You know, when I woke up today, as I poured my Count Chocula and prepared for another boring day of work , I thought to myself: “Self, there is only one thing in this formless void we call a universe that could possibly make me happy. And that is if an untalented midcarder in the WWE were to interview a terrible rapper in an untalented commercial pop group. ” But, of course, that type of dream connection doesn’t really happen outside the imagination of youth.
Wait a minute, what’s this?!
In the latest edition of WWE.com’s Superstar to Superstar, SmackDown’s United States and WWE Tag Team Champ MVP chats with rapper, lyricist, producer and frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am.
Wh… But I…Hominahomina… WHAT?!
WWE, it’s like you constantly read my mind when you decide what entertainments to put in my computer box. God bless you and your ability to give the fans what they want with no obnoxious intrusion of marketing whatsoever.
MVP digs deep with will.i.am. to find out the inspiration for his solo album, Songs About Girls, which was released in September. Catch will.i.am’s performance on the American Music Awards Sunday, Nov. 18, on ABC.
Catch will.i.am on Extra, The Insider and Access Hollywood. Catch will.i.am in every magazine from now until summer 2008. Catch will.i.am. being used as a giant Q-Tip on the New American Gladiators with Hulk Hogan, January 6th on NBC. Catch will.i.am’s shitty album appearing at the bottom of the $2.99 rack at your local used CD store in approximately 1 year.
Also, catch MVP at a mall opening in January 2009, followed by MVP selling fruit outside of tollbooths later that year, telling people he used to be famous. Then catch him in the “Where Are They Now?” section of washed-up WWE wrestlers, two years from now, scratch your head, and go, “M. V. Who?! Wasn’t that the guy with the baseball face?”
MVP: Will, how you doing, man? MVP… SmackDown.
will: What’s up?
MVP: Well, I was fortunate enough to be picked to interview you for Superstar to Superstar. So I have some questions for you. Are you ready?
will: Yeah. What’s up?
Analysis: Well, we are two questions in and so far he has asked him whether he is ready for any questions yet. I have to say, by WWE standards, this “idiot wrestlers interviewing people” thing is a rousing success. I guess the one job Michael Cole can sort of do without completely embarrassing himself has been rendered obsolete.
MVP: I’m very, very pleased to have been able to watch your explosion because the first time I saw you guys was on the Warped Tour in 1999. It was really cool to watch your explosion – and I say explosion because the group Black Eyed Peas has blown up.
“I also say ‘explosion’ because I like explosions. I say ‘explosion’ a lot. Explosion! Explodey explosional explode-o-rama. I’m blowin’ up! In fact I like blowin’ up so much that I do it in the ring 2 minutes into a match.”
will: I think it’s awesome to be able to ride the wave and maneuver myself, just staying afloat. A lot of people think we’re in business, so…
MVP: On a personal note, I used to work for years out on South Beach, running security in nightclubs and doing bodyguard work. One night you, Tab and Fergie came into Mansion, and I was assigned to bodyguard you guys while you were in the one room. It’s kind of interesting how at that point, I was a virtual nobody and now I’ve come into my own success as a celebrity, and it’s so realistic to me. It’s mind-numbing sometimes how quickly celebrity can take off.
Oh, my dear MVP. You’re on Smackdown. If everyone on TV were allowed to call themselves celebrities, the National Enquirer would be full of stories about public access cable TV hosts.
This interview is a lot like, say, Tom Hanks’s limo driver engaging Tom in buddy-buddy conversation, including himself on the same plane of celebrity as Tom Hanks because he drives famous people around all the time, and Tom having to nod politely, insert appropriate “uh-huh”s and “nope”s in at the relevant times, and pray for the ride to the airport to be over as soon as possible.
How do you deal with the success, being able to say that at one point you were the proverbial starving artist and now you’re considered one of the top acts and producers in the country?
“Well, I try to keep in mind that I’m really not very good at what I do, and at any time, I could fall back down to the level of ‘celebrity’ that includes Carrot Top and MVP. That keeps me humble as a motherfucker.”
I’m just kidding, he didn’t really say that.
will: I try not to take it too seriously, you know? Because you can let it get to your head, the quality of entertainment. So I like to always stay connected and see what people gravitate toward and not let the celebrity separate me from people because at the end of the day, you’re entertaining those people. To know what those people are craving and feeling at the moment, is to always stay relevant, you know? Especially in this day and age, as soon as you put yourself on a pedestal, you don’t have that connection, you know?
MVP: Yeah, I understand exactly what you’re saying. One of the things we pride ourselves on as WWE Superstars is connecting with the audience. What we do in the ring, we’re reacting from the energy of the crowd. So we have to be connected to our fans just the same way you have to be connected to yours.
I guess I can’t argue with that. If you force someone to get up and go get popcorn during your shitty match, or put them to sleep with an intricately choreographed series of chinlocks made with angry faces, I guess technically you have “connected” with them. The same way you “connect” with someone’s foot when you get kicked hard in the testicles.
MVP “connecting” with fans.
MVP: A lot of WWE fans are huge followers of Black Eyed Peas,
A lot of WWE fans also have problems operating a toaster.
MVP: but I know recently you had a solo joint come out. What can the fans expect from your solo joint? Do you have the same energy and intensity that the Black Eyed Peas albums have, or are you venturing out in a different direction?
will: It’s a little different, but not too different to where I’m alienated. My solo record, it has to be a little different. It can’t be the same, just me minus the other three. So just in respect to the Black Eyed Peas and what I’ve built, I’ve had to be adventurous and try to take our audience to a different musical place.
“However, to avoid confusing my fanbase with my radically different ‘joint’, I have hired another half-naked, giant retarded slut to dance around next to me rhythmlessly while I sing.”
MVP: (laughs) So for the most part, you have fun, get loose, but nothing too outrageous. Fair enough. … Let me ask you this… You’ve quickly become recognized as one of music’s top producers. I’m curious, who is your favorite person to collaborate with or who have you had the most fun working with?
will: Michael Jackson is my high right now.
MVP: I remember when Michael Jackson as an act, as a talent, was untouchable and was in a realm all his own. How does it feel to be working with him?
will: That’s like you getting in the ring with… yeah, dude, for me, Michael Jackson. He’s not Hulk Hogan. To me, it would be like “Macho Man” Randy Savage. To me, like, Elvis is equivalent to Hulk Hogan. And Michael Jackson would be like who, I don’t know.
I admit I am digging this musical artist/wrestler comparison heirarchy that will.i.am has created here. I have put together some additions to this metaphorical equivalent-fame stepladder for my own amusement.
MUSICAL ARTIST/WRESTLER OF EQUIVALENT FAME
Michael Jackson/Randy Savage
Elvis Presley/Hulk Hogan
Brooke Hogan/Horace Hogan
Bob Dylan/Big John Studd
Jessica Simpson/Shawn Michaels
Ashlee Simpson/Marty Jannetty
Panic at the Disco/Viscera
Insane Clown Posse/Insane Clown Posse
Black Eyed Peas in 5 years/MVP now
MVP: Working with someone like Michael Jackson, intimidated might be the wrong word, but for lack of a better word, do you sometimes find yourself a little awe-struck when producing or working with him?
will: At first I was, but you can’t be. If you are then you’re jeopardizing the outcome of whatever it is you’re working on. It took a while for me and it took a lot of mental strength to just let it go and forget about it. You have to separate it. You have to forget everything that he meant to you and what he symbolized. You’ve just got to go out and do the work.
“Although I kept tripping over toddlers while we were recording.”
MVP: OK, so we can get the whole story just listening to it. All right. Now let me just switch gears here for a second. You mention growing up in the projects and there, you know, sometimes you are going to get into scraps. Did you get into some scraps growing up?
will: Not in my projects. I was the dude that … I never got in a fight … never in my whole life. Because I was the dude in the projects that everyone was like, ‘That’s that dude Willie, do that rap you did the other day!’
MVP: Ahhh, OK, you were that guy! I’m digging that.
Whereas MVP was the guy who used to pick fights with all the smaller kids, get tired and put them into chinlocks for five minutes.
MVP: But my last question is would you like to come to a WWE show in the future, maybe come down, show me a little love, represent, you know?
will: You know what? I’ve always wanted to go to a wrestling match, but we were pretty poor. My next-door neighbor used to go to the Royal Rumble.
Huh? Does he think the Royal Rumble is, like, a weekly wrestling block party that they have downtown every week? That kids raise money for by putting on a breakdancing show? “Hey, where’s our wacky next-door neighbor? Oh, he went down to the local youth center to see this week’s Royal Rumble.”
I mean, not that anyone really reads these things (except for me, God help us), but you would think if you’re going into an interview to promote your shitty album at a wrestling site, and drop the name of a PPV, you might familiarize yourself with the basics of what a PPV is and when they take place.
“Yes Bob Costas. I truly love the NFL. I had a great-uncle who often used to go to the Super Bowl.”
MVP: So you grew up watching WWE then?
will: Yeah, dude, I used to be a big WWE fan. You can tell by my knowledge. George “The Animal” Steele, Andre the Giant was dope, British Bulldog, Iron Sheik …but I like Junkyard Dog, that’s my boy. And Koko B. Ware. And Randy… yeeeeeah… “Macho Man.”
Yes, no one knows any of those obscure wrestlers except for you. You truly possess heretofore unimagined knowledge of wrestling.
MVP: I know you’re busy, man. I really enjoyed talking to you and anytime, you have an open invitation to come to a WWE show and you will be my personal guest.
will: All right.
MVP: All right, well you hold it down. Take care. Thank you very much.
Until we meet again on VH1′s “I Love the 2000s!”