When loving someone allows for your heart to journey amongst the abyss, we then truly BEcome victimized by time. A period that celebrates the many firsts within our lives and overcomes barriers that are deemed tests of endurance. Ultimately, time heals, determines, and sets a standard for how we internalize decisions for dealing with our truths. In New York City, 24 hours is just not enough and the value of time is displayed within actions, and for Love & Hip Hop New York’s controversial, yet undeniable power couple Yandy Smith and Mendeecees Harris, time is just a testament of their unbreakable bond.
As I sat & conversed with the matriarch of the blended Harris family, I instantly took notice of how fascinated she was of her leading man. Their intense eye contact, cute hand gestures, and constant smiles provided way more insight than into the family that many loyal reality (TV) lovers already feel close to.
Initially, my goal was to garner all the tea and gossip on the new season, from unseen castmate drama & everything leading up to the incarceration of her knight and shining armor. However, in the spirit of their overt passion and their personal interaction, I felt a shift with my interview approach. I BEcame more interested in knowing about their children, business ventures, and how they plan to spend their remaining time together. It’s no secret that the Harris’ holiday season & new year seemed plagued by the news of Mendeecees acceptance of a plea deal that’s slated to keep him away from his BEloved family, so here’s an intimate look at how these two ride or die love birds spent their final Christmas & New Year holidays, & what power moves they’re planning in the midst of their storm.
Dane Young: After receiving Mendeecees’ heartbreaking news, how was Christmas spent last year?
Yandy Smith: We were truly just about family. We didn’t plan any “big shabang”. We did get invited to a bunch of parties, however, we preferred to keep it simple and just BE at home. We did joke about how it would’ve BEen fun to go Christmas Caroling… (as she looks to Mendeecees for confirmation)
Mendeecees: Yeah, at that time I kept saying, “I think we need to get a tree first”.
Dane: Expenses wise, did you guys go all out on gifts for each other and the children?
Mendeecees: I would say our kids are spoiled, they pretty much don’t know the difference. They usually get what they want, so Christmas was a regular day for them.
Yandy: (Chiming in) They are used to that with their dad, but for me, I was asking, “is it your birthday, or did you get an A on your test?”. but dad is just like, okay, let’s go! (laughs)
Mendeecees: For example, 10 year old Lil Mendeecees asked to get his ears pierced and I told him he would still have to wait until he is 14. He then replied, “well at least I tried”.
Dane: Did the Harris’ set any mental and/or physical New Year Resolutions for 2016?
Yandy: People ask me this all the time, however, I never make new year resolutions BEcause I’m constantly trying to reinvent myself and come up with new business ventures. Last year alone, we opened a new recording studio, I wrote a book, and Mendeecees prepped for his new sneaker line coming out. Those were the things I was excited to bring with me in 2016. If there is something I feel is wrong, I always want to change it immediately; it make no sense to watch & wait on the end of the year to seek out & make changes.
Dane: Tell me more about the book and sneaker line.
Yandy: The book is a guide to assist in the branding of one’s company, how to stay relevant and make your presence known. But most importantly, how to separate your personal brand from your business brand. It was available at the end of 2015 and is called The Beauty of Branding in Business. It’s a really big deal for me BEcause it’s really a step-by-step guide based on my personal experiences in the (entertainment) industry.
Dane: What is the most important thing that a brand can have?
Yandy: It’s own identity! Now, BEcause I’m also regarded as a reality star, it was important for me to learn how to separate my business from personal. If I was on the show throwing bottles and taking off wigs, I know my business would have BEen (negatively) affected by my actions.
Dane: Yandy, since you’re also known as a branding guru, were you at all hands on with Mendeecees’ new shoe line?
Yandy: Not at all…
Mendeecees: It was something that fell in my lap, and I was excited about. so I brought it to my wife’s attention to get her thoughts.
Yandy: That was the extent of my participation, lol. He’s like I’m going to come up with the design myself & make the logo myself. He’s really hands on and normally goes with the opposite of what I suggest. For example, for our wedding, I asked him to wear a white suit, but he said no, I’m wearing blue lol.
Dane: So Mendeecees, what can we expect from your shoes?
Mendeecees: It’s a high end sneaker from Italy. Men will BE able to dress it up or down. The company took their time with it and used quality materials. I’m well pleased with the outcome.
Dane: So truthfully, is there really any LOVE in Hip Hop?
Yandy: I think this new season you’re seeing a lot more LOVE and hip hop. In the past seasons, you would think we were the only couple in love. This year, you will of course continue to see that with us, but you will also see an amazing dynamic BEtween newBEes Remy Ma and Papoose. They are definitely like us…
For the FULL story, pick up a copy of our upcoming print issue which releases very soon…