Say goodbye to the rowdy Erica Mena, and say hello to a happy, more refined future Mrs. Moss.
The world first got a glimpse of Erica Mena when she was just 16-years-old in Chris Brown’s “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” music video. Fast forward a decade later, and Erica’s still a mega force in the realm of social media and reality TV.
You’ve seen her as a Dash Doll on E!’s Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami and as a castmember on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop: New York, but her days being typecast as the feisty Latina are long behind her…for now, at least.
We caught up with the reality starlet down in St. Thomas for the inaugural USVI Music Festival, and she had a lot to say about her decision to quit reality TV, finding happiness, becoming a wife, and what she’s learned about herself throughout years of public turmoil. She also discussed the advice she gave her longtime friend Remy Ma, who recently announced she’s entering the reality world with her husband Papoose.
And while we’ve known her as Miss Mena all these years, get ready to call her Mrs. Shad Moss.
Check out our exclusive interview with Erica below.
GlobalGrind: Is this your first time in St. Thomas?
Erica Mena: Yeah.
So what do you think?
I love it.
You love it?
I love everything island, though. I’m such a true Puerto Rican.
Potential honeymoon destination? Where are you two (Shad Moss & Erica) going on the honeymoon, do you know?
I can’t tell you.
You can’t tell me? Come on, please.
No, no girl.
Is it going to be on an island?
Let me get two more rum punches and I might let it slip. [Laughs].
I want to know all about the wedding. Are you happy?
I am happy.
As someone who’s watched you since Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Chris Brown’s video, we’ve gotten the chance to witness the maturation of Erica Mena. Have you thought about writing a book?
I feel like maybe one day. Hopefully, if I could ever get my own reality show where there aren’t all these producers in one room trying to f*ck up my life everyday. If we could take that equation out of reality television, then we could have some reality and you guys could really know what’s up.
Like who the real Erica Mena is.
I know that you obviously had issues with Love & Hip-Hop and that’s why you didn’t go to the reunion.
It wasn’t even issues, it was just the fact that I knew a lot of people would get aroused by my presence. I’ve been on the reunion on stage for three years in a row. And I was the one girl with Rich’s momma, his sister, and his uncle all attacking me.
So what’s your relationship with Mona (Scott-Young) then?
I mean there really isn’t no relationship, you know?
If (L&HH creator) Mona came to you tomorrow and asked if you wanted to do your own show with full creative control, would you do it?
No, they came to me for the wedding. The wedding special was ours. And then we turned it down, so Yandy (Smith) got it…process of elimination. That whole getting married live, having the fans pick the cake, all that stuff… That was my idea.
What made you say no?
I didn’t want it to be a sh*t show. Marriage is a serious thing.
But if you guys did the wedding the way you wanted to, people would tune in.
Oh, absolutely and that’s what we wanted. We wanted it to be very sentimental. We wanted it done very tasteful and meaningful at the same time. We wanted to involve the viewers, because people have seen me go through so much turmoil and drama and heartbreak. I’ve been through so much and I can’t cheat myself anymore. I’ve done that for four years being on that show.
How is Bow with your son?
Amazing. It’s awesome. I never brought anybody around King so once I finally did it, it was such a huge sigh of relief, because they just got along so well. He’s able to actually have good conversations with King. I know that if there is ever a moment where Bow has to step in, that King’s in great hands. That’s so reassuring for me.
What’s one thing you would change throughout this whole process of your career?
I would change… I would put in my contract that you cannot edit out why the f*ck I wild out. I feel like they always just show me walking in and then I’m going crazy. The whole story is never depicted.
Yeah, the editing is…
It’s so cliché…but it’s real. Because you’re like ‘wait a minute, I know I said that, but I said that because…’
So what is Erica Mena going to do in the future? People want to see you on TV.
I mean, you never know what might happen.
Remy Ma announced she’s going on Love & Hip-Hop: New York, have you talked to her?
Yeah. I think there’s a little bit of hope for the Love & Hip-Hop the franchise now that Remy’s part of it, and Papoose. She’s going to be the reason why Love & Hip-Hop: New York is actually still on the air.
Have you given her any advice about how to move with the producers?
What do you mean?
I’ve been so busy with moving, working, and all that stuff that we haven’t had the actual chance to talk. I have reached out and let her know I’m proud of her. I feel like she will be….if given the opportunity, Remy will be given the chance for people to understand why she’s so dope. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and I became so cool with her during the time she was incarcerated.
Yeah, she’s like family to you.
There’s just so much depth and knowledge and real to her that as a woman, especially coming from where we come from [The Bronx], you get comfort in knowing she’s just as rough as I am, but defeated all the odds. Even though she was put in a situation where she was incarcerated, and she became a much person. If I were to give her any advice though, I would tell her to make sure that nobody behind the scenes gets in between her and her marriage.
Because that’s sacred.
And it’s possible. People will do anything for ratings and that’s the scary part, and I learned the hard way. People don’t realize that you have a life after this and that your livelihood is automatically jeopardized.
Did you have a lot of sleepless nights?
A lot of anxiety. I would get really bad back spasms because of the tension that I would go through constantly. Just not knowing what’s going to happen today. And that’s scary to have as your 9 to 5. I just have to make sure moving forward everything is just…I know I have to do better.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty