This was posted on Thursday, April 6, 2017 by Rodney Hofirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Raido & TV Talk blog
While some cast members of "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" are felons and studiously uneducated, others are far smarter than the material they've given.
Take Melissa Scott, new to the show this season. She has never stripped. She has not sold drugs. She has no known felony record.
But she enjoys the company of the folks who fit all of the above, the patrons who frequent her bar or use her party buses or attend the parties she promotes. She's a sharp entrepreneur who already knew many of the "Love and Hip Hop" cast and decided to jump onto this ridiculously popular vehicle.
Over the first four episodes this season, she has played intermediary and/or mediator among various players, which is not a bad role to be in because it mostly keeps her out of the direct line of fire. She did annoy Jasmine when she called her "sweetheart" in a condescending fashion after discovering she was in an odd three-some relationship. ("She didn't like that word so I gave her a word she liked even less," Melissa said in an interview.)
But Melissa seems like the last person to get into a fistfight with anybody. She is way too refined to jump into that reality show mud.
Melissa admits being on this show at all is a whirlwind: "I'm thinking, 'What in the world is going on? Am I in the Twilight Zone? I'm in 'Love and Hip Hop!' It's insane just watching the ups and downs of these people and their real emotions. I'm just as emotional as them."
But she has no regrets so far: "I'm having fun being around my friends. Conflict or no conflict, I'm having an amazing time on the show."
The Atlantic Station resident purchased Soul Bar in 2015 after eyeing the 2,500-square-foot space on Auburn Ave. for years. When she heard it was for sale, she grabbed it. "It's a bar but we sell real soul food," she said. "You can get collards, mac and cheese, smothered chicken."
Her favorite night is Monday improv jam session night. "One night I'll see three trombones and a tuba," she said. "Musicians will just jump in. Jill Scott has come by. She hopped up once and did her thing. T-Pain once did a whole show."
The show has used her bar as a place to resolve issues - or at least try to. "In real life, when we have conflict with each other, we'll meet at the bar. It's our resolution process."
Even before she joined the show, she knew Mimi Faust, Rasheeda Frost, Karlie Redd, Joseline Hernandez, Tammy Rivera and Jessica Dime. "I've had falling outs with Mimi and Joseline and Karlie," Melissa said. "If you're a mature friend, we can work through it." While she has remained an intermediary to date, she said she will have conflicts going down the road.
"I don't like bullies," Melissa said. "I don't like when people pick on people they don't know good and well. I don't necessarily like conflict but I can handle it from any perspective. If you pick on a friend of mine, you should totally pick on me."
Joseline has had conflicts with almost every female she's run across on the show but Melissa is okay with her. "We get along amazingly. She's mellow to me. But don't get it twisted. She talks to me the same way as everybody else. It's how you handle it. She's not a bad person. I know where she's coming from. She has a hot mouth. She is quick to shoot, quick to fire. I can handle that."
And she remains friends with both Rasheeda and her cheating husband Kirk. "I love Rasheeda and I love Kirk. Whatever their issues, it's between them. They can figure out whatever it is, whether the relationship is good or not good. They'll figure it out professionally and with love."
"I thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer," she said. In the late 1990s, she became a business analyst and wrote software. She helped create programs to improve electronic bill payment. But her heart was elsewhere. "I made a bunch of money, quit and started throwing parties," she said. "Total 180 degree shift. I went rogue! I went completely rogue."
Her father, she said, owned several nightclubs so she grew up in that environment. She became a popular DJ. "When you can make $90,000 in a night vs. $90,000 in nine months, it's easy to see which is better."
But it's a high-risk situation, too. Eighteen years ago, Melissa said she invested $80,000 in a Young Jeezy concert that bombed. She almost considered going back to a 9-to-5 job. But Kirk Frost of all people gave her a pep talk and she stayed in the party game.
She said she doesn't look down on rappers and hustlers and dancers. "Everybody is smart in their own way," she said. "Some of these people figured out how to be millionaires."
As a party promoter, she kept some of her corporate ties. She helped put together concerts for Microsoft at Centennial Olympic Park, including the Black Eyed Peas.
She now spends most nights at her bar. Tuesday is karaoke, Thursday is girl's night and weekends are "grown and sexy nights." "We generally have older clientele on Mondays and Saturdays," she said. Tuesdays end up with birthday parties and church groups, she said. Her favorite night is Thursday, geared toward lesbians.
"Love and Hip Hop Atlanta," 8 p.m. Mondays, VH1