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Alicia Keys is BlackBerry's New Creative Director. What the Fuck Does That Mean?

Why do companies keep giving fake jobs to real famous people?
February 6, 2013, 3:00pm

The United States Department of Labor revealed Friday we'll be ushering in the first month of 2013 with over 150,000 new jobs, as the economy continues its tenuous crawl from “dead” to “occasionally responding to stimuli.” We did it, you guys! The jobs, ripe for college students to vie for and probably not get anyway are mostly in construction, with many of the remaining good ones being snapped up by popular musicians as part of another new employment trend—the U.S. Initiative for Celebrities to Be Just Like Us.


Alicia Keys, once the Assistant Music Director of that One Semi-Formal When Laci Kracynski’s Dress Ripped While She Was Dancing with Tyler Williamson and Everyone Thought He Was The One Who Ripped it And Still To This Day No One Knows the Truth, has been named “Global Creative Director” by BlackBerry, which is a company that still makes some of its phones with keyboards. Do you get it?

Keys. Like, Alicia Keys, and also BlackBerry keys.

The company announced Wednesday morning that, among the many Big BB Changes it’s rolling out with its new operating system, its recruiting of Keys is an effort to inject some hip cool flavor into its kinda-floundering brand, which I assume just means it wants keyboards to be cool again. The announcement was heralded by Keys Creatively Directing herself to dress exactly like Janelle Monae for the launch, demonstrating how she can inject cool flavor into common office attire and, by metaphor, into an actual office.

Elsewhere in employment, because, it is, after all, “Who you know,” MTV declared last Tuesday that, riding the hip cool flavorwaves of Blackberry, it’s tacked Keys’ upcoming tour-mate Miguel, onto its new reality show Washington Heights as “Guest Music Supervisor.” The show follows a group of rag-tag urban young people as they drink forties on rooftops and talk about struggles, dreams, realities and the subtle interpersonal politics of sexting, all through an Instagram lens, which Miguel gets, because he used to do all that shit in LA.


While Miguel will probably be doing a lot of Grooveshark playlist-making for Washington Heights, not to mention “seeing the grinding” and being the only one who actually know what that phrase means, it's pretty hazy as to what actually comprises Keys’ new job description remains unclear. But, devoted iPhone and Android users are hoping for lots of “key” puns along the way. Some other speculated job requirements include:

1) Playing piano in several Blackberry commercials

2) Sending and receiving daily texts, calls, emails and more using a Blackberry Z10 device (phone)

3) Suspending iPhone contracts for both her and her husband Swizz Beatz

4) No iPhones allowed in the Keys-Beatz household

5) Not tweeting with an iPhone while at any further Blackberry product launches

6) Overseeing the design of R&B-inspired home screen wallpapers (pianos, music notes)

7) Overseeing the design of R&B-inspired phone cases (a solid black one with three-dimensional piano keys on the back) (Keys!)

8) General filing, photocopying, phone answering and other administrative tasks

Keys, whose resume boasts former creative partnerships with Proactiv and that one song with Jack White, plus a fellowship with the New York City Board of Tourism, also has the last name “Keys,” which one half of Blackberry’s two new devices still has as well. All considered, her appointment—on the cusp of a Blackberry revolution, just when they really need some Janelle Monae-inspired Alicia Keysness—is a no-brainer. It only makes sense that she’d pull some strings in the employment industry and get Miguel’s foot in the door at MTV, where he really should start meeting people, if he hopes to be a famous musician someday.

No word yet on whether either new hire will be offered health insurance, paid vacation or a 401k from their respective companies, but I assume at least Keys’ job offer had to have been at least a little bit handsomer than what which was offered by Kindle Fire, which shares a word with a word in Keys’ newest album, Girl on Fire. (“Fire.”)

If this employment trend continues through February, which, please please please, we might see Beyonce interning in Obama’s Office of Communications and, I don’t know, Carlie Rae Jepsen landing the fashion internship of a lifetime in NYC, where she’ll learn lessons on life, love and growing up in the City that Never Sleeps. This is great news for non-celebrity unemployed people, who will have some more cool stuff to read about their favorite artists while they spin endlessly in the spiraling black hole that is nationwide unemployment.

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