Courtesy of Black Enterprise
Since her resurgence in 2010 with VH1’s hit “Love & Hip Hop,” Mona Scott-Young has reigned as an entrepreneur and hip hop mogul. The show, which featured emotionally unpredictable and unstable cast members wandering through New York’s hip hop scene, sought to shed light on an industry that was unfamiliar to the masses. The weekly series has since expanded Mona’s empire to additional properties such as “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and her newest addition, VH1’s “The Gossip Game.”
Like any other entrepreneur, she has faced trials (the loss of her former Violator business partner Chris Lighty) and triumphs (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta soaring as one of the top rated reality television shows in history). The hip hop mogul also recently expanded into the consumer products industry with her flavored “MYX Moscato,” as well as preparing for her upcoming reality show on BRAVO.
In this exclusive BlackEnterprise.com interview, Scott-Young gets “real” about the negative criticism that she’s received on her portrayal of African Americans on television, challenges that she’s faced as a businesswoman in the music industry, how she manages work-life balance, and her new VH1 series “The Gossip Game.”
BlackEnterprise.com: Tell us about your journey. What made you decide to transition from the music industry to television?
It was a desire for personal growth. I’ve always wanted to move into television. I did a show several years ago on UPN with Missy Elliott called ‘Road to Stardom.’ I loved the process. I love having an idea, rolling up my sleeves and bringing all the elements together and then seeing it on screen. When I transitioned to Monami Entertainment (her company), I always aspired to really get my wheels and dig my heels into television. Love and Hip Hop happened to be a big one. It resonated and connected with the audience and it took off and I’ve continued to develop shows. That for me was a personal passion but also part of the business model that I wanted for Monami.