Kerry Washington for Elle Magazine.
A$AP Rocky has won over music critics and fashion’s elite with his bold bars and fresh style. Now he’s gracing the April 2013 cover of Interview magazine. In the issue, the self-proclaimed “Pretty Motherfu**er” shows off his avant-garde style, modeling masks, face paint, and lots of leather.
Before kicking off the “Diamonds World Tour” with Rihanna, the Harlem rapper got on the phone with his fashion idol,designer Alexander Wang, who cast Rocky in his spring campaign for T by Alexander Wang.
Hear him sound off on fashion’s impact on his career, being a role model, and the “gay thing.”
On the past year: “2012 was probably the most historic year of my life. I got to work with you for the first time. I’m getting my respect as a video director. The fashion industry respects me and knows who I am. But then the album leaked. I also lost my dad over Christmas.”
On the role fashion has played throughout his career:“Fashion was about standing out as an individual—and it helped me get the attention that most people try to get with publicity stunts or by doing other crazy things. But I just let the attention come to me naturally, and I think some of that has to do with my fashion.”
On homosexuality and hip-hop: “It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid—and that’s not the case. We’ve got people like Jay-Z. We’ve got people like Kanye. We’ve got people like me. We’re all prime examples of people who don’t think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they’re gonna represent me.”
On being a role model: “I just want to get it all out there and be the best role model that I can be, if people want to put me in that kind of predicament. I mean, I didn’t ask to be a role model, because I’m not perfect.”
While sitting pretty inside of UnLeash’d Magazine’s “Mad About MOD” issue, Vivica reveals how she has been able to keep up with the ever-changing industry for so long, as well as her ability to adapt to what’s current so that she continues to get work. She also dishes on her favorite movie role, her personal life and being a sexy cougar.
Catch the highlights and spread below:
On adapting in her career so that she wouldn’t be pigeon-holed
Early on in my career, I decided I wouldn’t pigeon hole myself. I wanted to make sure that I was able to be free to do what I want and to expand into different areas. I wanted to produce, act, and sing. I didn’t limit myself. I learned to adapt. Wherever this ever-changing industry went, I adapted. For instance, reality TV is a big thing so I adapted my career to incorporate that.
On being typecast
The only time you are typecast is if you go ahead and allow people to do that to you. If you allow yourself to be pigeon holed, then you won’t break out. You have to go out and do new things. If there is a part that should be played by a man, there’s nothing that says a woman can’t play it. Black, white, whatever, just something different.
I think that you can’t let yourself be put in a box. You always have to be outside the box because if you are labeled a certain way or put into that box, then that’s how they’ll see you.
On her favorite roles
I would have to say that one of my favorite, and one of the most fun, was my role in “Independence Day.” I got to come out there singing and dancing and showing I could also rock a pole [laughs]. People were talking and saying, ‘Who is that? She is beautiful and she can act and dance and all that!’ It was great to have people react like that. I also loved playing Frankie in “Set It Off.” I got to get gangsta with it so that was a lot of fun! But my favorite role has been Shante in “Two Can Play That Game.” That movie meant a lot to me. It was great to show that not all African-American relationships were about beating each other or stuff like that. It was real and it was fun to make. I got to put a lot of myself in that movie. I had a say in the clothes I wore, the cars I drove, the way I talked and walked. I had a lot of input and it made it that much better.
On keeping her business to herself
Come on now. We both know I haven’t been flying under the radar. Let’s be real [laughs]. You know it seems that everyone was always interested in my love life. When I was younger I was real quick to say, ‘Hey I’m in love or we’re going over here. But I learned to not kiss and tell. And currently I am happily single.
On what she’s currently working on
Well, we just signed on for 90 episodes of Mr. Box Office! I play Cassandra Washington, a sexy cougar teacher.[…]Honestly I’m flattered. I mean I’m playing a sexy cougar.
First Lady Michelle Obama is featured in Vogue Magazine once again, this time as the cover subject for their April 2013 issue. Although she graces the cover solo, the accompanying article is definitely a family feature as President Obama also strikes a pose for his wife’s photo shoot and drops in on her interview.
Inside, the couple take turns dishing on what they’ve learned from each other throughout their 20 year marriage, as well as reveal how they were able to keep their relationship intact while taking on the pressures of being a First Family. Michelle admits her mama, who lives in the White House with them, keeps the both of them in check. President Obama also says that Michelle upgraded him “like Beyoncé in that song.” Ha!
Peep the highlights below:
On preventing their political rise to fame from shaking up their relationship
President Obama: We were pretty much who we are by the time I hit the national scene. We didn’t grow up or come of age under a spotlight. We were anonymous folks. I was a state senator, but nobody knows who a state senator is. So most of our 30s and 40s were as a typical middle-class family… . That really didn’t change until I was 45 years old. And there’s something about having lived a normal life and raised kids. We had to figure out how to make a mortgage, payin’ the bills, goin’ to Target, and freakin’ out when … the woman who’s looking after your girls while Michelle’s working suddenly decides she’s quittin’… . All those experiences made us who we were, so that by the time this thing hit, it was hard for us to… .
Michelle: Be different people. And I think we are accountable to each other for being who we are. There’s no way I could walk in the door and be somebody different from who I’ve been with this man for 20-some-odd years. He would laugh me out of the house! And we are also blessed with families who hold us accountable.[…]“My mother doesn’t do interviews. but let me tell you: She is not long on pretense. She’s the first one to remind us who we are. And it’s been very helpful having her living with us… . We can check reality against her sensibilities.
Michelle On President Obama’s laid back personality
I’ve tried to explain this guy to people over the years, but there is a calmness to him that is just … it has been a consistent part of his character. Which is why I think he is uniquely suited for this challenge—because there is a steadiness. And maybe it’s because of his Hawaiian upbringing—you go to Hawaii and it’s Chillsville; maybe it was because his life growing up was a little less steady, so he had to create that steadiness for himself … but he is that person, in all situations, over the course of these last four years, from watching the highs and lows of health-care reform to dealing with two very contentious, challenging elections… . The most you get from him is ‘You know, that is gonna be tough… .’ There are a lot of times I can’t tell how his day went. Unless I really dig down. Because when he walks through that door, he can let go of it all. And it just doesn’t penetrate his soul. And that’s the beautiful thing for me to see as his wife. That was one of the things I was worried about: How would politics affect this very decent, genuine, noble individual? And there is just something about his spirit that allows all that stuff to stay on the outside.
Michelle and President Obama on what they’ve learned from each other
Michelle: Well, patience and calm I’m borrowing. Or trying to mirror. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road … to do more breathing in and just going with it. I’m learning that every day. And to the extent that I’ve made changes in my life, it’s just sort of stepping back and seeing a change not as something to guard against but as a wonderful addition … that can make life fun and unexpected. Oftentimes, it’s the way we react to change that is the thing that determines the overall experience. So I’ve learned to let go and enjoy it and take it in and not take things too personally.”
President Obama: And what Michelle has done is to remind me every day of the virtues of order. Being on time. Hanging up your clothes. Being intentional about planning time with your kids. In some ways I think … we’re very different people, and some of that’s temperamental, some of it is how we grew up. Michelle grew up in a model nuclear family: mom, dad, brother… . She just has these deep, wonderful roots. When you go back to Chicago, she’s got family everywhere… . There’s just a warmth and a sense of belonging. And you know, that’s not how I grew up.
I had this far-flung family, father left at a very young age, a stepfather who ended up passing away as well. My mother was this wonderful spirit, and she was adventurous but not always very well organized. And, so, what that means is that I’m more comfortable with change and adventure and trying new things, but the downside of it is, sometimes—particularly when we were early on in ourmarriage—I wasn’t always thinking about the fact that my free-spirited ways might be having an impact on the person I’m with. And conversely, early in our marriage, Michelle provided this sense of stability and clarity and certainty about things, but sometimes she resisted trying something new just because it might seem a little scary or push her out of her comfort zone. I think what we’ve learned from each other is that sense of… .[Michelle: “Balance.”] There’s no doubt I’m a better man having spent time with Michelle. I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman, but I will say she’s a little more patient.
President Obama on Michelle Upgrading Him
Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song, ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.
Nicki Minaj is stripping down in the pages of ELLE. The queen of the Barbz trades in her colorful wigs, makeup, and eccentric wardrobe for a more natural look in the magazine’s April issue.
The rap diva struts for the camera in some designer threads including a Jeremy Scott bathing suit, Dolce & Gabbana bustier, and leather Tom Ford jacket. Inside the issue, she talks about her dramatic “make-under,” being bullied as a child, her advice to women, and plans for world domination.
On her “make-under”: “To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes—you know, nothing—I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”
On being bullied as a child: “I went through a lot of bullying early on. Girls made my life a living hell. We had come to America from a different country. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough. So I’ve always put up this wall—it was a self-defense mechanism growing up—because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It’s sad.”
Her advice for women: “My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want—and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.”
On her plans for world domination: “My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I’m thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination—in terms of providing for my family—is absolutely my goal.”
Read the full interview in the April issue, which hits newsstands March 18. See more pics from her fashionable shoot below and watch Nicki go one-on-one with herself in a behind-the-scenes clip.