Like going out to clubs.
I go out when I’m working. If I’m paid to go there, I’m there. I go out very rarely.

So what’s a down night like?
A down night is indoors, when no one knows where I’m at. A down night is dinner or a movie. Either at the house or at a chill spot, not the paparazzi places. I think to a certain extent you have to be seen these days. You have to distinguish between what’s going to help you and what you’re doing because of the pride or the addiction to fame. Certain events I have to go to. When you see me, I’m supposed to be there. I’m not there just to be on the red carpet.

 

I don’t want to be oversexed! I don’t want to sell sex, I want to sell music.

 

What was up with your little Twitter from our photo shoot? [Ed.—“COMPLEX mag cover shoot! Not quite AS sexy as you’ve all been seeing from others (hehe)...but sexy nonetheless. My way!”]
Y’all misinterpreted that! I wasn’t talking about your magazine. I wasn’t dissing you guys. I was talking about other artists being butt-ass naked.

That seems to be pressing on your mind, what your contemporaries are doing and wearing...or not wearing.
Yeah! I don’t want to be oversexed! I don’t want to sell sex, I want to sell music. I want to inspire others, I don’t want to be one of those people who’s always throwing their body at the masses. What good does that do? Besides sell records. Men don’t buy records, anyway. These pictures are Photoshopped, they’re airbrushed. If anything, it’s just the opposite for me, where women are my fans.

I disagree with that. Men do buy albums.
You’re an exception. You’re not the rule. On the whole, women buy records; for men, though, they do the barbershop thing, bootleg, or download, or whatever.

So we’re never going to see a Keri Hilson sex tape, then?
Or Playboy, or any of that. Nah. If I do something naked, it’ll be for Allure’s skin-cancer benefit auction or something like that—it would be to help some cause other than my record sales.

What was Keri Hilson’s first reaction when scandalous photos were leaked of certain “other artists”?
My first reaction was “Thank God I never did that.” I never let anybody take any naked pictures of me, so there would be none. I was always one of those over-paranoid people, convinced that someday that I would be living the dream, so as early as middle or high school I wouldn’t do certain things, just in case.

Like what? What can you do at 13?
I was in the industry as early as 12. I was just always trying not to do certain things so I wouldn’t embarrass myself later. I was very careful. The most you’ll ever find of me is a picture in little boy shorts or a bathing suit, which is normal.

There was some talk about you and other rappers…Kanye, Lil Wayne.
Oh, like dating?

Haven’t both of them touched your ass onstage before?
Yeah, they have. Onstage. Onstage. What am I there to do? Entertain. Onstage, we’re entertainers. Onstage, a married man is still an entertainer. It means he’s an entertainer first when he’s onstage. Offstage? Very respectful. They would never touch my ass offstage, I’ll tell you that much.

WATCH KERI'S BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO:

 

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (STYLING) Mariel Haenn. (HAIR) Keith Campbell for Belegenza/Epiphany Artist Group. (MAKEUP) Javier Romero for M.A.C. Cosmetics. (MANICURE) Naomi Yasuda. COVER IMAGE, FIRST IMAGE, FIFTH, SEVENTH, AND NINTH IMAGES: Bra by La Perla / bathing suit by American Apparel / shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain / sunglasses by Ksubi. SECOND, EIGHTH, AND TENTH IMAGES: Sunglasses by Badgley Mischka / necklace by Costume National / bra by La Perla / leggings by Alexander McQueen / shoes by Christian LouboutinTHIRD AND SIXTH IMAGES: Earrings by Lia Sophia / bathing suit by Alexander McQueen / bra by La Perla. FOURTH AND ELEVENTH IMAGES: Bathing suit by La Perla / shoes by Paule Ka.

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