Season 8 of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta premieres tonight at 8/7 c on VH1. The series is described as following “the lives of the A’s hip-hop elite as they juggle their professional and personal lives, which often intersect and unravel in dramatic, unexpected ways for the whole world to see,” according to the official website.
The series has gone through several changes recently, as Erica Mena, Jessica Dime, and Tommie Lee have all been dropped from the main cast. Tommie Lee was dropped after she was brought up on charges of aggravated assault, child cruelty, and battery in January. Lee, whose real name is Atasha Chizaah Jefferson, later released a statement to TMZ acknowledging her personal struggles.
Several Cast Members Have Been Dropped & Replaced for Season 8
“I’ve been working really hard through my problems considering the challenges that’s been set before me since I’ve been home,” she wrote. “I’ve done all that I can do on my own to shake my habits but I do realize that I need help and I am currently seeking treatment.” Two people have since been promoted to the main cast: Yung Joc, who has been a recurring player going back to season one, and Spice, who has been a semi-regular presence since season 6. In the teaser for the season 8 premiere, Spice talks about colorism and debates whether or not she wants to bleach her skin.
Additions to the supporting cast include hairstylist Shakinah Anderson, who is a good friend of Tameka “Tiny” Harris. Rappers Akbar J and Che Mack are newcomers, with the latter having previously appeared on the series. R&B singer Faith Evans has also been added, given her marriage to Love & Hip Hop cast member Stevie J. During a recent promo video, Stevie J talked about Evans and their special bond.
Shakinah Anderson & Faith Evans Have Been Added to the Season 8 Cast
“I had a plan coming on Love & Hip Hop,” he said. “I had a vision that a lot of people never saw. I put my nuts on the chopping block I came on television with two women. When I got on the show Faith knew what it was already.” He went on to explain that no matter what other people in the cast think of their relationship, they’re happy.
“Mimi responded in comedic fashion, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter about anybody at this point [except us]. I would do it all again the exact same way.” Stevie J has said that he will only be appearing on half of the episodes during the season.