So how does a downtown fashion writer who worships guitar heroes like the Kills' Alison Mosshart link up with an uptown MC known for bottle-popping street music? Jim Jones and producer Aaron LaCrate were still working on "Everybody Jones," when the Harlem rapper decided the song needed a girl who sounded exactly like the 90210-ers in the classic flick "Clueless." LaCrate knew just the girl.
"Aaron said, 'Oh, well, I know that girl. I know exactly who you should talk to,' " Nylon magazine's digital director, Faran Krentcil, recalled with a laugh last week about MTV Jams' current Jam of the Week. "[Aaron] just texted me one day and said, 'I'm doing work for a client, can you help me out? Can you come to the studio for an hour?' Krentcil was eager to help out her good friend and East Village Radio show partner. "I said, 'Sure, why not? Sounds like fun.' "
The style scribe was quickly initiated into the peculiar studio habits of rappers. Krentcil and crew hung out "for hours," even stepping out at one point to make a pizza run. As the clock ticked, the writer assumed the recording would be rescheduled. "Then at like 2, maybe 3 in the morning, Jim starts texting, like, 'Where are you guys?! We're ready to record. Let's go!' "
Krentcil dropped her lines for the Capo single sans script, just a few notes — Jim thought it'd be cool if she mentioned one of his songs, for example — from the Dipset captain before she strolled into the booth.
"Jim said, 'OK, so this is what I hear in my head. I think it should just be this really, really white girl [Laughs]. I want her to be talking to her friends the way girls talk on the phone about [this guy] Jim Jones, and isn't he cool?' So I said, 'Sure, that's what I would be telling my friends if I was on the phone right now anyway.'
"So they threw me in and they started playing the track and they said, 'Whenever you're ready, just vibe on top of it,' and so I threw out a bunch of stuff."
A sampling of Krentcil's hilariously improvised skit includes bon mots like calling Jim Jones "popsicle-hot." "I couldn't really see anybody," she remembered. "I couldn't see their reactions, so I just kept talking. And then I realized maybe I was doing something really dumb that they didn't like, so I came out of the studio and they go, 'No, no, no: Get back in!' ... When I came out, everyone was laughing, like tears, like laughing so hard they were crying."
Next up, the "Everybody Jones" video, directed by Jones and filmed in Krentcil's 'hood, New York's trendy Soho. The concept was simple: a gang of girls on their phones. Faran showed up on set, phone in hand, dressed in the same leopard-print lace frock she rocks in the clip; a makeup artist dabbed some gloss on her pout and sent her off. "They just threw me in front of the camera," she explained. "That was actually the hardest part, because since it was all improvised and it was done very late at night and kind of on a whim, laughing the whole time, I had no idea what I'd said!"
In the social-network-inspired vid (even the re-tweet symbol has been repurposed into a background set), magazine maven Krentcil and her online alias pop up onscreen, along with some leggy models and upstart femcee Nyemiah Supreme, vying for Jim's attention. But Jones didn't tell her the visual would include her real Twitter screen name. She found out what he'd done, well, via tweet.
"I've been getting a lot of Twitter messages, which is hysterical," she told us.
And though Krentcil's video debut has friends she hasn't heard from since high school hitting her up, she said she hadn't spoken to "busy" Jim since the clip dropped. But she's relishing her newfound rap cred, "one of those only-in-New York moments. It was a blast."
What do you think of Jim's "Everybody Jones" video? Tell us in the comments!