Dana Dane and Chubb Rock, and their wives, discuss TV’s portrayal of relationships in the industry.
The heads of reality TV show viewers across the country are probably still reeling from all of the drama that played out during the debut season of VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. According to Nielsen TV ratings, the series captured an audience of an estimated 5.5 million viewers for its season finale in August, yet critics on various social media outlets, blogs, and websites argue that the show is overly scripted, lacks substance and most of all, lacks the components of its own title: love and hip hop.
This series, as well as the preceding two seasons, might lead viewers to conclude that a combination of relationships and life in the music industry could only lead to a chaotic and unhealthy situation, worthy of its own camera crew and a slot during primetime television. Whether you believe that or not, there’s one thing that we surely know from the success of this show: the combination of Love and Hip-Hop has everyone tuned in.
After 25 years together, Chubb Rock and his wife, KeKe, have found that staying grounded is a great foundation for a successful relationship. “She knows this industry,” he says. “She is my manager, life partner, and baby mama. She has my heart.”
KeKe admits that an industry relationship isn’t always easy. “Family, friends, fans, ex’s, and industry people have all tried to destroy our relationship, but have failed. At the end of the day, he’s Richie, I’m KeKe, and we have a beautiful family. We go the hardest for that one purpose.”
Chubb Rock and KeKe understand what it takes to make their relationship prosper. “If you don’t have a solid foundation and trust, a lot of things can get out of control,” she says. They agree that being on the same page contributes to their happiness. He says, “We are both the same. We both are fools. She knows my cheese slipped off my cracker and she still eats that shit!”
Similarly, Dana Dane and his wife, Tana, have found that it takes love, respect, trust, maturity, and a high level of integrity to make industry relationships work. After nine years of dating, the couple recently said their “I Dos” during an elegant, yet energetic ceremony in New Jersey.
“We laugh at and with each other, recognize each other’s faults, and we don’t try to change each other,” Tana says. Dana also added that lots of “cake making” helps to keep the relationship interesting. The couple also admits to watching VH1’s hit series, but feels as though the characters on the show, and the situations those characters often find themselves in, have been sensationalized for television.
For the newlyweds, family takes top priority. Though they wouldn’t shy away from the possibility of a reality TV series themselves, the two have enough to keep them busy for now. Their oldest son, who goes by Young Dane, recently debuted his mix tape, Blood of a King, and they fully support his music career. Their youngest son, Brandon, will be heading off to college in 2013. Dana is also diligently working on tour and lecture dates for The Alumni, a line-up of old school artists that includes Special Ed, Chubb Rock, Kwame, and Monie Love. They also have a web series entitled, Dana Says, Tana Says, that can be found on YouTube.
In addition to working on a new album, Chubb Rock has also become passionate about cinematography and broadcasting. He has a radio show called “Classic Flavors” on WBLS 107.5 in New York. As far as reality TV is concerned, KeKe says she’s not sure if the world is ready for what really goes on in the lives of hip hop legends. “I’m not fighting other industry wives when we hang out. When we get together, it’s all love and support because we know how shady and crazy this business can be.”
— Alicia D. Dervin