‘You Don’t Work With Rihanna’: Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta Season 1, Episode 2 Recap


Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta is turning out to be a show I really enjoy. In the words of Reginae Carter, rapper Lil Wayne’s oldest daughter, the Atlanta group is “lit”…and dramatic! But that’s to be expected when the cast is young, rich, and carefree.

Shad Moss, aka Bow Wow, is hellbent on reminding y’all that he removed the lil from his name. In one short episode, he’s firing up his “goons”, cursing folks out, and stringing along his daughter’s mother, Joie, with false hopes of getting back together, like most overrated rappers do. He. Is. Typical. And it hurts to watch because it’s unnecessary and played. While I respect him for securing whatever bag he can find to take care of his daughter, Shai, I’m not into the shenanigans he’s serving Joi, who seems to really want to rekindle their relationship.

Co-parents Shad and Joie suffer from a lack of communication. The duo raises their daughter together in Los Angeles, but the allure of the Atlanta lifestyle (and income) has Shad’s attention. Mentors Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat convinced him to move to the south for a few months to finish the next album that he claims will set him up for life. The problem with this decision is that he waited until the day before his 3-month trek to the A to tell Joie he was going at all. Again, typical and played.

Like Shad, Zonnique Pullins, daughter of T.I. and Tiny, also wants us to know that she’s grown. “Nique Nique” scheduled a revealing photo shoot with intentions of shattering the baby girl image her former girl group the OMG Girls gave her. She invited her vocal coach Brandon Barnes and his cousin and fashion stylist Ayana Fite to the photo shoot, which turned out to be a bad idea later on. Brandon’s outspokenness and criticism of Zonnique’s look upset her best friend Reginae, who was there for moral support. The two fake introduced themselves and almost came to blows moments later. For shows like this, that’s a standard formula for good TV, but the problem here was their 9 year age difference.

Reginae, 17, became combative with Brandon, 26, over his negative remarks to Zonnique. In an 180, the vocal coach reminded Reginae to worry about her father’s ill-spoken “Black Lives Matter” statement instead of his relevance to Nique Nique’s career. That’s when all hell broke loose! Before threatening his life and calling her mom to vent, the outspoken teen questioned his client list with the hilarious one-liner, “You don’t work with Rihanna!” Funny enough, this incident between Brandon and Reginae was immature and unnecessary.

And that’s what Ayana told him!

See, Cousin Ayana could foresee this incident escalating, and told Brandon multiple times to “SHUT UP!” If the circumstances were different, she might have gotten physical with one of Brandon’s female agitators. At 25, however, she knows she can’t lay hands on a 17-year-old child. But like most people who find themselves on dramatic television shows, Brandon, son of hip-hop manager Deb Antney, had something to prove and kept going. His only mistake was using Wayne and Toya’s daughter (hell, or anyone’s daughter) to do that!

And that’s what Mama Deb told him!

Listen, Waka Flacka might be the gangster rapper, but Deb is the OG in that family. Mama thrives at the intersections of business, hip hop, Black culture, and street life. So when she told son Brandon, “Get your pencil cause I’m about to take you back to school,” I was here for it. Brandon had a right to defend himself — because let’s be honest, Reginae’s mouth is reckless and out of control. Baby girl is spoiled, entitled and is still in obvious need of her parent’s defense. That aside, Brandon is still a grown man and everyone who could be involved in this potential beef — Wayne and Toya, T.I. and Tiny, Deb and Waka — are all ’bout that life’. In short, Deb doesn’t want any problems but she’s not afraid of them either.

Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta is definitely (and surprisingly) keeping my attention. I’m hoping to learn more about Jermaine Dupri’s daughter Shaniah Mauldin and if Brandon and Zonnique are really a significant match in the next episode. Follow along on social media with hashtag #GUHHATL and catch the replays here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The bLink Marketing Network and Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta. The opinions and text are all mine.

Slay Culture


Slay Culture curates content and experiences for smart and lit Black millennials. Follow us online everywhere at @SlayCulture.