New Novel “Platinum” Sheds Light on Hip-Hop Industry
There’s no doubt about it– journalist, Aliya S. King has paid her dues. A mainstay in the Hip-Hop industry for years, she’s interviewed dozens and dozens of artists and power players. From Mariah Carey to O.D.B., she’s spent time with all types of characters.
More recently King’s shown her writing finesse through her novels, working with Faith Evans and Frank Lucas to create their memoirs. The most intriguing part of King’s writing is her ability to act as a fly on the wall, often spending days with her interview subjects.
Having read and studied every line of her work, I knew her new book, “Platinum” would be a legit insider’s view of the presumed glamorous world of Hip-Hop. The thinly veiled fiction novel focuses on the lives of women in the industry through the eyes of an urban writer.
MADAME NOIRE: In one sentence, describe Platinum.
ALIYA S. KING: It’s a fictional novel about the secret lives of celebrity relationships, through the lens of a reporter.
MN: Percentage of “Platinum” that’s true and made-up?
ASK: I couldn’t really put a percentage on it, that’d be hard to do. But a lot of it is true–most of it. Everyone is always trying to guess who is who and what really happened. A friend of mine swore she knew whom one of the characters was and she was dead wrong [Laugh].
MN: Yea, because there was a character who I swore was Beyonce, but towards the end she seemed more like Aaliyah.
ASK: Hmm, interesting. But the characters are dynamic. I will tell you that there are a lot of people that are composites, they’re not all clear cut. I had a woman that was married to a very successful rap artist gave me a call and say, ‘I just read your book, I know that I’m the woman in there.’ And she was! It’s funny that she could figure herself out and say ‘hey, this was supposed to be me!’
MN: How much do celebrities choose to be in the limelight (do they really call the paparazzi)?
ASK: Some of them definitely do, but others don’t or don’t need to. Does Beyonce do that? Absolutely not, she’s being accosted everywhere she goes. That’s just the life she leads. Are there other people that may not be as famous as her, but want to be on that level, that may give the media a little push? Absolutely.
I’ve been around celebrities that have called around and said, “I’m gonna be at such and such” for press. It’s part of the game, it’s part of the business. It’s all marketing. I mean shoot, if I could call the paparazzi and tell them to watch me up in Starbucks, yea I’d do it.
MN: And I think a lof of them strategically place themselves to be seen. Like Rihanna, there are certain restaurants she goes to, where she knows she’ll be seen.
ASK: Oh, absolutely. I remember doing this interview on Christina Milian for VIBE. And we spent the entire day in L.A.– we went to the nail salon, got something to eat, went to all these places and I was like ‘where’s your paparazzi?’ That’s because we’re not going to those places. So, yea sometimes celebrities invite it by going to a hot spot because people will be there. You don’t have to go to Mr. Chow, if you don’t want to be seen. But I don’t think Rihanna has a problem being seen lately.