Category: VIBE STATUS

Her Eyes Were Watching the Stars: How Missy Elliott Became an Icon

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She’s been making ahead-of-the-curve music and mind-bending videos for 20 years—and that’s no fluke. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah goes behind the curtain with the ultraprivate creative genius.

This article appears in the June 2017 issue of ELLE, on newsstands now.

At the photo shoot, the accoutrements of being her precede her. A tray of acrylic nails and an almost-empty bottle of professional-grade nail polish remover are carried by Bernadette Thompson, the Takashi Murakami of manicurists. A tall, strong-looking man walks around distractedly, wheeling a Louis Vuitton duffel bag that is smaller than his forearm; from time to time, he spins it in a wide circle out of boredom. Jewels—gold chokers, hoop earrings, and rings in a velvet-lined box—are attended to by a thin young man wearing a black Balenciaga fitted cap and high-top Nikes. There’s a bottle of jewelry cleaner harnessed to his chest and a chain of styling clips attached to his hoodie strings; he looks listless, like he has given his body over to the task. On the table, someone has set down two Kangol hats, one tan, one black: fuzzy, wearable homages to the golden era of hip-hop. They sit there like low-key crowns.

READ MORE: https://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/a44891/missy-elliott-june-2017-elle-cover-story/

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott on Love, Making It Work, and the Kardashian Curse

She’s a billionaire business mogul. He’s the most electric rapper in the game. How did they come together? How do they make it work? And can they survive the Kardashian Curse? Mark Anthony Green sits down with the world’s most powerhouse power couple.

It’s Kylie, from the jump, who controls the tempo. The youngest Jenner and her well-oiled glam squad bounce around Milk Studios, in Hollywood, with supreme purpose. Her half-male, half-female contingent is like Ocean’s Eleven, except with more crop tops and lip fillers. And instead of a case full of phony casino chips, there’s just a roller bag full of luscious hair extensions that need meticulous untangling. Midway through the shoot, the photographer and stylists start praising a particular photo on the monitor, but King Kylie shuts it down. “People are going to turn it into a meme,” she says, like some kind of social-media medium. “Let’s move to something else.” She later tells me that Kim and Kanye are the ones who taught her to be more assertive on creative things. “I just want the best cover photos for me and for you guys.”

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Joining her in the studio is her 27-year-old partner, Travis Scott. They’ve been together for about a year, but this is their first photo shoot together. What’s the binding force between a rage-thirsty rock star from Missouri City, Texas, and a beauty mogul of Calabasas royalty? Other than their newborn baby girl, Stormi? What’s that shared frequency that’s responsible for the most dynamic celebrity couple of modern times? We’ll get to that, but what I can report is that it’s not a mutual admiration for posing in front of a seamless. Taking pictures is a lucrative sport for one and medieval torture for the other.

Travis has a much smaller team with him. Just his manager—who works from a laptop the entire shoot—and a bag of what smells like some of California’s loudest weed. Between shots, he just kind of paces around, with his head down and his lanky limbs covered in expensive clothes. A wall or photo light would stop him and send him in a different direction. He looks like one of those Microsoft screen savers from the ’90s, careening off the edges of the monitor. “He was whispering to me the whole time,” Kylie tells me afterward, smirking. “He just doesn’t like taking the photos.” Travis hates anything that slows him down. (He even hates restaurants; the man despises wasting time in restaurants.) And he admits that he’s “impatient as a motherfucker” during photo shoots, despite really liking the end result. But it isn’t simply young angst that makes hurry-up-and-wait painful for Travis. It’s “la flame”—the internal fire, the rage, “the piss,” as he calls it, aggression in its funnest form. It’s why Travis, a decade into a notoriously energetic career, has made his case for having the best live show in hip-hop history.

A few years ago, at a nightclub, I saw Travis swing from a chandelier while performing. One of the gold baroque leaves he held on to for dear life cut his hand, and he was beginning to bleed pretty badly. He paused for a second. Smiled. Then pressed his bloody palm against the ceiling, leaving a red handprint, and kept rapping. That energy, that commitment—that’s why there’s an entire generation of young tattooed daredevil rappers coming up behind him who look to Travis as the source, and who’ve taken his lead.

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That may be the thing between the two of them, the binding force: influence. Not in some Adweek marketing sense—in direct-contact-with-the-people kind of way. When they say jump, kids will do it…off a balcony. (That actually happened to Travis.) These two make the mosh pits, memes, and moments that trend and move the needle. They forge 2017’s most overused four-letter word—vibe—and they’re masters at 2018’s: wave. You can’t pause when catching a wave. And that’s their art. Their common thread. Which helps explain how their relationship went from zero to Stormi in just a few months.

“We don’t go on dates,” Kylie tells me. In fact, their first date wasn’t really a date. They were at Coachella—neither can remember where, exactly, they first met—and the whole thing just turned into a hang that went well. While she tells me about it, she begins to giggle about the story she told Travis that got his attention that night. The story wasn’t anything special, but that’s what made it real. How’d you meet your significant other? It starts normal, right?

But then their second date, by all definitions, was anything but normal. They caught the wave. Kylie Jenner—and nearly 100 million followers of hers—just abandoned her life in California and took off on tour with Travis Scott.

“Coachella was one of the stops on his tour,” she explains. “So he said, ‘I’m going back on tour—what do we want to do about this?’ Because we obviously liked each other.”

What do we want to do about this? That’s an early-2000s Matthew McConaughey big-screen-heartthrob line. Holy shit. “And I was like, ‘I guess I’m going with you,’ ” she said, to complete the scene.

READ MORE:https://www.gq.com/story/kylie-travis-cover-2018

FREEWAY TALKS ‘DIAMOND IN THE RUFF,’ WORKING WITH JUST BLAZE, MEETING NAS

He survived the crumble of Roc-A-Fella with a successful solo career intact, established his own brand name, and gained the respect of fans from around the world. There isn’t a thing you can tell Freeway about hard work. The Philadelphia native is on the verge of releasing his fourth solo album, Diamond In The Ruff , slated for a Nov. 27 release date. Thought most of his State Property brethren have fallen by the wayside, Free has kept his name hot through independent projects and mixtapes. Earlier this month, the bearded MC released a full length tape, Freedom of Speechin conjunction with clothing company Rocksmith and online retailer Karmaloop. With just a few weeks before the album impacts retailers, VIBE sat down with the lone ranger to discuss his new music, working with Just Blaze again, State Property, meeting Nas after he dissed him, and more.

VIBE: What was your mindset like going into this joint? I know you were working on several mixtape at the same damn time. 
Freeway: Yeah, I did so many. I’m always working, so I would do a record and put it to the side for the album, and that’s how I’ve been working. I got a chance to work with Just Blaze again. We got a record on the album called “Early.” I got three records from Jake One. You know we got crazy chemistry.

What other producers did you snatch up?
I did three records with Bink, who helped me create history during the Roc days. A couple tracks from Needlz, a couple new producers, my man Mike Jerz, one of my in house producers.

You’ve done countless mixtapes and have multiple albums under your belt but did you touch on anything you’ve never rapped about before?
I might have touched on some of the subjects but it’s from a different perspective. I got this record called “The Thirst,” produced by Jake One, and the hook is like ‘We dying of thirst/trying to work.’ I think a lot of people can relate to it because there’s so many that feel stranded right now. They feel stuck. Honestly, you could have a billion dollars and still feel trapped, so that’s where I was at when I did this record. CONTINUE READING…