Somaya Reece's name looms in the entertainment industry, more or less, attached to rappers, but she is ever redefining her brand and recently landed VH1's reality show Love & Hip Hop. The Salvadorian vixen has made appearances on TV shows, including HBO hit Entourage, and several commerical spots, including Pepsi. VIBE was able to get the scoop as this fiesty Cali girl's strive to reach new heights in her music career. The no holds barred boriqua talks her struggle in make her mark, her role on an upcoming docu-series and past beefs that once overshadowed her name. -Niki McGloster
Tell me how you got involved with the Love & Hip-Hop project?
When I got here to New York, I originally came here just to work on music and I guess VH1 contacted the VH1 [office] in New York. Love and Hip-Hop was not casting at all, but VH1 had kinda mentioned me to them. I basically went in there, and it was really perfect timing. I fit perfectly for the show because at that point they were looking for an organic story from someone that’s literally without any connections trying to make it and that’s been the story of my life. The show is going to be the biggest breakthrough in hip-hop because this show’s gonna really show exactly what happens.
What was the initial reason for you moving to New York?
I came here to work on a couple of records, do some press, and go back home. Then I got the show, and they really captured my struggle. I had to figure out how I was gonna live here for eight months while we were filming. Where was I gonna find my apartment? I didn’t know nobody over here! Just wait until you see the first episodes of where I was living. I was staying in the studio loft of one of my producers and the studio hadn’t been renovated yet, so it looked like this gross, roach-infested basement with an air mattress, no blanket. But you know what? I was gonna stay there until I found an apartment. What was I gonna do? At least I had heat and there was security in the building.
Very true. Life in New York isn't easy. Now, what is your relationship with the other girls on the show?
My relationship with them is that I’m the outsider. I came to New York not knowing anyone and the idea is that I meet them, and I’m trying to network out here and find girlfriends and things like that. There’s a conflict because I’m the West Coast girl that comes here, and these girls are already a clique. You can definitely expect for me to be the villain of the show. That’s for sure. It’s a wild ride, and it was an experience. It’s not something I’m not used to. These are things that I run into all the time—jealous girlfriends, crazy chicks and wives that are jealous because I’m working with their husbands that I have no interest in. It’s real situations that happen in hip-hop behind the closed doors that the audience doesn’t get to see.
You and Olivia are the two artists on the show, right? Was there any connection between you two?
We both have two different kind of stories. She had an opportunity once to be in that position when she was with G-Unit, but it’s really cool because [the show] is gonna show what it takes when you really wanna make it. At the same time, it’s a reality show so there’s a lot of drama. I’m not a dramatic person at all, but if confronted and provoked, it’s gonna be on [laughs].
Emily and Chrissy are on the girlfriends of well-known rappers and you used to date Joe Budden. How does that connect you all, or does it draw a wedge between you and them?
I don’t think I even mention him. Maybe in a conversation possibly, but my story has nothing to do with me and my ex at all. There's sort of a clash because I’m very different. I’m really independent, and I just refuse to live under shadows of anyone because I built so much on my own. It’s sort of like a very weird thing that we have because Emily is someone that’s like a mutual party, so I still talk to her now. I’m not really sure exactly what goes on in the episodes with her and him. I don’t really understand those relationships because I'm not hanging out with them and their boyfriends. I’m not shopping all day. I’m in the working world with artists that are grinding all the time trying to make it and I don’t have the luxury of doing that. I just don’t have time.
So you've managed to have a relationship with a few of the girls outside of the show?
Yeah, we want to make sure the show’s a hit, so regardless of whatever has happned on the show, we want to make sure that we’re in touch and not out of touch of what’s going on. Mashonda’s not on my episodes at all, but I talk to Mashonda a lot.
Since we're talking about rappers and their girlfriends, why do you think video vixens so attracted to Joe Budden? What is it about him?
Honestly, I don’t even wanna talk about him. Personally, it was something that was cut off, and I don’t wanna have anything to do with him. That is bad news. He ruined it. He’s not even in my life anymore. I don’t even care about him after everything that he did to me. As you could see, I kept it as professional as I could because I’m a real pro in this business. I’m not trying to ride off of anyone’s name. I’m not interested in it, never was interested in it. As soon as all that bad press came, I was out.
A lot of other crazy shit has happened to you besides Joe-- the Twitter beef with Fab and drama with Esther Baxter. All this has been thrown your way, but you basically just keep it moving.
I learned that the hard way. I learned that I would rather be hated for whoever people thought in their mind of who I am, then to be hated for being fake. Because I am me.
Has anything changed between you and Esther?
I don’t even want to talk about her, but I will say that she’s a beautiful girl. I’m not mad. I definitely don’t judge anybody. I think it was poor judgment of her character but I don’t really wanna go there. She’s every guy’s video girl dream and I can’t knock her for that.
Are you still friends with Kat Stacks?
We were never friends. She just really took a liking to me. But to be honest with you, most video girls all really like me because I’m risky with my career and I’m very motivated, and she’s just one of ‘em that took a liking to me. I don’t really have anyting negative to say about her. I just really pray that nothing happens to her because of her judgment. Her judgment calls are pretty crazy, and poppin’ off at the mouth about people is crazy to me because you’re endangering your life. In that respect, we were never real friends.