“Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” has tackled numerous taboo subjects known for plaguing the African American community. Last week, the series showcased a bisexual male coming out to his high school sweetheart about his sexuality. Heart-wrenching dialogue is something Mona Scott-Young’s franchise series is known for, especially the Hollywood series. Still, the Monday, Oct. 26 episode illustrated what could be at the root of most of the reality show’s issues. At least three storylines centered around issues of fatherhood with the biggest being Lil Fizz of B2k fame struggling to raise his adorable son as a single father. His ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, Moniece “Kali” Slaughter, seems unwilling to accept her responsibility as a mother, especially as Fizz has stepped up to picked up the slack. In the most recent episode, Fizz confronted Moniece’s mother and asked her to pick up the slack for her daughter. He admitted that his mother was a great support system for him, which made him think his ex’s mother should do the same for her. “I think if you truly support your daughter, you should support her through her demise,” he said through tears over dinner with his son’s grandmother. Her mother acknowledged that Moniece’s father hadn’t been around as she was growing up. The sentiment was lost on Fizz that parenthood includes accountability and asking Moniece’s mother to take over for her daughter’s lack of responsibility would be enabling as opposed to responsible parenting.
The second storyline included Milan’s confrontation with his family. “I’ve never had a father and neither have any of you,” he said when trying to explain his inability to deal with his sexual preference honestly. Perhaps one of the most telling conversations a man can have with his mother when trying to explain his immature behavior and confusion.
The last storyline was perhaps the most interesting. Music legend Teddy Riley appeared on the show with his daughter, Nia Riley, who is in an extremely dysfunctional relationship with Soulja Boy. Riley showed up to try to help his daughter see she deserved better than to be constantly cheated on and disrespected. To his dismay his daughter insisted she didn’t want to leave the relationship and felt there was enough positive to stick it out with the young rapper. “I wasn’t the best with your mother,” Riley admitted, suggesting his behavior with his daughter’s mother quite possibly mirrored Soulja Boy’s actions with his daughter. Nia acknowledged she knew about her father’s infidelities.The cycle came full circle as his daughter decided to follow the example set before her and remain hopeful in what appears to be a very hopeless situation. In a subsequent scene she asks Soulja Boy where he sees their relationship in five years or even five months, and his response was dismissive. “I don’t know if I’m even gonna be alive tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t like to jinx myself.”
“Love & Hip Hop” has been referred to as the gutter of reality television. Storylines are known for overbearing mothers, womanizing men, and women fighting for validation through the guise of pulling each other’s weaves, and undergoing cosmetic procedures. With the introduction of a secret DL romance, we see yet another repercussion of a fatherless culture. While we do see young fathers like Omarion and even Fizz attempting to step up to the plate, most of the damage has been done and the characters we see fighting are a direct result of a culture that doesn’t value fatherhood.