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The user-generated interview



Writers are -- generally -- a lazy bunch.

Of course, that declaration probably flies in the face of stereotypical notions depicting authors of all stripes chained to computers, cranking out an infinite number of words and pages every day. But let's get real -- even the ultra-prolific Stephen King only writes four hours per day. And you slave how long at your thankless job? You get me? And no, I'm not saying that all writers are lazy (remember I said "generally"), but most honest ones are pretty damn slack.

  • Randall Slavin
  • STRIKE A POSE: "Miss" Fantasia

Being a lazy writer myself, I never miss an opportunity to avoid work -- or pass my tasks to some other unsuspecting soul. So when I was presented with the opportunity to interview Fantasia (yes, THAT Fantasia ... the North Carolina-born, Charlotte-based "American Idol" winner who's currently promoting her single "Hood Boy" and her new self-titled CD), I immediately started thinking, "OK, who can I get to write this FOR me?" Then it hit me: log on to MySpace.

Well, I was already logged on to the mammoth social networking site, but I thought, "Why not let my MySpace friends make up all the interview questions?" To that end, I sent out a bulletin to all my online pals asking them to send me questions for Fantasia -- and help me dodge any real work. And, lucky for lazy me, they responded in droves. So here you have it: the "User-Generated Interview." Check it out and tell me what you think of this novel (i.e. effortless) approach to journalism -- although as long as I'm writing, it won't be the last!

Although you're an R&B singer, what is your opinion about hip-hop's current state? -- Smurf

Fantasia: I'm an R&B artist, but I'm a big fan of hip-hop. I just think it's [hip-hop] not like it used to be. There's a lot of hip-hop now that don't make sense to me sometimes -- because I'm a big fan of the, like, the real hip-hop of the underground, like the Roots, Talib Kweli, Common, and Kanye West. I just love to hear them talk about real things, real situations and stuff that makes sense. It's not always about some old drama, shooting, killing and dumb stuff, selling drugs and what I got. They speak knowledge. And that's the kind of hip-hop I love.

How many random cousins have come out of the woodwork since you became famous? -- Larmarrous

Oh, I have a lot of new cousins! But that's OK ... I'm from the South [where] you know everybody and everybody claims everybody. But I have a lot of new cousins now, which is cute to me. Everywhere I go somebody's like, "Girl, I'm your cousin!"

How do you feel when you're performing? -- Solidad

How do I feel? You know, I always like to say that whenever I'm up on the stage and performing, that's a special place for me -- my private place. We still go through things all the time; especially me at 22. There are a lot of situations that I handle and deal with. But when I get up there on that stage, that's where I let it all out. It's like being on a high, but I don't have to take any drugs. I could stay up there all day and all night.

If you could date any man in the world who would it be? -- Tiffany

Oh Lord! I would have to say, right now, Prince ... because he's handsome and he's a rock star and I love his music. I think that he's amazing. I would love to just have maybe a week of dating him.

Now, Prince ain't exactly a "Hood Boy."

Yeah, I think Prince has got a little hood in him!

Do you have any New Year's resolutions? -- Smurf

For '07 I just want to work harder and I want to be on the road all '07 ... and all '08, too. I just want to travel and be a hustler -- just get out there and do what I love to do. I want to make more money and hustle and stay on the road. That's my goal.

I used to hate my name growing up. Did you like your name as a child? -- April

Nope. I didn't. Simon [the infamous "American Idol" judge] used to say [my name] so beautiful to me, and he made me love my name. You know how you go to the store and buy those name tags with your name on it? They never had Fantasia on any of those name tags! People would say the Disney movie that came out was my movie, and it was stupid. I just couldn't stand my name. I told my mother when I got older I was going to change it cause it was too kiddie. I used to tell her that all the time: "I'm going to change my name, I'm going to change my name." Like, how would I look at 25 years old [with] somebody calling me Fantasia? But at "American Idol," Simon would say my name so sweet and so beautiful, I was like, "I ain't going to change my name! I like it now."


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