With New York City as the birthplace of hip hop, it makes sense for the Growing Up Hip Hop (GUHH) franchise to branch out to the Big Apple and catch up with the music genre’s legends and their kids in spin-off reality show Growing Up Hip Hop: NY.
These kids are tired of living in their famous folks’ shadow. They’re determined to make a name for themselves in the cut-throat showbiz industry. Their celebrity parents have one thing in common: they want their kids to get a degree and a normal job. They’ve experienced the price of fame first-hand, like having their personal life splashed across tabloid pages, so they’d like to protect their kids from the spotlight. But their children have already made up their minds and throughout the season they’ll be hard at work, trying to prove that they can be the new faces of hip hop.
Remember the drama on GUHH when Egypt Criss punched Briana Latrice in the face in S5? We all saw musician Bow Wow and his babymama Kiyomi Leslie’s crumbling relationship on Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta. And now there’s plenty of drama in New York. Meet the New York cast:
Brittney and Jeffrey Atkins
Brittney and her brother, Jeffrey Atkins, are the most level-headed of the bunch. She’s just obtained a strategic communication degree, and he is weighing up whether to go to varsity as he’d rather follow in his father Jeffery Sr aka Ja Rule’s footsteps and become a hip hop artist.
Ja Rule is known for his raspy voice, multitude of radio hits in the early 2000s and notorious lyrics like, “I’m paralysing clowns up and down from the waist. Giving [them] facelifts and taking it while making you bleed.” In the first episode, Ja Rule’s kids are against their father planning a music festival following the backlash the family received from the disastrous Fyre Festival flop in 2018, where he was an investor. The organiser, Billy McFarland, scammed Ja Rule and other stockholders out of $26 million. The Fyre Festival drama follows the Atkins kids and they continue catching fire over it in S1.
You’ll recognise Joseph “Jojo” Simmons from MTV’s family reality show Run’s House, which aired from 2005 to 2009. Gone are the days where he’d drive his hip hop icon father Rev Run, from ’80s group Run-D.M.C, up the wall. Rev Run is famously known for typing his diary entries on his BlackBerry while in his bubble bath at the end of each episode of Run’s House.
Jojo is now a family man, engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Tanice Amira. He also launched his own recording company, Whos House Entertainment, where Jojo plans on signing the best hip hop artists in New York. He’s also appeared on GUHH, which stars his sisters, Angela and Vanessa. Look out for episode 7 where Jojo’s record label event goes pear-shaped after a fight breaks out and the police get involved.
Da’Zyna Drayton isn’t a regular celebrity kid. She’s been arrested for battery and at some point, she was homeless. The perfect word to describe her relationship with her musician and television personality father, Flavor Flav, is tumultuous. Flav, whose government name is William Drayton, is famously known for his hilarious dating reality show Flavor Of Love, where he’d wear the most outrageous outfits and his trademark giant clock on a chain around his neck.
Besides getting in a messy love triangle, Da’Zyna is also going to confront her father about their estranged relationship, which has been cut off since she physically attacked him years ago.
Young Dirty Bastard
Barson Unique Jones, who goes by his rapper stage name Young Dirty Bastard (YDB), carries drama wherever he lands. He has 5 kids between 2 babymamas. Two of those kids belong to his now-pregnant girlfriend Angela. But by episode 2, he’ll be having an affair with Da’Zyna.
YDB is the splitting image of his late father, Russell Jones aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who was part of ’90s rap group Wu-Tang Clan. Before his death in 2004, Ol’ Dirty had 13 kids. The apple didn’t fall too far from that tree.
All that Ryan Cartagena wants is to make his actor and musician father, Joseph “Fat Joe”, proud. He spends most of his time managing his father’s sneaker store, or at the recording studio, or daydreaming about castmate Vina Love.
Fat Joe has seen it all in the music industry, like his feud with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in 2004, during which they threatened to kill each other. In 2010, Fat Joe released the song Darkside with the lyrics, “We’re going [to] throw the biggest party when Curtis die.”
Musician Vina Love’s father is famous ’80s DJ David aka Kid Capri. The father and daughter don’t seem to agree on anything, especially not Vina’s revealing stage outfits. Her best moments on GUHH: NY are with her aunt, Madina Malina, hanging out at NYC’s hottest nightclubs.
Unlike many hip hop legends, Kid Capri has a drama-free life and doesn’t want to attract negative attention, so he is bewildered when he learns that his daughter posed half-naked in a photoshoot.
Angie Pearson and JJ Lorenzo
With a father like music producer Irving “Irv Gotti” Lorenzo, Angie Pearson and her brother, JJ, are constantly on their feet. In a few words, Irv is a handful. He is the type of father to encourage his kids to go to the strip club just because. The family is rocked when they discover that JJ has been arrested for drug possession, and the icing on the cake: his father has known all along.
Irv has enough scandals to fill the pages of the Bible, but his biggest is his alleged affair with musician Ashanti Douglas more than 10 years ago, when she was still signed to his record label Murder Inc.
Watch Growing Up Hip Hop: NY S1, Thursdays on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 21:30 or on Catch Up
How to watch Growing Up Hip Hop NY S1 online
Sign up for DStv Now. It’s no extra cost for DStv subscribers! With DStv Now, the same channels you watch on your decoder at home are available for you to stream online, or using the DStv Now app on your phone.