“I got my mind on my money and my money, on my mind.” That familiar saying and classic rap lyric told to me, with a cheeky wink, by Master P., years ago. He added: “Financial responsibility and making money grow into an empire, these are things that I’m teaching my children.”
Fast forward. It seems like only yesterday WE tv’s “Growing Up Hip-Hop” premiered but it was actually three years ago, and expectations were high because on paper, following the lives of series regulars, Romeo Miller, Angela Simmons, Vanessa Simmons, Damon “Boogie” Dash, Kristinia DeBarge, Briana Latrise and Egypt Criss looked like a slam-dunk hit.
WE tv’s happy enough with the sturdy ratings and to celebrate Season 3, they recently held an event at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. Joining those festivities were legendary artists Percy “Master P” Miller, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Da Dash, who participated in a panel discussion about the evolution of hip-hop along with series stars Romeo Miller and Angela Simmons who both serve as executive producers and cast members Vanessa Simmons, Damon Dash, Kristinia DeBarge, Briana Latriseand Egypt Criss.
The discussion was moderated by Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts (NMAAHC) and Timothy Anne Burnside, curatorial museum specialist (NMAAHC).
The lively and uplifting discussion focused on the backgrounds and immense contributions of each musical pioneer, and how they have raised their children in the spotlight. When asked how Master P has achieved longevity in the industry, he said “if everyone does things for the love of it, instead of purely chasing money, that’s where you find passion and success.”
Speaking on behalf of the cast, the Simmons sisters said that they’ve all had to work hard to realize their dreams – their parents have been there to guide them along the way, but success isn’t something that can be passed down, it has to be earned. Romeo Miller rounded out the discussion by adding that the series is about the cast’s evolution from being the progeny of hip-hop royalty to building a new legacy of their own.