Erica Mena

“Once you open my book, you’ll see it’s much more,” informs in-demand beauty Erica Mena. XXL definitely co-signs that, but simply perusing the Boricuan/Dominican Chiquita split’s edible surface makes it easy to misconstrue her as just for show. She’s candy-coated visuals for artists in almost every genre of urban music from Houston to Nina Sky to the Young Gunz, but has blasted off in this year’s fourth quarter with features in Fab’s “Breathe” and Mobb Deep and Lil Jon’s “Real Gangstaz.” Still, like her favorite group, Erica doesn’t want y’all to get it twisted. “People tend to think ‘She’s just a very pretty face.’ But the sexiest thing about me is I keeps it real,” begins the Yankee Stadium neighbor from inside a Starbucks in midtown Manhattan. “I don’t like to beat around the bush or make things seem like they are what they aren’t.”

“I like to add variety to what I do, so basically [my career’s] like a big pot of rice and beans,” she analogizes between sexy sips of chai latte. “You add the sofrito, add the sazòn, you add the adobo and the final product gets demolished. That’s how I want my career: very tasteful. I want people to ask for seconds.

Cutie’s aforementioned drive is hereditary, though. “My mother,” begins the Austarr, Inc. All-Star. “All her life, she’s struggled to support her three girls and take us out of the Bronx. And though she finally got her new house, just seeing my mother every day working hard—sometimes not coming home because she was working so much—helped me. If it wasn’t for her ambition and drive, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. How would I know what working hard is if I didn’t learn from the best?”

With Erica’s Most-Likely-To-Succeed energy and cheerleader package you’d probably automatically pair her with some pretty-boy jock, but according to the spicy dish, “it’s not even about the physical.” “I’ll go to the club and watch a guy all night and peep the little things, like the way he goes to the bar, how he mingles with his friends,” she says. “It’s rare, but I’ll step to a dude in a minute. From there, you know I gotta put it on him to let him know where it’s at and then from there you work and see where it goes.” And Erica’s never been one to shy away from hard work. [ taken from XXL ]

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