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Photography courtesy of Angela Boatwright, Styling courtesy of Rose Garcia
Words by Sean A. Malcolm
So many people have a problem putting the whole name together,” says Masika Kalysha, before emphasizing her tongue-twisting government. “It’s Ma-see-ka Ka-lay-sha.” The etymology of the 25-year-old’s handle (her first name, chosen by her mother, is Swahili for “invincible”; the middle, her father “kinda made that up,” which supposedly means “God-given”) might add cachet to her biography, but the Chi-Town native’s 34D-25-38, um, kalysha tautness has been an impressive source of visual stimulation since her 2005 debut in T.I. and P$C’s “Do Ya Thing” video.
Yet despite a healthy résumé of 30-plus vids—including Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down” and Field Mob’s “So What” (both in 2006); plus recent bangers “Rock N Roll,” by Swizz Beatz, featuring Lenny Kravitz, Travis Barker and Lil Wayne; and the Ace Hood, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross collective cut “Hustle Hard (Remix)”—things done changed for the Creole cutie. “So many girls are willing to do things for free,” Masika says. “The caliber of girls started changing, to where the checks were getting smaller. I guess they feel like, why would they pay one model $1,500 when they can pay 10 girls $75 apiece.”
Let her exit strategy begin.
Why do you have a pessimistic view on an industry you’re thriving in?
I don’t see it improving. This industry is not forgiving, and you have to realize you only have a certain amount of time to complete a certain goal, and if you don’t get there, I hope you have a backup plan.
You’re very choosy, then.
I’m pretty picky and choosy when it comes to all areas of my life. I’m a Gemini, so I have a very strong personality. I like what I like, and I hate what I don’t like. As crazy as that sounds, it’s really that simple.
Maybe it’s because your sign and crazy notoriously go hand in hand.
[Laughs] Call it what you want.
Will do. But what is your backup plan?
I feel I have a nice platform, to where people are taking notice and have an interest in what I’m doing.
I have a big role that I was just casted for that you’ll see on television early next year. I’m also really big on songwriting and have a couple of projects right now that I’m working on. I’m also a certified personal trainer. I know I sound like a Jamaican, with all the jobs.
Do you even have time for a personal life?
To be honest, you can make time for whatever you want to make time for, but right now I have a goal that I’m working for. I want to be able to take care of not only myself, but also my parents. So until
I get to the point where I feel comfortable with my personal achievements, I’m not concerned with a personal life. If I can fit it in, cool. If not, no sweat off my back.