Wednesday, September 28 – Sat down with Romeo Miller, Kristinia DeBarge, Damon “Boogie” Dash, and Egypt Criss to talk about the season two launch of their WEtv hit reality series Growing Up Hip Hop.
With parent’s Master P, Run DMC’s Rev Run, Pepa from Salt N Pepa, Treach of Naughty By Nature, Hip Hop music mogul Damon Dash , James DeBarge of classic R&B group DeBarge, and Jam Master Jay, the legacy to have to maintain is hard enough. Through continued strides and efforts to come out of their parent’s shadows, the sweet lives of the rich and famous’ offspring is as rigorous as it is luxurious in season two as they take their seats at the head of the table of their family empires.
At this super comfy suite in New York City’s Flat Iron District, I jump right into questioning with the question of the day directed at Romeo… was Angela the one who got away?
A little stunned and somewhat at a lost for words, Romeo cleverly turned my question away by directing me to watch the show come October 13th. And even after assuring him of my word to tune in, he still wouldn’t bite, leaving me with no other choice but to tune in.
In addition to finding out the breaking news of Angela’s engagement and pregnancy (Angela Simmons who just welcomed a baby boy), viewers will get a little glimpse of everything this season, all the legal woes between Romeo, his mother and father we saw play out a few months ago on outlets like TMZ and the position he faced in that set of drama; while still honing his role as the boss of No Limit, not being weighed down by his responsibilities, and taking on other roles on shows like FOX’s hit drama series Empire.
And talking to the rest of the cast, we learn about their growth season-to-season as the next generation of Hip Hop, what to expect this time around, and what the pressure to be a leader is really like for them as Hip Hop royalty for failure is not an option.
How has your relationship with your dad, James DeBarge evolved since the previous season to now?
Yeah, I mean, you will definitely be seeing him Second Season. My dad and I have gotten closer which you know I’m happy about, we have a healthier relationship. My dad has his own struggles in his life and I’m trying to be as supportive as I can as his daughter and as his friend too. It’s been tough, I would be lying if I said it’s been easy; you will definitely see some growth there with him and I.
I’m always going to be his little girl, so it’s a touchy subject for me.
Will that play out into your music career?
I wouldn’t say that it really affects my music career. My dad is very supportive of my music career, and my career in general so if he feels like he is taking from that, he will step away. He’s always like, “no, Kristinia, get out and there and do what you need to do.” He never wants to take from that, so he is very supportive.
Anything new we can look forward to from you?
Yes! Actually, I have an EP coming out, October 13th, the night that the show airs. It’s called ‘Peaceful Understandings’, its going to have six songs. Nobody is featured on it this time, but I’m very excited about it. It’s a more mature sound for me; I’m talking about some kind of crazy things on this album so, you gotta go check it out.
I have a new hat-line called ‘Cupid’. I’m really excited about it. I have them new pink and dark gene. It was suppose to be a makeup line but I changed it into a hate line, it’s a lot less expensive.
It will still be a makeup line one day, once I can afford it.
How has your career been going since last season?
It’s been going really great. You see that I’m really working on my music, you see me and my mom, like we have our differences but at the end of the day she loves me and just wants what’s best for me. You’ll see this season.
But I’m working on things with music that I can’t wait until everybody hears, and see’s for themselves they like it because I will definitely be coming out with an EP too, and everything.
Has your mom gotten a handle on her ‘Momzilla’ momager style that you referred her to be last season?
Well, like I said, there are definitely some differences. It is still all getting worked on. But she is always there for me, and I’m open to listen to her and hear what she has to say.
Damon ‘Boogie’ Dash was very much a version of his father as he came appointment ready in a bathrobe with a hoodie underneath. It’s safe to say that he was feeling interview fresh.
Tell us about what you have going on this season?
Well first of all, you just gotta tune in on October 13th. So just make sure you watch.
The things that I have going on well, I have a radio show called BD Radio and it airs on Dash Radio on Tuesdays at 10pm, which is 1 o’clock over here. I’m helping my dad run our companies now; I have my record label…., I might change the name, I don’t know if I’m too fond of it anymore; and then, I’m putting out an album some time during the show, it’s going to be called ‘Too Much Sauce’ or ‘Time Matters’ , which are both relevant to my life. I really do have too much sauce. I’m out here suited and booted.
I just put out two music videos. I actually produced the beat, shot the video and I edited it. I’m like a one-man army.
What else am I doing…oh yeah, this is like the big one, I’m getting into the edible business now; I’m going to have a cookie business. Everyone’s always asking me ‘when are you going to make some weed cookies lol’, doing it now people. Starting in Cali, then Arizona, Vegas, Washington DC, Colorado, I’m hitting all those markets up. Then I’m also doing a game for my mascot for the cookie company.
And wait, I forgot. Damedashstudios.com, subscribe to that, we have our own Netflix. You can see all my stuff on there and everything my dad is doing, whatever projects he is working on.
No Limits over here.
As the prince’s and princess’ of Hip Hop royalty, explain your roles of having to be leaders of tomorrow or today, and the pressure that comes with?
The thing that kids in this generation have to realize is, you have to do what you feel is best for you first, no matter what you are born into. It’s one of those situations where a lot of people feel so much pressure, and its like, what if you want to do this. So if you are always being who you are, you are always representing what you want to represent, then the pressure might be a bit smaller.
The truth is, a lot of people do look at us differently because you know, our last name, our family, pretty iconic. But at the same time, I come from a big family, I see how some of the kids, my brothers and sisters are like, ‘I want to be low key and just be a freaking veterinarian, an astronaut.
So it ones of those things where you always have to follow your heart, because if you don’t that’s when the pressure gets to you.
This is something that I chose to do, this is what I love to do. So I don’t mind that pressure, being on my back. I think it is very important for a lot of kids in this generation, if you want to be a celebrity, if you want come into the entertainment world, you have to realize that you are going to have a lot on your shoulders because people are going to look up to you. It’s one of those I situations where we have a lot of NFL players, a lot of rappers, actors, and a lot of these people don’t even understand that, a lot comes with the territory.
You might as well use that life that you were given.
How can we make the world a better place? With all the killing and violence that’s going on, I think, it’s not about color; it’s about humans, good and bad. And my main thing is, we don’t have to understand each other, we just have to live in peace. Someone reading this, they didn’t grow up like I did, I’m not a white kid from Washington, not a Chinese kid that lives in Asia. I’m me, I’m Romeo, and all I know is the way I grew up. So I just tell kids and challenge people to know that you don’t have understand everything about somebody, just accept that person and be okay living in peace.
I feel like the best thing that you can do is to not think of it as pressure. We just have to do us, be us, be who we are and don’t make reckless decisions, that’s what I believe. I definitely wouldn’t want to tarnish everything that I’ve built up, everything that my parents have built for themselves as legends.
I feel like, as long as I keep being me, keep doing what I need to do and just follow my dreams, I can honestly fulfill this goal. It is scary when you think about it, but what I try best is to not think of it as pressure.
Damon ‘Boogie’ Dash
I’m going to be honest, I don’t mind the pressure; I also don’t really care for other people to put pressure on me, I put pressure on myself. At the end of the day, if I want to be successful, whatever my success will look like, I have to make myself get there. I might hear what other people are saying, and may take it under consideration, but at the end of the day its all about me having the it factor to do what I need to do to be the best at it.
The only pressure I don’t mind is my dad putting pressure on me. He is a really good coach. And I already know that in order to get to the championship, you might get yelled at, you might have to do things that you don’t want to do, but whatever, it helps to get to the championship so. He has really great advice and I take it in every time. And I just try to do it as fast as possible so he doesn’t say that I’m being lazy about it.
He doesn’t actually give me tough love, only when I’m not doing what I’m asked to do. I’ve seen him be really tough, like him on ten, not a lot of people see, and he hasn’t hit ten in a long time, but even his five, is a lot of pressure.
I think I agree with Boogie, I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m my own worst critic, and I don’t need to have anyone put any pressure on me. So I don’t really focus on that. But I think it just makes me better, it makes me a better person and a better version of myself so I’m fine with it.
Some times pressure makes diamonds.
Along with TJ Mizell, and Angela Simmons (who were not present for questioning), the group will also be joined by newcomers Andre King (brother of Swizz Beatz) and Brianna Isaacs (daughter of Kendu Isaacs) this season. Faced with another set of drama and challenges of owning their respective roles as the new faces of their famous Hip Hop family dynasties, some would say, it’s even harder to try to outdo such legendary parents; some would say that having iconic parents is double-the-pressure to be great, and when giving up is not an option, you find the time; you find the strength; you find a way.
Thursday, October 13th on WEtv at 9pm, tune into the next chapter of Growing Up Hip Hop.