[EXCLUSIVE] Erica Dixon Dishes on Departure from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and the Freedom to Tell Her Story HER WAY
If you watched the first two seasons of Mona Scott Young’s reality franchise Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, you probably remember the spunky girlfriend of rapper Scrappy, Erica Dixon. She took little mess from the father of her only child which resulted in their breakup. Fast forward to season 4 where Erica was doing her own thing and loving it, but somehow her story line on the show rarely reflected all of the things she had going on personally and continued to connect her to the rapper even after their relationship had failed. Truth be told, there is no beef between Erica and Scrappy and the two are dead set on having a positive co-parenting relationship for the sake of their daughter. Contrary to popular belief, Erica was not fired from the reality show. Her departure had everything to do with wanting to move forward in her life in a way that didn’t work for those behind the cameras.
“After I saw my contract and just speaking with producers and seeing what stories they were trying to go with and what they were looking for in story lines…I felt like in the beginning it was real. We were able to just be ourselves and let everything flow and everybody was new meeting everybody else, so it was more real and it was just easier. Then, this season, I just wasn’t with all the drama. I just wasn’t going to continue to beef with everybody when there really wasn’t any beef. I don’t know how to be any other me but me, so I’m not the one that…I can’t front for the camera. I can’t sacrifice anybody’s character for the camera. There are others who can. They don’t care. They will do anything for any amount of money. I’m not that person. I wasn’t going to become that person. I decided that it wasn’t in my best interest to be on the show because I’ve grown so much from it and that just…I’ll just keep it real. We weren’t going to keep talking about Erica and Scrappy beefing, because there really wasn’t no beef there at the end of the day. I’m sorry. You know?”
I do know. Not about being on reality TV, but about starting something for all the right reasons then watching it all go south leaving you feeling empty. Fighting or being in the middle of forced drama never crossed Erica’s mind when she signed up to be a cast member on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. She just wanted an opportunity for her family.
“I decided to do Love & Hip Hop because I was working a job. I had a 9 to 5 as a medical biller and coder. I was the only cast member on the show that actually had a job when I was in between deciding but, ultimately, it came down to my child’s father, who hadn’t really been in the limelight. He really hadn’t done anything, so it was a really, really great for him to get himself back out there and get the exposure. It worked out for me because I was tired of going to work for somebody else, opening and closing their office. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job, but I was like, “Look, I’m ready to work for me. God, please show me the way. Show me something different so I can make my own schedule, work on my own time,” and I could spend more time with my daughter. Then the Love & Hip Hop platform was presented, so I had a meeting with Mona [Scott Young] and I decided I wanted to do the show. “
Once she and Scrappy’s relationship ended, Erica looked forward to moving on and working on herself and her brand but she was surprised when all the good things she was into were edited out when the episodes aired. It didn’t seem like Erica’s growth was juicy enough for Love & Hip Hop.
“I was just ready to move on in my life and just have complete creative control of what was being put out there about me, because it was just a portion of my life that they wanted to focus on. Nothing else was important and it was just like…everything eventually dies and I felt like that it died with me. That’s not me and that’s not what I’m going to be. I’m not going to be this firecracker. You all are not going to keep putting me in situations. I want to be able to be me. I want to be able to be somebody that my daughter is proud of, you know, like, “That’s my mama.” I just felt like I was in a point in my life where I wasn’t allowed to move forward. In real life, if your done with somebody, you’re done, you’re able to move on with your life. You wouldn’t even surround yourself with certain people and be in certain situations. I had a job that continued to put me in those same situations, so instead of me moving forward, in fact I was taking steps backwards. I wasn’t able to grow.”
So even after signing her contract for season 5, Erica made the decision not to continue as a cast member on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. She now has the time and energy to grow her brand in a more positive drama free way. The ventures that Erica is giving her energy to now allow her to be herself and tell her WHOLE story. She started with a clothing line, Klass 6.
“Klass 6 is for the everyday woman and I decided to do Klass 6 because I feel like a lot of girls feel like naked is the new sexy, just being on social media and being in the entertainment world. I was like, “You know what, I have a daughter and she’s looking at certain people,” and I’d rather her look at me more than anybody and just be like, “That’s my role model. My mom is.” That’s how I came up with Klass 6. I was just like, “You can be sexy. You can show a little skin and still keep it classy at the same time.”
The venture that is a bit more near and dear to her heart is the line of children’s books that she’s writing. Erica had a rocky childhood and was moved around a lot as the result having parents who had drug and alcohol issues. He journey was something that she wanted to address more on the show but now she’s sharing her story through Bell, the lead character in her first children’s book, Introducing Southern Bell.
“Growing up, I dealt with a mom that was addicted to drugs and my father who was an alcoholic and I was just transitioned between family members or whatnot. That’s basically what the Bell Series is about, just about her transitioning in her life, different stages in her life, basically. Just dealing with my parents’ addiction and then, growing up, I always thought their addiction was my fault and learning that it wasn’t my fault…you know? Adults have their own issues and things that they have to deal with, but for children to know at the same time whatever your parents are going through or dealing with, it’s not their fault.”
“Bell is actually the voice of me and she’s basically telling my story from the beginning. That’s why I started with the children’s book. Just how I grew up, some things, trials and tribulations I went through through my childhood. The reason for me doing the Bell Series is so I can help kids today. A lot of books are fairy tales and happy endings. Kids need to know realistically, it’s not always a happy ending, but that whatever situation that they may be dealing with, they can come out of it and come out on top, overcome it, move past it. Here I am an example and in the series, here’s some things that Erica dealt with and look where she is today.”
Erica has definitely come a long way. The most important thing to her has been to remain grounded.
“I just want people to still know that no matter what we saw, when it came to her, she still remained grounded. She still was that strong, independent, motivational woman.”
Want more Erica? Check out a few fun facts below.
Hot or cold? Definitely hot!
You have a daughter. We can’t plan which we have but if you would have had a boy, what would his name have been? Elijah, his name was going to be Elijah, but I had a girl.
Sports car or SUV? SUV, because I have an X6 and I love it. It’s my big boy. There’s just something about it [big vehicles]. I don’t know what it is.
I know you had a little bit of the bad boy thing going on [with Scrappy]. When it comes to guys now, bad boy or good guy?
Erica: That’s hard and I always say that because I’ve had the good guys and I’ve had the bad boys and there’s just qualities in both of them that I really like. Can we mix it up? lol
Keyauna: Yeah we should be able to. Good bad boy or something? lol Okay, let’s do this then. Last question is what characteristics would you want to put into the perfect guy for you today? After all you been through and what you learned from each relationship, five qualities.
Erica: Okay, financially stable, funny, family oriented, knows how to respect and appreciate a woman.
Keyauna: One more.
Keyauna: Mm-hmmm, he sounds good. lol
Erica: Doesn’t he, maybe I’ll find him. lol
For Klass 6, Bell Series and everything Erica hit up her MsEricaDixon.com.