During the final episode of “Love & Hip Hop” Season 2, Jim Jones sat across from the show’s executive producer, Mona Scott-Young, and vowed never to return to reality TV again after feeling that after two years of participating in VH1’s hit series all he did was overexpose personal conflicts between his fiancé (Chrissy Lampkin), former manager (Yandy Smith), and mother. While on the show, Jones struggled to contain his emotions and would often throw temper tantrums on camera without necessarily checking all of the facts first. But who is Jim Jones kidding? Even though the show revealed his somewhat irrational behavior, it also served as an incredible marketing tool that revealed the making of a music video, previewed unreleased music, and took us on the road with him as he generated revenue through touring. He was even able to give airtime to his Diplomats crew as Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, and Freekey Zekey all made guest appearances. “Chrissy and Mr. Jones” is considered a spinoff of their previous project with a condensed cast that revolves around the relationship of the main characters.
LOVE IT: The show picks up where “Love and Hip Hop” left off with Jones and Lampkin newly engaged and trying to balance love and a career. Like him or not, Jim Jones always finds a way to be a hot topic in hip-hop. Like Snoop and Busta Rhymes, he is one of the few artists in the game who creates a buzz for himself without necessarily having a hit song on the radio or a new album in stores. People actually care about what he thinks.
Jones does a phenomenal job of using the show as a promotional platform. He takes us inside of his New Jersey residence. He shows off a few of his luxury cars including the white Audi A8L from last season that is now painted charcoal gray and caused quite a rift between he and his fiancé when he first purchased it without her knowledge. Let’s not forget the black Mercedes G550 SUV that she now drives. Every time you see Jones he makes sure that he is wearing a different t-shirt from his Vampire Life clothing line.
In the last season of “Love & Hip Hop” when Jones asked Lampkin to help design clothes for his new brand of Protocol clothing, she not only supported his vision but provided plenty of creative input. This year she wants a stake in the company but Jones believes that her request for 15 percent of ownership is unreasonable. At this point, you begin to root for Lampkin, who now appears to be the underdog that Jones used to be. The battle between loyalty and business will force you to ask your partner or friend about how they would react if placed in the same situation.
HATE IT: Don’t be fooled by the show’s title. Mama Jones and Emily B (who also appeared in “Love & Hip Hop”) have also joined the cast. But the problem is that the conflict that made us tune in to see the previous show isn’t apparent or probably does not exist here. Mama Jones and Chrissy have resolved their past issues and have found a way to tolerate one another. Yandy Smith is truly missed because she was the hustle behind the Jim Jones brand on “Love & Hip Hop,” and as his former manager we saw her grind firsthand when she organized the budget, location, and casting for his music video in less than 48 hours. While the conflict between Smith and Lampkin may have appeared to be a meaningless argument, the issue of whether Jones should have been more loyal to his fiancé or his long-time friend and manager made the show entertaining. There’s just not much to work with here. Emily only appeared in the first episode for a few minutes and there’s no indication from the previews that she will play a prominent role and finally provide more information about her on-again, off-again relationship with Fabolous, or whether she will be a silent sidekick to Lampkin.
When Mama Jones argues with a family member over who owns the rights to her internet smash single, “Psychotic,” it just isn’t enough to keep you coming back every week. It also sounds quite similar to the dispute on another reality show when Kandi Burruss and Kim Zolciak disagreed on how the profits were split after “Tardy for the Party” became a huge hit on iTunes during a season of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Mona Scott-Young is listed as producer of the show but Jones and Lampkin are executive producers and control the overall content and the final edit. This is a great achievement but may not allow them to think outside of the box to give the viewers what they really want. Scott-Young was criticized for putting the couple in too many unpredictable situations that usually led to altercations with other cast members. But are viewers tuning in to see a mild and mature Jim Jones? Without Mona Scott-Young’s Midas touch, viewers may take an occasional glance at what “Chrissy and Mr. Jones” has to offer but they will be eagerly anticipating the return of “Love & Hip Hop” Season 3.