Being a celebrity is no easy task. They embody different personas, all the while maintaining who they are at the root of them all. Their triumphs, successes, failures, and personal struggles are placed on a public stage for the world to see. Their unsolicited sacrifice of privacy among other things come with the lifestyle and fame. Whether we download their music, watch them on television, or follow them on social media; they become a part of our daily lives. Sometimes, no matter how much of themselves they share with us, we occasionally forget they are human and the deserve the same privacy and break from the world as we do. They deserve the chance to deal with the good and bad occurrences in their lives without public opinion and to share what they choose to share. Though, what happens when they give us a deeper look inside their lives? When they open their front door and allow us to sit on their couch and kick up our feet? This excites us and makes us feel like we are the distant family or girlfriends we want them to be. I had the opportunity to speak one on one with Rasheeda, star of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta as she gave me the scoop on life as a reality star, what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and mother, and gives us a peek into her newest endeavor; becoming an author.
ON HER MUSIC & THE MUSIC BUSINESS….
Well of course another Rasheeda album is on the table. You know, music is that first boyfriend; it’s something that’s in your heart. One thing about me is I don’t forget what has gotten me where I am and me being Rasheeda the artist and doing my music. I’m so passionate and music has helped me grow into the woman I am and has also opened doors for me to do the things I’m doing now. I’m just a music lover period and it’s not going anywhere, sometimes you just spread your wings and move forward. In addition to my own music, I would like to help other females with their careers. I just went to the shooting of my stepdaughter Kelsy’s new music video and we have been helping her. She is signed to the label and she is young and 21 and is really trying to get her career off the ground and I love helping with that.
Now as far as today’s music, girl today’s hip-hop versus 10 years ago is very different. Back in the day it used to be about real talent and really about the culture and the artistry. Nowadays it’s more so about here today gone tomorrow, when back in the day it wasn’t like that. Hip Hop is extremely young now, it’s all about the young kids and what’s hot right now. The thing that I miss more, that I liked back then was the substance.
Who’s in Rasheeda’s playlist? Drake’s album (More Life), Rick Ross, Future, Solange and of course a little ratchet music.
ON FASHION & HER FASHION BUSINESS….
When it comes to fashion, you know I’ve just been kind of weird all my life to be honest. I just always loved different things. I originally started selling accessories online because I believe accessories makes the outfit. I love clothes when you put on a good outfit honey, and you want to be cute it just changes your whole swag. I don’t follow rules and do me, so fashion was a part of art for me. My own personal style is more the tomboy chic type. I love comfortable style. Comfortable, tomboy chic glam. When it came to Pressed, after having an online store for six years, my goal was to make women feel good, to help boost confidence level of women. To get in the clothes and make them come out of their comfort zone. You learn so much being in a store on how women think of themselves. I often tell people, “Sometimes hangers don’t do clothes justice” and when a customer comes in and you tell them girl this is so cute, you really need to try this on and they put it on and they look good, people will light up and that’s like gratification.
For me, beauty & fashion all go hand in hand. Once Pressed was fully launched, Poiz was created. Who wants to be in a cute outfit and then look crazy in the face? I am a product junkie like most women, I will go into Walgreens to get medicine and come out with lip-gloss, lipstick, eyeliner…. I always like to do things that I like because you have passion for it. Starting the cosmetic line was totally me. I love all our Matte glosses. They are some of the best on the market, and not just me saying it. I get so many customers saying this is the best matte gloss I’ve ever had. It stays on it doesn’t dry your lips out; you don’t hardly ever have to reapply whenever you wear it. If you fall asleep and wake up your lips are still popping!
Who does Rasheeda admire fashion wise? Gwen Stefani, though it doesn’t have to be a celebrity I just love people who take a chance with their style.
ON BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR & RUNNING THE SHOW….
I’ve always been a hustler and before clothing stores, Kirk (my husband) and I owned studios in Atlanta and I used to do investment property. When we started the ImBossy.com website, it was something I always wanted to do and finally did. I had the online store 5-6 years prior to opening a physical store. When we made the move to open a physical store, my first fear was thinking we are in the mall and the mall is opened every day except Christmas and Easter, that’s a whole lot of responsibility. From 10 am to 9pm 6 days a week and 12-6 on Sundays. I was scared on that one, but honestly everything fell into place, but I was thinking are people going to be shopping every day??? Because you will have to make money every day. It sounds stupid but those were my thoughts.
Like most things, when it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s no easy task. All the responsibilities of every aspect of the business. People think oh she just has a store, but they don’t understand a lot comes with that. You know managing employees, and making sure everything is handled and done. It can be difficult because you are also in the customer service business. You must have the right people around, perform the right services for people, you have to deal with customers and you have to hire the right person that is able to deal with people so that you can satisfy people. You know from that end to making sure you are on top of everything from the fashion trends to purchasing clothes, the quantities, managing the stock.
Rasheeda’s advice on becoming an entrepreneur: Be passionate about it, sometimes people see other people doing stuff so they do it and their hearts are not in it. That’s not a good thing. I tell people you need to do what you like and what you are passionate about.
LIFE ON REALITY TV….
The first year of reality TV was very weird, it was different. I was stepping into uncharted territory. I was green to the business totally, my main thing was before doing anything like that knowing I would be on television I set goals, and told myself be true to yourself, and said Lord you put this in my path you have this for me, I know whatever this is or going to be because we didn’t know what the hell Love and Hip Hop Atlanta was going to do. We didn’t know what it was going to be about, we didn’t know it was going to become the phenomenon that it has. I said Lord take me on the journey and protect me and guide me. Although, it is a lot work, it’s not glamorous. Like its’ a lot put into it, it’s a lot of hard work. Sometimes you leave scenes and you feel like you have worked a real deal 9-5 job. You know it can be extremely stressful sometimes especially when you are going through some things, but it is what it is and it’s really a job.
Once it airs and I get to see what everyone else see I sometimes be like, uuuuuggggh, and you think, ok, so this how they ended up cutting that long ass two hours we were sitting there into three minutes? And, you think “really they just did that like that”? So, you know I am watching just like everybody else, like ok how is this going to be perceived, how is this going to be put together? Most people think the biggest misconception of reality television is there is NEVER a script and that’s not true. Now rather people put on extra when the cameras turn on that’s another thing.
This year is a lot different though, it’s not as bad… to me it’s not as bad as last year. We have some newbies who are here and there and whatever else you want to call them. There is actually a lot more bonding amongst some of the ladies. I mean of course you have your drama some of us just don’t mess with each other period, and that you will see. But then you will start to see women coming together and establishing good relationships and putting some of the petty stuff to the side, and saying you know what we are a sisterhood at the end of the day. You will be able to see people growing a little more this season, then last season.
Rasheeda’s thoughts on being on reality TV: Honestly, I feel like this was a path I was meant to be lead down, but it can be very tough sometimes.
ON JUGGLING A TODDLER & TEENAGER….
At first I was like what the hell was I thinking? I couldn’t ask for a better life. My kids are absolutely amazing and yes it was tough trying to do everything. I went through ups and downs having Karter, but it was the best thing that could ever done in my life. Sometimes it’s hard to give 100% to all of them but you must figure out your balance and figure out your way to put in the time that’s needed to make everything work. Of course, you are a wife and a mom and running businesses and you are responsible for other people’s lives as well, and not just your family but people who work for you, and of course being on television and traveling it can be a lot, but what you must do is figure out how to make thing work and be strategic about your timing and putting things to the forefront and some other things may have to fall back on certain days. You have to figure out your schedule and how to work it out, but being a mom is my number one priority. Everything else falls behind family.
ON BEING RASHEEDA IN THE PUBLIC EYE….
Ummmmm, life for me has changed a lot since season 1, drastically. I mean of course the popularity level is at an all-time high, so you can’t move around like you used to back in the day. It doesn’t matter where you go, you know it’s been a lot of growth business wise and being able to expand yourself and do great things which is a positive. At the end of the day I think that when you go into something and you have a plan on what you are trying to accomplish and what you are trying to do, it makes it even better to be able to see that growth. But for the most part it’s a lot and can be really challenging. I don’t have any regrets. I am the type of person who feels like with being on a show as successful as Love and Hip Hop not knowing what I was really getting myself into, I don’t have feelings where I am saying, “I wish I would have never did this show”. I mean it might be a couple of relationships as far as females that I am not going to specifically say that I wish I would’ve never even entertained, but for the most part I look at it like it’s a give and a take.
When you’re out and about and they are like “Rasheeda, Oh My God I’ve been through this and that…” and people emailing you and leaving comments and all this type stuff you be like wow like sometimes you feel like I’m the only person going through this. I get a lot of women who say I help them and inspire them, and help them get through their situations.
Rasheeda’s thoughts on social media negativity: It’s called the BLOCK button, for real become friends with the block button (laughs). For real though, some people don’t have anything else better to do with their time. They are sitting there writing a paragraph on a life that they see a few minutes of and swear they know you and your life and can read and tell you what you need to be doing. I just look at it like this is what happens when you open your life to the world that’s a part of it. Sometimes I get a little annoyed, but for the most part honestly, I ignore it.
FINALLY, ON BECOMING AN AUTHOR….
Taking on the role of an author is a busy one, and trying to stay focused and giving the time to everything that needs to be given time to, to stay going hard making sure everything gets done and nothing falls off, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The purpose behind my book will be to teach, and allow people to learn about situations in life and things that happen and you will be able to take a glimpse into my relationship and see it’s a lot more complex than what television has shown you. But for the most part you will leave with seeds to plant.
I want people to honestly to understand that life is full of struggles and sometimes you make mistakes and with those mistakes, it’s not a bad thing you can learn from those things and turn around and build into something great. Also, what I want people to understand is just being true to yourself and its nothing wrong with sh*t being wrong. Nobody is perfect, your life is your life. Your cards are dealt how they are dealt. How you fly above it is the main thing.
For more Rasheeda, tune in to Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta on VH-1, Monday nights at 8pm cst. or follow her on her many social media outlets.