This past Saturday, I was invited to cover the 2nd Annual KWL Management BET Awards Summer Pool Soiree, sponsored by Grey Goose and Adidas and hosted by music mogul Kevin Liles. It was held at an amazing 4-story mansion, way up in the Hollywood Hills, accessible only by narrow, windy roads that were even unpaved at some points.
Hundreds of well-dressed, beautiful guests including tons of celebrities – mainly recording artists, athletes and reality show divas – spilled out onto the rooftop patio by the pool for the afternoon. Cocktails made with Moet and Grey Goose flowed freely the entire time, and Chef Ameera and her team killed it in the kitchen with incredible specialties, like her extra Creamy Mac & Cheese and her delicious Italian Chicken Sausage with Peppers. She didn’t skip out on the best part of the meal, dessert, which included fluffy red velvet mini-cupcakes.
Interestingly enough, although it was a pool soiree, no one was in the pool, let alone in a bathing suits and trunks. Instead, most people lounged around and talked it up, grooving to the sounds of DJ D-Nice, who played a few hits from the recording artists who were there, like Trey Songz, Timbaland and Big Sean.
Of course, you know I had to make my way rounds and do a few interviews here and there. In the spirit of summer – and in honor of music for the BET Awards – I asked them what their summer plans were, what their favorite summertime jams were and of course, where they “where to” in Los Angeles.
Several former #WilsonsGuide picks were top on quite a few people’s lists and there were a few places I now want to check out, but I’ll just let you read to see what everyone said. Also, shout out to Sean-Paul Cavalier of EyE LeNz Photography for the fantastic photos. Glad to have partnered with him on this event.
Hope you enjoy!
Kevin Liles (Music Mogul (Def Jam Music Group, Warner Music Group, KWL Management; Event Host)
Reason for creating an Annual KWL Management BET Awards Soiree: “I wanted to give us something to celebrate more than just the artist. I wanted to give us an in to celebrate the industry - what we’re doing, the changes that we’re going through and say, 'come together. Stop the hating. Stop the bullshitting, and let’s make a difference.' I want everybody to be successful. I want to give congratulations to Cash Money. Congratulations to Atlantic. Congratulations to Sony. I want everybody to make money. We’re in a transition of our business right now, and I want to provide an opportunity for all of us to come together, where it’s not about what label you’re from, it’s about the person you are.”
BET Awards Pick: “I’m happy that D’Angelo is coming back. He’s one of my clients and I’m happy that he’s performing. I’m happy for everything, that Big Sean and his crew’s doing something. I don’t want say what it is, but they’re gonna have something. So you know, God is good. I’m just again, happy that as African-Americans, we can come together and celebrate at this time. And you know, I’m a positive guy, so I’m just looking forward to everything.”
NeNe Leakes (Actress; The Real Housewives of Atlanta)
BET Awards Pick: “I’m not going to the awards show actually, because I’m actually here working. But I’m friends with Kevin and Erika – it’s the reason why I came by. But as I said to her, I’m always excited to see the tributes. That’s usually my favorite part of the awards show.”
Summer plans: “It’s not anything that I really have to do in the summer. Every summer I go to the beach. You know, I’ll lay out at the beach as much as possible, so maybe that. I work now through the summer. We don’t really get to have a vacation – we kind of have to take it.”
Where she “Where To’s”: “Where to eat and drink? You can ask me that all the time! I know where to eat, that’s for sure! Every time I land, I can tell you my first stop is always Crustacean. I don’t know why – I have to have those garlic noodles and the crab – that’s really good. I’m always going to Mr. Chow – all those places – Katana, Boa. I hit all the spots because I’m greedy. I’m trying to do better, and not be so greedy. I love to eat. I don’t eat a lot, but I love to nibble – a little this, a little that – it’s all good. And I’m trying to be a breakfast person, which I’m not. You have to eat breakfast. I heard that helps your metabolism. Mine has completely stopped, because I never eat breakfast [laughs].”
BET Awards Pick: “Well my brother Tyrese is nominated, so I want to see him get his award. I definitely want to see TGT take the red carpet – it's a new super group – Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank. It’s going to be officially major. And I just want to see how BET’s going to handle all this star power tomorrow. Let me see the production, let me see the value. I know they’re going to do their thing.”
Favorite summertime jam: “I don’t think there’s one right now that gets me more turnt [sic] up than the other…I gotta go with anything by Ross. Anything by Ross right now and I’m turnt. I mean I’m doing flips off the bar.”
Where he “Where To’s”: “Listen, sometimes I like to be expensive, you know what I’m saying? I like to be exclusive. I like that SoHo House when you do want to be a part of that. Or, I like to go vegan a little bit sometimes and hit my spot in North Hollywood, Lotus Vegan. So it just depends on how I’m feeling – what I’m gonna do.”
Laura Govan (Basketball Wives: LA)
BET Awards Pick: “I’m definitely excited to see Jay-Z and Beyonce go up against each other for best video. Also I’m always excited just to see the performances. So we’ll see what happens.”
Summer plans: “We’re starting to film now, but I have four kids, so either we’re filming or I’m playing with the children.”
Where she “Where To’s”: “I really like BOA. I’m a meat person, so I really like that…Lounge? I don’t get to go out much, so I can’t really tell you about that, but I would say Chuck E. Cheese’s for me. So that’s about it.”
Shawn Chrystopher (Rapper/Producer and fellow USC Trojan – Fight On!)
BET Awards Pick: “I heard that Chris Brown is performing. I think he’s a great performer and there's not that many people that sing and dance as much, or do it the right way. So I’m excited to see Chris. He always does something crazy like at MTV, he was hovering over with like strings attached to him. So I’m excited to see what Chris does.”
Summer plans: “Me and Timbaland are dropping a mixtape called Love Story, July 26th, so that’s going to be really, really dope. I was just with him yesterday. We did the BET Radio Room and did a whole bunch of promo for it. July 26th is the only date in my calendar.”
Where he “Where To’s”: “I think Mel’s on Sunset. I end up going there a lot after a night, just chill out like that. I think either Mel’s or Kitchen 24.”
Dwight Freeney (Linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts)
BET Awards Pick: “You know what, I’m just a fan of music in general, so I’m not really - there are no favorites. I just like to see great people, great times, get together and just see them at their greatest.”
Favorite summertime jam: “Man, there’s so many. You know you got back in the day Jay-Z’s Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls. I mean that song just rings in my head all the time in the summertime.”
Where he “Where To’s”: “My favorite restaurant is RSL: Rolling Stones Lounge. It’s actually a restaurant and lounge.”
Major Wright (strong safety for the Chicago Bears)
BET Awards Pick: “Well you know it is my first BET Awards, so I’m excited just in general. I’m just here to have fun and enjoy.”
Where he “Where To’s”: “No. This is my first time in LA, too!”
Brianna Perry (Atlantic Record Artist, BET Awards Nominee)
BET Awards Pick: “I’m excited about seeing everybody. I’m excited to see everyone on the red carpet, the performances, a lot of great nominees…so it’ll just feel good to be in the building.”
Favorite summertime jam: “I’m loving everything that’s on the radio right now.”
Where she “Where To’s”: “I like Crustacean. I don’t really get to have much fun – every time I’m in LA it seems like I’m working, working, working. So I mean, Crustacean is my spot.”
BET Awards Pick: “I’m excited to see myself. I’m nominated for like, four GRAMMYs…Nah, I’m kidding. You’re like, ‘Yo, who are you?” No, but what was the question again?”
Miss Wilson: “Who are you excited to see this year?”
Paypa: “I just want to see some performances. Who’s performing this year?”
Miss Wilson: “A lot of people. I think Brandy even is performing…”
Paypa: “I’m crazy about Brandy. [Begins singing Sittin' Up In My Room].”
Miss Wilson: “You could do a duet with her.”
Paypa: “I would do it. It would have to be like a rap version though. That would be dope.”
Favorite summertime jam: “That’s easy. Will Smith’s Summertime. That always sets the mood. You good once that comes on. You barbequing – turkey burgers, chicken patties. You good.”
Where he “Where To’s”: “Juicy Burger. That is the greatest burger I’ve ever had in my life. Listen. I’m gonna tell you something. If you haven’t had a Juicy Burger, you’re seriously cheating yourself.”
Drumma Boy (multi-platinum award winning Producer/Rapper)
Drumma Boy mentioned that he's looking forward to Drake winning and his favorite spots are Roscoe’s and The Waffle!
And here are a few more photos from the soiree - for more photos, check out the Facebook Album!
Yours truly, Shawn Chrystopher and Made Woman Magazine
NeNe Leakes, Erika Liles and Laura Govan
Trey Songz and Kevin Liles
Photos Courtesy: Wire Image and Eye LeNz Photography