‘Sisterhood of Hip Hop’ Season 1, Episode 6 Recap: Siya Tries a Dress, Diamond Handles Tabloids & Nyemiah Supreme Goes Too Far
The three-episode rule requires you to stick with a new series until the third episode before you decide if it's worth watching. It's a fallible guide in many cases; series like 'Parks and Recreation' and 'The Wire' didn't hit their strides until later episodes. But you can argue that this does work for reality series as you're stuck with the same group of characters going through repeatedly, easily avoidable interpersonal strife. Shock and audience reaction are the goals here, not artistic progression.
'Sisterhood of Hip-Hop' is a special case as episode six is its best yet. This is where you start if you're trying to convince someone to watch. The immediately tweetable moments are there in numbers, but what keeps the attention is the slight unpredictability of it all. None of it is over-the-top either. There's a very basic cosmic rule guiding the episode: Every action has a consequence. That hits here as the lines blur between the personal and public.
And thank goodness for it, because that saves the Diamond/Soulja Boy plotline from last episode. What could've been an exercise in television romance indulgences turns into a painfully obvious, but humorously presented lesson: The streets is watching. Tabloids immediately and falsely pick up that the two are in a relationship.
From there, the rapper turns herself into the episode's star by turning into Diamond the Professional. She disregards the "New Diamond" cliche, takes responsibility and gets s--- done. Her chagrined "back to square one" comment about the tabloid situation that had the tonal acceptance of "should've seen this coming" rather than stunned disappointment marks the switch from what seemed like an unused 'Eve' storyline (the rapper makes an appearance). Diamond hits 'The Breakfast Club,' takes the rough questions and manages to kill the relationship rumors while still throwing shots at Scrappy. Soulja Boy is richer and fresher than Scrappy, according to Diamond, but she's still in charge.
While Diamond's was the most surprising storyline, Siya's story was the most tightly packed for this episode. In this one, she tries to get her groove back. This is also the one where the rhymer tries on a dress. That's not the climax, but the awkward sight is a representation of the dissonance between her ongoing storylines: Her stagnant career, Tank's abilities and autonomy vs. compromise.
"Every action has a consequence" isn't a cautionary lesson; it's also motivation. Things happen only when conditions change. Here it's Siya's image, and Tank argues that it needs some tinkering. There may be a point where she'll truly have to compromise who she is for mainstream appeal.
But here, she finally wins. It turns out Tank wants Siya to spiffy up rather than go full feminine; he's on the same page with her. "You know I was tight," she says in a phone call with Tank following the failed dress-up. And he does know. Their talk is a reminder that their relationship is one of the quieter charms of the series with the mix of career tensions and endearing wisecrack. Irv Gotti also gets his kudos for his appearance and his advice to Siya: Tupac started by himself; she can do the same. It's a wonder how Gotti knew what to say, but the twinkle in Siya's eye shows that's all she needed to hear.
Nyemiah Supreme's story here is the weaker one. It's more of an episodic, look-at-what-mess-she-got-into-this-week situation compared to the other continuing plotlines. But she works as an antithesis to Diamond's candid form of media relations and Siya's refusal to compromise. Siya is a rough cog in the media clockwork, but she is a functional cog nonetheless. Nyemiah Supreme isn't. The 'Sisterhood' friendships are optional, but talking to bloggers aren't. Not only does Supreme refuse them, she's also unnecessarily jagged toward journalist Kathy Iandoli's questions about her personal life (a situation that gets drawn out a bit thanks to Iandoli's unflinching demeanor). Supreme has to play the game here and it's one she has to conform to.
Diamond and Siya have it pretty good this episode. 'Sisterhood of Hip Hop' hinges on struggle, though, and the episode preview reminds us that a girl's got issues. And do remember, there are a couple of altercations from the season preview we haven't gotten through yet.
- Rashida, Supreme's cousin, is a great supporter. Terrible yes (wo)man, though. She argues with Supreme's manager that Beyonce, Jay Z and Kanye West don't usually do interviews. Jay Z sold water to a well. Kanye West tried to will the disable into walking. Beyonce isn't a human being. Let's do better with our arguments, Rashida.
- The Brilliant Idiots (Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz's podcast) released a very timely episode with Supreme as a guest. And yes, she touches on her personal life, but only barely.
- By the way, Charlamagne Tha God is a bit of a mainstay here. Siya recommends Tank set something up with 'The Breakfast Club,' but he reasons that she'd have nothing to sell. Watch Diamond on 'The Breakfast Club' here.
- And about that beat Soulja Boy showcased to Diamond...