“VH1 Family Reunion: Love and Hip Hop Edition” is back for its second season and will be picking up from where it last left off, promising to bring viewers Black joy and “week-long gathering full of friendship, foe-ship, secrets, flings, and forgiveness.”
Ahead of the show’s premiere on Monday, Dec. 13, Atlanta Black Star caught up with two of the series cast members, singer Brooke Valentine, and her husband, self-proclaimed “Dr. Black” Marcus Black. The former “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood” stars dished about several topics, including the decision to return to reality television following a significant hiatus and their journey building a family together.
Elsewhere Brooke and Marcus talked about what they’ve been up, including Brooke’s upcoming hair care line and Marcus’ alter-ego “Dr. Black.”
Atlanta Black Star: First, “LHH Hollywood” fans want to know where have Brooke and Marcus been?
Brooke Valentine: “Definitely parenting hard. You know, my daughter’s 2 now. I think the people don’t know, but the last time they saw me, I think the last reunion that we did, I was pregnant, like going into the second trimester, maybe. So now, you know, we well into that thing, we got a total of three now. So I’ve just been parenting, working.
ABS: We’ve seen a lot of families created on reality TV like we’ve seen with Scrappy and Bambie’s relationship. What made you decide to get married and start your family behind the scenes, especially since we saw, you, Brooke plan a surprise wedding for Marcus on the show?
BV: I think that being on TV can be healthy, and I think that taking a break from it can be healthy as well. It can also be a little – you know – being on TV can also be a little rough patch for some people where you need to just give back to yourself. So, you know, and it’s reality TV, you know, but in most of our realities cameras aren’t rolling and you’re not having to deal with every little thing you say over and over again. You know what I mean?
So for me, it wasn’t for me. I’m not judging anybody that decided to shoot while they were pregnant. For me, I have a son, he’s 12, and I know how I was during my first pregnancy. For me, I thought it would be a great idea for me to step back and not film while I was pregnant. No regrets. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed, you know, just having that time to myself but coming back to the camera when we want to just, like, going on the family reunion that you guys are about to watch.
Marcus Black: She explained it well. Yeah. I mean, for us the primary thing was just health, you know, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health. And it was important for us, you know, we wanted her to have a healthy, stress-free pregnancy, you know what I mean? The show comes with so much; watching what Erica [Mena] went through.
ABS: You two are set to appear on VH1’s “Family Reunion.” What about returning to television are you most excited about and what are you most nervous about?
BV: I’m excited about everyone getting the opportunity to see everyone’s transparency. This was a very real season. I feel like everybody left, whatever representative anybody had, they left that at home. Everybody was very transparent, very open. Marcus and I can both say we got to know a lot of the other cast mates better, you know, on a deeper level mental level, co-parenting level. We covered all types of bases as far as conversations. Nothing was — nothing was left uncovered. You know what I mean? So it was really nice to jump in there.
Marcus got a chance to operate at his purpose a lot. And I think that people can expect to just take a roller coaster ride. It’s highs and it’s lows and there’s gonna be arguments and there’s gonna be makeups and breakups and sneaky links and whatever. Bad cooking, good cooking, everything that happens at a family reunion, right? Hamburgers and some drama.
Well, reliving, you know. There were some tears, you know, there was some anger, there was some sentimental moments. When you go through it and then you have to watch it again with the rest of the world. And not only do you have to feel those feelings again, you have to hear what everyone else thinks about it. So I can’t say that it makes me nervous. It does give me a little anxiety. That part of it is like, ‘oh God,’ you know, I know I said this, and I know that’s how I feel, but I’m not too interested in hearing what other people think about that. And I gotta deal with that anyway. ’Cause if you gonna log into Instagram, you gonna see what people [say] or people think, whether you care or not.
MB: I don’t care. I don’t have any nervousness. I don’t have any anxiety. Um, I’m actually most excited for everybody to see the evolution. You know what I mean? It’s not about who you were. It’s about who you are, and it’s about who you want to be and who you’re becoming. And I think it’s important that we don’t force people to be prisoners to who they were and allow people to evolve.
ABS: Brooke, you have had some memorable moments on “LHH Hollywood.” What can we expect from the “Family Reunion”?
BV: Ain’t nothing changed. A friend told me — I didn’t know this — a friend told me there’s YouTube videos of just me and stuff that I said. I’m like, what? It’s crazy. But I’m still the same person. I haven’t switched up. You know, I will say I’m a little more calm, you know, a little.
The last season people saw me on, in particular, it appeared that I was in some people’s business. And you know we toyed around with a messy Brook, but Marcus was there and these people know that they were on my line all the time. Whether cameras was rolling or not, I couldn’t take a shower, wash my face without somebody calling me, talking to me about stuff. And, then the cameras will start rolling. And all of a sudden, you gotta vision. You don’t know what we talking about.
No. You kept me until 4 a.m. talking about this. We gonna talk about this. And let the history show that anything I said when somebody wasn’t there the next time I saw them, I said it to their face. I don’t play them games or I called you or whatever. So, that’s why those same people that I had issues with or whatever, we still talk to this day. It’s respect. It’s love. It’s whatever, because they know.
ABS: Brooke, you received a lot of praise after you dropped a video of you singing Jazmine Sullivan and Ari Lennox’s song “On It.” Can we expect music from you soon?
BV: I was just gonna be cool with, you know, the reels and the TikTok here and there. But the people let me know that they wanted a little bit more for me, and I feel like they deserve it. I haven’t released music in I don’t know how long, and my Spotify listens are still crazy. So, it’s like these people are here, they’re being loyal, Brooke, give them something. So, I will tell you that I have been back in the studio. Marcus got me back in the studio. I’ve been working with Eric Bellinger. I don’t have to say Eric Bellinger is amazing. Yeah, we got a little something something coming.
ABS: Marcus, tell us about your new venture being the “love doctor?” What’s that all about?
MB: It’s really [an] opportunity for me to walk in who I truly am. You know what I’m saying? It’s crazy, because in my group of friends and in my circle, I’ve always been the person that people call on for advice. I started out making videos in my car and just talking about different things, addressing certain things, giving certain advice or whatever, and people start calling me Dr. Black. My following start going crazy. I think the last time I was on “Love & Hip Hop,” I might have had 200,000 followers and my following went up like 400 [thousand] since then.
I went on my IG Story one day and I asked him, “what are y’all following me for?” They were like, “We love Dr. Black. We love asking questions, getting advice, and seeing you with your family.” So I stopped posting other things that I was posting. I start posting more of that, and it went through the roof.
ABS: Are there any updates about your hair care line you can give us?
MB: It’s a family product because she uses it in her hair. We use it in the kids’ hair, and I use it in my head. You know what I’m saying? I got waves and everything.
BV: We all used it. I had — I got it together and it was just a thing. And I — and, like, during the pandemic, I’m like, “OK, why don’t I share what I use?” And you know, I was just so busy and so caught up with life and whatever I was doing that I just didn’t have the time. So the pandemic gave me the time to sit down with a chemist and really perfect it, making sure it’s safe for everybody and it’s organic. It smells nice and it holds up or whatever, you know? So we’re there. We are there right now. I’m working on packaging. And after that it’ll be out.
I just wanna say I got y’all covered, ladies. Babies covered. Hey, I’ll let tell you something. I got your dog covered. Your dog got some hair. I got your dog covered.
“VH1 Family Reunion: Love and Hip Hop Edition” airs every Monday, at 8 p.m. EST only on VH1 and VH1 platforms.
More Stories from Our Partners: