Yandy & Mendeecees talk ‘Love and Hip Hop Secrets Unlocked’
The reality TV show couple are featured on a new VH1 show that brings all the 'LHH' casts together for the first time
When Mona Scott-Young first introduced the world to the Love and Hip Hop franchise back in 2011, no one knew the adventurous, wild ride it would turn out to be.
What started in New York City has expanded to three other locations – Atlanta, Hollywood, and Miami – and in total has filmed over 28 seasons of epic reality TV personalities, moments, and memories. Though COVID-19 has put a temporary hiatus on the entertainment industry that doesn’t stop show biz.
Thus, Love and Hip Hop Secrets Unlocked was born.
Hosted by personality Kendall Kyndall, LHH Secrets Unlocked is a four-part series that will feature the cast members across the franchise all coming together for the first time. Virtually and from their homes, the cast will take a trip down memory lane, play games, answer questions from fans, and reveal secrets behind some notable moments.
The series premiered on Jan. 4 on VH1, and episode two’s special guests were no other than OG fan favorites, Yandy Smith and Mendeecees Harris.
Harris pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in April 2015. That December, he was sent to federal prison to begin his sentence. Sadly, this came just a few months after the couple’s stunning televised wedding special.
After serving four years, last January Harris was released and reunited with his wife and children, Mendeecees Jr, Aasim, Omere and Skylar.
theGrio spoke with the duo before their LHH Secrets Unlocked debut where we discussed how the family is working on finding their ‘new normal’, Yandy’s activism, and what to expect from the rest of this season.
theGrio: How has quarantine life been treating the Harris family?
Yandy Smith: Quarantine has been absolutely insane! Mendeecees came home right before the quarantine, but it’s been house arrest for everyone. Virtual school is insane but they’re figuring it out and killing it. It’s truly been a learning process to becoming acclimated with being together yet not being able to do much. It’s been interesting for sure.
Mendeecees Harris: You know, It was rough in the beginning. I had to learn to adjust being back home especially because both of our lives were taken in different directions soon as we got married. Then there’s being in lockdown with the kids and helping them with virtual school. It’s been all about rebuilding and spending time together.
tG: Lil Mendeecees is 15 now. Whoa! What was it like coming home to a whole teenager?
MH: Crazy, right? He’s in high school now and just been finding his way as his own person. It’s been real trying for me because I’m trying to lead him in the right way and live by example. Teenagers have their own way but they’re always watching. Now, he teases me about being old but we’ll always love each other.
tG: Have you picked up any new quarantine hobbies worth sharing?
MH: I’m just glad to have that downtime to be together and restructure our family. It’s been a lot of watching movies and quality time. Good ol’ family time together, eating dinner. Going back to the basics.
YS: In 2019, I dropped my skin-care line called YELLE. So there’s been a lot of hustling happening at the Harris house, kids included. Since Black Friday, we’ve quadrupled our orders since last year. So, some days our new hobby is work. We wake up, pack orders, and ship orders together. Of course, we pay the kids! (lol)!
tG: Throughout quarantine, we’ve seen you on the front line on a lot of protests especially in regards to Breonna Taylor. What inspired your activism? Will we see any of it on the show?
YS: —I’m a mother to three beautiful boys and two amazing young ladies (one being her foster daughter Infinity), and it’s important for them to understand what’s important. Even if I don’t see true justice or equality during my lifetime, it’s worth the fight. I can’t just sit back and pray, I’m one to always put in the work.
This has been super important to me for some time and I truly believe it’s apart of my calling. I was out there protesting for Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Sandra Bland but 2020 is the most woke we’ve been as a people. Publicly, the world is taking notice of it. We as public figures influence what the people listen to and what they deal with. I hope I influence others to get more involved and put in the work for a better tomorrow.
When asked a similar question by Kyndall during the taping, Yandy addressed fans that believe her activism is strictly for attention and social media followers and likes.
“My goal is to amplify the voices of those marginalized. Why wouldn’t I post on Instagram where I have over 6 million followers?”
Before the episode’s end, Yandy shared with her castmates and the world that “One thing for sure, two things for certain…we don’t look like what we’ve been through,” as she affectionately held her husband’s hand.
Love and Hip Hop Secrets Unlocked airs on VH1 on Mondays at 8 p.m.
Here’s a ‘taste’ of the first episode.
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