After an amazing performance at the BET Awards, the group decides they want to make this thing real without repeating past mistakes. The story jumps through time spanning the Nasty B’s earliest days, their San Diego performance and what happened after the show.
Please note this recap contains spoilers for season 1, episode 2 “Heart of Queens.”
6 months after their massively successful performance at the BET Awards, Queens and Lil Muffin (Pepi Sonuga) are about to set off on a world tour. The group stares up at a billboard outside a concert venue talking about their new endeavour. Brianna (Eve) says she doesn’t want another San Diego, they have to stay together. Everyone is in agreement. As they’re talking the camera angle shifts and someone is watching the group. Eric (Taylor Sele) comes up and his right eye and cheek are bruised and bloody. They ask what happened but he ignores it. Suddenly a figure emerges coming toward them. The screen fades to black as gunshots sound and someone says to call for help.
It’s 2001 and the Nasty B*tches are on stage in San Diego. Rapper Cam’ron joins the group and Valeria as Butter Pecan (Nadine Velazquez) has the last verse. As Naomi aka Xplicit Lyrics (Brandy) watches she grows upset losing energy in her performance before stopping all together. Valeria looks at her and says “don’t do this.” Naomi responds, “we’re supposed to be family….Nasty B*tches are dead.” She drops the mic and walks off stage and the crowd boos.
Back in 2021 the girls are home after the awards show and Brianna is dealing with Jeff’s (Ronreaco Lee) pending surgery. She tells him her mom couldn’t watch the kids so Valeria has stepped in as babysitter. Valeria gets a call from Eric who can’t find them the venues they want but might be able to get them a gig in San Diego. She tells him to make it happen. Her alternative is to be on Celebrity Wipeout, and she can’t get her hair wet on camera. As Jeff says goodbye to his kids, Val tells Brianna she thinks Jeff’s tumor is suspect. Bri makes a face but doesn’t disagree. As they head for the door, Val says, don’t hook up with a nurse.
For the first time Jill (Naturi Naughton) and Tina are waking up together in the same bed and they’re really happy about it. They hear a noise downstairs and Jill grabs a rifle from the end of the bed. They head to the kitchen and it’s Darren, Jill’s soon to be ex husband (legally). He loves Jill, she loves him and Tina and he poses the idea that they have a polygamous relationship! He even starts to rap, but she quickly cuts him off. To back up his reasoning he mentions that the Bible tells of men who had multiple wives. I mean it’s true… Jill is very clear that’s not what she wants. Yes, she loves Darren, but she’s in love with Tina.
Lauren (Lil Muffin) is just a tad bit extra at rehab. She’s looking forward to returning to her dope-ass life and asks the group counselor what he’s got. He tells her, “either you’re going to get the help you need or you’re going to lose everything that you think is you.”
Naomi is working on repairing her relationship with her daughter Jojo and the two have lunch. She gives Jojo a piano book of pop songs. Cam’ron shows up and Naomi invites him to join them. He and Jojo order a burger prepared the exact same way and Naomi eyes them. Just a guess, but this is Jojo’s dad. Cam’ron wants to sign Naomi to his label and she’s thrilled by this.
At mass Jill is denied communion and the priest tells her there is “sin in her soul.” She storms out of the church and the media is there to get her thoughts on coming out.
It’s 1997 and Da Thrill, Professor Sex, and Xplicit Lyrics are performaing in a basement club in Queens. Eric is trying to sign the girls to a label, and the guy he’s talking to wants to meet Professor Sex and discuss the terms with her at his place. Eric does not appreciate his objective attitude toward Brianna and has security remove him. Then Valeria approaches and indicates she knows who Eric is. She says the group is dope, but what they’re missing is her and she puts her demo in his front pants pocket.
Eric gathers the girls to listen to Butter Pecan’s demo. They’re not impressed and Jill says the three of them have been together since High School, now he wants to bring in Gloria Estefan?! Valeria interrupts that Gloria is Cuban and she is Puerto Rican. Naomi hands her a paper with the lyrics to “Nasty Girl.” It takes her a moment to find the cadence, but she’s not bad. She tells them “I know what I sell, what I bring, what we can be.” Naomi says “Nasty Girl” is going to be the song that sells out giant stadiums.
In 2021, Eric goes to see someone at the San Diego Forum and works out deal for Nasty B*tches to perform. The man is hesitant, but Eric offers to cover any losses. As he’s leaving he gets a call that Lauren “escaped” rehab.
Jill is freaked out by the media attention at her home now that she’s out. Tina tries to encourage her saying she’s being honest and true to herself. An outside noise startles Jill who thinks reporters have gotten to her door, but it’s just Lauren. Jill is the only person she knows in Montana. Jill says she needs to see her girls in LA and while Tina doesn’t like it, she understands. She takes Lauren with her.
Cam’ron brings Naomi to the head of the record company and he likes what she writes but wants to pair her—as a songwriter—with upcoming musicians (damn you TikTok!). Cam’ron is surprised, that wasn’t what they discussed. Namoi keeps her composure, but she’s pissed. She’s given so much to the industry, but it’s never enough.
At the hospital, Jeff is out of surgery and the doctor says they removed the tumor and he’s cancer free. Brianna mentions how she’s not sure she can forgive him for cheating and he starts laughing. He wouldn’t do that to her. She’s confused, Jeff doesn’t know he cheated? Back at home, Val says he’s lying, the same thing happened on General Hospital. No, I’m not kidding. We call it Disney synergy, baby!
There’s a knock at Brianna’s door and Jill and Lauren are there. They’re dressed in long coats and wearing scarves on their heads as Jill is still panicked by the media. Moments later Naomi arrives then Eric. “You know how to use a doorbell, but you can’t call ahead?” Brianna inquires. Eric tells them he booked the San Diego Forum. Brianna’s not sure, but Jill is eager and wants in. Bri looks at Naomi indicating they need her to do this. She agrees saying Xplicit is all I got.
Naomi and Eric share a moment in the house and she tells him they can’t hook up again, it feels like living in the past. He gets close to her but Valeria comes into the hallway and Naomi says she needs to sleep. Eric confides in Valeria that if they don’t sell out the Forum he owes the venue $500 thousand. She assures him she has the money, but they’re not going to need it.
It’s 1998 and Eric has secured a record deal for the Nasty B’s. He gives each girl a Louis Vuitton Bag filled with $250 thousand cash as a signing bonus. Valeria thanks Eric calling him babe. Naomi hears.
The girls are shooting their episode of Cribs and everyone is irritated with each other and to make matters worse, Naomi wants to pursue a solo career. They finally get the perfect shot and part ways. Jill asks why she’s still driving a Corolla while Valeria has fancier…everything. A crew member tells Jill how much fun she had working with them and offers to show her around LA offering her phone number. With the flip of a switch, Jill is mad and accosts the girl for assuming she’s gay. She gets in her face and physically pushes her back. “I can have any man I want!” Naomi steps in to calm her, and Jill walks away visibly ashamed about what just happened.
In 2021 Lauren falls out of a window while sneaking out of Bri’s house. She’s not badly injured but her pseudo moms? big sisters? try talking some sense into her. Finally she and Jill have a heart to heart. Jill tells her you think you’ll be fine with one drink, one line, but the next thing you wake up three days later surrounded by strangers. Lauren points out the Jill was terrified to admit she’s gay, but its 2021, everyone is a little gay. She doesn’t like being scolded by the young rapper and both get up and leave. But they turn to each other and admit they’re scared. The rehab wanted Lauren to find herself, but she hasn’t known that girl since she was 15. Jill tells her to go back to rehab and face that fear, promising to address her own fears about her sexuality.
Eric tells the group that their San Diego show sold out in 12 minutes! Lauren says she’s going back to rehab! Let’s get this show on the road!
It’s 2001 Naomi is watching a commercial for Butter Pecan’s perfume upset that Val is so successful outside of the group. She asks Eric if he’s still messing around with Valeria. He tells Naomi he wants to be with her, but she asks him to answer the question. Yes. She leaves and goes to Cam’ron.
In 2021 Naomi calls Jojo telling her the label thinks she’s too old. Jojo asks why she spent so many years away for a dream she’s going to give up on. She believes in her mother. She hangs up then opens the piano book from Naomi and starts playing “Wrecking Ball.” The pep talk was all Naomi needed. She goes to the home of the record exec and says “I’m a star” then sings an acoustic version of “Wrecking Ball” on his front lawn. She wins him over and Cam can sign her to the label. Before she inks the deal, she reads the contract which says can’t be a Nasty B*tch, they want to distance her from Xplicit Lyrics. That means bailing on her girls. She has to think this over. At the group rehearsal she’s not herself but won’t tell the others why.
It’s 2001 and the girls are wondering where all of their money is going. Eric says it’s covering private jets, drugs, and other debts they've racked up. Still, Naomi doesn’t think the math works out. He and Valeria seem to be doing just fine. Valeria admits what Eric won’t: that the girls are being hustled. She knew ahead of time and took care of herself. Brianna admits they didn’t read the contracts. But they know if they don’t perform, if they walk away, they’ll get nothing.
In 2021 the Forum show is about to start but Naomi isn’t there. Brianna says they’re not cancelling now and the others agree. “Superstar” plays over the final montage: Brianna watches how good Jeff is with the kids; Jill and Tina go to mass and Jill tells the priest he can turn her away with “bigotry disguised as holiness,” but she will never stop coming to church; Val is still with Bri at the house and one of the kids gives her a hug. She tells Bri she gets it. Naomi makes it in time for the concert and then it flashes to Cam’ron who comes to her place and asks if he’s Jojo’s dad, she sighs. On the stage Naomi turns to the others, “let’s get it girls.”