Antonia Carter may own a last name worth over a milli, but that doesn’t mean she’s just another well-paid baby mama. The resplendent entrepreuner (see: Tiny & Toya) and philantropist (see: Visual Beauty) is determined to make you remember her for more than just Wayne’s first love. VIBE caught up with the reality star and budding author to talk why her second show won’t be anything like Frankie & Neffe, how she sees her second wedding and why she hates when you bring up Wayne.
VIBE: Your new book Priceless Inspiration is part memoire part motivational. What made you want to put your story out there?
Toya Carter: I’ve always written a diary since I was a little girl. That was my way of expressing myself, so I just decided to turn it into a book. After seeing how much I’ve grown since being a 14-year-old pregnant girl going through all of this different stuff with family, relationships, watching people I loved get hooked on drugs, domestic violence, I’d already written it down in my diary and looking back at it it inspired me to write a book. Priceless Inspiration is dedicated to those young girls whose parents try to lead them the right way and they don’t listen, so maybe hearing it from one of their peers or someone they may look up to will help.
What was the toughest experience for you to write about?
I talk about my previous relationship [with Lil Wayne a little bit, but not in a tell-all way. I talk about things that I've learned from that situation and how I was looking at it at that age. When I was 14 I tried to make someone be what I wanted them to be not knowing that they had to grow up and what I was expecting out of a relationship with someone that was in the public eye and me raising my daughter and the help I wanted from them. When they gave me that financial support and not the love and attention I was looking for because when I was growing up I didn't have no one to give me love and affection and I was looking for that from that person. I open up about that a little. That was like the hardest part... involving [Wayne, but they were a part of my life so everybody who was a part of my life is in Priceless Inspiration from Wayne, to my mom, to my dad, to my brothers, to my ex-best friends, everybody.
Was it difficult because you don't want to keep connecting yourself to Wayne?
That situation is so hard. People feel like I'm going to always be connected to Wayne because that's how I was introduced into the spotlight, but I feel like I'm much more than just his baby mama. It's just crazy because everything I try to better myself it's always "That's just Wayne's baby mama." I open my store and people come to the store and it's "That's Wayne's baby mama's store" or I do my own show and it's "Wayne's baby mama got her own show now" or I write a book and it's "Oh it's a tell-all about Wayne," so I feel like I can't dodge that situation. I can see if I was sitting around waiting for Wayne to make things happen for me, but I'm making things happen for myself and I still get that stereotype. But I won't let that stop me from doing me, but it does bother me sometimes because I can't help who I fell in love with and had a kid by.
I feel that. Is that the reason why you refer to Wayne as Dream in the book?
Yeah I tried to avoid his name period because I'm just sick of it, but that's my life and my book is about my life, but I was just like I don't want to say his name. When I first started writing everybody had a different name for privacy purposes, but then I thought about it and put my real family members' names back in becaue of the reality show, but I just didn't want to put Wayne's name in it. He supports the book 100% though and he did the forward for me.
I remember a year ago you said you were thinking about rapping more often. Where are with that?
It's really not for me. It was just a hobby, I wouldn't really take it seriously. But it was fun. I really had fun playing around with it, shooting the videos, recording and stuff like that. But that's not for me. I want to get into acting. I've been taking acting classes and me and my daughter are going to start doing it together on Saturdays. That's something I think I'd be more comfortable with.
If you could play any type of role what would it be?
Something where I can play off my own emotions like somebody that was dumped or maybe even like a foster kid.
Let's talk about your new show Toya's Family Affair. What made you want to have a show focused completely on you?
I felt like Tiny and Toya was such a big hit and the fans telling us how much we inspired them and I just decided to keep it going, but Toya's Family Affair is a little bit deeper because all my family members are sharing their tears and emotions. When cameras start rolling, all types of stuff comes out. But what I like about the show is that it's been therapy for me and my family. It's really a good positive show. That was my number one fear of doing the show at first because when you involve your family members, we know from previous shows that the network did, that it can turn into train wreck TV and I'm not that type of person. I'm also the executive producer on the show. You hear the negative things like "This is going to be another Keyshia Cole, Frankie and Neffe," not that I have anything against those shows, but you have to see for yourself; you can't judge a book by its cover.
Does Wayne make an appearance on the show at all?
I don't know. He came to something, but I don't know if we're going to show it or not because like I said it's not about Wayne. I didn't make a big deal about it, but if it's in there, it's in there. It's not like "Wayne is on the show." No. He was at something that we filmed that was for his daughter, so if we use that, then yeah, if not, then no.
Would you ever consider being on a show like Love & Hip-Hop?
Would you ever consider being on a show like Love & Hip-Hop?
I was once involved with a rapper, so people thought Tiny and Toya was a baby mama hip-hop girlfriend show. And we just decided not to do that, but to each its own. I love those shows, but I don't think I could personally do it because I'm not with the drama. I don't have problems with my friends and argue with women. It's not my thing. I love the shows, but that's not me.
And you're definitely not marrying a rapper. How do you see your wedding with Memphitz looking?
I just want something small and intimate because at the end of the day, I did the big wedding before and it seems to be a big fashion show and it's for everybody else and I feel like when you find your soul mate, you want to make it about you guys. I want to do something that involves me and my husband and not America. He's never been married so he wants to do a big wedding though [laughs]
Do you have a date set?
Am I supposed to be saying this? [Laughs]
Yes. Maybe in 2011?
He comes off really supportive of you.
He really is. He’s very family oriented. Me, him, his daughter, and my daughter, all the time, we do all kinds of stuff together. He’s that friend, that partner… he’s my spiritual side.
Let this be the last Wayne question you answer. Have you noticed any significant changes in him since he’s come out the pen?
I’m not around him like that so I don’t really know, but when I do see him he’s cool. He seems like he’s got his business mind on straight. He’s been with his kids a lot lately. And that’s all that matters, to me, is his relationship with his kids, his daughter. The rest is history.