Harlem’s native and female music mogul Yandy Smith is a true hustla. After graduating from Howard University, she took an internship with Violator Management; which led her to working with artists such as 50 Cent, Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes. Smith, who is currently the president of Monami Entertainment, alongside founder, Mona Scott Young, and manager of Jim Jones. Smith is now ready to show the world she’s more than just Jim Jones’ manager, as she make a transition from behind the camera to the front of the camera as the sixth cast member of Love & Hip Hop 2. VIBE Vixen’s recently caught up with Smith, where she opens up about her career, managing Jim Jones, Love & Hip-Hop 2, her accessories brand and more. Below are some excerpts:
On how she got involved with the music industry?
When I graduated from Howard [University], I thought I was going to get into Entertainment Law, but then I got an internship with Violator Management, just to see what it was all about. I fell in love with hip-hop, as cliché as that sounds, and I opted not to pursue my law degree and go full speed ahead into management.
On how she first met Jim Jones and their business relationship.
I met Jim on a private jet. Russell Simmons was going to Detroit for a hip-hop summit, and I was doctored in. I was an ambassador for Dr. Ben Chavis to help get young people to vote. Jim happened to be the person I was sitting next to on the jet, and we started talking about how he wanted to break into the hip-hop world as far as being an artist goes but he had been managing The Diplomats and he was trying to put an album out. This was right when Pro-Tools just came out, and he was talking about the system and the possible addition of a booth at home. We exchanged information, and I let him know I worked at this managing firm and I let him know I was down to help him. I gave him my number, but I didn’t know that would lead to a call everyday about needing DVDs or help elsewhere. It got to a point where I told him, ‘You’re going to need to pay me, if you want me to do this at my job.’ That’s how the ball really got rolling. I was helping Mona out with the clients at Violator, but I was also doing work for Jim during or after work as well.
Source: Vibe Vixen
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NEXT PAGE: YANDY SMITH SPEAKS ON JOINING LOVE & HIP-HOP AND HER ACCESSORIES BRAND
On getting on-board for the show Love & Hip-Hop 2
Originally, the show came about through an idea I pitched to VH1 called Keeping up with the Joneses about Jim. We shot a pilot for it, and it was great. VH1 wanted to see more, but, after a while, there were issues going on within the camp which didn’t allow for Jim to give what the network wanted. Stack Bundles got killed and Max B got arrested. When you’re taping a show, it’s not just the cameras are on you, you have to be at certain places at certain times to follow-up with various storylines. At that point, Jim had too much going on in his life. I went to Mona for help because I didn’t want to lose the show at VH1. She had another show she was pitching to another network about the women behind the men in hip-hop. So I asked her if she work Jim, Chrissy and Jim’s mother into the mix. She came up with the idea of finding women who were in the hip-hop industry and sprinkle them around Jim so he’s not that overwhelmed and it could be a great show.
On her accessories brand.
Everything Girls Love was started when I found out I got casted for the show. I looked at the ratings, how often it’s played, the viewership, and thought, People lie, but numbers don’t lie. I’m going to start something. I don’t know what it is yet, but this is a commercial platform for whatever I’m starting. I looked around my room and saw all of the accessory trees and jewelry boxes and realized that I was going to do accessories. I had a friend who worked at Saks or Bergdorf Goodman in the accessories department, so I asked for her help and made her my partner. We came up with designs, went to Japan, ordered samples, came back and I loved every single thing! I started doing this three months before the show, and it just kept expanding into loungewear and makeup.
Right now it’s starting out as a jewelry line, but we’re getting back samples of the loungewear and the nail polish now. We’re moving. So why not advertise it once a week, four times a day for 10 weeks? Why not! I’m not putting limitations on anything I do. Today at the taping, they asked me is management the end-all-be-all to everything I do? I said, ‘No.’ I’m not putting limitations at anything at all.
Read the full interview over at Vibe Vixen