In the modeling world, there are certain attributes in a woman that rank higher than others. While prominent cheekbones, genetic rainbows and clothes-rack height are valuable to vanity slaves, there’s one trait that’s simply priceless: youth. Enter Atlanta, Ga., model LaToiye (pronounced luh-toy), owner of all the aforementioned traits. The 5’6”-peaking beautiful blend of African-American and Thai genes is both the music video game’s new problem and an 18-year-old.
Within eight months, “the skinny little Asian girl that did everybody’s homework” has been snatching all the work. This once-buried treasure went from being an extra in her first video, Young Jeezy’s “Trap or Die,” to feature roles in heavier Southern spinners like D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” and Dem Franchize Boyz’s “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” and today stands as the highlight of Mobb Deep and 50 Cent’s “Have a Party” video. While LaToiye’s brief grind season has been as much a dream come true as it’s been lucrative, the fresh face has been forced to experience the backlash of color-coating rap vids. The downside of her new success? “Definitely the image,” she says with an ATL twang chased with adolescence. “Because of Superhead and ’em, everybody looks at like, Yeah, they be up in there with all these different artists. But it’s so many trailers, you don’t even see the artists like that. I don’t even know how [sex on the set] happens.”
But people’s misperceptions aren’t a priority for this young go-getter. For someone who’s light in the age department, ’Toiye’s loaded with self-identity. She always knew what was behind her (“My Laffy Taffy. It’s hard to find an Asian girl that really has dunk in her trunk”), and in front of her. That’s why she left home at age 17. “I knew there was more out there for me,” explains the oldest of six. “Me being at home, I was just the big sister taking care of everybody else. I wanted to get out and do my own thug dizzle.”
Leaving behind a hurt, yet understanding mom (who at one time modeled) and five younger siblings, the teen got grown and on her own. She dabbled in amateur runway and print work and choreography for a local dance group (she was once a backup dancer for Making the Band’s Dylan), all while attending South Gwinnett High in Snellville, Ga. But most interestingly, while ’Toiye’s having a blast as a teen in an adult world, she’s got those dangerous eyes on her rightful prize. After she realizes her goal of graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in education and getting her real estate license, she expects modeling to take a backseat to her realtor side hustle and her dream job of teaching preschool. Okay, but who’s gonna feed sliced apples to this teacher after school? That’s the one thing this destined star can’t forecast in her bright future. “I’m single because I’m 18 and tryna stay focused on getting that paper,” she affirms, before unleashing her tough act. “I never had a boyfriend. I’ve talked to guys, but just never got serious. I’m interested in having one, but it seems like every time I get close to having one something happens. Guys play too much.” Kids.