Stevie J Shares Diddy Studio Clip From 'Stevie & Joseline Go Hollywood,' Talks Kanye Joining The Hitmen
Stevie J is a changed man. Despite becoming Love & Hip Hop's resident meme magnet, the veteran producer and reality show star is flipping his image for his upcoming VH1 soiree Stevie J & Joseline Go Hollywood.
Cameras will follow the marquee names as they navigate La La Land, but Stevie insists the focus will be on him being a better man and father to his children.
"The difference [with me on] Stevie J and Joseline show is I’m spending more time with my children and showing my different relationships that I accumulated over the years of being in the entertainment business, sittin’ down with Russell Simmons and sittin’ down with P. Diddy," he tells Billboard over the phone. "You see me in church. You see me being emotional. You get a closer look into my life."
In an exclusive clip from the show, airing Monday (Jan. 25) at 9 p.m. ET, Stevie J reunites with his former Hitmen collaborator Diddy in the studio. Catch the clip and say hello to the new Stevie below.
What would you credit the change in your personality to?
Understanding life more, just growing and wanting to be a better person, wanting to be a better dad, wanting to take full responsibility for everything that I’ve ever done. Wearing it all and straightening it out and not wanting to be looked at as just -- I ain’t a person that doesn’t handle his business at home with his family. I’ve been in the business for a long time. Now, I just want the world to see me as the loving father and the true musician producer and businessman that I am.
How is your relationship with Joseline different than on Love & Hip Hop?
I’d say it’s different because my children are involved now. They look at me with a microscope. They look at Joseline and I and see the dysfunction side of it and I just want to make it better. If it can’t get better, then we just have to put it on hold until it can get better.
Recall your reaction when Diddy hit you up and said let's get back to work in the studio.
It’s definitely time to get back to work. I have been working on Diddy’s project and I have his next single with Ty Dolla $ign called “You Could Be My Lover." Mario Winans, P Diddy, Stevie J, Kanye West and Chucky Thompson -- the Hitmen got together and we plan on taking on 12 different projects. I'm in the studio, finishing off Faith's album with Biggie called The King and I and we’re working on the Kelly Price project and Pusha T project together. It just feels great. Everything comes full circle in life. The Hitmen are about to go and get on these Billboard charts and get like number 1 through 10 again. We’ve done it before. We can do it again.
Last April, Diddy posted a photo announcing that Kanye was the newest member of the Hitmen. How did that come about?
Kanye was always a great producer. I remember when he came into the game with D-Dot Angelettie. He was always like, 'I want to be down with the Hitmen. Cut to Kanye’s a big star on the rap level and a producer level [now] and it seems like when he saw us all in the studio and heard the vibe, he just wanted to be a part of it. It just made me feel excited to know Kanye West would even want to be a part of the Hitmen being that he’s established himself as such a big artist already. It’s just a great feeling to know that we’re all in the studio making classics together -- undeniable classics.
D-Dot mentioned in an interview that Kanye would observe all of you in the studio as a young producer. What do you remember of 'Ye's rookie days?
D-Dot, myself and Chuckie -- we’d be in the studio for like four or five days straight and we see the young Kanye West sittin’ on the corner, bobbin’ his head and he would have this anxious look. Like, 'put me in the game, coach'-type look and to see that transcend into Kanye West doing hits with Jay Z and every other major artist in the world, man, it’s like a dream come true for him and it’s like a dream come true for me to be on the same team as a producer with him.
How long ago was that?
Aw, man, that was 18 years ago. 17 years ago, maybe.
You're also producing a new movie.
I’m working on the first movie that I’m definitely producing or starring in. The name of the movie is That Time of the Month. I got a call last winter and a friend of mine named Paige called me and she’s like, 'Are you interested in producing movies?' I’m like, 'Yeah, of course.' We talked and talked and we worked on a script and it was funny. I just had to put my two cents into the script. It took a long time for us to finally nail the script down but we got it. I’m excited. We started to cast it here in L.A. and we finalized the casting in Atlanta. We start to shoot in a couple of months and I’m super excited.
What kind of vision do you have in mind for this movie?
I’m hoping that the ladies see me in a vulnerable state. It’s super funny, and I just want to be looked at in a different light and be the butt of the joke this time -- I’m not the one that’s doing the joking. I’m being joked on this time. I think the ladies can appreciate it.
You also dropped a PSA on fatherhood.
Absolutely. First of all, I wanted my children to understand where I was coming from with that. We have a great relationship. All of my children love me. I love all my children. I speak to them every day, and I’m close to all of them. When I told them I was gonna do that, they were like, 'Dad, you know you don’t have to do that. We know you’re a great father.' But it’s like no, I haven’t been the best father. Of course, I’m good now, we great now but when my kids were younger, I wasn’t always there for my older children. I was always chasing my dreams and I’d get there when I could. That’s not how you want to be. I want them to understand, especially my sons, when you have children or whenever you decide to have children, you have to be there not sometimes but you have to be present all the time. And the new Stevie J? He’s here. You know what I’m sayin’? And it feels good to have a wonderful relationship to my children 'cause when the show started, me and my daughters were going head to head. There was a point where we didn’t speak for two months.
What's your response to critics who have seen you in Love & Hip Hop that are going into Stevie & Joseline Go Hollywood with pre-set expectations?
I have to look at it like this: I was looked at as the king of ratchet TV for a while. I can’t help where I come from. I can’t help all the things that I’ve seen. I can’t help my lifestyle but I can grow. Everybody deserves to grow. And there’s no time constraint on when a person can elevate themselves. All I know is one of my closest friends is P. Diddy and he has this phrase, 'Man you better stay close to the money.' And there's only a real certain way you can really stay close to the money -- if you elevate yourself, your mind, seriously, mentally and physically. So I’m stayin’ close to the money. I’m growing and I want the corporate sponsors to look at me differently. I want corporate America to look at me different. I want my family and friends to look at me different. I gotta get on that level where my best friend P. Diddy is at.
So more money, less memes.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with memes. Everybody deserves a laugh. Laughter’s great for the soul. There’s gon' be some different type of memes.
Is there a candidate you're standing by in the presidential election?
I mean I might as well run with these candidates. I can’t take any of ‘em seriously, especially that [Donald] Trump. Trump’s a good businessman. But do we want a businessman running America or do we want somebody that can really run America?