When a women’s fed up, she writes a book about it. At least that’s the case for Love & Hip-Hop New York star Winter Ramos. After 15 years in the music industry, she’s officially clocking out but with one last parting gift: a tell-all novel she aptly titled Game Over.
While equal parts of the book detailing the limelight of fame and romantic (and not-so-romantic) trysts, Ramos doesn’t shy away from discussing when hip-hop rears its ugly head. Case in point: her friendship with LHHNY cast mate L’orel. Winter explains, “What you guys saw on TV was maybe three lines of a whole chapter. If I had only just said that, then that would’ve been wrong. But when you read what came before that and you read what comes after that, you get a better understanding of the situation.”
Actually, Vixen caught up with Fabolous’ former assistant to get a better understanding of everything. From her new book–out today (Apr. 1)–to her comparisons to Karrine Steffans, Winter sets the record straight. — Niki McGloster
VIBE Vixen: What were your reasons for signing on to do Love and Hip Hop?
Winter Ramos: Why not? I was a big part of hip-hop. As far as being a women in the industry that has done different things, [I] kind of shed that light on not just being about relationships in the music industry.
Towards the end of the season, you seemed to be the one looking to stir up controversy with the book. Were you upset by the editing, or are you proud of what they showed?
I didn’t know exactly what to expect, or how they would portray me, but I knew not to expect one thing. I don’t think I’m upset. At least I have the opportunity in interviews to explain who I am and for people to get a real understanding of what I’ve done in the industry. Things are going to get cut out. That’s understandable.
Now you have a close relationship with Emily B and even Chrissy. How do they feel about the book?
I haven’t spoken to Chrissy about it, but Emily didn’t seem to have a problem with it. A portion of the book is about her and I’s relationship, and we have a great relationship. She taught me how to wear makeup and put me in high heel shoes.
When I say “tell-all,” it doesn’t mean it’s all bad stuff. The section, as far as Chrissy and I’s relationship, shows a friendship. She’s an older sister giving me advice, seeing that I was going in the wrong direction and trying to help me. I thank her for that, so I’m not badmouthing everyone.
Well, you seem to be telling a truth that’s not so pretty.
There were bad things that happened, and they’re in the book, but there are also great things that happened. When you read the book, it kind of flips back and forth. Everyone’s like, who did you sleep with? That’s ridiculous. That’s not what my life is all about. In the midst of sleeping with certain guys, I was also working.
There’s an awful lot of comparisons to Karrine’s novel Confessions of a Video Vixen.
But I’m not her [Laughs]. I don’t think I’ve experienced a lot of the things she’s experienced. We didn’t grow up the same way. We weren’t in the same environment. We weren’t really around the same guys, honestly. Those guys were using and abusing and mistreating her. She was angry, and she was upset, I guess. And she felt like this was her therapy. [Critics] already have in their minds that I’ve been through all this trauma, and I’m bitter. That’s not the reason I wrote the book.
VV: Okay, so what went down with L’orel? Do you think you were wrong at all for hurting her?
WR: No, because prior to filming, L’orel and I hadn’t spoken for a year. That friendship was over. What you guys saw on TV was maybe three lines of a whole chapter. If I had only just said that, then that would’ve been wrong. But when you read what came before that and you read what comes after that, you get a better understanding of the situation. Everyone’s concerned about how I hurt her feelings, but no one knows about how she’s dragged my name into the mud and has stabbed me in the back numerous times.
Is that all in the book?
Some of it is. The chapter of her in the book is the last straw with me. I don’t even want her around me. I don’t wanna be friends with her. It’s not healthy or safe for me. In her mind, she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. I still care for her. I still want to see her to be successful and progress. And if Yandi decides to manage her and she finally gets a record deal and she sells 10 million records, I wish her all the best. I don’t want bad things to happen to her because of how she handled me. I just can’t be the person being used anymore.
As far as the people you were in relationships with, are you nervous about what their reactions might be to the book?
I’m not nervous. I let them know that they were in the book and what I put in the book. I don’t think The Game has a way to get in contact with me, but I don’t think he is going to feel any kind of way about what was talked about at all. As far as Jadakiss is concerned, he was the reason I wrote the book. It was my way of just being done with the industry. That’s why the name of the book is Game Over. I’m over the clubs, I’m over the being on set all day for a music video, I’m over spending three days in the studio, I’m over sleeping on a tour bus four months at a time. I’m just over it. I’ve gotten myself to a position financially where I’m opening up a boutique at the end of April, and I purchased a home. I’m already at the place in my life where I can say thank you to everyone for everything that you did for me in the industry–the good, the bad, the ugly.
Understandable. What’s going on with the boutique?
We do high-end consignment on the second level, and on the first level is accessories and shoes and clothing. We’ll be carrying Rashidah Ali’s shoes, and Erica Mena has a makeup line that we’re also carrying. And Emily B has some sort of line coming out, so we’ll carry her stuff. My whole thing is that I want to be supportive of all the ladies, because at the end of the day, there are just as many women in this industry as there are men. I think it’s a boy’s club because we allow it to be that way. Why can’t we have a girl’s club? Why can’t we support one another? Why do we have to badmouth each other because of our own insecurities? Why wouldn’t I want to support Erica’s lipstick and sell it in my store as opposed to going to MAC and put their children through school? I’d rather support her and something that she’s doing, because I see her grinding and hustling and trying to do her thing.
Interesting. People don’t usually look at Love & Hip Hop or Basketball Wives and see women empowerment.
You know what it is? A lot of these ladies on these shows are so caught up in the name brand and driving the nice car and having the nice things, but there has to be a foundation before you can live these lavish lifestyles. Are you healthy physically? Are you healthy mentally? Are you living without jealousy and envy? I see it all the time.
Just to compete in the reality TV world. That said, will you do another season if it gets picked up?
If they ask me back for another season, definitely. I thank Mona and that team for everything that they’ve done for me. I would definitely come back.
So you knew what was up. You were already prepared. Now, what advice do you have for the women on The Gossip Game.
Be yourself, and don’t let this be all you’re trying to do. There has to be a plan. Don’t just sign a contract because you see that you’re going to make $5,000 or $7,000 an episode. From my understanding, there’s not a lot of money in radio and that kind of stuff, so don’t think that when you make this money, that’s all the money that’s to be made. There are things that you should be doing, and these things should be set up prior to filming. You should already have your plan set up of what it is that you’re going to do next because the checks stop coming.
So your advice is to capitalize off of the opportunity?