The One Question Amber Rose Is So Glad We Asked

Photo: Courtesy of VH1.
Talking to Amber Rose, the phone cradled on my shoulder and her voice purring into my ear from Los Angeles, I can imagine what it might be like to be a lover getting to know her during a three-hour, late-night conversation. She has a soft, tinkling, melodic voice — sweet and pure. I briefly wonder if she's ever considered being a kindergarten teacher; her voice is made for storytelling and duck, duck, goose. And then comes the Philadelphia accent and several F-bombs. Ah, there she is. While I'm infatuated with her alluring speaking voice, Rose is much more interested in the fact that she's found her voice — and wants to make sure it's heard through her new Friday night VH1 talk show The Amber Rose Show. "People have only really ever heard me talk in interviews," she says. "Yes, I'm outspoken, but I'm just a cool girl with no filter. Now I have this platform to help people feel more comfortable in their sexuality. The show is like me: fun and light. You're not going to cry watching it — unless it's from laughter." The first episode delivers on the funny. While at times it does feel like it's trying too hard (doesn't every pilot?) I'm surprised at how often I chuckle — and also, how refreshing it feels to see a brown woman openly and unapologetically talk about sex, on her own show on a major cable network. She candidly addresses critics wondering how she got her own show, and even manages to make her first guest, rapper French Montana, blush. (FYI, her dream guest is Madonna. "I want to be her friend, in the grand scheme of things. But let's start with getting her on my show.")

Girl, get your dragons, take that throne, and be the bad bitch queen you were always meant to be.

Amber Rose
Though Rose's name is well known at this point, it's true that she's previously been heard from primarily in interviews. Appearing on VH1 every Friday at 11 p.m. is sure to change her life; will it change her? "Nope," she cuts me off before I can even finish the question. "I'll always be down-to-earth. And I'll still never, ever do drugs." Record stop. Amber Rose has never done drugs?! "Nothing! I do nothing. I drink occasionally but that's about it. My dad always calls me and is like, 'Amber, you're not doing drugs, are you?' I’ve never even smoked weed. A lot of my family members were addicted to drugs, so seeing that growing up scared me away. I'll never go there, no matter how hard it gets." Unfortunately for the lighthearted tone of her pre-taped first show, the day it premieres — and the day of our chat — falls at the end of an especially tragic week flooded with racial injustice at the hands of police officers. Earlier that day, Rose had written an emotional letter to her 3-year-old son, Sebastian. I ask how she'll prepare him as a Black man in this world as he gets older. "What's extremely unfortunate is that I’m going to talk to my son about everything and tell him how to do everything right, and it still won't matter," Rose says. Thousands of miles away, I can hear the emotion rising in her chest. "He's 3 years old, and for the rest of his life I can say, 'Honey, when you get pulled over by a police officer, don't reach for your pockets, keep your hands where they can see them, abide by the law, treat him like an officer of authority.' I can tell him to do everything right until I'm blue in the face, and he can be a perfect, law-abiding citizen and he can still get shot and killed. I'm scared for my baby." We continue to talk about race in America. I ask, as a fellow mixed-race girl: How does Rose identify? "I’m so glad you asked me this question," she says, her pace quickening. "There was once a clip all over social media from an interview with [Hot 97 DJ Peter] Rosenberg where he asked, 'Do you consider yourself just a Black woman?' And I said 'No.' People had so much to say, but there was so much more to that interview! I embrace everything that I am. Am I Black? Yes. Am I Irish? Yes. Am I Italian? Yes. I grew up very Italian, but I also grew up very Cape Verdean. I would never want one side of my family to feel like I chose a side, because I identify as all of those things. But I think how a person identifies is up to them! However you feel, that's how you should identify."
Photo: Courtesy of VH1.
When Rose is going through a hard time, she says she leans heavily on her inner circle, which includes her assistant, Joseph, as well as her stylist, lawyer, and security — all of whom appear on the first episode of her show. "It's crazy, because I'm an extreme feminist but my entire team is men!" she says. "When I need advice, I talk to Joseph. I'll call my mom, but she's more about having my back than offering ways to fix something. She's like, 'Fuck him, fuck her! You don't need them in your life!' And I'm like, 'Thanks for the support, Mommy, but I need an action plan.' She grew up in Brooklyn and then moved to Philly, and you can tell." In that inner circle is also her best friend Blac Chyna, with whom Rose says she often has playdates for their 3-year-old sons Sebastian and King. The tots are complete opposites, according to Rose: King is the "jock who's good at sports," while "Bash" is the "nerdy scientist who likes putting together train parts." While we're talking, it occurs to me that I don't know how she and Blac actually became friends. "We walked past each other at the Topanga Mall!" Rose says of the the California shopping center. "We'd never met, and she was like, 'We should exchange numbers!' Then she called to set up a playdate with Bash and King, and we were best friends after that." "Muva" earned her nickname long before she was an actual mom, from friends who were affectionately annoyed at her constant admonishments to buckle their seat belts or not drink too much. She explains she can't help but look out for others or give advice; in fact, her show will include a segment of unsolicited wisdom for celebrities. So, I challenge her to a lightning round of advice for some familiar names who might be in need of guidance: Marriage advice for newlyweds Ciara and Russell Wilson?
"Never, ever forget to be friends first." What would you tell Calvin Harris about getting over a breakup?
"When you’re heartbroken, you get really petty. Try not to be petty and just take the high road! It's not worth it to say anything bad about Taylor. I hope he moves on with his life and finds someone new eventually." Any words for Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen?
"Girl, get your dragons, take that throne, and be the bad bitch queen you were always meant to be." After we can hang up, I can't help but feel like that advice was directed at me. I smile, looking down at my notes to make sure I covered everything. I realize that our conversation was so much fun, I never even got to my questions about her exes Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. Looks like Rose's voice is being heard loud and clear — all on her own.

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