A prerequisite for being around Rashidah is laughing. It’s not that she has ridiculous rules for those who want to be in her presence, it’s just going to naturally happen because the chick is funny. Her candid thoughts–good, bad, indifferent–roll off her tongue without slight hesitation. In her shared dressing room with Tahiry, Rashidah was on a mission to clear up some misconceptions. No she was never an intern, and heartbroken over Mendeecees? Try again. Although she will set the record straight (and as your friend jump in your interview if you’re not keeping it 100 like she did Tahiry) she’s also the chick who makes everyone laugh effortlessly.
VH1: So I have to know…is the weave really $1,000 a bundle?
Rashidah: Wouldn’t you like to know! Wouldn’t you like to know! I’ll leave that for you to wonder. It’s one of those things that you don’t really want to give dialogue for because it ruins it.
VH1: You are the queen of reads. You will read somebody and never raise your voice above a whisper; and you always confront the person directly if there’s an issue. Do you think that is the best thing to do?
Rashidah: Yes, absolutely. I think when you have an issue with someone you should be able to deal with them directly. You shouldn’t have to use a middle man because sometimes they don’t get the point across the way you need to. But it’s a situation where they can’t mess up because it came directly from the horse’s mouth. I looked you directly in the eye and told you myself. There’s no surprises.
VH1: Did you feel like the charity event was the proper time or place to approach Raqi?
Rashidah: I thought it was as appropriate as when I spoke to Yandy at my shoe launch. You have to catch these b—s when you can. You have to see them when you see them. You know what I mean?
VH1: And it doesn’t matter where?
VH1: Why did you feel like you needed to address Yandy about something her man said?
Rashidah: Well, I hadn’t seen him, and I know that they are one. They sleep in the same bed together, they have a child together, and I knew that anything I had to say to him — being that I hadn’t seen him — would get to him the quickest through her. She was just used as a messenger, so to speak.
VH1: Do you have a problem with Yandy?
Rashidah: I have a problem with anybody who disrespects me.
VH1: Okay, so is that a yes or no?
Rashidah: It’s not that I have a problem with her. It’s just I want to treat her the way she treats me.
VH1: Because of Mendecees?
Rashidah: Not just because of him. She had a lot to say in her green screen. I felt like her mouth was very…she had a lot of smart comments. When you have a lot of mouth and a lot of things to say, you just have to be prepared when people have something to say back to you. I give what I get, you know? If she treated me with respect and stayed in her place, then I would give her that, too. But, I’m going to give what I get.
VH1: Are you looking forward to seeing her today to address some of the things she said in her green screen?
Rashidah: I’m not looking forward to seeing her because I already said what I needed to say. It just is what it is.
VH1: Is there anybody you’re not looking forward to seeing?
Rashidah: Not looking forward to seeing? No.
VH1: You don’t care that much?
Rashidah: It’s not that I don’t care. But I don’t harbor a place where I don’t really want to see you. If I see you, it is what it is. It’s like getting up and going to work, you know? You have to do what you have to do. We’re here.
VH1: Do you want to take some time to elaborate on the issue with you and Mendeecees?
Rashidah: I’m going to do that on the show.
VH1: Let’s move on to Raqi. It seems like you didn’t have a legitimate problem with her.
Rashidah: Well, see, what you guys didn’t see is that Raqi and I met prior to the show. We both auditioned to be a radio personality for an on-air show. That was the first time I met her, and within five minutes of meeting her, she’s like, “Oh, you’re that girl that [who] did this. I heard so much about you.” She just came to me with a lot of negativity within the first five minutes without even giving herself a chance to even see who I was. I had a bad taste in my mouth about her from then, and she also told me that she was a stealth h—, so when people tell you who they are, you’re supposed to believe them. You don’t wait until s— hits the fan, and you’re like, “Oh my God.” I can’t act flabbergasted from it. I already know what kind of woman she is. I think that for somebody that has such a negative reputation, I think that it’s kind of awkward that she has the courage to judge other people based on hearsay. You don’t want people to do it to you, why are you doing it to them?
VH1: She’s kind of under the impression that the beef is really about Tahiry not liking her so you don’t like her because Tahiry’s your girl.
Rashidah: Well, I’m going to ride for my girl because we’re friends. She has the same enemies. However, I don’t like you, b—, so it don’t really make it that hard. It’s not like you have such wonderful traits about you that I’m like, “Damn, well T, try to talk to her.” I did try to give her [the benefit of the doubt], but I mean look at her. She’s the common denominator; she has a problem with everyone. She has a lot of self-hate; she’s not happy with herself. So instead of empowering and being a strong woman, she finds faults and flaws in everyone else instead of looking at herself in the mirror. I’m just holding the mirror up for her, that’s all.
VH1: Are you happy that in the last episode, we finally got to hear your side of the story with some of the accusations that have been brought against you? Can you take some time just to clear that up?
Rashidah: Yeah, I was excited to be able to let all the people know that relayed the message that it was over. Because they don’t know — they knew when it happened, but the media isn’t as quick to let people know that you’re found not guilty as they are when yo’’re charged with something. They want to be the bearer of bad news, but they don’t want to relay the updates on things. I was happy to let them know, but I don’t think it really changed people’s outlook on whether they felt it happened or not because people like to carry negativity. So it’s like, yeah, she’s found not guilty, but that don’t mean she didn’t do it. It’s okay though, I’m okay with that. I’ve had the opportunity to speak on it, and to show everybody what happened. That was good enough for me.
VH1: Before the show, what were you doing that put you in the same circles as some of your cast mates?
Rashidah: Well, that’s another thing I want to make a point about later today. Prior to the show I was already relevant enough that the media would update to say that I was arrested for something. You have to be relevant enough to give the blogs an update on your situation. I haven’t seen anybody doing anything related to giving updates on Raqi until she got on Love and Hip Hop. I mean, the only thing she did was interview Cashmere, her dog. If you look on Youtube that’s all; that’s her claim to fame. Her and Cashmere. She wasn’t spinning nowhere. She just got her certificate to learn to work optimals. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’s just trying to figure it out. So don’t be mad at me because I got my situation together. I just think it’s silly.
VH1: Were you doing your shoe line?
Rashidah: I was never an intern. I want to make that clear. I saw that on the internet somewhere. I’ve never been an intern — not that I have a problem with interns. I think that’s a great opportunity. I think interning is a great situation when you’re in college, when you’re getting credits for school, when you’re learning your craft. I didn’t do that. I started working at Bad Boy to fill in for Milly, who went out on maternity leave and then at that time Harp Pierre had a position to be executive assistant, and I applied for that position and got that. Then I worked for Cecille Robertson at Gucci, and then I opened my shoe store.
VH1: How’s your shoe line doing.
Rashidah: It’s going really good. I’m excited about it. The next big event I have is Fashion Week in September. It’s going to be me and my fall collection, and the shoes are doing really, really well.
VH1: And you had the shoe line before the show, right?
Rashidah: No, I launched it during the show. It’s a private label. I launched it 12-12-12. I had a shoe boutique before.
VH1: Will we see your shoes today on the reunion?
Rashidah: Of course. Absolutely.
VH1: How is it working in this industry with the rumors, the blogs, your past?
Rashidah: It’s not about my past. If it was about my past I would be okay with that. It’s about stuff that’s never happened, you know what I mean? I have never in my life ran credit card scams. Where did that come from? I don’t even know. And now it’s just gotten to the point where it’s like, “F— it.” If that’s what y’all think, then whatever. I don’t even care about it anymore. Just watch me work. If that was my past, I would tell y’all about some of my Rykers Island experiences, or you know, what happened when I was at the bank, and what move I made wrong because you can’t spill my s— because I’m going to spill it. But it didn’t happen, so there’s nothing to tell. It’s not hard because I work by myself, and I consider myself to be an entrepreneur and a boss and a business-minded person, so I’m going to always figure out ways to brands and get money outside of this very small-minded little industry that we’re in. And they’re going to follow suit. If you ‘re ringing the bell loud enough they’re going to fall in line.
VH1: You’re both Tahiry and Joe’s friend. How do you feel about their relationship?
Rashidah: I don’t think that it’s anybody’s place to tell somebody what they should do with their life, especially with their love life. Because I think with women we’re going to follow our hearts, and we’re going to do what it is we want to do. So although I don’t necessarily think they’re meant for each other, it’s obvious that they keep coming back into each other’s lives. I don’t want to be that bitter friend that’s telling you, “Girl, leave that n— alone. Leave him alone,” when at some point, I may end up in your situation, and I’ll have a challenge with it.
VH1: Don’t you think as a friend your role is to be honest?
Rashidah: Oh, I’m always honest with her. Always. Even when she doesn’t like it. I’m honest with her, but it’s not my position to try to make her do what I want her to do. I could just kind of tell her my opinion, and then it’s up to her to decide if she wants to listen or not. I don’t want to be that girl that, you know, [is] bashing it in your head, and seeming like a bitter friend. It looks like I’m jealous or mad about it. Why would it matter so much to me that I’m getting myself to a place where I’m arguing with her about it? It’s like, this is my opinion, follow your heart, and do what it is you want to do because I know I would. She couldn’t tell me what to do — I could listen and hear what she has to say, but I’m not going to listen to what she tells me to do. I know that she’s her own woman.
VH1: When she comes to you now, is it kind of like the eye roll, “Girl, I done heard it all before?”
Rashidah: I still listen while rolling my eyes. I’m like, “Really? Could you come with some new s—, please? I want some new problems to talk to you about.” But that problem ain’t going nowhere, so it’s like, listen, it is what it is.
VH1: What kind of advice do you give now?
Rashidah: To focus on her career, but don’t be so focused on it that she can’t open her heart to love because she’s real hard and stuff. So she sometimes shuts down, so I think that she should focus on her business, focus on her goals, continue to be active, but don’t be so close-minded to your love life.
VH1: What do you think about all the drama and beef that’s been on this season, whether it involved you or not?
Rashidah: I think it’s life. I just think it’s camouflaged because we’re on a show, but I think it’s the same things that my girlfriends are going through. When I’m talking to them, they’re having issues with their friends and their boyfriends, it’s life. So, the only difference is that we’re under a magnifying glass, so it seems like a bigger deal than it is. But it’s life. It is what it is.
VH1: Do you regret how you were portrayed on the show?
Rashidah: No, not one single bit, and can you write that in caps lock? I don’t regret anything, at all, whatsoever, about the way I was portrayed because I was myself. It’s not like someone can make you any way that you’re not. I don’t regret anything — either you’re going to deal with me, you’re going to f— with me, or not. If you’re not, and? AND? Write that in caps lock.
VH1: Have you heard the song that both Olivia and…
Rashidah: I love that song! I do.
VH1: Do you have a version you like better?
Rashidah: It’s the same song.
VH1: But two different people singing it.
Rashidah: I’m not going to lie: they both sound good.
VH1: You think so?
Rashidah: I do. I’m not going to front. I don’t like to roll with the masses and say stuff just because everybody else is saying it. They don’t like Erica, so they’re going to say Olivia is better. I’m not going to say that. I’m going to say, listening to the song, they both sound good. I ain’t talking about live in concert now. [But the recorded version] sounds great.
VH1: So you don’t really have a problem with anyone?
Rashidah: I don’t like Mendeecees. I’m not crazy about Yandy. And Raqi knows I think she’s a piece of s—.
VH1: If Yandy wasn’t Mendeecees’ woman, would you still think you’d have a problem with her? Or is it because of that situation?
Rashidah: It’s not that I even have a problem with her. You know what I’m trying to say? It’s just the situation, like for instance, yesterday when she was like, “You’re leaving these women scorned and heartbroken,” I was like, “B—, what the hell are you talking about?” You’re not going to deal with facts; you’re just going to say anything. I don’t f— with b—s like that. Speak facts. Speak real s—. Don’t just say s— because it’s good, like, am I 7’ tall or am I 5’6″ — you’re more about just saying s—, I like to deal with facts. I like to deal with the fact that you know that n— don’t come home at night. You know it, and I know it. I want to deal with that. I don’t want to deal with you being 9’ tall — that’s not a factual thing. That’s frustrating to me. People that just throw stuff out there that’s not valid, it’s not legitimate, you’re just making up stuff. You’re looking for punchlines, is what you’re saying. How can I respect you? You want to be portrayed as a businesswoman, but really what are you doing when the show’s not filming? I don’t see s—. It’s a facade to me.
VH1: So you definitely were not heartbroken over Mendeecees?
Rashidah: What?! Heartbroken? She wants to say, “Oh, you f—d him,” but then she wants to say it was 10 years ago, too. You want to try to expose people, but you want to make sure it doesn’t make your relationship look crazy. You want to make it look like, “Well, he didn’t do this while he was dealing with me, though.” Girl, let’s stop it. Ten years ago and I’m coming up to you now to say something about him mentioning me? Does that make any sense? So you’re not going to deal with facts. So I’m going to handle you like you a b— that doesn’t deal with facts.
VH1: What can we expect from you next season if you return?
Rashidah: You can expect a fabulous next season of my shoe line, you can expect a lot of grind and showing me build my brand. You can expect to watch my wedding unfold.
VH1: You’re engaged? Congrats!
Rashidah: You can be sure to watch my wedding take place. And it’s legitimate, and I know him, and he doesn’t have outside babies, and other relationships, and he’s not using me.
VH1: He’s in the industry?
Rashidah: We work together, yes.
[Photos: Jennine Cusimano]