On Monday’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Kalenna Harper showed a different side of herself when she had to defend her family and career choices to both Deb Antney and Deb’s daughter-in-law Tammy Rivera.
VH1 chatted with Kalenna about how her meeting with Deb really went down, how she felt about being labeled a “basket case,” and how Tammy got herself involved in the whole situation.
Kalenna, this episode was bonkers. What is going on? You are usually making jokes and keeping things real but last night’s episode?
Kalenna: I know. I’m f—ing emotional you know I’m coming off my postpartum high and that’s really serious. I remember telling [Tony] Vick, I’m not feeling like myself. I feel really weird after [having] the baby and trying to make sense of everything especially the fact that he said he didn’t wanna be my manager anymore. It blew me. I’m going through trying to have a new baby and balance everything and my life has just been in disarray.
When the opportunity to meet up with Deb Antney as a potential manager presented itself, what did you think?
I had just met Deb at an art show and I was like, she seems like a sweet lady so it would probably be cool to sit down with her. I mean she had some valid people up underneath her belt before and people that I work with, you know?
Your meeting took a turn though. Deb seemed to think you were cocky. How did it go down in the room? Why do you think she was so mad?
I asked resume questions based on me taking my career seriously. What I don’t wanna do is confuse the fans and make them feel as if I’m not taking my career seriously. I work every day. I work my knuckles to the bone I’m on Tinashe’s new album. I’m working on Monica’s new album. I have credits on Nicki [Minaj]’s album. I’ve written things with Lady Gaga so I don’t have to explain that to anyone. I don’t gloat about that at all. I don’t even have plaques in my house based on me feeling like I need to work harder than what I did last. I’d rather hang up report cards and my kids accolades rather than mine. I’m very humble in that sense but I wanted her to know: I have a real MDRC [minimum delivery/release commitment], I’m a real top-line writer. I take my business serious and we have to be eye to eye. When you jump in the bed with a manager, you wanna be on the same page. If I seem like a basket case for believing in myself? Being serious and believing and understanding what I was worth got me where I am and I can’t stop that now because I was in the room with Deb Antney. I wasn’t trying to by any means shade Ms. Deb Antney but I was asking her what can you do for my career that I couldn’t really do for myself at this point because I know all of the key players but it’s always good to have somebody representing you. What can you do? Like can you sit down and have the conversations with [CEO of Atlantic Records] Craig Kallman? Can you sit down and make things happen, higher than what Tony has for me? And Tony’s done great things. I remember meeting her son [Waka Flocka] at the height of his career when I was rehearsing for the BET awards so I know what it takes to do what I do. I really wasn’t shading her. I was very confused at why she took me asking resume questions so personal.
So then let’s flash forward: you’re at your club and Tammy walks in and your face was priceless. What did you expect to happen when you saw her walk through those doors?
I was like you know what? What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna wait to see what Tami’s going to say first. I’m a black woman and I could tell you something about black people: we are very conscientious about body language. That’s just what we do, like swaggin’, all of that stuff comes from body language: how we move to our music, how we move to our motions, how we approach somebody. So if we approach somebody like it ain’t no beef and and the first couple things that we’re saying it’s like, “Girl, I just came over here, like this is what I’m saying.” But when I seen Tammy I was like let me just see what she’s going to say but I already knew it was probably going to be a problem by the way she walked up. So as she’s telling me why she’s there. “Yeah, I came to talk to you about the conversation you had with my mother-in-law,” me in my mind is saying, that’s none of your effing business. None of it. None of it. I didn’t take no food off your table. I didn’t take no money out of your pocket. I don’t owe you anything. [Deb and I] didn’t do business together and that’s it. That doesn’t mean that we won’t do business later on in the future. We just weren’t a great fit as manager and artist. That’s it and it’s really nothing personal. I mean if Tammy came to me like, “You know what, K, I was sitting down with Deb and she’s just so stressed out about XYZ. Like, I just wanna make sure she knows you’re a real artist and you’ve been working in this industry a long time. I was telling her so maybe things don’t get blown out of proportion.” I would have been ready and amped to talk to Tammy, about what was going on. You know what I mean? But it was more like she was coming to check me like, “Who are you? What you gone do?” I didn’t feel like I disrespected Deb so now I feel like you come in my place of business though [to disrespect me], right? Whether it’s on TV or nah, it’s still wrong at the end of the day. You come up in here and you making a scene about something that has nothing to do with you. “Tammy” didn’t come out my mouth one time when I was sitting there talking to Deb. I could have sent somebody to talk to Deb if I felt like I was disrespected. Yeah, she called me wack and she called everything that I have trash but that’s not professional.
At this point have you spoken with Deb since that meeting?
I haven’t spoken with Deb. I seen the interview when she called me a basket case and all these different things and I’m just like you know what, I’ll be that. I’ll be that for me fighting for my family, I’ll be a basket case with me fighting and believing in my career. And I’ll be a basket case for me and my husband. Tony and I have been together for 12 years and we’ve been putting everything in one basket for our dreams and holding each other hands. In relationships we go through ups and downs and it’s hard to get advice from somebody who is not married, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know, maybe it was just a big mistake to sit down but I haven’t talked to Deb. I want Deb to know it never was no disrespect. That’s not how I was raised you know.
Find out how things wrap up with Kalenna and Tammy on all new Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Monday at 8/7c.