Although “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” is known for its drama and romance, cast member Masika Kalysha has managed to set herself apart from the other members on the VH1 show. The reality star, who is a parent to daughter Khari Barbie Maxwell with rapper Fetty Wap, has managed to use her stardom to build an empire and despite the ups and downs of fame, she is determined to be successful.
Starring on the reality series has resulted in plenty of attention for most of the stars on the show, however, Masika has managed to set herself apart from her co-workers. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, the actress spilled details about her upcoming music, her relationship with Fetty Wap and how her fame and upbringing has shaped her into the person she is today.
While several cast members have been hired and fired on “LHHH,” Masika has managed to remain on the show for a majority of the series. Even though there are many reasons why fans are fascinated with the star, who is known for her hilarious one-liners and funny nicknames for people she is not fond of, the model revealed that she understands why fans seem to favor her over other cast members.
“I think it’s a lot of things but if I had to pick one word, it would be integrity. I feel like that is something that the majority of my cast members don’t even have in their vocabulary. I don’t want to talk about anyone’s parents but there are times like this when people say things like, ‘Oh you have no home training,’” Masika told IBT.
Masika insisted that some people were brought up with manners but others just want attention and will do anything for it. “It’s not necessarily that, a lot of times people do have home training, they just grow up and decide to act like fools. But for me, I value what my daughter thinks of me. I value what the children that I don’t even have think of me,” she explained.
“I value my values, my morals, what I believe in. What I’m taught and it’s very difficult to navigate through this type of an industry and keep some sort of integrity. I do believe all three seasons I had a lot of popularity. When you Google ‘Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood,’ Season 1, at least, my picture was the first picture to pop up, which, according to Google, means I had the most Google hits.”
“Now I’m getting so many people saying, ‘I respect your decision for not entertaining the drama, or the BS, or stupid things.’ I do my job and I know I do my job well. There’s a lot of things that we all don’t want to do that we do anyway, it makes good TV, it makes good conversations but you have to draw the line somewhere. I think when it comes to family and values and protecting your loved ones I think people actually really respect that.”
Masika has gained plenty of fame from her appearance on the VH1 series and fans may have noticed that she acts very different compared to how she behaved during Season 1 of the series. That drastic change is all because of her beautiful baby girl, Khari.
After giving birth, the star realized that her daughter needed to have a good role model in her life. “I always felt like I did not want to be compared or similar to most of my cast mates because I feel like a lot of them will do anything. You have people who will slap their own mother if it will get them five minutes on TV. I’ve always wanted to be separated from them but now that I have a child I really don’t want to be in that same mind frame,” she said.
Masika revealed that being a mom has made her want to set a positive example for daughter and she now resists the urge the engage in conflict with her other cast members.
I definitely feel like as a mom, I definitely have to do things differently. At the end of the day, Google never dies, the internet is forever. She can read these stories, she can see these things one day so when she sees her mother, I want her to know that her mother was not acting like a child on the playground.
Masika landed a spot on “LHHH” thanks to two of her best friends who suggested she audition for the series after finding out the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise was coming to Hollywood. At first, the model thought she would “never” do a show like that but after taking a second to think about it, the star made two phone calls that got her an interview to be on the series.
“It is better to be employed than not. You have a lot of people that are acting like they are working and not a lot of working actors so even though it’s reality, we’re still working actors. I was doing good, I had an Adidas Campaign, I had a Nike commercial, I had a couple of small roles in movies, I did a million videos, magazines and ad campaigns, but it’s all sporadic. It’s here and there. One month I might have 50 jobs, one month I might have one.”
Masika explained that her role on “LHHH” guaranteed her continuous work. “Every Monday I have a stage and I get to perform whatever I want to perform for millions of people,” she revealed. “It was an amazing opportunity to have an audience to perform for.”
Speaking of performing, Masika has been hard at work in the studio and she can’t wait to share her new music with fans. The star revealed that she enjoys creating music that everyone can relate to. “I don’t want someone to hear a song and say, ‘Wow, that happened to Masika? It sure did.’ I want someone to hear a song and say, ‘That just happened to me, I just went through that.’”
Masika revealed that while she was pregnant, she released a song “My Own,” which resulted in an overwhelming response from various women crying to her and explaining that her song touched them emotionally. “It’s that reaction from people that literally gives you chills and lets you know, ‘Ok, I did something right and this is helping somebody.’”
The star continues to work on new music that she believes will once again resonate with her fans. “I’m in the studio with Jazze Pha, we have an awesome single coming out called ‘PTOS,’ it stands for put that on something. We created our own disease, PTOS disease, which most men don’t have because, you know, people promise you some things. ‘Girl I got this, girl I’m gonna do that.’ Tell them to put that on something.”
Masika confessed that her newer music would be very fun and have a “funky, cool” sound. However, her creative process might surprise fans who are used to hearing about artists simply writing down their lyrics and then heading to the studio to record.
Even though she says her writing process is nothing unique, Masika credits her creative process to her zodiac sign, Gemini, known for being hot and cold and not one to be tied down. While most artists need a pen and paper or at least a cell phone to jot down their ideas Masika, who has learned from watching the likes of Lil Wayne and Sean Garrett, prefers to create music on her own terms.
“I cannot write down something on pen and paper. I can’t go home and work on a song, I can’t listen to a track in the car and come up with something. I have to be in the studio, I have to be in my zone, I have to be in that moment, I need you to play me the fresh track there and I pick one and then we create immediately,” she explained.
Then I have to just do it in my head, once the song is complete someone can write the lyrics down but for me, I feel like if I write something, it confines me to that and I can’t change it and I don’t like to not be able to be free. So I don’t want a word locked down on a paper that marries me to it. I just want the freedom to create.
Masika has been effortlessly thriving in all aspects of her career, however, her reality show is all about the drama and therefore, she can't escape from it. “I don’t think about that at all, to be honest,” Masika said when asked about rumors one of her cast members is pregnant. (Reports suggest Alexis Skyy, who once dated Fetty Wap, is expecting.)
“But what I will say is my situation when I was pregnant, it was very different,” Masika added without saying her co-star’s name. “At that time I believed everything that Willie [Fetty Wap, born Willie Maxwell] was telling me. Willie is not a decision, not to be funny, he is a virus. He happens to you, you wake up and you are Williefied.”
“You need an IV and a hospital because you caught the Willie and you cannot get rid of it. When this man has his goals set on you, he sees it and you cannot escape it,” she explained.
Masika revealed when the two first met, the rapper approached her and she asked if she could pay him to be featured on one of her songs and he laughed in her face. “I asked him what was so funny? He said, he never had a female ask him to pay him. I said, ‘Isn’t that what you do? I have the money, you have the talent, let’s do it.’” While Masika initially only wanted to do music, Fetty Wap insinuated he wanted to date.
The two then exchanged numbers and quickly bonded through late night phone conversations. The “Trap Queen” rapper almost missed a show because he was determined to keep his word of being featured on Masika’s song titled “Ándale.”
After laying down the track, Fetty Wap was quick to make things official with Masika telling her to cut off any other relationships she had going on and insisting that she was the only woman in his life.
“We were together so much at one point that I don’t see how he could have been doing anything else. When I ended up getting pregnant, it was something that I was not prepared for. Something that I did not expect but as an adult, you have to be able to be ready for the consequences of your actions,” she revealed.
I think it’s very childish to blame a person for something two people did. I do believe and still believe it is something that he wanted and he actually asked me to do it again. It’s something that I considered but at this time it’s not going to happen.
Masika explained that she was oblivious to the other details in Fetty Wap’s life because she truly believed she was the only woman he was involved with. “During that time, I definitely believed everything that he was saying, I was unaware of the other women, I was unaware of the other children,” she said.
“Any woman that decides to join that fleet has to be mentally ill or maybe that was their life goal. Not everyone has aspirations and career goals and talent. Some women just want babies for a goal, some women want revenge and think a baby is going to do it. Some women have no talent and no skills and think, they get a baby, they’ll get money.”
Although the star is grateful to have her little girl Khari, she admitted that she couldn’t understand why a woman who knows about the rapper’s past would willing have a baby by him.
“I’m not sure but I would never want to be the 37th of anything. I thought my child was the third child and that was still a lot for me but again, it was never planned. It was never something that was done on my end on purpose but my daughter is the biggest blessing I’ve ever had. I would never change a thing. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would do it twice.”
Masika may have ended up in a situation in which she wasn’t aware of the whole truth, but she and the rapper were able to move forward for the sake of their daughter. “I’m very happy to have my beautiful blessing, I think me and Willie have a great relationship because we keep it private,” she explained.
The star revealed that the two actually laugh about stories that are written about them and insists that privacy is the key to their happiness. “We have our private relationship with our child, our private feelings. You might catch us shopping at Gucci, you might catch us at dinner once and again but we just enjoy our lives as parents separately and together.”
Despite her happy life, Masika was forced to kick two friends, Nia Riley and Zell Swag, out of it because they could not be trusted. Looking back on their friendships, Masika revealed that she is bothered that she didn’t figure out that there were shady people in her life sooner.
“I wouldn’t say it’s hard to look back, it’s annoying to look back. It is very annoying when you cut your grass and you feel like your lawn is perfect and you missed five snakes. So you’re looking at your lawn like, ‘I cannot believe I didn’t see those snakes,’” she said.
“It doesn’t make you mad, it’s more of, ‘How could I have possibly missed these big, humongous snakes?’ It’s more disappointing in myself that I had snakes in my front lawn.”
Aside from the end of toxic friendships, Masika has a lot of things coming up, both on “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” and outside of the reality series. Although Masika can’t promise exactly what fans will see from her on “LHHH” Season 4 because of the editing process, they can definitely expect to hear her music and performances on the series.
“You’ll see me performing it with some of my amazing dancers. Jazze Pha is not featured in the performance but he will be in the video. The video won’t be on an episode but it’ll be coming soon. I also have a video coming for ‘Ohhh 3x.’ My Khari Barbie Beauty line of course. You’ve seen it on the show but now I have Khari Barbie Hair oils.”
Creating unique hair oils run in Masika’s family. The star’s mom used to make everything from scratch including clothes, food and hair oil and it looks like the model has picked up the quality.
Masika initially came up with the idea to put out a hair line following a request from fans all over the world. The star was on Snapchat documenting her own concoction of oils that she uses in her baby girl’s hair and after an overwhelming request from fans asking for the ingredients to her formula, she decided to bottle it up and sell it.
Despite the ambiguity of what fans may or may not see this season, they will definitely witness Masika’s journey as a mother and figuring out who her friends and enemies are.
“A big thing with me this season was learning not to care. There are so many things that I put energy into that I don’t anymore and my life is so much better,” she said.
Aside from reality television, Masika has plenty of other projects. “I have a book that is actually done and it’s extremely personal. It’s something very different that nobody would expect from me so look out for my book. I have not titled it yet because it’s so personal it just has to be perfect. I will be putting that out very soon.”
“I have a radio tour I’m going on very soon. I going to be doing a college tour as well, it’s just a lot of things coming up. Everything is on my website MasikaKalysha.com. It’s where I have my merch and I have really cool things for fans and T-shirts with my crazy slogans, calendars just all sorts of things,” she said.
Masika also revealed that fans may be seeing her pop up on their television screens more often. “I have some really cool movie roles coming up that I’m so excited about, I really can’t wait for. Stay tuned! VH1 has been an amazing platform and I hope to have a great, long career with VH1 but VH1 has opened the door so I think you’ll see me on a lot of other networks and a lot of other things that maybe you wouldn’t think I would be on.”
Be sure to catch Masika on “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” Season 4, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on VH1.