, some positive light shines through. For instance, on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, we got to see Lil Fizz take fatherhood by the horns and embrace the role fully (though in the second season he took a nosedive because of his insufferable lameness when dealing with women; he’s still a great dad though) and see the relationship between Omarion and Apryl Jones. Not only did they have loads of common sense, love, and care for one another as they welcomed their son into the world, they also weren’t here for the non-sense. We got to see the relationship between Omarion, his mother, and Apryl play out to positivity though I’m surprised VH1 didn’t find a way to give his mother a show. It became hard not to root for Omarion after the first season of LHHH, which I’m guessing is partially responsible for him having somewhat of a resurgent singing career. I guess that’s how it’s “Post To Be” when you act right on camera.
I’m also guessing Jhene Aiko’s “eating booty like groceries line” helped too.
Similar to the relationship on Hollywood, this past season of LHHNY has brought to us the world of Papoose and Remy Ma. And let me tell you, being on this show might be the best career move Papoose ever made, even better than taking that record $1.5 million advance back in 2005 (it never panned out for young Pap as a rapper).
Amidst the pure, unadulterated fishscale non-sense of this season, Remy and Pap were fun to see. As a slight recap: we got Cisco being a bitchass, Peter Gunz knocking up his wife AND side-chick, but his wife aborts hers and the side-chick decides to keep it, Cardi B who I’m guessing VH1 was banking on being at least 50 percent more interesting than she was, the network trying to convince us that DJ Self is to women in NYC what Steve Hightower was to women in Chicago on The Steve Harvey Show (both fairly unbelievable premises), we got a group of chicks actually called Bad Bitches On Deck who, I guess, don’t realize that “on deck” means they’ll never actually make it, and VH1 further trying to convince us that Yandy and Rah Ali are actually managers you should covet.
This season has pretty much been an entire Sweet Brown “ain’t nobody got time for that” gif on repeat.
On the flipside, Papoose and Remy Ma showed early promise of solid Black love and by season's end there were no dreams deferred. Remy Ma was clearly supposed to be the draw but it turns out that Papoose is the gem: a standup guy and an amazing husband and father. This is a man who seems to know and put his family above all else and is willing to let anybody go who doesn’t get with that program. He’s upfront with problems and issues and is always solution oriented. If there’s a talk that needs to happen, he’s making it happen. Remy wants the wedding of her dreams – they’ve been married for years but got married over the phone when she was serving her bid – and Papoose makes it his mission to make it happen. He’s understanding and all that buttery shit and keeps Remy grounded like a mug.
If you had told me in 2005 that I’d be a fan of Papoose in 2016 and it would have nothing to do with music, I’d think you were crazy. Yet here we are. And I was never a fan of Papoose. He was supposed to bring New York back and failed miserably at it. Probably because his name is Papoose. Now I feel bad for ever clowning him. I'm still not a fan of his music though. The human, though? All in.
It’s to the point that I’d come to bat for dude. On Monday night's season finale, there is a situation at Remy and Pap’s wedding. Apparently the pastor is nowhere to be found and that was Pap’s job. The women are like, YOU HAD ONE JOB.
I was sitting there looking at the television like, “Papoose messed up? No way. Not my man Pap.”
If there’s a mixup or a problem he’s either already solved it or on the mission. Sure as shootin’, when Rah Ali goes to ask Pap what the deal is, Pap is like, it’s good money. He arranged for the pastor who married them over the phone to officiate this ceremony as a surprise. See, I knew my man Pap wouldn’t let us down. And he ESPECIALLY wouldn’t let Remy down on her wedding day of all days.
I was able to sit back and chill after that because I just couldn’t believe that Papoose, of all people, could possibly have messed up considering just HOW on top of everything he seems to be when it comes to his wife and family. See what I mean? I believe in Pap as the ultimate family man. Pap and Remy are like TI and Tiny’s Family Hustle without the manufactured activities and Family Matters style lessons at the end and what not.
Hell, I’d love to see Papoose and Remy Ma get a spinoff show just because I imagine it would be full of situations where Papoose is out here solving problems and making sure Remy doesn’t end up back in jail. But mostly because it would be a show with a relationship that works where both parties work together and listen and all that good relationship stuff. who are also super fun and know how to have a good time. They're like the hood cousins you have who happen to have found the exact right person for one another so even if they're a bit ratchet, they have all the love and you like them together.
And I just might have time for that.