Hip-hop Media training

Ashanti And Nelly Are Really “Good Good” Friends

Hip-Hop Media Training

One of my favorite parts about interviewing celebrities is listening to their answers. Everyone knows which questions they don't like discussing and we even know the stock responses. But it's still fun to watch them put their Media Training 101 skills to work.

I'm no Wendy Williams or Howard Stern when it comes to interviewing, though I love watching Wendy and Howard calling artists out on their unbelievable stories. My personality is more easy-going and laidback so I just let it flow. I toss the interesting questions out there and let the conversation roll. I am going for the introspective angle.

When I recently interviewed Ashanti for our Pepsi Smash program, I asked her if she and Nelly were engaged and planning to get married. We've all seen that photo of them walking on a beach holding hands. They go to award shows together and blush when asked about each other in interviews. But Ashanti still elected to be evasive when I asked her about her romantic relationship with Nelly.

Ashanti laughed loudly and her eyes bugged out before giving me the rehearsed spiel: "Nelly is a really good friend ..." After watching her new video, in which Nelly portrays her husband, I think she meant to say that the St. Louis rapper was a "really 'Good Good' friend." I wasn't mad. Ashanti's a good interview. (Watch her talk about her "The Way That I Love You" video.)

Of course, playing a husband in a music video doesn't confirm anything. But I find it interesting how celebrity couples dodge the simple questions while also capitalizing off of the interest in their "secret" relationship which is never really on the low.

Best case scenario has been Beyonce and Jay-Z. Before Beyonce dropped "Crazy In Love," I interviewed her and asked her why she and Jay-Z didn't like to be asked about their relationship, but made a song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde (Me And My Girlfriend)." (Read interview.) Beyonce replied, "I thought the song was great. I thought the concept was great. I thought Tupac's original version was great, and I thought the idea of one of the hottest rappers with one of the biggest or hottest whatever you want to call it, R&B artists, was a great concept. It was a great song, great music--everything else doesn't matter. And I think that the video was really great, and I love when R&B artists collaborate with hip-hop artists. I think they complement one another." A month later, the "Crazy In Love" video dropped and the two were singing about being crazy in love and Beyonce was dancing like it.

Watching Ashanti's "Good Good" makes me feel duped again. Oh well. It's a good video though.

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