Yandy Smith is all about unity and wants to see African Americans families represented in a better light on television and in film. The ‘Love & Hip Hop’ star and businesswoman recently partnered with her good friend, Noel Calloway, to produce a movie called Life, Love, Soul, which addresses all aspects of family life from the African American perspective. Smith and Calloway feature a 17-year-old student who must deal with the effects of his mother suddenly dying and his father taking on the role of sole provider in the film. Through the teen’s experiences the audience witnesses heartbreak and the epidemic of single parent homes that are progressively becoming the norm in the African American community.
Yandy Smith recently sat down with EURweb.com to talk about her film and its hidden messages that call for social change. Check out what the reality star had to say!
About the film and its relevance in today’s society.
“Noel Calloway, the director, and I go way back to high school. We were good friends then. He reached out to me about six years ago to come on board with the project. At that time my career was going crazy and I was all over the place, I was on the road. So I couldn’t get as involved as I wanted to. He sent the script. I read over the script and I absolutely fell in love with it. When I got back in town, I reached back out to him and asked how could I be a part of it. I got involved about two years ago. It’s been an ongoing relationship ever since then. The message of the story hit home and definitely wanted to be a part of it
Anything that shows our Black families in a positive way is always a beautiful story. And I think there are so many conversations that this movie sparks, in reference to family, in reference to fatherless homes, in reference to young people starting their families, I think that this is something that needs to be out there and something that I want to support because there are so many different situations and conversations that movies like this evoke. And even in the wake of Trayvon Martin situation I think this is something that ties right into that.”
Yandy’s take on single motherhood and the importance of fathers.
“Sometimes, we as women, especially women of color, feel we can do it all, we are everything to everyone. But sometimes, I feel like if we can take a step back and think about the role these fathers have on their children, we’ll realize that we do need them. Of course we can do a lot, right now, not by choice, I am a single mother. Now I’m playing the role of mom and dad, however I understand that this does not take away from what his father can do because there are certain conversations I would never be able to have. There are some things that I would never be able to physically show my son just because I’m not a man. Sometimes, some of us single mothers get kind of big headed and want to be able to (say) ‘I did it on my own’ and some of us do a very good job. But I still think that does not take away from what a father brings to the situation, especially for our young men and boys. Even to our young girls, even to our young women. I grew up and I was very close to my father, he wasn’t in the house with us though. But there are so many things that my dad told me growing up that I still take heed to. It was something, conversations that my father needed to have with me. My father was a victim of addiction so that was the main reason he wasn’t in my household, but even with that addiction, there are so many that my father taught me that to this day are very important to me and resonate with me.”
On Mendeecees and his incarceration.
“Mendeecees is still very very involved with me and the children and we’re still together. Right now he is awaiting a bail hearing, an arraignment hearing. He hasn’t gotten any further information yet about anything. So it’s just been a waiting process with that situation. I just feel like when you love someone, you stick by their side no matter what they’re going through, when things are great. You’re there when things are not so great. You should be there for them if you love them. Even if I wanted to go somewhere else or move on, I do love him. So I’m going to support as much as I can and do my very best to get him home to his boys.”
Mendeecees turned himself in for drug trafficking a few months back while the ‘Love & Hip Hop’ cameras were rolling. He and Yandy, along with their sons, were featured on several episodes of the show prior to the confession.
The picture above shows Yandy, who is holding up a Miss Jessie’s baby product, with her son Omere
Photos: Even Photography