Multi-hyphenate author-scholar-host Marc Lamont Hill’s latest show is all about his knack for pop culture.
“VH1 Live,” which premiered earlier this month, tackles the latest entertainment news with appearances from some of VH1’s biggest stars. While Hill is known for his opinionated CNN commentary, unapologetic takes on racial issues and role as a professor at Morehouse College ― the show gives him the chance to cover lighter topics, he told The Huffington Post’s Jacques Morel on Monday.
“[We wanted to] make a show where we can talk about issues, but talk about the fun stuff,” Hill said.
Hill also responded to critiques of the show that have claimed it might be “ratchet,” or too lowbrow.
“Ratchet to me is an elitist and classist word and often it is undercut by other things around race,” he told HuffPost. “I think there’s space to talk about the lives of every day people. I think there’s space to talk about people who don’t sip tea with their pinky up, who don’t speak the king’s English to the queen’s taste.”
But Hill insisted that the show’s focus on entertainment wouldn’t stop him from calling out “irresponsible representation” or problematic issues in culture, adding that the show gives him the chance to discuss the pop culture he consumes on his own time.
“Look, I enjoy watching ‘Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta’ and I enjoy talking to characters from ‘Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta.’ And if I wasn’t hosting on VH1 I’d still be trying to figure out who Jocelyn splashed with water last week.”
Watch a clip from HuffPost’s conversation with Marc Lamont Hill in the video above and check out the full interview here. Hill’s newest book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, hit bookstores on July 26.