This is posted Friday, December 16, 2016 by Rodney Ho on AJC's Radio & TV Talk blog
VH1 knows a winning character when it sees one. The minute Atlanta music producer Stevie J showed up on "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" in 2012 with his impish grin and "good guy" persona, fans couldn't get enough.
So as a bridge to the sixth season of "Love and Hip Hop," VH1 is giving him his own eight-episode spin-off show called "Leave it to Stevie" focused on his music, his family and his efforts to date. It debuts at 9 p.m. Monday, followed by the third season of "K. Michelle: My Life."
For those who have watched him on "Love and Hip Hop," the show focused strongly on his rocky relationship with beautiful but frequently angry and manipulative Joseline Hernandez. Now it appears that relationship is over - even though she is now nearly nine months pregnant with (probably?) his baby. (UPDATE 12/19/16: TMZ reports that yup, it's his baby. Lucky him!)
On the spin-off, "you'll see more of my gifts," Stevie J said in a recent phone interview in full promotion mode. "You'll see me playing instruments. You'll see me perform in country western bars. And there will be some clean fun. Not strip clubs. I'm not ducking drinks or dodging punches on this show. This will show what goes on in Stevie Jordan's day-to-day life. I deal with daddy-daughter issues. I'll show my son how to be a man. Different things. It's a lot of fun."
In the first episode, he indeed skips the strip club in favor of the bowling alley, where he quickly picks up the digits of a school teacher who isn't quite as innocent as she looks.
The show will feature many "Love and Hip Hop" regulars including Yung Joc, Scrappy, Tammy Rivera and his baby's mama Mimi Faust. Joseline? Not so much except in flashbacks. And Stevie J's daughters mock her and try to sell off some of her stuff at a yard sale in the opening episode.
"It's definitely a different side of me," Stevie J said. "A more relatable side. A lot of guys will watch. It's a real guy's show. Joc, Scrappy and I are all fathers. I wanted to showcase how we could have out and agree to disagree in life and help each other out."
As for Joseline, "we're awaiting the [paternity] results. Nonetheless, I'm going to be there as a friend. At the end of the day, she's emotional as she should be at nine months. I'm just praying that all goes well with and I co-parenting."
The baby is due January 10, he said. "Joseline is very healthy. She's having a cool pregnancy. I just don't like it when she's erratic. She can't do that. Don't want to make the baby upset."
While he desperately believes Joseline needs counseling, he admits he can't force her to do anything. "For the record, before I came into her life, she was living a different lifestyle," he said. "She has to release those negative energies from the past. I've had to. I go to counseling every Thursday. I maintain a certain level of clarity. I have to be on point for my children. I do it through meditation and prayer and counseling. I believe everybody should do it. I'm not pointing the finger at her. I'm pointing it at me."
Stevie J said he has spent decades partying hard, sleeping around, drinking, living it up. "Now the reality is I have to set up my next three generations," he said. "I know the sun doesn't shine forever. We have to bask in the sun while it's shining. I have to stay focused."
The Grammy-winning producer is also focused on work in the studio. He finished an album for his long-time friend and possible paramour Faith Evans which features folks like Busta Rhymes and Jadakiss. He's working on albums for Kelly Price and Keyshia Cole. He is repping a new artist Candice Boyd. "I want to continue to grow my legacy," he said.
Stevie J is writing music, too, focused on love and being newly single. He references loneliness, too. "Being single isn't easy," he said, "especially living the lifestyle I've lived. I make sure now that I have my daughter around not to have chicks coming around my crib. I have to watch how I carry myself. It's different.
He downplayed his dating life, saying "the only lady in my life is my 18 year old Savannah." She just moved into his home. "It was time for her to spend time with her dad," he said. "I need to cultivate her."
Stevie J spent 30 days in rehab this fall over his alleged unpaid child support for a woman in New York. He owes more than $1 million. He said he hopes to have the entire case resolved next month. "Were almost at the end of it," he said. "Hopefully after January 25, I'll be free and clear."
"Leave it to Stevie," 9 p.m. Mondays, VH1 (eight episodes starting December 19).