“Wait!” she announces as she steps on the pavement. “I forgot my CD!”
It’s her own CD, in fact, that she shows me, one she’s made with a variety of producers including Scott Storch and Dr. Dre.
Don’t be fooled: This CD is coming out whether you like it or not. “It’s scheduled for June,” she says, “on Warner Bros. Tom Whalley is really excited about it.”
That’s the same Warner Music oft-criticized in this column for not breaking new artists. I take it all back now. The company that once boasted a fabled roster of James Taylor, Neil Young, and Bonnie Raitt will release Paris’ debut in June. The track listing, on the CD she showed me, is as follows:
1.) Turn it Up 2.) Turn You On 3.) Stars Are Blind 4.) Jealousy 5.) Heartbeat 6.) Fightin’ Over Me featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss 7.) Are You With It? 9.) Do You Think I’m Sexy? 9.) Screwed 10.) Not Leaving Without You
You will notice that Paris, always cognizant of history, includes a cover of a No. 1 hit by Rod Stewart, a longtime Warner artist, with “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” She will not win a Grammy or be nominated for one. Believe me, that is all beside the point.
Now here’s the thing about Paris: She is not the ditz you hope her to be. For one thing, she spoke to me in a very distinct, clear adult voice. There was nothing silly about her. “I talk in that baby talk voice when I’m on TV,” she said. “It’s a put on."
Indeed, the whole Paris mystique is a put on — and one that’s earning her millions of dollars. She actually has kind of an ironic sense of humor. When I asked her what happened to fiancé Paris Latsis, she replied: “He wasn’t hot enough.” She concluded that the latest boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos, “is very hot.”
Me: “But really you’re not getting married or anything, are you?”
Her: “Are you crazy? I’m 25. No way.”
Me: “In fact, you don’t need these boyfriends do you? They’re just ornaments.”
Her: “That’s right.”
She has not-so-nice things to say about her ex-pal Nicole Richie. They’re probably printable, but hey — this isn’t the Star.
Suddenly, I am fascinated by Paris Hilton. She is living the American dream. She is P.T. Barnum, Marilyn Monroe and Donald Trump all rolled into one, thriving on every gossip item like they’re hits of oxygen.
I have nothing bad to say about Paris Hilton at all. We are underestimating this kid.