Private jets, sports cars, fancy mansions, and globetrotting. These are some of the perks that the cast of reality series Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta (returning for your bingeing pleasure in June on 1Magic, DStv 103) and Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta (S4 now airing on 1Magic) are accustomed to. They were either raised by famous parents in the hip hop industry or they’re child stars who made millions of dollars as kids. In their shows, they’re pulling back the curtain and inviting viewers into their glamorous yet complicated lives while they try make a name for themselves in showbiz.

Hard to grow in a shadow

As much as there are advantages to growing up in a wealthy family, there are also downsides. Apart from societal pressure to reach the same level of success as their parents, the cast of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta admit that they aren’t afforded the privacy as any normal person. If they aren’t being followed by paparazzi, the tabloids and blogs are airing their dirty laundry. They are always in the public eye, which isn’t easy. But they’re out to find themselves and step out of their parents’ shadow.

Learning life’s ABCs

Here are five things we learnt from the cast about having famous parents:


The sins of the father

Following musician R Kelly’s arrest, his ex-wife Andrea and their kids are back in Atlanta to start afresh. Andrea wants to distance herself from him, and protect their family from his sexual misconduct charges. While Andrea continues to fight R Kelly in their ongoing child support battle, their daughter Joann, aka Buku Abi, is on a mission to launch her singing career. But she is afraid that people might reject her because of her father’s crimes.

That attitude

Because child stars are used to getting away without being punished, they tend to carry their unruly behaviour into their adult years. The only difference is that now they’re old enough to be held responsible for their rowdy actions. It’s just not cute anymore when they’re sassy. Child-star-turned-actor and musician Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, who’s been in the music business since he was 11, is at a centre of another scandal this season. He is facing battery charges following a physical altercation with his girlfriend, Kiyomi Leslie. He stands to lose custody of his daughter, Shai. And it’s not the first time that 31-year-old Bow Wow has lost his temper. Tabloid website TMZ reported in August 2018 that he lashed out at the producers of the reality show and damaged camera equipment during a rant.


The spotlight life

Sometimes, for people who grew up in the spotlight, fame is like a drug. And once they get a taste of the attention, it’s never enough. Musicians Tammy Rivera and her hubby, Juaquin Malphurs aka Waka Flocka Flame (his mom is publicist Debra Antney, who helped launch careers of A-listers like Nicki Minaj and French Montana), don’t mind having cameras following them around everywhere they go. The couple were on reality show Love And Hip Hop: Atlanta (2013-2018), Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (2014). And now they have their own reality show, Waka & Tammy: What The Flocka, that started airing in the US in March this year.


The world is watching

Picking up the pieces is hard for an ordinary person, but it’s even harder when you have to read about it in the papers. Musician Shawntae “Da Brat” Harris is still struggling to get back on her feet after filing for bankruptcy. It doesn’t help that her reputation is being dragged through the mud all over the internet.


Big shoes to fill, big lies to kill

Because their parents are so respected in their career fields, some of the cast of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta have set unrealistic standards for themselves as they feel the pressure to live up to their parents’ achievements. This season, Debra’s problematic godson Brandon Barnes and their family come to the blows when they discover that he lied about being a firefighter. “It [the lie] got ahead of me. While I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter, it was a defence mechanism to look put together,” admits Brandon.

Watch Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta S3 on Thursdays on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 21:00 

Growing Up Hip Hop S2 starts on Monday 8 June on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 18:00, airing weekdays

Growing Up Hip Hop S2 starts on Monday 22 June on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 18:00, airing weekdays.

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