Every Thursday, BET+ audiences are treated to a new and uplifting experience with the new cast of College Hill: Celebrity Edition.
BET.com was able to catch up with India Love, Lamar Odom, Nene Leakes, and Slim Thug — better known as Big Slim — to discuss their time on the show.
In this brief chat with them, they were able to get extra real about what they learned from being back in the world of academia, the bonds they formed with their roommates, and address the controversy of being with Stacey Dash.
BET.com: How long did it take to get back into the groove of going back to school?
India Love: I had to snap out of it on the first and second day. I thought it was cute at first but then it's like we really gotta bring our book bags, have notebooks and pens, and s**t. So the reality hit me real quickly.
Lamar Odom: It took me a little bit because I was coming from shooting another reality show so I had to adjust because this is more than show up and work, I have to get into it and do the work. And I really did the work.
BET.com: India, you were very open about your insecurities. You even talked about the challenges you faced academically in high school. With so many kids now having the same option in becoming a social media influencer and more, do you still see attending college as a benefit?
India Love: Absolutely. I'm glad you pointed that out because I deal with that daily with my family, my little brother. He's 10 years younger than me so he’s about to turn 16. So he's like, ‘I don't want to go to school, I want to do it online, I want to sell clothes thing.’.
The “influencer situation” is not that easy and it is not handed to you. You can’t just pop up and go viral overnight. I want him to know that he has to put in the work, and furthering his education — whether they’re going to use it for work or not — is just beneficial in general for your well-being.
And I want him to just be smarter and not get trapped into the world of influencers, which I was blessed to just be on that path. I never really had to work to be there, God just aligned my path. All I was doing was taking pictures, being young, and that led to people gravitating toward me. But for him, I don’t want him to feel like it’s something that’s a given just because he’s in the family or that he can take cool pictures.
I definitely saw a lot of benefit to being educated from being on the show, and hopefully, I can encourage people who follow me to know that it’s actually cool to go to school.
BET.com: NeNe, tell me about your relationship with Big Freedia because it looked like a lot of fun, and I'm hoping we can see more of it even beyond the show.
Nene Leakes: Prior to me entering the house, I knew Big Freedia. We met but I didn’t know her that well, and once we got into the house, we were roommates. And I mean I cannot give Freedia enough praise. Freedia is such a nice person and she is just great. She was like all our moms in the house. I have a great relationship with her and we have continued that outside of the house.
BET.com: Slim, you had a really important conversation with Big Freedia about learning a person’s pronouns. Why was it important for you to have that conversation?
Slim: I feel like I represent a certain group of people that just don’t know a lot of knowledge when it comes to [inclusivity and identity], and I want to ask personally of myself so I don’t say the wrong thing or address anybody in the wrong way. [My purpose] is that I want everybody to feel respected.
Nene: Freedia is extremely comfortable in the skin that she’s in. So I love Freedia and Slim’s conversations. They’re just two odd people! Like Slim and Freedia will just be chopping it up sitting outside smoking. They’re the oddest two people that you would think would be sitting there talking about anything [laughs].
BET.com: Nene, you did mention that you had been working on your patience, which shows on College Hill, but I wanted to address the issue with Stacey Dash. She came in with a lot of baggage and despite everyone in the house being gracious, she didn't really reciprocate the energy. Please talk about that experience and what you all learned after extending so many olive branches?
Nene: To be honest, when Stacey walked through the door, I didn't know it was her. I think somebody said, ‘Stacey Dash,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, that is Stacey Dash.’ I’ve always accepted people by their face card. I never go off what people say. I’ve heard a lot about Stacey, but I wanted to get to know her for myself because that’s just me.
It’s not fair when people judge you off an experience they had with someone else. I tried to be Stacy’s friend and you really got to tune in for a lot of it — but I wanted to talk to her and be her friend. I just felt like she didn’t have any girlfriends that were cool and fabulous so I thought when I get in there, I’ll teach her a couple of wig tricks and all that.
She was not having that honey [laughs]. It was a no from Stacey. She didn't want to learn about no wigs or anything else. Stacey was like, ‘Bye!’ I hung in there though. And Slim was always trying to be the person in the middle like, ‘She’s cool.’ I was like, ‘You too positive.’ She wasn’t trying to be cool.
Slim: I was just like, give her a chance and you know Nene wasn’t trying to hear that. We vibed out about music. She likes old-school soul. So we had a good relationship. But like Nene says, I go off my experiences with people. My personal experience with her was a cool experience. I had no problems.
Nene: Well, Slim tried to be too positive about everything. I said this is too positive for me [laughs].
New episodes of BET+’s College Hill: Celebrity Edition air every Thursday, exclusively on the streaming service. You can subscribe to watch it here.
Starr Rocque is a Brooklyn, New York-based writer, and author, whose book, Bloggers Can't Be Trusted, is available for you to enjoy here!