Maliah, 23, has a body so juicy that thirsty male peers once tried pressuring her into entering the video model game. The product of South Central, L.A., succeeded at swatting away the ever-present suggestions until someone whose opinion she valued began giving his two cents’ worth. The advisor, video director Erik White, initiated this California Dream’s on-screen career with the Ying Yang Twins– and Mike Jones–featured “Badd” clip. Despite the 36B-26-45 beauty having followed her debut with looks in Twista’s “Girl Tonite,” T.I.’s “What You Know” and Busta’s “Touch It (Remix),” she’s unfazed by her new profession. “I’m just taking it as I go,” says the Sagittarius, who took her first flight ever to shoot this Eye Candy feature in New York City. “I don’t really have any dreams or aspirations right now. I’m just having fun.”But don’t get Maliah’s nonchalance twisted. She has certainly enjoyed the lucrative attention her 6-month-old television and print popularity has brought her. (You can catch Ma’s oatmeal thickness at maliahisonfire.com or hosting a party in your area.) It’s just not her priority. If lovely has it her way, in five years she’ll be “married with children.” “I’m a hopeless romantic,” she confesses. “I want to romance my man, cater to my man. Plus, I like to cook. I’m a big girl, so I love to eat.”
Cocksure in her ability to “hook a steak up” and then “knock [her] man’s socks off,” Maliah is also crystal clear on the profile of her future hubby. Physically, she wants a true match—“I’m thick. What I need with a little guy?!” Characterwise, she needs the hard type —“I like a thug.” She continues, “I’m just attracted to a thug’s strength and loyalty. But I don’t want him so thugged out that he can’t make his paper honestly.”
Despite her thug passion, Maliah feels she has shed enough tears in her lifetime for loved ones lost to street life. Having suffered through the deaths of childhood friends from gang violence and having two brothers currently serving 3-year and 18-year jail sentences, this hood princess credits her mother for instilling the strength in her to keep her pretty head up. “My mother kept me in the church. So I always felt it would prevent [my surroundings] from wearing on me,” she explains. “Keeping God first just helped me keep the love, ’cause once you lose the love in your heart everything’s all bad after.”
But her faith in Christ isn’t the only sizable attribute Maliah’s mom bestowed upon her. “I’ve had this figure since I was in diapers. I get it from my mama,” she says, giggling before getting serious. “It’s beautiful to be different. We’re moving into an era where you don’t have to be so insecure about the way that you look. It’s beautiful to not be so perfect. You just gotta know how to work it. I know how to work it.” God is oh so good.