Joe Budden, Olivia Reveal Ups and Downs of ‘Love & Hip Hop’ – Exclusive
It’s been said that VH1's 'Love & Hip Hop' franchise lacks both. Fortunately, the new season, which airs tonight, shouldn’t be missing either element. Joe Budden, a reality show virgin, will be popping his cherry alongside his girlfriend Kaylin Garcia -- and his ex Tahiry -- on the popular series. “I’m starting to get that it comes off awkward to people,” he tells TheDrop.fm with a laugh. “But why? See, let’s get into that. It shouldn’t be odd.”
“If you’re honest in your dealings, which I am,” he continues, “Like, I’m not trying to f--- Tahiry every other week -- that part of our relationship is over with -- so there’s nothing to be hidden. There’s no beef. Kaylin and Tahiry have no prior history so I mean there’s no tension in their relationship. There’s really no tension anywhere maybe aside from within me and Tahiry’s relationship and we try and work on that daily.”
Singer Olivia is a veteran on the show and is known to be staunch about re-establishing her place in the music industry -- a position not often appreciated on reality TV. She says that she had to be cajoled into returning for the newest season.
“It’s always Rich [her manager] that talks me into doing it,” she reveals, chuckling, “Every season. Obviously, they reach out to you if they want you, so it’s a good thing that they wanted me to come back. But it’s up to you to make the decision about whether you want to do it or not.”
Olivia may not welcome her love life being dissected and put on display for the world to see but Budden isn’t shrinking away from any of it.
“I love it! I’m totally built for this s---,” exclaims the Slaughterhouse emcee. “I love everything about it. Meeting new people, weird scenarios… I just love life happening. My music is 100 percent transparent. It’s been that way. I’ve tried to be as transparent as I can be since my debut album in 2003. So the television aspect is really the same thing just through a different outlet.”
The E1 signee did, however, need a bit of convincing to sign on for season three of 'Love & Hip Hop.' After firing the manager who initially nixed the idea on his behalf, 'Love & Hip Hop' creator Mona Scott-Young made a house call and talked him into it. ”I didn’t know what they wanted from me exactly,” he explains. “Like, I wasn’t doing the Stevie J bulls--- [from 'Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta']. I just wanted to let them know the person they were getting and that I wouldn’t be doing it for no bulls--- money either.”
There’s bound to be some drama throughout the season, but of course, neither cast member can speak on what will unfold. When asked about what part she plays in any mix-ups, Olivia says quickly, “I’m never in any drama, don’t you see me? I’m always carefree.”
“People fight over the stupidest things,” she continues, “Like, ‘What are we talking about? Unless you have anything important to say to me I’m not going to give you a response because then we both look like idiots.’”
Budden says he has a strategy in how to handle reality hiccups. “I let them [the producers] know all the time, ‘Y’all can’t catch a real n---- like me,” he quips. “I see that s--- coming from a mile away. But it gets funny for me because when you love people and care about other people and they’re kinda in the mix, it forces you to be in the mix although you saw the mix coming from like, blocks away. I’m anxious to be watching it with the rest of the world.”
This reality stint could be the beginning of Hollywood Joe. “Whatever’s in store, I welcome it with open arms,” the New Jersey native shares. “Hopefully, I can move out to L.A. and take some acting classes and get a couple gigs. But, yeah, this is a transitional period for me.”
Olivia has been working with an acting coach for three years and says that there are definitely some roles in the pipeline after this season airs.
For now, both artists have music on deck. Budden’s third studio LP, 'No Love Lost,' is slated for a Feb. 5 release. Olivia’s newest single will arrive in the following weeks. “The fact that you don’t get to pick and choose what comes on the show, that’s what’s more scary," Olivia starts. "Because you don’t know what they’re gonna use. I really wanna be all about the music but obviously you can’t do that on reality TV.”
Watch Season Three of 'Love & Hip Hop' tonight at 8 p.m. on VH1.
Watch 'Love & Hip Hop' Super Trailer