I guess that Magnum gettin’ eaten: Azealia’s thrilla in Manila

TOFF of the world - Christopher De Venecia (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2013 - 12:00am

Stan. A fan, by any other name, would not sound as obsessed, over -fanatical, or sweet. Based on the central character of an Eminem song of the same name, the Urban Dictionary defines “stan” as “an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete.” Sum it up in an equation and it’s basically (stalker + fan = stan).

Now I will not, in any way, pretend like I wield the stan card to anything or anyone in pop culture (no, not even theater. Believe it or not, I don’t really know all the Broadway actors who have played the role of Valjean), and especially not to musician slash rapper slash “It” girl slash fashion icon Azealia Banks, who was flown in recently by Magnum for a private party at Forbes Park to launch its two new flavors. I believe that stan card was played by more than enough well-wishers in the party that evening.

It makes me wonder though what goes on in the heads of these stans: Take for instance designer Martin Bautista who has professed his undying love, admiration and avatar possession for his unbreakable lotus Christina Aguilera, designer Boom Sason who is known to friends as badgalboomie vis-a-vis Rihanna’s badgalriri, Mariah Carey who in YStyle editor Bea Ledesma’s eyes can do no wrong, not even in fashion, Stylebible.ph’s Eunice Lucero who devours anything kerker, and fashion student Miguel Urbina who can rap any Azealia Banks lyric in his sleep—Miguel possibly being the biggest winner of last Tuesday’s #MagnumParty2013.

He managed to snag a photo with his idol after giving her a portrait that he drew of her while DJ Euric was playing his set, tweeting, “Giving the queen, @azealiabanks my drawing of her was the best! I twerkd with her and got my ass slapped by her after. Best. Experience. Ever. Haha.” For the lot who attended last Tuesday’s fete, though possibly almost none of them stans, it really seemed like the best experience ever.

Now, I love Azealia, especially her remix of Harlem Shake and, of course, 212 (it’s one of those anthems you can just plug into your head and then just let loose). I’ve possibly satisfied the foreign artist quotient enough to not make the trek to Malasimbo anymore to check out Joss Stone. But more than the artist, I was really there to experience what a Magnum party was all about—something that’s been well-documented and talked about in the past year since the ice cream’s launch. Ahhh, so this is what it’s like—a party that’s successfully consolidated what they call “fear of missing out.” From Regine Velasquez to Magnum’s newest brand ambassador Georgina Wilson, everyone who’s anyone seemed to have been there.

That a brand like Magnum was able to change things up and think outside the box is something of a considerable achievement. Just when you thought they’ve exhausted all possible ideas to excite a fickle and persistently A.D.D. Filipino market (a launch party, a summer party, heck, even an award-winning Rogue cover with brand ambassador Solenn Heusaff that had some high-tech gimmick involving a mobile application and seeing her chocolate dress move from the screen of your phone), they go out and do something that is completely ballsy like bringing in a foreign artist to play at a house party.

Of course, who’s to thank but Magnum creative director Raymond Gutierrez who, according to Mike Concepcion, Yabu proprietor and part of the team that brought in the ice cream brand to the Philippines last year, has been doing such an amazing job with integrating the brand’s lifestyle into Manila’s excitable consumer base. Mike relates, “We wanted to do something different here and with the reactions and feedback from everybody, I believe we accomplished that. Hell, it’s Azealia Banks!”

It may seem like an odd choice from the get-go, to bring in a tastemaker from the Manhattan underground to perform a set at a house party in Forbes Park, in front of an audience that consisted of a few stans, two-sixths fans, and four-sixths oblivious but curious as to who this singer was. Someone was even overheard saying, “Oh, I didn’t know she was black.”

Well, Azealia Banks tweeted, “#MagnumParty2013 is gonna be TURNT UP!!! PROCLAIMING MYSELF THE DARK CHOCOLATE AMBASSADOR.” Light (or dark) elephant out the window! And yes, this is exactly why we love her –  Azealia otherwise known as Yung Rapunxel who was wearing a sexy cat suit with cutouts that evening. Designer Rajo Laurel tweeted that the look was very Jean Paul Gaultier and Mike revealed that Azealia commissioned a designer from New York to make her an outfit that was reminiscent of ice cream.

With her mermaid locks, she damn looked douchey-licious. And that’s exactly what most people, especially stans, have come to love about this singer. While not the most amiable citizen on the Twitterverse, Azealia serves us some real world realness. Call a spade a spade, a fag a fag (sorry, Perez Hilton), or Karmin (wait, who’s Karmin? Thanks for nothing SNL). Yah, she couldn’t care less about who she offends. She just continues to do her brand of music, and fascinate the fashion world that is seemingly under her spell. Azealia is the real deal. And as many other attendees that night attested, and in the words of Raymond Gutierrez himself, this is exactly what Manila needed. BEST. PARTY. EVER!


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