Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Me and Ms. Veronica go way back. We're tight like that.
Okay, so I'm lying. I only met the girl last fall, after her fabulous photo spread for Eye Candy in XXL magazine. The magazine's center-fold shoot is the hip-hop equivelant of the Playmate of the Month (minus the nekkidness).
Last year, the 2000 North Salinas High School grad made her splash as one of the video hotties in Kanye West's "Gold Digger" clip (she's the one in the black teddy under the banner "Vixen"). She's also been one of the Bay Area's most visible lobbyists, bigging up her Yay Area bretheren at every opportunity she gets.
The Herald did a huge feature story that I penned, and we got calls from folks both praising the piece ("It's about time some flavor was in your paper" read one e-mail) and bemoaning it (a couple of people threatened to cancel their subscription because they thought images of her from the video were demeaning to women).
But Ms. Veronica is the ultimate hustler, a true hard-worker who manages high-profile modeling gigs and a down-to-earth close-knit family background at once. "The Beat" managed to touch base with ya girl after she just flew in from a shoot in Miami, where she was steady on the grind, as always.
How are you doing?
I'm great. I'm still in bed. I have three days off, so that's good.
What's new and exciting with you?
I've been pretty much touring right now. I've been gone for a while, and I've been working on a TV show called Latin Fever. It's like Extra and Entertainment Tonight, with less gossip and a little more urban, with black and Latino celebrities.
So far, we've done interviews with (pro boxer) Bernard Hopkins, Mr. Cartoon, he's like the tattoo artist to the stars. We interviewed Terrance Howard, who was nominated for an Academy Award.
We do Snoop and Twista this weekend. We're interviewing fashion designers too. We have Karl Kani and Adam Hardy, whose clothes are very popular right now
The show starts at the end of April, so check your local listings. It'll be nationwide.
Are you doing the interviews yourself?
Yeah, I'm doing the interviews
What's that like for you?
It's fun. You get to meet a lot of people. I love the camera and I love my job.
I'm also working with a new company, NBK entertainmet/It Factor. It's run by Jeff Robinson's company. He's Alicia Keys manager... I just got back from Miami with them. We hosted a huge party. Usher came, Cristina Millian, lots of athletes, DJ Clue showed up. A lot of celebrities, it was really fun.
We had a photo shoot at Ty Law's mansion in Maimi. It was big. (Robinson) is such a nice guy. I have never worked with such a great company before.
For our readers, can you describe how you get paid? Do you get money from appearance fees? Do you get paid by the hour or per appearance?
Definitely appearance fees, and that helps. It's also fun, because during the (NBA) All-Star game, I hosted a few parties and I made a few thousand dollars just for partying! I got there and did some shopping and I got to come home with a few thousand dollars for it. And they paid for my planet ticket and my hotel and took care of me.
A year ago, I would have had to have paid for my own ticket. So this year, I got to spend some time shopping and had some fun.
Basically we're getting paid to be there. Appearance fees are big.
I haven't been working on videos, because I've been working on the show. But I did a magazine shoot for OYE, Open Your Eyes magazine. That was big.
Do you get paid per day when you do a magazine shoot?
Some of them are promotion, some of them you get an editorial fee. That's what it's called.
When we last talked, you said you were in a video with Rhymefest. Will that be released anytime soon?
That's released. It's me and Kanye West and Rhymefest. It's the funniest video I've done. It's also the quickest, because that was done in front of a green screen in one day.
I've made a big deal of the Hyphy movimiento in a lot of my recent pieces. What's your take on it right now, since you're repping The Bay so hard?
I love the Bay Area. I definitely make sure I support the Bay. I got 40's album, I got Balance's album... I push the Hyphy movement a lot. I make sure every magazine I'm in I push the Hyphy movement. Celebrities see me and they ask me "What's the Hyphy?"
I get messages from big celebrities like 'What's the Hyphy? What's a scraper? What are stunner shades?' I just laugh...
Everywhere I go, a lot of celebrities call me Ms. Hyphy. I know the Hyphy movement is going to blow up real soon. I get it out there with mainstream celebrities. That way, when I do go to a video shoot or an interview and someone is talking about Hyphy, they can be like "That's what Veronica is talking about."
Even in my interviews for the show. I always ask how do you feel about the Bay Area, and theyre' like,"Yeah, E-40 is cool,' but then they're like "What does that have to do with what we're talking about."
What's the most difficult thing you've encountered during your new gig as a show host?
What's hard is I might talk to someone in G-Unit one day and then someone in Black Wallstreet the next day and it's hard. They talk about each other and I'm like,'Wait a minute.' I don't want to make anyone mad or get in the middle of these rapper beefs.
What I'm worrried about is one day they'll talk about somebody that I actually know. That would suck.
Is it your impression that some of these guys are extra sensitive?
Yeah, I guess, I mean, I think it would be a lot stronger if everyone just stuck together... Some people just want attention and then some people have nothing else but to talk about somebody else. That's all they got.
Some people have nothing going for them, and so they decide to talk about somebody else, and then it doesn't work for them and what sucks is that it gets out of hand and people end up dying.
I know Busta Rhymes had a video shoot and his bodyguard got killed. I think it's nonsense, but the rumor was that it was somebody who was talking about somebody else. That's how the guy ended up getting killed.
I think it's even worse in the Bay Area. When Bay artists talk about other Bay artists but theyre' not even on a big level yet. It's like, you guys haven't even started yet, there's no reason for it.
At the same time, I think a lot of rappers are scared for The Bay to come up. It's something different from what they're doing, and it scares them. They know if it gets big, its so different that its going to wipe out what they got going.
What are you listening to/feeling right now?
E-40. That's what i've been listening to for the last few. The Federation's new album is crazy! Balance's new album is good, I actually got to listen to it before it came out. I got it a month ago. As far as the Salinas/Monterey area, people are going to love that album.
It's cool, when I get to listen to other peoples albums beforehand, because I know whether it's going to suck or not or whether it's going to be good.
Goldie from The Federation said something that I thought was funny. He said that you were cool because you would date "an average looking dude." Can you tell me what he meant by that?
Of course, being in the industry you get asked out by a lot of celebrities and athletes all the time. It's like a big college, but it's so small at the same time because you keep seeing them all over the place, so they ask you out a lot.
I would rather just date an average guy, where it's not going to be all crazy, where I'm in New York and you're in Texas. I would rather date an average guy who is going to be more laid back... But I can definitely say, right now I'm very single.
Well, I'm sure our male readers will be glad to hear that. Now, for a more serious question: Are you looking for any writers for your show?
Ummm, I'm not too sure (pause) I'm not too involved with the technical stuff.. I don't know. But if we are, I will definitely throw you in there.
I'm just playing... Anything else you want to throw out there?
I just feel really blessed, and I thank god every chance I get. I'll thank him three times a day. I'm just blessed and thankful for everything.
Posted by Marc Cabrera at 4:39 PM