Erica Mena is a well known reality star who became famous with her participation in the show ‘Love & Hip Hop: New York’. She had a disturbing childhood, with an abusive father and incomplete schooling. However, it was her tough upbringing that moulded her personality to the fire brand that she is known to be. Her zest for a better life has been her strength that has guided her through the difficult path to stardom. She started her career as a model and appeared in a number of music videos of famous artists. Besides ‘Love & Hip Hop’, her major appearances are in ‘Kourtney and Kim Take Miami’ and ‘VH1 News Presents: Hip Hop Videos’. Her success can be measured by the number of glamour magazines that she has featured in, including being the cover girl in some. She has written two books about her life that cover her harsh childhood and love life, ending in single motherhood. She is known for her dress sense and runs her own fashion line. As of April 2017, her net worth is assessed at about $ 350,000 and she aspires to be an actress on the big screen. With her initiative and zeal, there is nothing stopping her from achieving her goal.
Erica Mena started earning a living before finishing school and could not complete her formal diploma due to difficult condition at her home. However, experience has been her biggest teacher and she has had the privilege of addressing the graduates of the Unity Centre of Urban Technology.
Erica’s career got its initial boost when she won the MTV, ‘Jenifer Lopez Look- Alike’ contest. After winning the contest she was cast in her first music video, ‘Can’t Stop-Won’t Stop’ by Young Gunz.
At the age of 16 she won her second MTV contest called ‘Say What Karaoke’. From there on she became a known name in show business. When she was a budding video vixen, Erica was featured as an innocent model being seduced by Chris Brown on his popular video for the song ‘Yo! (Excuse Me Miss)’.
Another of her most notarized vixen roles was in the music video ‘Fabulous Breath’ with Emily B. She featured in a number of music videos of well known artists like Fat, Joe, Akon and Rich Dollaz. Besides music videos during her initial years, she featured in a couple of episodes of ‘Kourtney and Kim Take Miami’. It was here that she got her first taste of reality television and realised her potential to make a name for herself by free expressing of her thoughts. It was also here that fans got to see her feisty personality for the first time.
She was featured on the pages of MAXIM KING Magazine, The Source and XXL Magazine to name a few. She also featured in the print media campaign for Tommy Hilfiger and endorsed many other brands including Loreal and Roca Wear.
Erica always wanted to be a designer, so she worked with Randa Quraan of ‘Socially Loud’ for some time and created ‘HER’, a clothing line by Erica Mena. In fact, in 2015, on the 5th season of ‘Love and Hip Hop’, she wore clothes of her own ‘Spring – Summer’ collection.
In April 2013, she released her autobiography ‘Underneath it All’ that reveals her dark family secrets. Her second book ‘Chronicles of a Confirmed Bachelorette’, that covers her love life, soon followed.
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Personal Life & Family
Erica was born and brought up in Bronx, New York City by her parents and elder sister. Her parents are of Puerto Rican & Dominican decent.
Her father was a drug dealer and gave the family a difficult time. Her mother was forced to peddle drugs due to which she was imprisoned and it was there that she gave birth to Erica. Her father abused her till her mother was released from prison when she was five years old.
It was her older sister who ran the home and brought Erica up. The harsh conditions of her early childhood left a deep impact on the behaviour of Erica as she grew up and faced the world.
She was enamoured by the world of glamour and began sketching dresses at the age of eight. She was interested in performing arts as a child and got her first experience of success when she won the MTV ‘Jenifer Lopez Look-Alike’ contest at the age of 14.
She was also once a ‘Dash Doll’ and was hired by Kourtney Kardashian to work as a sales associate in their newly developed Dash Miami store. However, due to her brash behaviour with her boss as well as customers she was fired from her job.
Erica has had a number of affairs during her career. She met American actor and rapper, Bow Wow, on the hip hop and R&B music video show ‘106 & Park’ and got into a relationship with him, during which she had a miscarriage. Her name has been linked to actor Shad Moss’s and Rich Dollaz with whom she was in a relationship for some time. She has a son, King, from rapper Raul Conde, but the relationship again broke up and Erica decided to bring up the child as a single mother. Lately she was in a relationship with Hip Hop Season 4 co-star, Cyn Santana, but the relationship broke up before they could say yes at the altar.