Bodega Nights: Trap Ballads of Rich Dollaz

Life is all about patterns. And cycles. And stuff. Cosmic geometry and mathematics and alladat jazz. As a casual observer of the multiverse, I’ve come to the point where something must be said about a particular pattern and trajectory going on in the near ether. For, there’s a point at which, you look at the progression of something and realize that the future only holds (x) multiplied by (y) of certain things. In this particular instance, I’m talking about the destructive onslaught of gross that is Rich Dollaz.

Richard Trowers, or Rich Dollaz, as he’s known to friends, foes, and hoes alike, has become something of a tour-de-force in Mona Scott-Young’s empire Love & Hip-Hop. And none of us saw it coming.

In celebration of His Royal Too Old For This Foolishness, I present to you a 6 part meditation, over ill ass beats.

I: All Quiet On The Uptown Front

Wayyyy way back, about 340 years ago (in Twitter years), Love & Hip-Hop hit the scene. No one really knew how infamous it would become, but the seeds were there. In time, those seeds would grow into a cacophony of ratchet the world hadn’t seen since Flavor Flav waggled his manhood at a gaggle of seasonally refreshed womenfolk.

For those not in the know, a few great things include: Jim Jones’ mother, Yandy & Mendeecees (have we figured out the etymology of this name yet? Black Twitter? Bueller?), Chrissy trying to get Jim Jones to marry her, and Chrissy knocking Kimbella out of her Instagram Dress™. In the midst of this storm though, we were introduced to a mild-mannered but passionate Rich Dollaz. Then manager to G-Unit alumna Olivia, Rich was a balancing force on LHH.

Yes, I too can’t believe I typed that shit.

But seriously, he was putting his emotions on the line, crying in parks, to make sure Olivia was straight in dese skreets. And yet, even then, I dunno if was all a ploy. Or if the man we came to know was always that way. I digress doe.

II: The Thots Thicken

Things however began to clear up as Richie Rich decided to indulge himself in the Borinquen Bomber aka Erica Mena. Never, in the history of foolishness, has there been a situationship that was easy to avoid as theirs. Seriously, Erica is like a walking red flag.

A giant, boobed red flag.

In any event, Rich being the “creep life” connoisseur that he is, dived right into Erica’s waterfalls. And the fuckery took new levels. So much so that Olivia finally cut ties with him, knowing that there was nothing but bird-ass dust and dusty negroes in Rich’s future.

This is the point where our hero Rich, in the rising mythology of LHH, really began to reveal his deepest self. The continued arguments with Erica, the break ups to make ups. Etcetera.

At this point, can we pause and just…acknowledge that fucking your clients, as a “manager” is not only bad business but also grossly foolish? And then, on top of alladat, you’re messing with Erica Mena, a woman who has built notoriety purely off of being more than a bit off-kilter, in some bizarro reclamation of Latina stereotypes. Real talk, Erica got a whole set of issues and has used them to attain infamy fame. If Mona knows anything else, it’s how to spin these cultural tropes into monumental, hyperbolic situations that you just have to watch, like a train crashing in slow motion.

All that said, we discovered at this point how gross and broken Rich is. Because he loved that shit. Ate it up. He misused, abused, and lazily enjoyed Erica’s feelings in an effort to keep swimming in her rivers. Even looking back, it’s probably the darkest moments this waffle colored man has had on the whole show.

But like edges fighting a wig, their situationship slowly fell off and the two finally separated. Rich was reborn a bachelor (see: old and creeping) and Erica sought greener (see: vaginal) pastures with Cyn Santana.

Oh Cyn.

III: Waffled Colored Feelings

This strange trifecta occupied the majority of Rich’s life throughout LHH’s latter seasons. Namely, Rich trying to throw his D in any women that would entertain him. And who else but Erica? Because, Erica.

As lightskinnedness, fake tittays, and uptown tensions rose, Cyn was forced to confront the shitstorm she had willingly stepped into. Rich of course played the fool, and then the idiot. And Erica played interference, running to Rich when she wanted the D and then finding ways to apologize to Cyn for said D lusting.

Oh, and, Rich tried his hardest to make a threesome happen. Because our (anti)hero can’t not have every vagina on screen directed at him. Good ‘ole narcissism, with a heavy dash of misogyny. Anyway, this particular stretch in time was dampened by The Ratchening happening down south with Love Hip-Hop: Atlanta. Honestly, nothing compared to the foolishness created by Steebie, Hose-ay-leen, and Mimi. So, not much to say here.

IV: YOdysseus

This season was a turning point. Because Peter Gunz. While not as charismatic as Rich, Gunz was about to take the crown. Just when we thought there were no more levels to the fuckery, Peter strolls in with a secret family, a side family, and a main/sidewife (as so eloquently described by the side-family-matron, Tara.) Dude legit was this strange refraction of Rich’s essence. Rich gone all the way wrong, if you will. If Rich were Superman, Peter was his Bizarro, limping about with haggard face, well-practiced lies and gesticulations, and heavily flung peen.

This new fount of lightskin fuckery ran Rich for his money. So much so, that Rich became milder in contrast; running advice and interference for Peter while Mr. Gunz sadly professed his addiction to love (see: starting secret families) in his dead-eyed confessionals.

In addition, the dreadful entwinement of Joe Budden, his denim vests, and Tahiry was more than enough to push poor Rich into the darkest corners of LHHNY. Yes, Rich tried to stay relevant, but we were more worried about Joe possibly being a homicidal sociopath and Peter’s addiction to spreading his seed, O’Shit style.

This season then, was a humbling one for Rich. His gallivanting (nearly) stopped as he had to sojourn to find his true, inner creep.

V: The Magic Shtick

LHHNY returned this current season trying to best its then titan franchise and fill in the drama that was subpar in Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood. Because, in spite of the prattling and foolery, LHHH might be the most friendly of all the franchises.

The only way to do this? Bring back seasonal mainstays (Cyn, Rich, Erica, Amina, Peter, Tara) and then throw in a rogue’s gallery of unknowns, forget-me-forevers, and cats whose names are actual racial epithets. (Seriously…has not one letter been sent to VH1 about Chink?) Unfortunately, this is where we truly get to see Mr. Richard shine. It’s like all the previous seasons were built for him to achieve Super Saiyan levels of foolery in Season 5.

At this point, previous contender Peter had lost his steam. Not only because Amina had finally found Blue and gotten a damn clue, but also because she had teamed up with Tara in the Secret Family Single Mother’s Club™. With the power vested between their two bosoms, an effective emotional barrier was placed that could not be pierced, entered, or penetrated by Gunz and co. Thus, he has been left to try to swindle, swaddle, and finagle his way as best he can.

This has not only made for some serious WTF moments (“I came back to you cuz Tara wouldn’t have me.”) It’s also proven just how badly ole boy has damaged these women. Which is, horrid.

Anywho, speaking of damaging women: enter the yellow dragon with Rich.

Let’s start with stripper-cum-musician, Jhonni Blaze. After the fake, but obligatory “I’m trepidatious to team up with (x)  person cuz (x)” confessional, Rich decides to manage said lady as a favor to famed DJ and shitty rapper, Kay Slay, and, possible truce with Blaze herself. Considering Rich loves them emotionally volatile and manipulative, Blaze had a blow-out with Rich a year or so ago and now wants to make amends. In classic fashion, this relationship is clearly one thing for Rich and another for Jhonni. But we’ll get back to that.

The next lady up front and center here is Diamond Strawberry. Former lover of “Cisco,” a pasty producer and final pillar of the Waffled Triumvirate on LHHNY. Her torrid love affair with him ended after she had left her child in LA. A child that she lied about to him only to find out that he too had a secret child (see: family). If anything, these two should have stayed together with all the shit they had in common.

Anywho, in the midst of a (second) breakup, Diamond tries to give Cisco a letter through his friend, none other than our favorite Mr. Richie Dollaz. Rich however delivers more than just the Strawberry Letter. After a bit of back and forth, he “knocks the screws loose,” in a restaurant bathroom and Ms. Strawberry is dickmatized like no other.

Deadass, in the very next episode, under the haze of Dollaz Delirium, Diamond offers the gauntlet to any woman within a 5 foot radius of Rich. This of course proves to a challenge ready to be taken up by Ms. Blaze. In a three way confrontation (Diamond + Rich + Blaze), we get another outburst of women fighting. And Rich revels in it, even if he acts like he don’t. Rich’s subsequent firing of Diamond as his side chick is almost as sad. Especially when juxtaposed with his separation from (possible stalker) Blaze.

VI: What Happens To Dreams (Never) Inferred?

This then brings us to the crux of this entire verbal journey (I seriously dunno wtf I’m writing anymore): Rich Dollaz did have sexual relations with that woman. And that woman. And that other woman. All of them.

And it’s gross. And he enjoys women fighting over him.

Dude is a paragon of dusty negroes everywhere, and is rightfully treated as such. The only sad thing is that (actually, the saddest thing) somehow, someway, these women see some real value in him. When in fact, he’s as morally derelict as the city of Detroit is bankrupt.

And not because he’s delivering the D like it’s the weekly paper. No, it’s because he does so and then purposely doesn’t communicate how he wants to relate to these women; i.e. outside of maybe Erica, he never defines his relationships (to them.) Add in a little VH1 special sauce for effect, and you have a parade of women willing to knock each other into next week over a cat who is certifiably not good for anyone.

While mainstream media is no stranger to toxic relationships, and specifically heterosexual ones, there’s something insidious about this cycle with Rich. Not only for himself as a person, but also our (my) implication in watching the shit unfold week to week. From guilty pleasure to downright sympathy, we’re all fish-hooked in Mona’s pond.


these boots mine. The original Homeboy With A Keyboard ™,  dap wants to be an enigma, but he’s pretty transparent. A transplant from “Back East,” he found himself in Oakland writing about alla the fun things.  He’s in love with the coco(a) (skinned women and butter,) among other things.  Find his rants and retweetery @dapisdope


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