June 14, 2024

This new season of ‘College Hill: Celebrity Edition’ seems cast for the foolywang enthusiast in you


Ray J ((Kevin Mazur/Getty); NeNe Leakes (Paras Griffin/Getty Images); Lamar Odom (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images); Stacey Dash (Michael Tran/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

There was a time in my life when I pretty much watched all of the reality shows, from the Love & Hip Hops to Basketball Wives to Black Inks, etc. I enjoyed a good bit of drama, and while I never wanted to see anybody get hurt, I was always invested in the statistics of thrown glasses and random fights that were undoubtedly part of the marketing of many reality shows. If I were a more enterprising chap, I’d have put together a statistical analysis of reality show shenanigans, a la baseball’s sabermetrics. Mona Scott-Young would have had me on speed-dial. But alas, I never did, and she doesn’t.

At some point, I just…stopped. I don’t know why, exactly. Perhaps it was the wash/rinse/repeat of the shows; how many times can you watch Amina, Tara and Peter Gunz play the same games? Maybe the number of scripted television shows that were created for and by Black folks that were and are amazing replaced that viewing void. But you know one thing, nay person, that can keep me paying attention: Ray J. And as it turns out, Ray J, born Willie Ray Norwood Jr., is on the new season of College Hill: Celebrity Edition. I guess I have some new viewing this summer. 

Admittedly, I had no idea there was a new season of College Hill on the way. In fact, I only made the discovery because I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post from Ray J where he was posing with his mother and sister, Brandy, that said, among other things, “Now I’m back to school #TSU.” So I googled “Ray J TSU” and discovered he was a cast member on the new season of the show. This might constitute a reboot since the last season of College Hill aired in 2009, but either way, I was intrigued. I mean, where there is Ray J, there are shenanigans (of the enjoyable variety, natch) and I’m always here for the shenanigans.

So I kept reading as a Black man is wont to do. And then I got to the cast and, um, whew chile, this about to be a whole mess of Blacktastic proportions. Here is the REST of the cast for this upcoming season, set at the Houston historically Black university that Megan Thee Stallion just graduated from, Texas Southern University: Lamar Odom, NeNe Leakes, DreamDoll, India Love, Slim Thug, Big Freedia and Stacey Dash.

Say heffa, say what?? 

Stacey Dash???

HOW SWAY!

Listen, fam, Ray J on his own means that the product placement will be off the charts. And he’s such a good pitchman that I actually own a pair of BunnyRayz. If the whole cast goes to class (more on that later), I won’t be surprised if they’re all doing it on Scoot-E-Bikes. But you’re telling me STACEY DASH IS IN THIS HOUSE? For one, I really want to know how? This might sound crazy, but I didn’t even realize she still messed with….us (?)…like that at this juncture. Not after stumping for Trump. So I am admittedly surprised that she will be occupying space with NeNe “I said what I said” Leakes, who really doesn’t hold cut cards. And Lamar Odom? Until recently, I’ve never heard of DreamDoll or India Love, but with Big Freedia, like, an amazing song might break out that will keep the club packed but also, I have literally no idea how all these folks will get along. 

Also, the backdrop is college; I haz confused. For starters, whatever happened to Ray J going to Philander Smith College like he announced he was doing back in 2018? Clearly, my guy supports HBCUs. I don’t remember how much actual college they showed on earlier seasons of College Hill—I’m sure it was lots—but how much of a semester are they actually participating in? And will anybody like Stacey Dash? Real question. She went from being the love of many of our lives to being disinvited to the cookout, and I didn’t know she was back. I can see the arguments and shots fired already, and it’s entirely possible they haven’t even started filming yet. 

The personalities I do know seem like they’re all matches just waiting for lighter fluid, which kind of feels like Stacey Dash. All I know is that I’m going to watch this show and return to reality shows because where there is Ray J, there is potential foolywang afoot. And I’m taking all bets on the number of fights, arguments and textbooks tossed, and I’m ALWAYS taking the over.


Panama Jackson theGrio.com

 Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

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