Written by Bonnie Walker
There’s always been something enticing about Masika Kalysha. Her pouty lips, and sly eyes, convey the aura of a woman with much to say. This past weekend, MusicXclusives caught up with Masika to discuss the importance of Black women in entrepreneurial spaces, motherhood, her new lingerie line, and her latest single “CAPPIN”.
I awaited her ping into our scheduled zoom session, technical difficulties ensued, I wondered if the quick-witted Chicagoan would show.
After a few moments of silence, and a short deliberation on the possibility of raincheck, Masika had decided to join us after all.
Amidst her connection, she said something funny, and we laughed.
The interview had commenced.
I began by asking Masika about her path to entrepreneurship, I wanted to know about her journey from video vixen to full-time momtrepreneur.
“I never sought out to be a model,” said Kalysha. “Acting and music were always my passions. I was a tomboy, but I was pretty, so I used modeling as a platform to get my foot in the door and launch those careers.”
As some of you may know, Masika is the founder and CEO of Khari Barbie Beauty, a cosmetics brand named for her daughter with Paterson born Hip-Hop sensation, Fetty Wap. Masika opened up about what drove her to launch the cosmetic line.
“I created the line to focus on my imminent need at the time, I needed to look beautiful without the harsh chemicals, and have it last all day”
The model turned, mother and actress was in hair and makeup constantly, “I went from tomboy to glam-girl.” Once she became pregnant with her daughter, she was fed up with the hassle of worrying about the potentially harmful chemicals laced in everyday cosmetic products.
She founded Khari Barbie Beauty as a means of providing herself with an alternative from the hazardous products, mass-produced by many cosmetic entities.
Though renowned as a silver-tongued clap back queen, Masika is revered amongst her peers for being a stellar parent. I was curious to know how she balances running multiple businesses while being a mother of a rambunctious toddler.
“I always say I’m a magician, I’m a miracle worker. Honestly, I do not know, I’m always sacrificing something. But, I’m not willing to sacrifice what my daughter needs. It’s definitely a team effort.”
She’s had to bare the brunt of the work that came alongside picking up the slack left by workers who’d become scarce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been doing my own clerical work, labeling, I had to get creative. Khari Barbie beauty employees are not allowed in the house. With everything going on, I’ve had to enlist the help of a few friends.”
Aside from the chaos of managing a rapidly blossoming beauty brand, Masika has taken to recording music, rolling out a diverse collection of businesses, and offering her peers an opportunity at educating themselves.
It’s not often enough that we see or hear black women delving into the stock market, and I wanted to know what buyers could expect to learn or gain from purchasing Maskia’s new financial workbook.
“How to change their life, how to be financially free, how to build generational wealth.”
The Growing Up HipHop star went on to quote Malcolm X,
“If you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book.”
Her workbook offers an introduction to the stock market while touching on the importance of establishing good credit.
Masika got into trading by doing her own research, she’d often take to twitter (as she’s been known to do) and comment on the things she’d been learning. After receiving an influx of requests for help on the subject, she’d decided it was best to compile her knowledge and offer it to the masses.
“The market opens up at 9:30 AM EST, I wake up by 6 AM PST every day, to check on my trades. Many times, people want free fish, they don’t want to learn how to fish. Depending on how hungry you are, you will learn. No one owes you shit! This book is for people that are self-helpers.”
I have to say the candid, and raw conversation from the momtrepreneur flowed with ease. One would think they were speaking with an old friend.
We touched on the subject of her music career, and learned that after briefly meeting Cassius Clay at an Atlanta Barney’s, she and the producer connected to record her light-hearted and fun-filled single “CAPPIN’.”
Masika is as serious about her music and acting as she is about her coin. Those of us who follow Issa Rae’s Insecure, may have caught her cameo in one of the latest episodes. “I’ve been on countless sets. This was by far the most organized most professional set ever visited. Fourteen and a half hours felt like nothing. I was both proud and impressed to know it was headed by Black creatives.”
I’m sure we all peeped the sexy stripper-esque high heels Masika’s character had on. I was interested to know her go-to sexy look.
“It depends on the mood, I like baggy low rise jeans and lacy lingerie. Skintight bodysuits. Sometimes it’s not even the clothes but the accessories. Being sexy is all about feeling good.”
It’s these relatable themes that make Masika, a woman to watch. She comes across as down-to-earth, and real. She recently launched a lingerie collection for Father’s Day.
“I haven’t met a man yet who wants a tie for Father’s Day.”
Her lingerie is offered in sizes up to 4X. As a model and “conventionally” beautiful woman, she took into account “real” women and real consumers across the nation.
“I noticed the industry was excluding a group of women that make up a significant size of the population. It’s selfish and likely unintentional. But, I am conscious of it.”
Masika Kalysha is making waves, earning her coin, and keeping her finger on the pulse of all things entertainment.
The interview closed out with my congratulating her on the purchase of a new home. When asked what slogan she’d have imprinted on her welcome mat, she replied “Bitch don’t wear no shoes in my house!”