The title of “video vixen” has drawn stereotypical comparisons in the Hip Hop industry. Many are labeled as nothing more than sultry sex kittens who use their sexuality to get their way in the entertainment industry. Vixens such as Karrine “Superhead” Steffens have made it rather difficult for some of these women to gain respect by openly discussing her numerous sexual exploits with men in the industry. To be a “video vixen” today almost automatically gets you another title “video ho.”

Enter Melyssa Ford. Ford may be one of the pioneers of Hip Hop’s video girls as her curvaceous figure has been the apple in every man’s eye for almost a decade. But as her status as the numero uno video girl began to take off, the industry became littered with girls trying to take her spot – a spot she claims she didn’t really want in the first place. Just as soon as video girls began to change to little more than strippers on camera, Ford began to withdraw from the industry.

Today, the woman known as Jessica Rabbit, has moved on from the video girl game and has so much more going on. Unfortunately, in a male dominated industry, not many outlets take the time out to see what else Ms. Ford has going on aside from her drop dead gorgeous looks. If they asked, they would know Ford has a degree in forensic psychology, or has expanded her catalog to speaking at panels and acting. Maybe they would know that she has a non-profit for women 13-30. We ask all those questions and still stick in a few about her rumored nude scene, her relationship with Flo-Rida and if she ever considered doing the Superhead and penning a tell all book.

HipHopDX: You are pretty much the “old school” of video models but you parlayed that into so many other things. What you got goin on ms ford?
Melyssa Ford:
I currently have a movie available on DVD called Three Can Play At That Game which is the sequel of Two Can Play At That Game with Vivica Fox. I’ve got a movie coming out titled Days of Wrath with Wilmer Valderama and Lawrence Fishburne and David Banner. I’ve also got another movie called Love’s For Sale that’s coming soon starring Jackie Long. I just started a foundation called Less is More. We’re trying to do fantastic things in the community and its geared towards girls and women ages 13-30. I also have a radio show on Sirius…I feel like a Jamaican, I’ve got like 50 jobs. I still make appearances and speak on panels for various issues. I’m very involved in philanthropic work.

You know what the hardest thing about this business is? People think with their eyes. And they will remember you for things that you have grown so far past that you don’t even recollect them yourself because you have gone through so many things. People oftentimes perceive you and judge you based on stuff you did years ago when you now would never do. I’m seeing pictures of me floating around the internet right now attached to different stories and I’m like, “That picture is six fuckin’ years old.” Me now would never take that picture. You can’t be condemned for decisions that you made when you were 22 years old. People tend to do that. When you are in the public eye you are criticized a lot more harshly than the average person. That kinda sucks.

I even tend to forget some of the things I’ve done like the CNN interview with Soledad O’Brien for the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights Movement and how far black men have come in the last 40 years.

DX: So with the video girl thing comes the automatic negative connotation. Some say that it just comes with the territory. How do you feel about that? Do you think you will ever dispel that connection?
MF:
I’ve given it so much thought. The funny thing is that the entire time that the video girl phrase was coined, it wasn’t the way that it is now. Girls didn’t aspire to be video models. It was a secondary income. I came from Canada and the majority of girls that did videos with me were still in school. When we weren’t on camera, we were either in the corners gossiping or reading a textbook based on our curriculum for school. It wasn’t until I moved to the states that I saw that girls could gain a certain kind of popularity from being in music videos. It became more of an aspiration and less of an influence on a secondary goal. What were you going to do with it afterwards? Almost none that have taken the fact that they have done videos and tried to transcend past that perception [of being just a video girl]. That shit will get you caught up. It’s like a drug. To be on those sets and around those artists and all the money with that lifestyle – a lot of girls just get swallowed up by it. So the whole, “I’m using this as a platform to get into acting and singing,” it’s like, “Where did you go?” Where are they now? There’s been so many girls that I’ve been like, “What the fuck happened to her?

DX: I’ve heard that you went to college for forensic psychology?
MF:
I did. I was enrolled in York University in Toronto. At the same time I was working as a bartender on weekends and I was also working in the human resources department of a satellite TV company. I had all of my priorities straight. I can tell you several times when I turned down the likes of Hype Williams, Little X, Paul Hunter, Chris Robinson because they didn’t work in my work and school schedules. That was my number one priority. It wasn’t the money and it wasn’t the travel. My schooling and work took precedence over the videos.

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