Growing Up Hip Hop is entering its sixth season with some fresh faces. As explained in a press release, the WEtv series has recruited Bone Thugs-n-Harmony legend Layzie Bone and Sakoya Wynter, the daughter of Jodeci/K-Ci & JoJo singer JoJo Hailey for the new season, as well as Hailey’s son Devin. It will mark the first time Layzie Bone has ever done reality television and he’s hoping it will lead to other opportunities for his fellow Bone Thug members.
“I practice on kicking the door in for my group so that we can all come in and kick our feet up, relax at the table and eat together,” he tells HipHopDX in a recent interview. “That’s the total plan. Hopefully, all our children will one day can be involved in things because I got children that’s musically inclined and acting and all that. So do Krayzie and Flesh, and they all call me Uncle Layzie Bone. So hopefully they’ll all gravitate this way.”
While Layzie Bone admits it was “scary” to put his personal life on the small screen, he’s using the moment to embrace his role as a mentor for Lil Eazy-E (who also appears on the show), Sakoya Winter and Devin Hailey.
“We didn’t have internet back when I was in the ’90s when we were wildin’ out like that. Thank God for that [laughs]. But yeah, it’s a little scary, but I felt like it was time because what I do naturally is I wind up around all the youngsters all the time. I’m always inputting on their music.
‘They come to me for advice of what’s the wrong and right things to do a lot of time. So it was just a natural fit for me to mentor Sakoya, young Devin Hailey and be there for Lil Eazy-E. I done got close with a couple of other cast members these days. I’m just transitioning and evolving. That’s all.”
As for Sakoya Wynter, she’s hoping to shine a light on her blossoming singing career while providing a sneak peek into her life with her famous father.
“A lot of people hold celebrities on a pedestal,” she tells DX. “With my father being such a legend, I felt like, let me open up a little bit and show everyone we’re regular. We go through regular things.
“I also do music, so I wanted everyone to see how our relationship is with my music and how sometimes my dad will give me advice for my music and let me know if I’m doing too much Auto-Tune or if I shouldn’t do this type of treatment for a music video — just certain things like that.”
Ms. Wynter didn’t realize her father was JoJo Hailey until she was in high school when it all started to click. She learned to navigate her life differently after that.
“When I started to have my friends come over, they would see the plaques on the wall and freak out,” she remembers. “And I’m like, ‘Yo, what’s going on?’ They’re like, ‘This is your dad? Oh, my gosh!’ That’s when it hit home, when everyone else was having a crazy reaction to just coming over and seeing the house, seeing him just chilling in the crib and stuff like that.
“That’s when it hit me and I was like, ‘Wow. OK. But it was definitely hard. I’m like, ‘OK, now I have to monitor who I let come over.’ I can’t just be like, ‘Yeah, no, party at my place.’ Then too, I had to go through the hardships of learning who my real friends were and being cautious of who I allowed around in my space, around my dad and just around my family in general.”
Growing Up Hip Hop stars Run-DMC’s Rev Run and his daughter Angela Simmons, Naughty By Nature’s Treach, Pepa Denton of Salt-N-Pepa and daughter Egypt Criss, Luke Campbell of 2 Live Crew and Lil Twist, among others. The Season 6 premiere aired on Thursday (January 6) at 9 p.m. ET via WEtv.