*Grammy-nominated Rapper and Actress, YoYo is making a guest appearance on Wednesday’s episode of Bounce’s “In The Cut,” and we caught up with the hip-hop icon to dish about what fans can expect, and much more!
Created by Bentley Kyle Evans, the comedy series centers on barbershop owner Dorien Wilson as Jay Weaver, a who reunites with the adult son he never knew he had from a fling thirty years ago. Now in it’s sixth season, “In the Cut” has become the most-watched original series premiere in Bounce TV history.
YoYo guests stars in TONIGHT’S episode as Janelle, the sister of Smitty, (John Marshall Jones) and all she could tell us about the plot is that it touches on his gambling debt.
So what was it like being the newbie on set and collaborating with a cast that’s like family?
“Getting on the set, everyone brought me back into a world that I had been away from for a long time, which is television. So I was excited to work with the cast,” YoYo explains in our exclusive interview.
“I was nervous and they were teaching me to go with the flow and it was almost like I was in acting class. The chemistry was just so powerful,” she adds.
“When I got a call from Mr. Evans, I worked with him on Martin, I played Keylolo, and I worked with him as a cameo on The Jamie Foxx Show, so I’ve always been a fan of his work. When I got the call to cameo on In the Cut, I was just excited, because it brought back memories of Keylolo. Kids don’t know me as YoYo they know me as Keylolo. I enjoyed being on the set and getting to see my old friends again in the acting world, which I never really got a chance to dive into, so to get back in it felt good.”
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Last year, YoYo dropped “Out of Control,” her first single in more than 10 years, and admits her motivation for getting back into the hip hop game was going on tour with hip-hop legends Eric B. and Rakim.
“Going on tour with Eric B. and Rakim kinda set it off,” she tells EURweb.com. “I got a call saying, ‘Eric B. and Rakim was going on tour and they want you. Are you available for a Live Nation tour, 38 markets.’ And I said, ‘They want me? Who else is going?’
As it turns out, they rap duo only want her to join them on the road.
“And I’m like, what?,” YoYo says. “And it reignited my love for music all over again.”
She continues, “I perform all the time with the Legends of Hip Hop tour but just a couple of dates here and there. But to constantly do it for three months, everyday I felt like I was growing more feathers on my arms, giving me wings. That’s when I came into that song. After lying to people, saying ‘Oh, yeah, I’m working on something,’ I just decided to get the track, push it, shoot a video for it and promote it. It was almost like me coming out my shell, like butterflying.”
On joining the Love and Hip Hop franchise:
Because I’m so community based, and during those times when I wasn’t doing entertainment, and I was building my foundation and working with the youth, and going out to seminars and talking to the kids and seeing what their influence was, and then coming home and catching a glimpse of these shows, I was always thinking, ‘I need to be on one of those shows.’ It’s almost like reintroducing myself as YoYo and trying to speak to a generation who don’t really know you, only know Keylolo. It was more so diving into a pool of a generation that I need to have an impact on. So I never thought twice. I prayed on it. I’m at the stage where I say yes and let God say no. But don’t get me wrong, I was scared and I did think to myself, ‘What if somebody throws something in my face. What would I do? But everyone respected me. I deal with these types of attitudes and situations and I was waiting to turn up but they respected me and gave me love and I was grateful for that opportunity because now, kids are like ‘Oh my god, YoYo – Love and Hip Hop!’ So now when I walk in a room it’s easier for me to tell them about integrity and the industry because they see it on television.
On YoYo’s School of Hip Hip in South Central LA:
It’s an arts and academics program, started in 2011. I was doing radio and parents were calling me up saying how can my kid learn how to make beats, learn how to write raps and I had an epiphany. I said, ‘Wow, there is no place for kids to do that.’ So I created the YoYo School of Hip Hop. I bring in all of my famous friends to teach and we have kids graduate and come back and teach!
What I’m trying to do is work with these young artists and use a bit of my platform to show them the way. What I’ve learned along my journey is that you have to keep yourself relevant, so music, television — anything I can do to keep my face out there, ‘cause having a brand makes it easier for them to pay attention to you. Celebrities who don’t want to take the leadership role have to realize that they are leaders and role models. These kids are watching. They want to mimic us so my work is out of my house. My house is in the community. That’s where I get my blessings.
Catch YoYo on “In The Cut” airing on Bounce May 27 at 8pm EST and repeating at 11pm.