Fergie Dances With Herself
Fergie Ferg takes the cover of Rolling Stone as this year’s Hot Issue Cover Girl. Here’s the juicy interview with Fergie:
It’s two in the afternoon on a Friday, and Fergie Ferg is at Pastis, an enduringly trendy French bistro in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. She’s seated outside, which is a little risky in the meatpacking district because there are always celebrities floating around — a moment ago Penelope Cruz strolled up in an extraordinary amount of makeup, looked around and wandered off — which means there’s always paparazzi lurking. A sexy blond star with a hot single, “London Bridge,” who’s one-quarter of one of the biggest hip-hop groups in the world, the Black Eyed Peas, and who’s got a hot actor boyfriend, Josh Duhamel — all that adds up to honey for shutterbugs. Even now, across the street, there’s one shooting Fergie through a telephoto lens. But Fergie doesn’t notice. She’s too busy making up words.
THOUGHTS :: What do you think of Fergie and her tiara?
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“I love imitating instruments,” Fergie says of her vocal style. “Sometimes you can’t understand what I’m saying because I’m going for an instrumental sound. It would ruin the sound if I pronunciated correctly.” Fergie favors linguistic mash-ups, like that portmanteau pairing of “enunciated” and “pronounced.” Earlier, she unveiled her new favorite: risiculous. “When something is so, so sick, it’s risiculous,” she says. “It’s sick and ridiculous. Risiculous. See, I have my own dictionary.” When asked if she’s a tomboy, she says, “I’m not that categorizable, if that’s a word.” It’s not. “But it is in my dictionary. OK? Sometimes I can be tomboyish, and sometimes I can be girly. It depends on what mood I’m in. I like the balance. That whole woman/ little girl thing, I like to play both of those.”
Thirty-one-year-old Stacy Ferguson’s natural uncategorizabilty is why one moment she’s tomboyish in a sporty tank and Adidas running shoes, dancing like one of the boys, and then a lady in heels, a Betty Boop-ish flirt who winks seductively, blows kisses and says breathily, “Bye, you.” Growing up in suburban Southern California, just outside L.A., she had friends who went to the beach and listened to Guns n’ Roses, and cholo and chola friends who’d listen to oldies and go cruising. “I was always kind of eclectic in my tastes,” she says.
Fergie is all about the contradictions, the little enigmas. She was a good girl, an A student, a self-proclaimed people pleaser, who grew up and became a crystal-meth addict. (The ring she wears through her right eyebrow is a present she gave herself five years ago when she kicked meth.) Her debut single, “London Bridge,” is built around a shadowy metaphor. When she says, “How come every time you come around my London, London Bridge wanna go down,” what exactly does “London Bridge” mean? Is it panties? A body part? She resists a direct answer: “It’s ambiguous.” But even so, you get the sense: It’s a sexual euphemism. It’s not clear, but it’s not complicated.
More contradictions: She’s in a rap group and she’s rapping on “London Bridge,” but her debut album, The Dutchess, certainly isn’t a rap album, and she doesn’t call herself a rapper. The Dutchess includes a wide swath of flavors, from the fun not-rapping of “London Bridge” and “Fergalicious,” inspired by J.J. Fad’s “Supersonic,” to pillow-talk R&B ballads, rockers and reggae-tinged grooves. Fergie rhymes, she sings, she chats, she stops in the middle of “Clumsy” for a speech, she does whatever she wants, ’cause she’s uncategorizable…