Make Up: Val C
Stylist: Diana Chan
Forever 21 flannel shirt; Christian Louboutin pumps
From the photographs, skyline buffs can probably deduce the location of this month's shoot is Downtown Los Angeles. Modern skyscrapers juxtaposed against early 20th century architecture narrows the field, but it's the hazy smog shrouding the San Gabriel Mountains that is the dead giveaway. That, or the fact that 2NR's offices are in SoCal and our travel budget's about as deep as the plot of an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but whatever.
Despite the locale, Melanie Iglesias is as non-Angelino as it gets. Born and raised in the Empire State, months of voice coaching can't mask her Brooklyn accent. Determined, resilient, and with a strong penchant for saying things as she sees them, Melanie embodies the spirit of New York. Put a few cocktails in her and combine it with the biological fact that she's part Italian and you can fuggedaboutit. So why shoot Melanie in the heart of L.A.? Lots of reasons: Because L.A.'s a paradox, the aforementioned budget problem, and the fact that Melanie would look hot even if photographed in BP's oil spill. But mostly, because Melanie's a Biggie fan. We're Tupac for life. Irony, plus a healthy dose of "Westside!"? All the makings for a great photoshoot.
Growing up in Brooklyn, what's your craziest hood moment?
I would take shortcuts on my way to school and cut through the projects. I'd always hear about murders that happened recently in that location but would still take the shorter route anyway. I didn't want to be late for class!
Who's the greatest rapper to come out of Crooklyn, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Notorious, or Chubb Rock?
Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Jay-Z, and Biggie are all amazing and each brought something different to the table. They're all in my top five with no specific order, although Biggie and Jay-Z get are most played on my iPod.
What? No Chubb on the playlist? That's no way to treat 'em right. In your expert opinion, has the gentrification of Brooklyn been positive?
It's not always positive but Brooklyn is constantly changing. In my opinion, you have to love it because it has produced so many amazing things! We gave the world some of the greatest rappers and some of the greatest pizza in America.
Gentrification leads to great pizza . . . interesting. Concerning pie, what are three topping dos and three don'ts?
Definite must haves are meatballs, pepperoni, or black olives. Don'ts are anchovies, pineapples, or extra onions. Can't rock bad breath!
The Dodgers saw the light and moved to L.A. Would you consider?
I don't really see myself as an L.A. girl but I guess if I did, it would be for my career. L.A. also has a great basketball team, although I'm an Orlando Magic fan. I don't see myself leaving New York because everything is so convenient in the city that never sleeps. New York also inspires my music.
For the record, LA doesn't have a just "great" team, we're the home of the World Champion Lakers. [laughter] First it was Miracle on 34th Street then the Miracle on the Hudson. Have your own Manhattan miracle moment?
Every moment in NYC is a miracle moment. There's no other place like it! I feel lucky to have grown up in NYC.
Except for your Knicks. They're lacking the miracle and luck factors. Even Captain Sully couldn't save them. Manhattan may be the melting pot but it smells like the crap pot. Explain?
[laughter] Garbage day in Manhattan is terrible but that's because there are so many people in the city who all take out the trash at the same exact time!