When Yandy isn’t giving the illest side-eye to the cast Love and Hip Hop she’s running her online magazine Everything Girls Love, a full-time mommy, a manager and holding down her man Mendeecees. There’s been a lot said about Yandy but we bypassed all the gossip and went straight to the source. It’s easy to tell why Yandy’s a fan favorite after chatting with her. She holds no punches with a pinch of class.
VH1: Happy Belated Birthday!
Yandy: Thank you so much! Thank you very much.
VH1: How did you celebrate yesterday?
Yandy: You know what, honestly, I’ve been working so hard. There have been no weekends off because I’ve been booked every Friday, Saturday, Sunday for the past two months. For my birthday I didn’t want to host a party, I didn’t want to go to the office, I didn’t want to pick up a phone call for work. I just wanted to be at home and relax. And that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t leave my house. I didn’t get out my bed until 2 pm. It was a great day.
VH1: Let’s talk about the reunion. You kept it very cute & classy as always. Is it hard to do that sometimes with all the drama?
Yandy: You know what, it really isn’t. It’s hard personally because sometimes I just want to strangle certain people. But when I think about everybody that’s watching, and I think about the young girls, I think about my mom and my dad that I gotta answer to, and I think about Omare that I’m gonna have to answer to, it’s not hard – when you put it in that type of perspective. It’s not hard. Nobody matters to me that much to lose my cool, or hurt my brand. They don’t matter that much.
VH1: Do you prep in any way for reunions?
Yandy: Besides trying to calm your stomach butterflies, no, there’s no way to prep at all. Besides making sure your outfit is right. You never know what they’re gonna throw at you, you never know what somebody’s gonna ask, especially when they act up. They bring up everything – they don’t hold anything back at the reunion shows.
VH1: How are you juggling the baby, your business and being on TV. How do you balance it all?
Yandy: I’m learning everyday. It’s been eight months now and I’m just learning. He comes to the office all the time, he comes to the studio and I started taping something else and he was on set with me. I had my babysitter on set with me a couple days, but I really like to have him around me. As long as it’s safe and it’s a good environment he’ll most likely be with me. I take him everywhere, girl.
VH1: That’s the beauty of working for yourself.
Yandy: Yes, definitely. You know, that’s what I don’t understand. I don’t know how moms that have to be at the office by 8, get on the train, take the bus to the train, come home, cook dinner and then do it all again do it. When I tell you I take my hat off to single mothers, I take my whole entire hat, shoes, I take my whole outfit off for single moms because I don’t I don’t understand how it goes down.
VH1: This season I noticed you were everyone’s counselor because everyone came to you for advice. You’re pretty cool with most of the cast. Was it hard to give unbiased advice since you had relationships and friendships with some of the people they were coming to you to talk about?
Yandy: Yeah it was because with these shows they’re [the cast] going to see it and we’re friends. So, it was just kind of hard to – especially when I’d have to talk to Erica about Rich. That was kind of hard. They don’t really show my relationship with Tahiry on the show, but when I have to talk to Raqi about Tahiry, these are all conversations that we’ve had off-camera as well. And I like Tahiry a lot so trying to help Raqi through how she was feeling, but having to do it on-camera, it was hard because you don’t want to say anything that’s gonna offend anybody yet you wanna keep it real. A lot of times the person you’re talking to – they’re wrong. I had to tell Raqi one day, “Listen, maybe it’s not everybody else that’s the problem if you’re having problems with everybody.” And that was a hard conversation to have with her on-camera because I didn’t want to make her feel bad in front of the world.
VH1: You also gave both Erica and Rich advise about mixing business with pleasure. Do you think there’s a situation of mixing business with pleasure can ever work?
Yandy: I do. I just think with limitations. I would say you should never be a manager of your client because I just feel when you come home – if you’re a manager – what else is there to talk about besides work? Management is so demanding. It’s a 24 hour job. My clients call me whenever, however, how often they want. And when you’re a manager you should be able to come home and that’s home time. It’s not work and manager time.
VH1: Who are you closest to this season?
Yandy: I would say I’m closest with probably Olivia or Raqi, and I’m also getting pretty close with Lore’l now as well. The other girls I met through the show. I didn’t know Tahiry before the show. I didn’t know Jen the Pen, I didn’t know any of them.
VH1: Are you still managing Lore’l?
Yandy: People make mistakes and I feel like she made one. But why would I think not when she’s writing a tell-all book. I don’t even know if she saw anything wrong with it even after I said that to her. Stuff like that can cause unnecessary drama, especially when somebody is joking or playing or it’s an inside joke among friends. Leave it there. You don’t go and try to start stuff, especially when you know I’m not for the drama, ever. That was just inappropriate.
VH1: Winter told us that Mendeecees was disrespectful toward you for telling you to your face he and Rashidah had sex. Do you agree?
Yandy: Absolutely not. Not when we’ve had a conversation about it previously. There were no secrets in that. We had a conversation prior to, and it was said that she got casted for the show because she was saying she dated him in the past. I was like, ’Oh, I don’t know this girl. Who’s this girl you dated?’ He was like, ’Dated? I ain’t date that girl.’ We had just had that conversation and that’s why he joked on camera, like, ’Oh, ya boo? That’s who this is, ya boo.’ And that’s when he was like, “No, Yandy. You already know she’s not my boo.” It was an inside joke between he and I, and Winter who we thought was cool, she just took it out of place.
VH1: How do you feel about Rashidah?
Yandy: You know, honestly, I have no feelings. I really don’t. She’s not someone I know. She’s not someone that I have a relationship with so I have no feelings at all about her.
VH1: Do you think it was appropriate for her to approach you about something your man allegedly said, or do you think she should have taken that up with him?
Yandy: Well, I mean, of course she shouldn’t have, but I’m glad she did because I’d a woman come to me rather than my man any day. Let me handle anything that has to deal with him when there’s a woman involved. So I was fine with that. But we’ve seen each other several times – we’ve seen each other at Christmas parties, we’ve seen each other at barbeques – there are just other times where she could have approached me when the cameras weren’t rolling. To wait and then at your shoe event I would’ve preferred for you to get the publicity about your shoes. But that whole episode was about me. She’s finally not just Tahiry’s friend. You have a scene, make it about your shoes, not about Yandy. I just felt like, ’Damn, what a wasted opportunity.”
VH1: Speaking of Mendeecees, was it hard to show the highs and lows of your relationship?
Yandy: No. It wasn’t hard because we’re all human, and we’ve all been in relationships that you have to fight for and work through, and he was open about him not being the man he needed to be, but I wasn’t always the woman I needed to be for this relationship. It took us time. It took some years to get where we are today and it wasn’t only him. He just was easy to talk about it, moreso than me. It got us to a place that helped us to be stronger. I’m not gonna sit here and say my stuff didn’t stink in the past, or it wasn’t always perfect because it wasn’t.
VH1: People may look at your situation and say, “Yandy comes from a good family with a religious mom, attended college and have been hustling ever since. How does this business savvy chick get with someone like Mendeecees?’
Yandy: With me it was about a connection beyond your accolades, beyond degrees. I fell in love him – I didn’t fall in love with just like he fell in love with me. He didn’t fall in love with the fact that I worked here, I worked there, I had this, I had that, and vice versa. I fell in love with him. We went through several break ups for several months at a time – sometimes a year or so at a time. A lot of it had to do with us getting past the facade, and getting past a lot of the outside influences, and just dealing with each other’s hearts. And once we did that we just fell even more in love.
VH1: How long have you guys been together?
Yandy: Well, it depends on what you mean by “together.” We met seven years ago, but when we met I had a boyfriend. I always knew when I met him it was like love at first sight so we remained friends for two years before we officially became an item. I’ll admit when we first met I had a boyfriend, but I still exchanged numbers and kept in contact and we would talk all the time. I couldn’t really get into a relationship because I had a full blown relationship.
VH1: You’re so honest about the ups and downs.
Yandy: I can’t front like it’s all him because I’ve definitely played my part. He used to be like, “Yandy, when you gonna break up with that man of yours? How long until you break up with that man?” I’ve played my part.
VH1: Rashidah has alluded to your relationship being for the camera or there being some demons from Mendeecees past. Can you elaborate on that?
Yandy: I wish she could tell me what she’s talking about because I don’t know. I don’t know her at all. I don’t know that girl from a can of paint. I heard about her when we started the show. I think that when women see that you’re happy, and you’re in love that’s what they do. People hate for no reason. Trust and believe anything that needed to come up throughout all these years would have, especially with him being on TV. And you know what? To be honest with you they might – even more things might come up that people make up or wanna bring up to discredit what we have, but as long as it’s not affecting me, don’t allow it to affect y’all. Who knows what people gonna bring up about me.
VH1: How’d you get your business sense?
Yandy: I don’t know if it was something that was just embedded in me from childhood to have your money and your business straight, but it’s important to me. It’s important for me to be independent, it’s always been important for me to have my own. Even when I was in college I went to school full-time and I worked full-time. When I was in high school I interned. I got a scholarship from the Gap for college because I interned all four years of high school. It’s just always something that has been important to my mom and my dad to have your own. I seen them do it so it’s only right that I did for myself as well.
VH1: How has this show helped or hurt your business?
Yandy: Oh, it’s been great for my business, hence the reason why I come back. The show is just one of my businesses, but it has expanded my brand tremendously. No one knew who Yandy was as a manager or as a magazine owner. No one knew anything about me. But this show kind of put it out there, so it has helped me to expand in different areas. Now I’m hosting events, I’m speaking at colleges, speaking at high schools and these are all checks that might not have come had I not done the show. The show for me was just kind of a means to an end to get to another place. I think a lot of the reason I don’t get so excited about the comments [from cast members]. At the end of the day this is just another check. It’s not my only check – it’s another check. For some people this is their only check so they gotta pull all the stops, they have to wild out, do crazy outrageous things so they can get another season. I don’t have to. If I don’t have another season of Love and Hip Hop it does not stop anything. It won’t stop the way I live, it won’t stop the car that I drive. It doesn’t stop anything at all from my life. That’s why I pay it no attention.
VH1: Do you think you will come back for another season?
Yandy: I don’t know. It depends on if there’s a role for me, if I can fit in with some of the other people. I don’t know where it’s going.
VH1: Maybe a spin-off for you and Mendeecees.
Yandy: That would be amazing. That would be more up my alley. I would love that. I don’t mind doing the reality TV thing I just want to make sure it’s helping my brand and that it’s not going to hurt it in anyway.
VH1: Tell me about Everything Girls Love. I know that it’s near and dear to your heart.
Yandy: It is. Everything Girls Love is near and dear to my heart. I actually started that company when I got cast for the show. It first started just as an accessories line and people loved the accessory line, but what I noticed was when I put up my contact information I got so many inquiries about, “I’m in a relationship and I wanted to know how you got into the field,” or “I need tax advice.” So I started the magazine because women just need some guidance. So some of my friends were writers for different publications, I called them and we got some other writers to take part in it.
VH1: That’s so dope. What else is going on with you?
Yandy: I have EGL. I also recently became the ambassador for My Extensions hairline. I have my Black Enterprise stuff that I’m doing. I have management of course, that won’t ever go anywhere. And I was mad at the reunion show when they asked me, “So what do you have going on?” I was like, ’Oh, just loving my baby.’ I was like ’Ugh, why did I answer that question like that with all of the things [I have going on].’ I’m shooting another show which I can’t really tell you about yet, but I’m shooting something else.
VH1: Okay, is it with VH1?
Yandy: Oh, no. It’s actually a mini-series. It’s with the movie director that I’ve worked with for Life, Love, Soul. We’re shooting a mini-series that we’re gonna pitch, actually. That’s just been taking a lot of my time right now. There’s a lot going on. I might as well do it all now while I’m young, right?