By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
It was eye-popping: Countless teenage bimbettes in low-cut jeans or short pleated skirts and provocative tops. If I had a dollar for every glimpse of skin-glittered ass-cleavage at Britney Spears' Glendale Arena concert on a recent Wednesday night, I could afford a swimming pool full of Kris, and a set of platinum dubs pavéd with ice.
But this night wasn't about jailbait, or even about Britney (the chick who made the world safe for teenage girls to strut their stuff like the ladies of Van Buren). It was about Kelis.
"Boy, I'd do her," Jett says, as we watch Arista's "Milkshake" girl perform her pre-Britney set. In a pink halter and tight pants, she belts out the tunes from her latest cut Tasty, makin' Jett wish she were a female Nas.
"Thanks for the news flash, Jon Stewart," I say, gulping from a cup of Fat Tire from the concession stand. "Just keep your eye on the time. I don't want to miss that after-party Kelis is having at Axis/Radius. I'll bet it's off-tha-hook."
"Yeah, let's bounce as soon as Kelis does 'Milkshake,'" spits my lesbo pal. "That'll be her last song. Kelis is the shizznit. I wanna get to the club, get our corner and get a couple of shots in us before she shows up."
As if on cue, Kelis starts singing her hit, and Jett and I make our way to the exit, with "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" buzzing in our eardrums, an auditorium full of teenyboppers screaming along.
We hop in the Impala and peel out, with me driving and Jett chatting up her latest conquest on the celly. That bitch puts Colin Farrell in the dark when it comes to trim. Maybe one day she'll share. Like Snoop says, "It ain't no fun, if the homies can't have none . . ."
We roll on Axis/Radius at 7340 East Indian Plaza far in advance of Kelis and her entourage. It's hump day, and Old Town Snottsdale's deader than Courtney Love's career, save for A/R. The club's bumpin' like it's a Friday night, due in no small part to the anticipated arrival of hip-hop's latest queen bee, organized by the local event gurus at HYB Entertainment.
Axis/Radius is like two two-tiered hot spots in one. As you enter, if you go right, it's bar-land, with a small dance area to the rear and one big, square bar dominating the center. Upstairs is more dimly lighted, with a long bar against one wall with a glowing, reddish tiger-skin pattern to the bar top and curving, hornlike lamps overhanging it. Directly across from this bar is a VIP lounge where Kelis will be later on. It's out in the open, behind a low wall and the inevitable velvet rope, with some goon who looks like Mike Tyson's uglier cousin.
A glassed-in catwalk on the second floor leads you to the "other" club. There, the second story's like a square doughnut of a balcony with one long bar, all overlooking a large dance floor below with couples grinding to the sounds of Usher, Cassidy, and Twista. The Lesbian Kid Rock and I do a shot of Jaeger, grip our vodka-Red Bulls like two macks on the prowl and head for the nearby patio where we bump into Angela Woods next to a table of her sistas.
Woods, 21, is as fine as Alicia Keys, showing plenty of walnut-colored skin with a neon-yellow fishnet top that stops just below her breasts. This PHX cosmetologist is rockin' a ruby in her belly button, a pair of horned-rimmed sunglasses, and a head of tight brown curls. I step to her with as much game as a 300-pound playa can muster, only to discover she has a man. Damn, can't a wankster catch a break?
"I don't know if anyone else can compete with him," she smiles at me knowingly. "He's got a lotgoing on."
"Really hung, eh?" I inquire, inadequately.
"Yes, he is. That's why I'm so in love," she says, batting her eyes.
"So size does matter to women."
"Well, sometimes it does," she smirks, sipping on her Belvedere and cranberry.
A thought comes to mind. "Have you got any theories on what Kelis means by a 'milkshake'?"
"I don't know," Woods responds. "Maybe it's the way she shakes it. I'm not sure. I just like the song, as well as her whole album. I've been feelin' her since her first album, which has been a few years now."
"I loved that joint she did with ODB: 'Hey-ey-eey, baby I got your money, don't you worry,'" I croak, more like Old Dirty Bastard than Kelis, shakin' my fat ass like a salt-mine.
Jett's snickering at me, and she's not the only one. But, suddenly, her gaze turns to the two Latino club thugs who're staring at her booty.
"What's crack-a-lackin', fellas?" Jett asks sweetly. Heh, they have no idea she's a lip sticker.
Their peepers bulge bigger than Beetlejuice's. I damn near have to slap 'em off Jett. But I feel their pain, to quote Slick Willie, America's first black Prez. We strike up a confab, and I discover they're none other than E-Boogie, weekend jock for Power 92.3, and his pal Eric M.
E-Boogie's of medium build with closely cropped hair and classic homeboy attire, checked shirt open to reveal a white tee; his pal Eric's a roly-poly, Cee-Lo-sized lowrider dude. E-Boogie's in the house to support the station (as well as scope ta-tas). Eric, a part-time promoter, is riding shotgun.
E-Boogie says he's been on-air about five years.
"Ever get any ladies that way?" I ask, as Jett disappears.
"Oh, I've had my share of fun," laughs E-Boogie. "Definitely. They be callin' up to request songs. I mean, the eye candy will."
"So tell me, did Gringo Suave really eat a placenta on air?"
"Yeah, he did. It was nasty, dog. He's crazy."
"A human placenta? Isn't that, like, cannibalism?"
"I don't think it was human. I think it was animal, but everything you hear on the radio is for real."
"Tell me, what's your take on what 'the milkshake' is?" I ask them both.
Eric M. jumps in: "Every girl has something that she's good at, and that's her milkshake, and that's what brings dogs like me to the yard."
"I think the milkshake's like the upper part of the woman's body," chimes E-Boogie. "The jiggos. 'Cause that's where the milk comes from."
All of a sudden I realize my sidekick's kickin' it somewhere else! I've got to find her 'cause she's rockin' the corporate plastic. I look over my shoulder, and I see Jett on the dance floor freakin' Kelis! What the fuck? Somebody remind me to put a dog collar on my seductive sidekick. Oh, she's already wearing one.
I rush downstairs and tap Jett on the shoulder. That's when I see it's not Kelis, but a tall, light-skinned African-American princess with a large 'fro, wearing a tight "Jesus is my homeboy" tee shirt, big hoop earrings, and jeans. We step to the side, and I give her the third-degree about that tee.
"He is my homeboy," says Beatrice, 21, about the man with the nail-scarred hands. She's originally from D.C., but is now an aspiring stylist and fashion designer in P-town, thinking of making that big move to La-La Land.
Just for the record, B-girl thinks Kelis' milkshake's about "her dance." I might agree, if we're talkin' about the old horizontal tango. But since she's so, uh, religious and all, shakin' her bisexual booty on the dance floor with the L-word extraordinaire (Jett), I stay on Christ, and ask if she's seen The Passion.
"That movie was amazing," she replies. "I loved it."
What about the charges that it was too violent, and that it was down on the Jews?
"I thought it was powerful," says Beatrice; and as for God's Chosen peeps, "You know what, they were the ones who did it. Whether it was down on them or not, that's just what happened."
My head throbbing from all the religion, we say bye to Beatrice and hi to super-doopa-fly-guy Marlin Rison, a twentysomething hotel exec from Dallas in town for bidness and pleasure. He's stylin' in a dark-blue jacket, a Roc-a-Wear sweatshirt, some wireless sunglasses and a smooth, shaved head.
"I live out of hotels, but I'm also able to see a lot of lovely ladies, too," he brags, sipping on his double Courvoisier.
"So are you groovin' on that new song by Cassidy and R. Kelly?" asks Jett. "The one where they're talking about handin' out room keys and after-parties 'til six in the mornin'?"
Marlin laughs in a deep baritone reminiscent of the late Barry White: "Let's just say it kind of hits home."
Suddenly, like a flash of lightning, Kelis arrives, entourage and phalanx of security in tow. We just see her big hair heading up the stairs to the VIP lounge, so Jett and I scoot up after her. But when we make it to the velvet rope, we're confronted with the Mike Tyson look-alike, and he ain't budging.
"Don't you know who we are, fool?" screams Jett, lit from all the vodka and Jaeger she's been downing. This does not please Iron Mike, who's now determined to keep us out, no matter how much I sweet-talk him.
"No one bothers Kelis," he keeps repeating.
Behind him and several other layers of security, we see her in a polka dot blouse and jeans, sipping white wine, and dancing barefoot to some Sean Paul track.
"Ke-lisssss!" I yell over Tyson's shoulder. "What's a milkshake?"
To which the rap queen, grinning back at me, works her ass so low to the floor that she could pick up a quarter with her . . . Damn, girl!