By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Friday, April 1, 2016
This Monday’s season 5 debut of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” which I’ve screened in advance, has a big surprise and a promising set of new cast members.
Nobody major got cut from the cast this season unless you thought Erica Dixon was a big deal. Her ability to carry a story line was always a bit shaky. She’s out. At the same time, Karlie Redd remains and Tammy Rivera returns to the main cast.
A bunch of secondary characters have disappeared but new ones have replaced them.
The stand-up newcomer Karen “KK” King and her two sons were indicted in the brutal beating and kidnapping of Karen’s ex, and Sas’ father, Lyndon Baines Smith in 2012, according to Starcasm. Karen was actually a fugitive for a time, featured on “America’s Most Wanted!”
“They’re feared and respected,” Yung Joc said.
They show up on “Love and Hip Hop” at an event at the Havana Club in Buckhead ostensibly honoring their fallen brother Dolla, shot to death in 2009.
Coming out of prison, KK is a bit like Cookie Lyon on “Empire.” She’s ready to rebuild her empire.
Her early plotline revolves around her son Scrapp DeLeon‘s girlfriend Tammie (who KK likes) and his baby mama Tiara, who she doesn’t.
This is a crazy huge cast of characters. I count 26 who get some level of credit, with seven as regular cast members, 17 recurring and two guest. Regular cast members typically show up every episode. Recurring pop in and out. Guests usually appear just a couple of times.
Clearly, creator Mona Scott-Young loves to throw a lot of people into the mix and sees what shakes out. And it’s worked. The show continues to be VH1’s most popular program.
Returning main cast members:
Joseline and Stevie J. Of course. They are the stars of the show. But they don’t show up in the first episode, still cavorting in Los Angeles for now.
Mimi Faust. Nikko is thankfully gone and she’s got a new squeeze!
Karlie Redd. She opened a clothing shop last season in Atlanta. Now she has a second in Los Angeles. And she’s back trying to get between other people’s business.
Rasheeda. She dabbled in acting and appeared in Fox’s “Rosewood.” And her clothing shop is open.
Returning recurring cast members
Kirk Frost (Rasheeda’s squeeze)
Lil Scrappy. He’s broken up with Bambi and is now flying solo.
Momma Dee. She’s married to Ernest now but not all is paradise.
Jessica Dime. Formerly managed by Mimi, she is now a free agent and survived the cut for a second season.
Yung Joc. Like Scrappy, he’s dumped his lady friend, the incredibly annoying Cheshire Cat smiling Khadiyah Lewis and is single and ready to mingle. No loss there.
Who has been upgraded
Tammy Rivera , a main cast member season three, was downgraded to recurring season four but is back to main again.
Shirleen Harvell, a supporting cast member has been upgraded to recurring.
Lyfe Jennings, season 4 guest, season 5 recurring
Who has been downgraded
Dawn Heflin: downgraded from recurring to guest
Who comes back
K. Michelle (season 1-2, recurring). She’s now a main cast member again but does not appear in the first episode.
Waka Flocka Flame (season 4, recurring) He’s on tour when the season begins.
Who is gone
Erica Dixon (season 1-4, main cast member)
Kalenna Harper (guest, season 1, recurring seasons 3-4)
Tony “T” Vick (recurring seasons 3-4)
Bambi Benson (guest season 2, recurring seasons 3-4)
Nikko London (guest season 2, recurring seasons 3-4)
Margeaux Simms (recurring, season 4)
Ashley Nicole (recurring, season 4)
Khadiyah Lewis (guest season 3, recurring season 4)
Sina Bina (recurring, season 4)
Tiffany Foxx (recurring, season 4)
Pre Madonna (recurring, season 4)
Who is new
D. Smith. Transgender Music Producer, Former Collaborator of Lil Wayne’s. Not introduced in the first episode.
Betty Idol. D. Smith’s sidekick. Also not yet seen in the first episode.
Karen ‘KK’ King, manager and mom of Scrapp DeLeon and Sas, friend of Stevie J. She shows up early in the first episode with her sons at an event honoring a nephew who died young.
Scrapp DeLeon and Sas, members of Da Razkalz Cru
Tommie, girlfriend of Scrapp DeLeon
Tiara, Scrapp’s baby mama
Here’s an extended trailer: