me and akua

confident girls
December 2009
Table of Contents
1.KeKe Palmer!!
2. New Boyz!!
3. Gift Ideas
Double Dutch Links
Newsletter Signup
Happy Holidays! !

It's Double Dutch Magazine!

Like many of you we're looking forward to the holidays. It's a great time to spend with friends and family, sing songs and give gifts. Gifts don't always need to involve spending money, they can be something special to let people know you love them or care about them.

This issue is definitely a gift to our readers. It includes interviews with actress, KeKe Palmer and hip-hop artists, The New Boyz! They're talented, they're positive and fun! For those of you that are still in need of gift ideas, we've included info on how you can give Double Dutch subscriptions and t-shirts.

As always we appreciate all of your support this year. Stay tuned for new changes to our website and announcements about Double Dutch events.

See you next year,
Keke Has Hollywood in the Palm of her Hands!
By Ashley Ferguson
 me and akua
Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon

At the age of 15, KeKe Palmer has appeared in numerous movies that include, Akeelah and the Bee, Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, and Shrink. If that isn't enough, she has her own TV show on Nickeoldeon, True Jackson, and she will be releasing a new album on Interscope Records.

The world is hers and despite all her success, she still remains down-to-earth, positive and a great role model for teen girls. We had an opportunity to chat with KeKe about her career, fashion and self-esteem. We're soo lucky!

DD: The first question that I have for you is where did the name Keke come from?

KP: It came from my sister. She nicknamed me.
DD: You started singing when you were five years old. Now you're 15, in movies and have your own sitcom. How would you describe the journey so far?
KP: It's been a very fun ride. I'm so grateful for everything, you know singing and acting. I love entertaining people.  I just love doing it all!
DD: What has been your favorite experience so far?
KP: Hmmm... My favorite experience... I definitely had a fun time at the BET Awards when I sang. I felt so honored. So that was definitely one of the things that I'm most proud of.
DD: Now, was that your idea or did someone ask you to do that (sing at the BET Awards)?
KP: Actually, I was supposed to do something else, then Michael Jackson passed away. They wanted to turn the BET Awards around and make it for him. They knew I could sing; that's why they asked me.
DD: Tell me a little bit about the movie, Shrink.
KP: It was a lot of fun. I just had a wonderful time. It was cool to go back and do a drama, because I do so much comedy on my Nickelodeon show, True Jackson. Shrink was fun because I got to do drama. It was just cool to do that type of movie that I had to think about.
DD: What did you do for your Sweet Sixteen?
KP: My dad came up with the idea for a Sweet Sixteen Prom. I just loved the idea because I'm not going to be able to have a Prom. Plus, a lot of my other friends are actors and they aren't going to be able to have one either. We took Prom pictures and it was a lot of fun. I'm sure if they could, they would have voted for me as queen.
DD: The next question is about fashion. Do you get to pick what you're going to wear? Do you have a stylist?
KP: The stylists give me a number of clothes to choose from, then we try on clothes. What happens is, they put stuff on me and I say, "Oh I don't like it," or my publicists might have ideas or my mom will have ideas...They kinda make it a little bit edgy. I like the styles of the singer, Rihanna and model, Kate Moss. And so a little bit of that's in the clothes they give me.
DD: And so what do you think will be the hottest fall/winter accessory that you'll be rockin'?
KP: Hmmm...Maybe like those trench coats or pea coats.
DD: So about this Superjerkin song...I've listened to it and watched the video and everything. So, why did you choose the LA sound?
KP: I just did it in the moment. A friend of mine had this song and I live in Cali where jerkin' is hot. Everybody else was doing underground jerkin' and I wanted to put one out there so people would know that I can do it, too. So I just did mine, put it online and people liked it.
DD: Have you also studied dance? It seems like you had it together in your video!
KP:  I've taken classes here and there. Well, not anything consistent, but I'll probably get into that later, but the only classes that I've taken are singing lessons.
DD: When is your album expected to drop?
KP: It'll be out in 2010.
DD: You're 15 and you've achieved a whole lot for this age. How do your parents keep you grounded and really humble?
KP: My parents just always treat me like a normal kid. They don't treat me like I'm famous or on TV. They make sure I realize that I'm blessed for everything I've been given. They've told me to always remember that it can be taken away as easily as it has been given to me. It makes me feel bad if I go around acting like I think I'm all that. I don't even want like security guards, but my mom wants them. People come up to me and it makes me nervous because I don't want people to think, "Oh yeah - I need security guards [jokingly, in a snooty voice]." That's not the kind of person I am. But, I guess you need some protection now and then. I just don't want to be one of those people that other people say is unapproachable. I'm very approachable, I'll talk to anybody. That's just my personality and I don't want to lose that.
DD: What would you say to girls who may be struggling with their self-esteem and want to do the things you're doing? What would you say to help get them out of their shell and let them know that it's okay to be themselves?
KP: I would just let them know to look at me or to look at anybody and see that it's possible. Nobody started out doing instantly what they're doing. . .There's always a struggle. There's always a fight to get there and everyone has their own way of getting there. I would also tell them to always respect yourself and follow your dreams.  Do what you need to do, but remain a good person at heart. Don't go around thinking you have to show your body or stab people in the back. You can always get there (attain success) by remaining a good person; you know, good comes to those who do good things.
DD: Great advice!

DD: And I just have one final question, What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

KP: One day I want to win a Grammy and an Oscar.
DD: Well I think I squeezed it all in there. Well thank you so much for taking time out to talk with me. Again my name is Ashley Ferguson for Double Dutch magazine.
KP: Thank you very much, I had a lot of fun on the interview.

More Cool Facts about KeKe!
  • KeKe was just named to MTV's Top 20 Under 25 List. A special show will air in January.
  • KeKe performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
  • She recently appeared on the Wendy Williams show.
The New Boyz!!

The New Boyz Continue their Hustle
by Jen Threat

The New Boyz have won the hearts of many girls and the respect of the homies with their first song, "Jerk." They've had a tremendous year on tour for singers, Sean Kingston and Chris Brown. And, they recorded a song with Ray-J. They started out selling candy to get equipment to do their music. Now, they're selling albums and have plans to create their own clothing line, etc. Is that hustle or what?

me and akua
Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records/Asylum Records (L-R Legacy, Ben J)

I had a chance to talk Ben J while he and Legacy were on a break from their tour with Chris Brown. The tour just recently ended in New York. They were driving from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. He shared how they first started and how they plan to expand on the New Boyz enterprise.

DD: So, I just wanted to start with the tour. How's the tour going with Chris Brown?
NB: The tour is going awesome. It's a lot of cute girls and you know, we like girls. I mean, we rockin' the house and the fans are enjoying what they see. It's going great!

DD: Good!

DD: What's a typical day like when you have a concert? What are you doing that day?
NB: We do normal things. We kick it, hang out and drive around, go shopping, go to sleep. Wake up and go to the show.

DD: It doesn't sound like your lives have changed that much.
NB: When we signed that deal, we thought we were going to be the greatest people in the world! We just got more busier. I took my first plane to New York. Ever since then, I've taken a million plane trips.

DD: Wait a minute, that was your first time on a plane, coming from LA to New York?
NB: Right after I signed my deal. I went to New York. Pow!

DD: So that's interesting that was your first trip. That's your last date for the Chris Brown tour, right?
NB: I was like, "Wow! I'm on a plane right now." After that time, we've been on planes every single day of our lives. We're on our second trip around the world.

DD: You guys did a tour with Sean Kingston, now you're touring with Chris Brown. How is that affecting your relationship as friends? Is tough being seeing each other and being around each other all the time?
NB: You talking about me and Legacy?

DD: Yeah.
NB: Honestly, no, not at all. That's like my brother. You have your differences and then you work them out. He's like, my twin. I live with this guy. I see him every single day of my life. We're in this industry together. We came in together, we leave out together.

DD: What did you guys do to make it to where you are? Were you in talent shows?
NB: We was promoting our shows through MySpace. That's how we got discovered. We put our songs up. People just started making music videos to "You're a Jerk." Then the labels came in and said, "This is something big. So we're gonna grab it." They called us up and signed us and we was like, "fa sho."

DD: That's cool. So you put your song up on the internet and the label contacted you? You already had a fan base and everything already.
NB: Yeah, we was making songs way before "jerk" happened here. So we was just trying to build our fan base, too. When we put that one song on there, it just started moving.

DD: What was your fan base on MySpace before the label contacted you?
NB: It was dope! We had a lot of friends, you feel me. This was when you could contact me and I answer you with the quickness. It was good. Everybody loved us and was like, "I like your music." Once we put the song, "You're a Jerk" on there, we started getting YouTube videos and put them on our page. Everybody was hittin' us up left and right, left and right. The radio stations started playing our song. It was the best thing that happened to us.

DD: Can you talk about the internet and how technology how helped you promote yourselves? You used MySpace and you also made your own beats and used certain types of equipment.
NB: We were telling people to listen to our music and staying in contact with everybody, just being so humble and so nice. How we made our beats. . .Legacy, my partner, had to learn how to make beats. We were just taking beats off the internet, but that's not making our own money. And nobody knew the sound that we wanted. It was hard to explain to people, so that's when we started to teach ourselves how to make beats. And "You're a Jerk" was like the third beat that we made, in life, so coincidentally; it was hit.

DD: I was listening to an interview and you said that you got the equipment because you started off selling candy. How much candy did you have to sell to get that equipment?
NB: We had a variety pack. It was $10 and we sold for the whole week. That came up to like $200. We bought the mixer for like, $85. It was the cheapest in the store. We bought a mic for like, $100. So that was all we used. We slept on the floor. We had this old computer and hooked it up. We put cartons on the wall and made a studio. People used to come and record, because it sounded good. That's how we did our thing.

DD: You mentioned the "jerkin' " sound. How did the whole jerkin' movement start? Was it started by someone? How did you guys get involved?
NB: It started a long, long time ago. It started as a gang bangin' dance, a little two-step. Then, over time, teenagers started to do the moves. It was just in LA, though. They gave it the name jerkin.' We was like, "This dance is cool." Being teenagers, we wanted to do the dance, but do the music at the same time. So we said, "How about making a song for the dance?" So, we just threw it out there and it blew up the dance. And we made the song a double meaning song, 'cause we wanted to reach out to everybody. Anybody that had problems with someone, they can have it on the dance floor. You know, "This person is a jerk." Then you got the people that know how to do the dance and consider it, jerk.
DD: Now what about the clothes, the skinny jeans and the bright colors. Is that like a LA thing?
NB: I mean, yeah, they do it in New York. But mainly, it started in LA, like real big. When we did it, it was like 80s day at our school. Everybody came in dressed with bright colors and skinny jeans and stuff. When we did that, we looked at ourselves and was like, "This is cool. This is different. I can get into this." A lot of people had the same mindset as us. This happened about, four years ago, when we started dressing like this. Nowadays, we toned down the colors and wear grey skinny jeans. We don't usually wear bright colors. We do that "grown man look" now.

DD: Now, you mentioned the 80s. Were there certain people from that time that inspired you and Legacy to do what you're doing now?
NB: So just being realistic, the 80s didn't really inspire us to make music. It was just the style of our clothes. We just started doing our own thing (with clothes) and changing it up, like making it better.

DD: Well, what artists have inspired you to do what you're doing and get into hip-hop?
NB: Lil' Wayne is a big inspiration; he's my favorite rapper. Drake inspired me to rap. When I listened to Drake's lyrics, "I'm like, "Oh yeah, I wanna rap now." When I see Jay-Z perform on YouTube videos and stuff; it inspires me to get my performance game up. It's just the way he (Jay-Z) holds down the crowd and holds down the stage. They're inspiring. And Eminem's lyrics, of course, are so good.

DD: I have some questions from a fan of yours. She's 12 years old and her name is Dejah. She actually made a page, because she's such a big fan of yours.
NB: That's what's up!

DD: One of her questions was, "before you started making music what were you doing?" Were you guys basically going to school? What was your day like then?
NB: Yeah, we was going to school everyday. I was playing football. I was a big jock in high school. I was a running back, a little bit more cut than I am now. 'Cause I got skinny. I was number one in my city, number one in my high school, I scored touchdowns, so I was real big on that (football). I got a couple of letters to go to different colleges. I wanted to go to San Diego State University. But like, after the whole school thing and football, I'd go over the record a song at Legacy's house and record a song with him. My first song was a love song.

DD: Were you doing the LL "I Need Love" or something like that?
NB: Yeah. Legacy was always rapping about girls. I was always rapping about weird things. I was just like, "You not afraid to get talked about?" He said, "Nah, I do whatever I feel." People loved it. Like, he got a lot of girls over MySpace, because of his songs. I made my first song and I started to get a lot of girls over MySpace and what not. 

DD: So, you were like, "Let me start making some more love songs."
NB: Yeah, I'm saying to myself, "Start making anything that comes to mind." I rap about stuff I do on a daily basis. I'm not gonna rap about guns or shooting, because that's something that I don't do. Feel me?

DD: Is football something that you eventually want to go back to or was that a passion of yours in high school?
NB: That's something I eventually want to go back to, but in my heart, I feel that's not what I'm gonna do. I'm here making a living out of it (music). I want to get to the farthest endpoint that you can possibly go.

DD: Dejah's other question is, "What is your favorite thing about being an artist?"
NB: My favorite things are the shows, the girls, making music and listening to it afterwards.

DD: Her last question is, "What is your favorite childhood memory?"
NB: My favorite childhood memory. . .what did I do? Ok, I'm keeping it 100. My childhood memory that I grew out of was, getting kicked out all my schools. I was a real bad little boy. To grow up and look back on that and say, "Why did I do the things that I did?

DD: Was it sports that helped you go in a different direction?
NB: Sports kept me doing things. If I wasn't doing nothing, I would be getting in trouble. My mom told me that everyday--Real talk. I didn't realize that when I was real young.. 'Cause I'm from LA, everybody knows LA. It's either you're doing something with yourself or hanging out with the wrong crowd, because you're easily influenced. I'm glad sports kept me focused and on a good road.

DD: I have a couple of questions about the music. Like with the song, "Tie Me Down" with Ray J, how did that collabo come about? Who organized that?
NB: When we finished our interview at the BET Awards, Ray J came up behind us jerkin' and stuff. I'm like, "That was cool. Ray J jerkin'? Aw, dawg, for real?" He was real cool. We shook his hand. We talked to him and got to know him. Then we did a show at his club, "Poetry Nightclub." We seen him in the hotel and we was choppin' it up. We was like, "We gotta work together and get some girls. 'Cause you know, Ray J got girls, don't you?

DD: Yes, yes, yes.
NB: One day we recorded this song and we needed a singer, so we hit up Ray J. He was like, "Of course, I'll do it, dawg. We wasn't in the same studio as him, but it still came out good.

DD: Now that you're in the music industry, do you feel like your friends or family treat you different or is that something that's help to keep you grounded?
NB: Yes, they treat us different. My family just acts like I'm this new person, feel me? That's just how my family is gonna be now. I still love my family to death, but they did kinda switch up. But, my family, personally, the ones I live with are involved in my life. My mom is one of my managers. My dad is my road manager. We keep our circles small, because you can't trust too many people out there. We still do the same things we used to do when we have our off time. Like, I'll go kick it with my homeboys and what not. Go grab a girl and try to go to the movies, mall, shop. I mean, it's all the same things. My homeboys treat me the same. They just look at me and say, "Wow, you really made it, dawg." You know, they're all the same.

DD: You guys have such a great story with what you're doing. What gave you the confidence that you could succeed in the music industry? Is it because you have the family support?
NB: Damn! That's a good question! When I was playing football, I wanted to play in college. I wanted be a professional football player in the NFL. You know that's everyone's dream. But you know, not everybody makes it to the NFL. Either I was gonna have me a bomb job working behind the desk. That's not a job I want to get used to, honestly. School was fun, but it just wasn't my thing. In my heart I felt that rapping was going to take me far. That's just something I felt. If I make a decision in life, I'm taking it seriously. It was a real big decision I made, quitting football to rap and you're not really big in the industry yet. It was a hard decision. I don't know. I always had confidence in myself. My mom always told me, "Never give up. If you want to do something, do it to the fullest."

DD: Now, what are your plans after the tour? Are you doing any more tours? Are you working on another album?
NB: Right now, we're building our relationships with lots of people. We're getting used to touring, because we're looking forward to doing a lot more touring. This is the most fun part of making music, touring. After the Chris Brown tour, we're going to take a break around late December, early January. We're working on movies at the beginning of the year. We're trying to get our clothing line set up, our shoe line. We're looking at comics. We're trying to do everything. We're trying to stay relevant, keep the fans interested in our lives.

DD: Which social networking site do you use the most?
NB: Twitter. We're on Twitter real heavy. If you want to know anything about us, just go on twitter. We have a whole big fan base on twitter. They can tell you information about us, if we don't get to you in time. Twitter is real big in the industry, because you can stay connected with your fans. That's a good way to promote yourself and let the fans know where you're headed to next. It's a good way to network. You meet a whole lot of new people. You can meet famous people and they're saying some words to you, feel me? I said some words to Keri Hilson on twitter and I didn't think she was going to say anything, but she did!

DD: So, it's good networking for you guys, too. If you want work with someone, you can just hit them up on twitter.
NB: That's how we knew we were on the tour with Chris Brown. He actually hit us up on twitter. He was like, "I want New Boyz on my "Fan Appreciation Tour." I was like "What, are you kidding me?" That's real big.

DD: What's the next single you might drop on your album?
NB: We're looking at dropping, "New Girl" and "Criquetz". "Criquetz" is more gritty, more grimey and stuff like that. Like all the haters hatin' on us, it's like, "I hear you, dawg, but I ain't hearing you. I don't care what you think of me. Period. Point blank." I'm doing this and I'm getting paid; that's good then. "New Girl" is the follow-up to "Tie Me Down."

DD: Did you have anything you wanted to add? Any message you want to give to your fans?
NB: This coming from me. I love everybody. I'm a very sweet person, I've been told. I talk to everybody on my twitter. If I can't get to you, I just can't get to you. I'm sorry. It's a lot of people that's writing me. Hit me up one more time on my twitter, benjnewboyz, with a "z." Stay focused. Stay dedicated.

DD: Ben, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to let us interview you. We really appreciate it. We wish you all the best with everything that you're doing! We really appreciate that you guys are so positive, too, so thank you!
NB: Thank you, Jen! Alright, Jen, talk to you later.

Here's a list of New Boyz' faves and other things you've been dying to know:
  • Birthdays: Legacy (October 12th) Ben J (October 13th ).
  • Zodiac Sings: Scorpio
  • Favorite TV Shows:  Ben J (BET, MTV, Cartoon Network), Legacy (Family Guy)
  • Favorite Sneakers: Nike Air Max (in every color)
  • iPod Music: Young Money Family, Lil' Chuckie, Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, rock music, too (Linkin Park)
  • Favorite Cologne: Burberry, Ben J recently got Acqui di Gio as a gift from his sister
  • Single: Yes!! (You ain't gonna tie them down, at least not now!)
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