Interview With WE tv’s Hip Hop Homicides Host, Van Lathan

TV personality and producer, Van Lathan

Hip Hop Homicides, WE tv’s highly anticipated new series from Executive Producers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson & Mona Scott-Young will premiere Thursday, November 3 at 9 PM ET/PT. New episodes will become available on popular AMC streaming service ALLBLK, every Monday, following their premiere on WE tv.

Setting itself apart from your average true-crime procedural, Hip Hop Homicides aims to provide an added layer to consider by taking a ‘big picture’ look at the epidemic of violence in hip-hop.

Giving a voice for the voiceless, TV personality and producer, Van Lathan, examines the staggering number of murders in the Hip Hop community. From Pop Smoke to XXXTentacion, the series takes a closer look at these shocking crimes, with the hope of providing loved ones and fans with the closure they seek. Dissecting the facts, exploring leads, and featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with those closest to the fallen…the series taps into artists such as French Montana, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Vic Mensa, and many more, who share valuable insights throughout the season. The streets were talking, but no one was listening…until now.

Featuring an exclusive interview from his mentor, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, the premiere episode is Pop Smoke…gunned down in the Hollywood Hills in what was first labeled a “robbery gone wrong”… but the scene lacked the usual signs of forced entry and ransacking associated with those crimes. Was it a targeted hit? The series’ debut episode will dive deep into the rising hip-hop stars’ life, career, and murder.

Sad news has hit the hip-hop community with the tragic death of Hip Hop Superstar Takeoff in Houston, Texas. Takeoff was 1 of 3 members of the popular, legendary, and celebrated Rap Group “The Migos”. This latest news shocked the world just days ahead of the November 3rd, 2022 premiere.

The timely series aims to shed light on this unfortunate issue, providing closure in some cases, and perhaps incensing some outrage and urgency among those who can make a difference. The series also takes a raw look at race, class, crime, and policing in hip-hop culture.

Hustle and Soul Magazine obtained an exclusive interview with Host Van Lathan on the day of Takeoff’s passing.

Ahead of the new WE tv investigative series Hip Hop Homicides premiere, the world got word of the untimely passing of Hip Hop Legend, Takeoff. What would you like to say at this time to his family and fans?

Van: It’s hard and it’s tough for us because we’ve been in this for so long. We know the fallout that happens from this. We know the carnage that this puts into people’s lives. When we talk to people about 10 or 20 years ago, it’s still so fresh to them about the loved ones they’ve lost, the smiles that they will never get to see again, and the memories that they have. So to know that the journey of pain and grief begins for a whole other group of people today is just very hard and I’m praying for everyone. 

Van, you’re such an amazing interviewer. I was touched by the way you interacted with the loved ones and those close to Pop Smoke in the premiere episode. How does this experience make you feel and what impact do you want to make on the culture through the Hip Hop Homicides series?

Van: I felt empowered, deeply saddened, and moved by the people I talked to. Alot of relationships I’ve kept and I talk to them all the time. It’s hard to not connect with some people when they have been so vulnerable and given a part of their life to you. What I want people to take away from watching is that there are so many moving parts that are happening within our culture, but there are also so many common threads. So many of these situations are driven by the same thing, no matter where it happened. 

We were all over the country from LA, New York, New Orleans, South Florida, Atlanta, and Chicago. The similarities in these stories just mean they are fixable. I think that we feel like sometimes we are in this intractable pattern of violence and there’s nothing we can do about it, but accept it and that’s just not true. As much as our show is about getting answers to find the truth, we are also investigating the causes that need to be fixed. 

What else would you like to tell us about the series?

Van: When I was talking to people while in Chicago a conversation arose about when Chicago used to be fun. There was a time when someone would have a function and everybody would be chilling and it didn’t matter where you were from. It wasn’t that gang violence didn’t exist because it always existed there. You will see in the show people talking about that point in time in Chicago when you could go out and have fun and didn’t have to worry about who was going to end up dead at the end of the night. Finding out whose the better rapper is a lot of fun, but finding out who the better killer is, is no fun at all. Hearing 20-something-year-old people talking about missing the old days means we have a lot of work to do. We keep talking, we can do it!

Ahead of the premiere, are there any misconceptions about the show that you would like to clear up, and what should audiences brace themselves for?

Van: There is a lot to take away from this show. I am smarter because of this show and have been a part of it. I am excited because it’s a meaningful documentary on the life of each one of the people that we cover. I think that we were able to do a really good job talking about them and what they went through. Unfortunately, some of these things led to their abbreviated lives, but you still come away feeling hopeful at the end of the show. I am so proud and glad for people to see it. 

About WE tv

With compelling, can’t miss unscripted shows, WE tv’s programming is fueled by personalities and relationships filled with purpose and passion. WE tv welcomes everyone and creates an inclusive experience across all platforms: on TV, online, on demand, and social media, embracing how today’s digitally savvy, socially engaged audiences connect through content, using it as a catalyst to drive conversation and build community. Further building on this mission, current WE tv originals are now available to stream on WE tv’s sister platform, ALLBLK. WE tv is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and its sister networks include AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and streamers Acorn TV, ALLBLK, AMC+, Shudder and Sundance Now.


ALLBLK is an invitation to a world of streaming entertainment that is inclusively, but unapologetically — Black. Featuring a diverse lineup of content that spans across genres and generations, the ALLBLK library includes exclusive original series such as A House Divided and Double Cross; must-see independent films, nostalgic Black cinema, popular WE tv originals, lively stage plays, and so much more. ALLBLK is available everywhere streaming services are found — iOS, Android, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV and Apple TV Channels, Roku and Roku Channels, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more. At, ALLBLK offers a free 7-day trial and thereafter is just $5.99/month or $59.99/year. Keep up with ALLBLK on Facebook at and Twitter/Instagram @WatchALLBLK.

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) encompasses world-class motion picture and television studio operations aligned with the STARZ premium global subscription platform to bring a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. The Company’s film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and a valuable collection of iconic film and television franchises. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for audiences worldwide.

Tammy Reese

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