I Interviewed and Took a Selfie with Lil Jon, Nick Cannon, a Bunch of Random Artists, and J Lo

When in doubt, ask celebrities about Based God and French Montana.

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Jun 30 2014, 5:23pm


Lil Jon, refusing to turn down; photos by Jon Peltz

The iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party is an annual festivity at the most elitist of elite South Beach hotels: The Fountainebleau. It celebrates and gathers the year's number one hit artists for two nights, attracting a scantily clad group of teeny-boppers and VIP clubgoers (tickets range from $200-500 for the event). Last year, Miley Cyrus showed up. This year, the summer’s biggest hits were represented by Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, Neon Trees, Ariana Grande, and Jenny from the motherfucking Block, a.k.a. Jennifer Lopez. And it was all hosted by the greatest host in the history of hosts: Nick Cannon. There would also be a bevy of stars from CW network TV shows for whatever reason.

I was unaware when I initially got myself on the press list for the event that I would be given behind the scenes access. As it turned out, I would barely be viewing the show at all, and I was instead consigned to watching the concert on a television screen. The press area was a little room with a tiny makeshift “red carpet” where all the celebs of the night would walk through, get stopped and captured by the paparazzi hyenas (who were bizarrely chill when it was waiting time, but generally vicious when it was time to work), and then talk to us, the press. I scrambled to think of the best questions to inform you, the reader, on the lives of these iconoclasts. Here's what I learned in my whirlwind questioning of Lil Jon, J Lo, and a bunch of random sort-of celebs who happened to be there.

Jake Miller: This is a really popular and cute rapper. Girls luv him, and he wears his hat sideways. <3< p="">

You’re cute. That’s not a question.
Thank you!

Do you know the Based God?
I’ve heard of the Based God. I’m not exactly familiar with him or whatever it is to be honest.

Oh, well do you know French Montana?
Yes. Wait. Based God is a rapper? When I hear people say Based God...I’m not 100% sure if it’s an artist or not. No offense to Based God.

No... you don’t want to offend the Based God.
I’m sorry Based God.

Lil B is a rapper who’s written about two thousand songs and he’s following like every celebrity on Twitter.
I don’t think he’s following me. [Note: Based God is absolutely following Jake Miller on Twitter]

Would you like to work with French Montana?
Yeah absolutely, I’m a big fan of his.

Matt Koma: This dude sings on some Tiesto and Afrojack songs.

Do you ever find that when you’re working with Afrojack in the studio he kind of rambles about philosophy?
No, I haven’t had that experience. All of our experiences have been very positive and music driven. For the most part all the songs we worked on were while we were both on tour. So a lot of it was done with e-mail correspondence, and then we could tweak it together. We have a lot of fun together, actually.

What was your experience at Ultra like?
Ultra was great! All these festivals are pretty awesome to be honest. It was great to see that many sets in the day and to get to see that lifestyle living and breathing. It’s fun.

Madison Beer: This is a girl whose music got tweeted out by Justin Bieber and who consequently got signed to Island Def Jam records. She is 15 years old.

Do you know the Based God?
No, I’ve heard of him. He’s a rapper, right?

He’s a rapper with a huge Twitter following.
Yeah I’ve seen his Twitter before. I don’t know anything about him, though.

He follows everyone on Twitter. Even me, and I’m nobody
He probably follows me on Twitter. [Note: He absolutely does.]

What’s your favorite kind of rap music?
I actually love rap music, which a lot of people find shocking because I sing pop music. I love Drake, Tyga, all those people.

Do you like “Turn Down for What?”
I love it! I hear a lot of people who are like, ‘This isn’t music,’ but I think it’s such a cool song. I just wanna be like ‘Ay, ay, Turn up!’ I love it!

Lil Jon: This is, you know, Lil Jon, the guy from all the mid-00s hits you love, plus “Turn Down for What.” He was playfully fucking around with the whole press thing. He didn’t seem to give a shit about the paparazzi and generally gave everyone, including myself, a good ribbing. He yelled “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!” at an innocent UsWeekly reporter. When he performed later, he tried hype up the noticeably dead Miami crowd with, “HAVE YOU GUYS EVEN HEARD OF A WINDOW?!?! OR A WALL?!”

Do you know the Based God?
Yeah, I’ve known him since he was in The Pack, when he was basically a teenager. He actually hit me up and wants me to really do some production for him. I just haven’t been back on the beats yet to do it. I’m going to definitely look out for him and give him some beats.

What was it like working with French Montana?
This is 2014. He just sends people the beats, and you just send it back. So I haven’t worked with him for real like that yet.

Would you like to?
French is dope. One day I’m sure we’ll get together and do something crazy. It’s just technology. You send it to him and he sends it back.

Last year I watched you judge a DJ competition here called, “Master of the Mix.” Do you have any future television plans?
Yeah, I’m working on a couple of TV shows. When I did “The Apprentice,” I saw that middle America—mainstream America—really likes me on television. They like my character. I’m just me. I was just me when I was on “The Apprentice.”

Do you mind if I take a selfie with you?
Dudes need to stop saying selfie! Selfie sounds so...feminine.

Let me... let me get a selfie?
Come on! Can’t we just be taking a picture?!

OK, just as two men.

Nick Cannon: This is the Nick Cannon—the host of “Wild N' Out,” the star of Drumline, the husband of Mariah Carey. I overheard that he was DJing at Club LIV the night before. It was a treat to watch him host the show live, since we got to seem him do several different takes of shots on the first night. Dude’s professional and energetic as fuck.

Do you know the Based God, Lil B?
I do know the Based God, Lil B.

What do you think of him?
I think he’s dope! I love his following. I love his whole movement and how he kind of controls his whole Based God energies.

Do you think he’s inspiring?
It is, man! We gotta get Lil B on “Wild N’ Out”! Tell him to come through.

Do you know French Montana?
Do I know him? I do know him. I know him very well, he’s a friend of mine.

What do you think of him?
I hate him, actually. Can’t stand his ass. Naw, He’s a good dude. He did “Wild N’ Out” last season. Hit me with real hard jokes. He’s a fun dude and a good friend.

What does Howard Stern smell like, specifically?
Jheri curl activator and apricot.

Tiesto: This is the international trance superstar. He was wearing a polka-dotted dad shirt. Before I could ask him questions about life’s many mysteries, he was whisked away by his publicist. I pleaded with him to ask a few questions, but his oddly rotund body guard told me I was going to have to step away.

Iggy Azalea: This is the rapper with the Number One song in the country. She her set next, and some of the other press and I were given the privilege of being led through the underground bowels of the hotel to the side where the show was happening. After a series of boiler rooms, Lynchian hallways, and a brief encounter with Lil Jon, who was yelling at red-haired woman, “WHO DID YOUR HAIR, NIGGA?!”, I was backstage at an Iggy Azalea show. I had made it. It ruled. Nick Cannon was fucking 15 feet away from me lip-syncing to “Fancy” and psyching himself up to go up and host after the set. I also noticed, during this time, that the sets were all censored. e.g. “You should want a bad CHICK like this.” “Work, work, work, work, workin’ on my shhhhh.” “Giving ____ for Louboutins.”

We hurried back to the room after “Fancy.” Ariana Grande would come on next, with Iggy guesting on “Problem.” We sat in the room and waited out Ariana Grande’s headlining set. It wouldn’t be that long of a wait however, as she elected to perform just three songs for the capacity crowd. The radiant Iggy Azalea was immediately crowded by paparazzi cameras when she stepped on the short red carpet. “Look this way Iggy!” “Over here Iggy! Now great turn your head down a little and look right here.” It’s hard to describe how intimidatingly beautiful and powerful of a person she was. And with the paparazzi there, there was bizarre sense that we were watching rare animals in the zoo. Within 30 seconds she was escorted to another room, and my request for a selfie was denied. She then went to the room behind us and did a meet and greet with the VIPs.

Ariana Grande: This is the budding pop superstar and singer of “Problem,” the Number Two song in the country. There was a spot in the press room where, if you stood under it, everyone could hear what you said perfectly. After Ariana’s set, some of the other reporters told me they heard a security guard’s walkie talkie echo, “If we bring her back there, she’s going to be fucking pissed!” There was a worried murmur amongst the crowd. We were told, shortly thereafter, that Ariana would not be doing press. Whatever! One less problem without her! LOL.

DAY TWO:

Gina Rodriguez: This iis an actress who is being featured on a new CW TV movie called Jane the Virgin. When asked to do a shoutout to a local TV news cameraman, she called the city the “405” (the correct area code/nickname is the 305).

Do you know the Based God?
No, I don’t.

Okay, well—
Wait wait wait give me some song he did. Would I know one of his songs?

Um, he’s written thousands of songs.
Oh, he’s written thousands of songs?! You’re like, “No big deal he’s just written everything under the sun. And you do not know him.”

He has this huge social media following. So far every celebrity that I’ve interviewed at this thing is being followed by Lil B on Twitter.
I don’t think Lil B is following me! Where you at Lil B? You gotta let him know! Here is Gina, Lil B, if you wanna follow me.

OK, I will tell him that. Do you know French Montana?
I know French Montana!

What do you think about him?
Didn’t he just buy Khloe Kardashian a truck or a Jeep for her 30th birthday?

I’m not sure exactly, but yeah it was something ridiculous like that. [Note: It was, indeed a Jeep]
That’s very kind of you, French Montana!

Do you wish he would buy you a Jeep for your birthday?
If he’s giving them out…

Magic!: This is a band with four dudes in it, I guess? They have the hit song "Rude." I overheard one of the dudes from this band talking about how he fell in love with one of the Japanese girls from The Karate Kid, Part 2.

Have you ever had a vision of what your life would be like if you had stayed with that Japanese woman?
Karate Kid fan band member:
The thing is I never had the pleasure of even being with her at the time that I was crushing on her. I was a kid myself. I can tell you that if I was to build a life with her I would learn Japanese right now. I would eat tons of sushi and delicious sashimi.
Another band member: He would be a kung fu master!
First band member: I would learn karate. I would be studying the art of ninja and samurai.

Do you know the Based God?
The Drummer, who fucking knows what’s up:
Yeah I do! I listened to his music on MySpace back in the day. He used to spam people his music so hard on Myspace. And then it kind of worked out for him. It’s pretty funny.

Do you know if he follows you on Twitter?
I don’t know if he does. I hope he does because I respect him as an artist.

Does he inspire you?
Absolutely. When I’m feeling ratchet or I need to get a little ratchet, I listen to Lil B.

Do you know French Montana?
Yep.

What do you think about him?
Ain’t worry bout nuthin.’ I ain’t worry bout nuthin’ HANH.

The last question is just... let me take a selfie.
That’s not really a question.

Neon Trees: This is a band that had a famous song called “Everybody Talks” in 2011. Their new album, Pop Psychology, came out earlier this year.

Do you know the Based God?
No.

Do you know French Montana?
I just know that he’s impregnated Khloe Kardashian, according to one of the rags.

Let’s take a selfie!

Jennifer Lopez: This is Jennifer Lopez. It should be noted that Jenny from the Block put on an outrageously good performance. She performed mostly her newer stuff, with some classics peppered in. There was a dope etching of a New York City block in neon pink in the background monitor. She shook her divine booty and bragged about it multiple times: She is proud to still be in shape.

There was a surreal moment halfway through her set when a hole ripped in the back of her stockings under her butt. Then a pool of blood started spreading on her left kneecap, held in by said stocking. She bled throughout her performance. J Lo bled for us. Are you not entertained?! There was palpable tension and concern in the press room. When J Lo knelt down at one point on the stage, there were gasps. We were all worried that she would, understandably, forgo press after that. But Jennifer Lopez is a goddamned trooper. Her deep brown eyes were so piercing, beautiful, and steely that when she stared at me it felt like I was floating off the ground.

What was it like to work with French Montana?
It was fun! He came down to Atlanta. I was shooting a movie down there back in November. No, back in January. I told him I wanted to get on this record, “Same Girl,” and he told me, “I want to get on ‘Papi.’” I was like... “OK! But can you do both?” And he said, “OK!” And that’s how it happened.

Do you know Lil B?
[Blank stare]

The Based God?
[Blank stare]

Do you have any plans to do any collaboration with him?
No...not yet. No plans right now.

OK, last question: Will you take a selfie with me?
Sure.

Jonathan Peltz has a lot of messages to relay to the Based God. He's on Twitter - @thecrazypman

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