Gosh, writing this blog post is like the ultimate trip down memory lane. I remember telling people that after the whole experience of essentially introducing a then "sort of" unknown star to the world by the name of Kanye West that if this is the beginning of my career, I can't wait to see what happens next!
So let me share with you the story of how I befriended one of the world's biggest superstars and subsequently helped jump-start my career. I began working as a PA with MTV News in June 2001. A lot of crazy stuff would go down that year. My first of many MTV Movie Awards, MTV's 20th-anniversary celebration, Aaliyah passing away, the VMAs and, of course, the tragedy of September 11. But within my first month of working at MTV, one of our interns, Nick (a.k.a. Aqua), caught me leaving control room A at 1515 and was super-eager for me to meet his friend ... some music producer. So, he walked me to his friend, who was sitting in a chair in the studio lobby, and introduced him. "Hey, Yas. This is my friend Kanye. He did the beat for Jay-Z's 'H to the Izzo.' "
OK, now before I go on, I have a bad habit of sharing my feelings, thoughts, etc., no matter how brutal they might be. One can never accuse me of holding my feelings inside. That being said, when Nick told me Kanye produced "Izzo," I kind of made an "ouch" face. And Kanye asked what that was about. I, in all my Capricornian honesty, told him that I don't really like the song that much. He asked why. I explained, and pretty much from then on, I think I won Kanye's friendship.
Read more about Yasmine's friendship with Kanye and check out his You Hear It First video! Read More...
About a week ago, word got out that Kanye West was having a listening party for his new album, 808s & Heartbreak, in L.A. Not much information was provided on the invite except the date (10.14.08), time (9 p.m.), location, an excerpt from one of the tracks, "Welcome To Heartbreak" — "My friends showed me pictures of his kids and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs" — and the fact that the event would be a collaboration with artist Vanessa Beecroft. So, a week later, the assignment of covering the event came to me. Lucky me!
From "The Hills" to Taco Bell — kinda odd, right?
Well, apparently red-carpet faves Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt from the hit MTV show didn't get the memo. So when the duo turned up this morning at what we're sure will be the new hot spot in L.A. — the Taco Bell at Venice and La Brea — to once again team up with the restaurant chain to raise awareness for world hunger, it was a shock to some patrons who were in a hurry to get their quesadillas.
See what Heidi has to say about Lauren, after the jump!
I need to make a disclaimer: I do not watch "The Hills." I don't know a darn thing about any beef between the main characters. I do, however, know that it is the #1 show on the network which provides me with a means to eat. So when I was asked to cover the debut of Heidi Montag's fashion line Heidiwood, I was less than thrilled -- but happy to be getting paid!
At the Hollywood and Highland complex, 8pm on the dot, the fashion show's MC Perez Hilton (seriously) welcomed the crowd and kicked off the show. The clothes? Basic pieces but pretty cool for Heidi's first time out. She later told me that she's always loved fashion and has been trained at various schools all over the world. (Yeah, we'll Google that later too.) As the show came to a close, Heidi hit the stage wearing some of her designs. A few moments later her "ex-fiance" Spencer hit the stage, and the crowd went junior-high-school wild. There were flowers and a smooch (and rainbows and kittens and stickers). I'm sure we'll find out more about what's really going on with those two as this season of "The Hills" progresses. If you watch. Unlike me.
When I talked to Heidi backstage about Spencer, she said that he's a great friend, and that she "loves" him -- but, you know, with that I-love-him-like-a-friend kind of vibe. So we'll just have to wait to see what the future holds. Or something...?
I asked her about a possible "Hills" movie. She was extremely turned off by the notion and clearly has No Love for Lauren Conrad. (I asked her if the beef was real, and she looked me dead in the eye and said, "YES.") But girl has big-screen dreams of her own: she said she would love to be like Angelina Jolie and be able to play the "bad ass."
But here's the craziest revelation of the evening, from where I stand: I met Heidi...and I kind of liked her. [Ed: What were they serving at that show? Kool-Aid??] I mean, can all the gossip blogs be wrong? Is it wrong to be on Team Heidi?
For folks who actually do watch "The Hills," read Control Freak's daily "Hills" updates in the Remote Control blog.
When I got the call to fly out to Salt Lake City, Utah and hit up the hometown of "American Idol" contestant David Archuleta, I have to admit that I had NO idea what this kid was about. I had a similar chance to do a "homecoming" piece last year, for Idol champ Jordin Sparks, but by that time she was already in the top 10, so we were optimistic she was going to be star-worthy. We weren't even there yet this year but there's something about this Archuleta kid...
It was a sort of a homecoming for me, as I had attended college at Brigham Young University (a million years ago). When we arrived at David’s high school, Murray High, we were pretty impressed. Nice campus, well kept although we were disturbed by the kids that were rocking shorts and sandals when its 35 degrees in the middle of February. But hey, who am I to judge?!
I want to tell you about meeting David's principal and his friends and all their confessions about some of Archuleta's best-kept secrets. I want to tell you about how, on our first night in Utah, like the rest of the country, we were blown away by David's performance of John Lennon's "Imagine." But first, I need to share with you the amazing thing that happened on the second day. After the jump.