Season 3 of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta” premiered last night. One of the highest rated shows on the network; it delivers a heaping dose of “reality” according to some of the most infamous women in the hip hop industry. One such woman, Mimi Faust, is under scrutiny this season after a sex tape she recorded with current boyfriend Nikko Smith leaked back in April. Mimi is former girlfriend to Grammy-winner Stevie J and mother of their daughter Eva.
Many aren’t buying this “leaked” storyline. Particularly because, though Mimi and Nikki refer to this footage as a “sex tape,” the quality of the video leads you to believe otherwise. The perfect lighting and voyeuristic camera angles point to a more deliberate production plan. There is virtually no shadow and the action shots are hardly the work of a tripod- someone’s holding that camera. It’s hard to believe that this tape was leaked by mistake when it looks like it is meant to be seen.
In an era where reality stars get TV and film roles, talk shows, record deals, and even the cover of “Vogue,” remaining relevant is a necessity. There is a laundry list of stars that have parlayed reality show appearances into a career. NeNe Leakes from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is now a bonafide star in her own right. Many forget that TV host Elisabeth Hasselbeck got her start on a little reality show called “Survivor.” Bethenny Frankel got her start on the “Real Housewives” franchise as well. Then there’s Kim Kardashian, who got her start from a sex tape and remains one of the most recognizable faces in pop culture around the world. Relevance is the name of the game. And how do you remain relevant? By getting people talking! Nothing gets people talking more than sex.
The couple stands to reap some serious financial benefits from this tape. Vivid Entertainment has already planned for distribution and the couple is expected to make a boatload of money. The sex tape is also a major story line in this season's episodes.
In the world of reality TV, good publicity is good publicity, bad publicity is good publicity, and no publicity gets you forgotten. Mimi and Nikko knew what they were doing. Let’s hope they at least score a spin-off out of all of this nonsense.