Come Get a Couples Massage With Me and Latto
For our new cover star, taking over the music world comes as naturally as disrobing for her twice-weekly rubdown. The secret I learned lying next to her a few weeks ago? It’s thanks to a contagious confidence that’s inspiringly hard-won.
BY JULEE WILSON AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISEAN ROSE
“I’ve got to make sure the following is added to my eulogy: Julee’s soaring journalism career included interviewing hip-hop icon Latto for a cover story while both women lay naked, side by side, getting a couples massage at the famed Hôtel BarrièreFouquet’s in New York City.
No cap. But let me back up: Less than 24 hours prior to this historic event, one of us (not me) was already nearly naked on the set of this very photo shoot, slipping in and out of skintight gowns, body stockings, and a stunning bespoke Chrishabana chrome breastplate with a level of “it’s givin’ bad bitch” that the world has come to crave from her. As I watched the curve-clinging clothes give way to nothing at all, I’ve got to admit, I was a little surprised.
How could this be Latto’s first time posing nude?
I think we can all strongly agree that inhibitions aren’t part of her brand. This is, after all, the same woman who raps in her 2020 hit “Muwop,” “Film him eatin’ this coochie / I swear my life is a movie,” and in 2022’s “Wheelie,” “Pretty, tight, and sticky / Fuck him once, he won’t forget me.” It’s that unapologetic bravado coupled with her slick Southern twang that keeps her at the tippity-top of the music charts. Last fall, her single “Big Energy” became the longest-charting rap song by a solo female artist in Billboard’s Hot 100 history. And lest we forget, *the* Mariah Carey hopped on the remix, giving Latto—or as the government knows her, Alyssa Michelle Stephens—the type of cosign many folks would do fucked-up things for.
The rest of the Atlanta native’s résumé reads equally bold: There was the stint as a drag racer. The first-place trophy on the inaugural season of the reality competition show The Rap Game. The multiple Grammy Award nominations. The stage name change, from Miss Mulatto to Latto, which is both short for “lottery” (to ring in a new chapter of “good fortune,” she says) and a public declaration of her pride in being a Black woman. But all of this badassery may just be background to the real power, the real genius of Latto—the boldness she makes us feel.
Go ahead, put on one of her songs. I’ll wait. One minute you’re an overwhelmed, full-time working mom of two (just me?), the next you’re a self-assured superhero who suffers zero fools. A sexual goddess, a take-no-shit boss, a legend who can twerk like a pro while dripping in diamonds (duh). Call it what you want—self-esteem or self-delusion—but I love it, and I know you do too. It’s the kind of magic (dare I say “empowerment”…but, like, the actual kind) that makes a person think, I mean, of course I’m going to get naked for a work assignment.
That’s not to say doubts won’t creep back in, even for Latto herself. During our massage, as I struggle to stay mentally composed between the deep-tissue kneading and kiki-ing with my confidence sage, Latto admits she has those moments too. The ones where uncertainty or anxiety momentarily take over. Her coping mechanism, her way to push through? Exactly what we’re doing right now. And more”
Latto gets fully naked for ‘Cosmopolitan’ cover shoot (photos)
Latto coveted the opportunity to tease her vast fanbase
Latto is blazing hot right now. She just dropped her album 777 and followed that up with a collaborative remix with rap queen Cardi B called “Put it on the Floor.” The “Big Energy” raptress is also set to star in the college-themed hit show “Grown-ish” opposite Choppa, Lil Yachty and Anderson .Paak.
Now, the 24-year-old Columbus, Ohio-born beauty has disrobed – completely – for Cosmopolitan magazine.
During the photo cover shoot, Latto took meticulous care to ensure that her nude pictorial was shot tastefully.
“My label manager hit me and asked, ‘Are you open to doing this?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m open. It just has to be tastefully done,’” Latto began. “That’s why during the shoot, my eyes are glued to the monitor. My lyrics are vulgar and explicit but tastefully done, at least in my opinion. I wanted the pictures to be as well.”
Going against the trend of modern times, Latto actually wanted to show an outline of what she looks like without giving anything away.
“Not just boom-bam right in your face but more like a tease. Like you’re imagining me being fully naked and not really seeing it for real. I like the fantasy aspect to it. I felt like the prettiest girl in the world, like that’s the best I’ve ever looked.”
The lyricist born Alyssa Michelle Stephens, who often titillates her fans by shaking what her mother gave her via her twerking exhibitions, wanted to be alluring without being vulgar.
“I’m young right now. I don’t have real responsibilities as far as kids and a husband. I feel like it’s the right time to embrace how my body looks — and before I have kids and wrinkle up, I’m showing it off while I can, boo.”
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