Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta has some new cast members.
Troubled singer-songwriter R. Kelly’s ex-wife, Drea Kelly, will be joining the new season of the hip-hop oriented reality show, alongside fellow new castmates Waka Flocka and his wife, Tammy Rivera, reports Entertainment Tonight.
The news of Drea joining the cast comes amidst R. Kelly’s ongoing criminal sexual abuse case. The singer faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
“I don’t know what it’s like to be R. Kelly’s child. I only know what it’s like to be his ex-wife,” Drea said in the Growing Up Hip Hop teaser, which promises to focus on “the truth.”
Drea and Kelly have three children together, Joann (aka Buku Abi), 21, Jay, 19, and Robert, 17.
Drea was married to Kelly from 1996 to 2009. In Lifetime’s infamous Surviving R. Kelly docuseries Drea accused the singer-songwriter of being abusive.
Kelly was also recently arrested for unpaid back child support that was owed to Drea. Someone made the $161,663 payment on behalf of Kelly, which resulted in the singer being released.
In January, Drea wrote an “emotional” Instagram post regarding finding the strength to come forward regarding Kelly, notes Entertainment Tonight.
“Thank God for his grace, guidance, love AND deliverance,” she wrote. “I celebrate the woman I am TODAY! Though some want [to] ‘expose’ the pain filled, scared, abused women I was…..STOP! I AM No longer afraid. No longer willing to silence my PAIN AND SUGARCOAT THE ABUSE I ENDURED because of how my abuser and his LEGAL TEAM were THREATENING to come against me if I ‘didn’t choose wisely.'”
Flocka and Rivera being added to the roster is interesting, as earlier this month Rivera went off on Instagram regarding the producers of Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition, another WE TV show that they were a part of because of the producers allegedly “EDITING A STRAIGHT LIE” as Rivera wrote in her passionate post.
On Mar. 7, Rivera shared a text message thread between her and former MBC: HHE cast mate Lil Mo discussing how the production said she was arguing over a “b****,” when she was really arguing over the lack of security during a scene.
“Tonight episode of #MBC was FULL OF SH**!! The Whole episode!! I know y’all want to make a good show but not at the expense of our REAL LIVES!! We all felt it was some caping going on when @iamdimepiece test came back with “deception” yea ok…. But to know the obstacles me and my husband been through and edit a WHOLE F***ING LIE IS playing with our whole life like Dime said!! I was arguing with production for having us out at a strip club in LA with No REAL security wide open! My husband wasn’t tripping but I was! Cause I have to watch his back as his wife so I went TF OFF! Streets don’t give a damn about no TV shit! I must say everything has been REAL and truthfully until this episode and I’m disappointed that our real personalities, arguments, laughter and struggles wasn’t enough for you guys that you had to spice it up by EDITING A STRAIGHT LIE,” Rivera wrote.
Tonight, Flocka and Rivera’s vow renewing special, Waka & Tammy Tie the Knot airs on WE TV at 10/9c.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan