Queens Family! We’ve made it to and through Episode 11, and I must say that I fall more in love with this show each week! So, let’s get right into the recap below without prolonging this chat!
Last week’s episode, I’m A Slave for U, hit home for several viewers because the Queens tackled some challenging issues. If you didn’t get it by the episode’s title, you sure got the famous reference from the portrayal of a new character named Madison, who was battling the gripping and controlling lifestyle of a conservatorship.
Yes. Queens has been showing us each week that they plan to explore multiple topics and issues within the music industry. Such problems include a reference to the real-time conservatorship battle recently terminated after 14 years for the legendary Britney Spears and the overt body shaming and misogyny that women face on social media.
Is Anybody Listening?
Pressured to follow up with a leading single and promotion after Lady Z, the Queens searched for additional talent for their new label. Naomi took the traditional route of searching the web for possible diamonds while Jill came across an unlikely performer on an acting gig. The bubbly pop performer and very tween clean actress was Madison, a 21-year-old woman who was stifled and suppressed by a conservatorship. (Sidenote: When they played the theme show music for Anacadabra, I laughed so hard. It definitely puts you in mind with any Disney Channel series.)
After Madison suffers a mini-meltdown on set, her mother hands her pills to calm her down and instructs her to take a beat. While on break, Jill finally decides to talk with the young woman about dealing with outspoken and overbearing parents. She finds out it is way bigger than just control; it’s millions at stake. With this revelation and Madison’s desire to break free of the bubble gum image she’s been forced to live in, Jill decides to get her in front of the girls.
That’s Cool…But You Got To Finish School
Back on the homefront, Naomi and Eric discuss the current challenges of finding talent on social media platforms when Naomi receives a call from JoJo’s school. (Sidenote: I’m loving the parental side of Naomi! She was already a natural caretaker, but this layer to her character is lovely.) She quickly realizes that the school dean is not calling her to exchange pleasant news about her daughter and progress. Apparently, JoJo decided to put the ivories behind her and follow the path of her parents as a rapper. This meant that she had been dodging school. I mean not here and there. Sis took off! (Screams)
Naomi and Eric promptly sit JoJo down to ask her why she’s been missing her school for two months! TWO MONTHS! (Screams again) JoJo answered her mother but not in the way she expected. (Sidenote: Between her reply and the calm way she dismissed her mother’s concern, I was in a laughing fit. But the funniest moment was when she mentioned that she and a group of kids had been working on things, and Naomi quickly jumped to asking if was drugs! Ma’am! I don’t think JoJo would go that far!)
After quickly telling her no, she expressed her desire to be a rapper, and Naomi did not have it! Which was quite ironic considering that’s her whole lively hood and legacy. At this point, Eric and Naomi began disagreeing on what was the best route for JoJo. (Sidenote: I kinda like the dynamic of parenting these two are going to have. Eric is going to be a little more relaxed than Naomi. I think Naomi feels that she needs to be more strict since she missed so much of JoJo’s younger years while pursuing music, so in turn, she’s going to do the opposite now that JoJo’s an adult.)
Mirroring her mother’s disposition on the matter, she decides to move out and push forward with her plans. A perplexed Naomi and a strategy planning Eric are left to wonder what’s next for JoJo.
I Want to Make Music For My People
Valeria was sans Tomas this week, and she decided to continue working on her solo album. Naomi put the fire under her about getting an album released for the label, but Valeria still wanted some more time to sit with her music. Valeria was initially excited to get in the booth with the opportunity of a lifetime to collab with a famous Latin artist. However, everything turned when the artist expressed wanting to work with Valeria by presenting as she was always seen and heard. (Sidenote: The songs released this week featuring Valeria in Spanish were fire! I love that the Queens represent diversity and various genres.)
After singing in Spanish against the artist’s wishes, Valeria is ultimately removed from the song. This, of course, was a big blow for the label because it meant that her new single would not feature an international recording artist. (Sidenote: I’m happy they decided to show the artist standing up for their beliefs and ideas on their music. This, too, is a problem that artists face, especially women when it comes to their image.)
Bring It All In
So, at this point, we have early adult angst, rebellion, and artist’s rights all on the table. After cooling down from her minor tiff with her parents, JoJo pops up at the studio to plead her case to Eric. He reluctantly agrees to help her record a track but under one stipulation. She will present the track to Naomi first, and then she will return to school.
Hyped and all smiles, JoJo happily hops in the booth and starts flowing. (Sidenote: I love that they continued JoJo’s storyline outside the performing arts school. It’s good to see her growth and maturity since leaving Georgia. Also, I absolutely loved her song!) After mixing and mastering the track a little bit, JoJo and Eric sit back and enjoy the tunes. JoJo is excited and ready for the world to hear the music. However, Eric still wants Naomi to listen to the track first. JoJo agrees but ultimately doesn’t follow through with her end of the bargain, as she uploads the song to her SoundCloud while Eric steps away to take a phone call.
Elsewhere, Madison is fighting for her freedom after getting herself arrested for shoplifting and other minor incidents. (Sidenote: The fact that this girl wanted to go to jail to get some rest and relaxation away from her mother’s controlling ways was INSANE. I mean, really! A night in prison was literally like a night out at a five-star hotel for her.)
After bailing her out once and then Madison escaping away to perform the girls, all was on the line until she began singing her words and rocking out. Madison sounded great! And I loved rock and roll, Naomi! (Sidenote: I want to see more about Naomi’s backstory with picking up the guitar. It seems like she was just so hardcore and hip-hop as a child, so I really want to see the turning point when she decided to pick up an instrument to accompany her skills.) After a successful “audition” for the ladies, all seemed hopeful until the conservatorship SWAT team bust into the studio. Madison and her mother shared their typical exchange with her mother, leaving a warning for Jill and the Queens. (Sidenote: Her mother was RUTHLESS but so good (a reference to the actress).
Uncertain again regarding Madison’s future, Jill promises to get Madison out of this bind by paying for her lawyer and fighting to get her free of her mother’s conservatorship.
Back on the search again, Naomi continues scouring the interwebs for the star in the rough. After hearing several duds, she finally gives an unknown female artist a chance despite their poor ratings. Once she hears the song, she immediately notices some of the flaws but is hopeful of the potential clearly present. And then hilarity ensues. (Sidenote: When Naomi realized the person she was bopping to was JoJo and Eric looked highly uncomfortable, I hollered. I just love the I Love Lucy-Esque moments they share; it’s just in reverse.)
Naturally, Naomi becomes upset that JoJo’s music is not the only thing getting critiqued. With a slew of misogynistic and sexist comments under her song, Naomi fears that Eric placed their daughter in an unfortunate situation by exposing her to the crass side of hip-hop. While arguing, JoJo steps in, showing both her parents that she’s okay and willing to continue pushing forward with her rap star dreams despite the internet trolls. (Sidenote: YOU GO, GIRL! (Martin’s voice) Naomi still insists that JoJo sticks with school, but she reveals to her daughter that she thinks she’s talented. JoJo doesn’t back down and leaves out again.
With one final chance at freedom, Madison and her mother’s teams battle against each other. Jill, still present right by Madison’s side, watches in horror and disbelief when her mother uses a sensitive event against her. (Sidenote: I audibly gasped when her mother revealed her daughter’s potential suicide incident to keep the conservatorship alive.) Right as it looked as though the score was Madison’s Mother 120-Madison 0, Jill spoke to her mother and offered her advice to reconcile for the sake of their relationship.
Surprisingly it worked! Although Jill told the girls that everything seemed doomed, Madison returned to them with the cheerful news that she was free of her conservatorship and was still willing to make music with them. And then, the other shoe dropped. (Sidenote: I thought it was effective usage of the song Heartless by Ye, and what she did was absolutely Heartless!) Even though Nasty Girl Records didn’t have a substantial offer to give her, they would provide her with a fair offer. But instead, Madison allowed the money to get in the way of the bigger picture. It was a bittersweet moment because she basically signed herself over to another “conservator” commitment, although she was free.
And although it seemed like a loss for the ladies, Valeria ended up saving the day. She showcased that standing up for what you believe in artistically can pay off. Returning to the international Latin artist for one last favor, he agreed to help her produce a Spanish track. Once it was complete, Valeria had a hot new single to premiere to the ladies. They all loved the new song and sound and felt it would be an excellent diversifying hit for Nasty Girl Records.
After the small celebration with the crew, Naomi met with JoJo to share that she supported her decision and gave her a shot at Nasty Girl Records based on her talent and evident passion. (Sidenote: AWW! This scene was the absolute cutest! I’m so here for this story arc and where it will go! I already know the mother/daughter rap duo will be fire!)
And that, my Queens fam, is a wrap on episode 11! We have to wait 3 weeks until the final two episodes air! I’m sure it’s to get those February Sweeps numbers! Based on previews for the next episode, Eric and Naomi appear to be getting closer and exploring their relationship. (Sidenote: FINALLY, YALL! I know. I know. I wasn’t originally on board with this ship, but it’s too good to look away now 🙂
Also, Valeria is at a doctor’s appointment when she gets news regarding her ultrasound. Is there a Baby V on the way! Or could it be an underline health condition that could affect her Nasty Girl Records takeover? And the saga is finally going to come to an end regarding Darren! Wonder if he is going to serve a lot of time or if he might get off with a small sentence since he’s probably a first-time offender? And what if Bri reaches back out after the verdict? Hmm? Either way, I’m ready and will be glued in front of my tv! Be sure to catch up on past episodes of Queens on Hulu and make sure you return back on Tuesday, February 8th, 10/9c on ABC! Until then, catch the preview of the next episode below.