She’s moving on! Even though Masika Kalysha is a new cast member on this season of WEtv’s Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, reality TV fans will definitely recognize her from her stint on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. But don’t get it twisted — Masika is not really the villain that she was made out to be. Now, in an exclusive interview with Life & Style, Masika is opening up about her decision to leave the Love & HIp Hop franchise for Growing Up Hip Hop, and what she hopes fans will learn about her as she starts fresh with this new season in her life.

“First, let me start by saying I think Love & Hip Hop was an amazing experience, a great stepping stone, but what we have to realize on these shows [is] they are very entertaining, but they’re not careers — they’re career moves,” the 31-year-old exclusively revealed to Life & Style. “So you get on these shows, you have a great platform but you only have a certain amount of time to accomplish something, and I wasn’t accomplishing it. I wasn’t able to showcase my music, I wasn’t able to promote my businesses or what I really do or who I really am. I tried, but pretty much I was made into this character that I’m not.”

Masika said she was fine with following along with a narrative on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood that really wasn’t true to who she was until she welcomed her two-year-old daughter Khari Barbie — whom she shares with her ex, rapper Fetty Wap.  

“That’s when I realized, ‘No, I’m not going to do this anymore,” she explained to Life & Style. “I’m not going to allow a narrative to create this person I’m not that my daughter can see one day.”

She fought hard to get out of her LHHH contract, which was an expensive and difficult leap of faith. But she ultimately was offered a spot on the cast of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, and she saw it as a great opportunity.

“The dream on LHHH, I really wanted to showcase my music and that’s something on GHHATL that they’re really passionate about and they wanted to tell my actual story,” Masika revealed. “I think it’s a really good fit, and I’m happy to make the transition.”

And while Masika will never speak ill on LHH — she explained the franchise is like her ex, and she tries to remain amicable — she did say that she’s hopeful that fans will get a more “real” representation of who she really is as a person. 

“I think I’m hoping for what I thought was going to happen the first time around, but didn’t,” Masika said. “I want people to actually get to know me as an artist and as a person. Yes, I’m funny, yes, I’m sarcastic, we all know I’m the clap back queen — all of that is true. But it’s one thing when you’re reacting to situations that would never happen in your real life — yes it’s your reaction, but no, it’s not your reality — and it’s another thing when you are fulfilling your own narrative and you’re able to do what you would normally do in your real life.”

“But I think it’s just gonna be a lot more insightful as to Masika the artist, Masika the person, Masika the friend, Masika the mom,” she continued. “You get to see who I am when there’s no producers telling me who to be — or telling other people what buttons to push, hoping I become somebody I’m not.”

Be sure to catch Masika on Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, premiering Thursday, Oct. 11, at 9 p.m. EST on WEtv.