By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Hip-hop gossip turned into real-life drama last night on the series premiere of VH1's "The Gossip Game." The show follows a cast of 7 women who work in NYC and divulge celebrity gossip from different angles in the hip-hop media.
At the top of the so-called "pecking order," are radio personalities Angela Yee of Power 105.1 and K Foxx of Hot 97, in the middle of an ongoing beef between their radio stations. The two get called for a sit down interview, unbeknownst that they'll be doing the interview together, by freelance journalist JasFly.
During the interview, Angela throws shots at Funkmaster Flex, the longtime DJ and patriarch of Hot 97, and says that he should step down as his reign is coming to an end. She also shares that employees of Hot 97 take the rivalry too far and aren't even allowed to socialize or talk about Power 105. K is largely mum during the interview, proving Angela's point, but goes back to Hot 97 to tell Flex what went down.
Flex goes on one of his famous rants against Power 105 and Angela, which is conveniently caught on camera and circulated online. Angela and her coworkers at Power 105 watch the clip and laugh. After snagging an award from The Source for being the #1 radio personalities, they say that the people have spoken and Power is the new king of radio.
We meet Kim Osorio, longtime journalist and E-I-C of The Source. Kim is a veteran in the game, now balancing work and being wife and mom in New Jersey. Her husband, Kino, is also in the music industry as a manager. He's a tough critic and when she tells him she wants to host a roundtable about women's opinions in hip-hop, he replies that men only think about sex and money and don't care about what women think.
Sharon Carpenter of Global Grind is facing similar opposition. The British interviewer says that her good looks are often a hindrance and people don't take her seriously. Her boss and mentor Russell Simmons tries to calm her down (but not before kind of hitting on her.)
Finally, we meet bloggers Ms. Drama and Vivian Billings who are cast as the "underdogs" of the show. The two are still largely green in the game and working to make their mark. Viv talks to Angela about breaking a story about her own cousin, radio personality Star, to get traffic to her site. Initially conflicted, Vivian is then encouraged by Star himself to cast light on his trifling bed hopping. Traffic win!
The episode ends when all the girls meet for an event hosted by Angela Yee. Tension is thick between Ms. Drama and the rest of the cast, especially Viv. Viv claims that Ms. Drama is fake and putting on an industry face in front of her peers. All of a sudden, the fight escalates into yelling and almost gets physical.
First episode down and the battle lines are drawn.