Kanye West dazzled a star-studded crowed at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills last night (September 24), as the surprise musical performer at the launch event for Verizon’s new app, Go90. And not only did he perform, but he confirmed (once again, after yesterday’s exclusive Vanity Fair interview) his upcoming presidential run.
Ahead of what’s being touted as legendary performances set to take place at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl—where the MC provocateur will perform his entire 808s & Heartbreak album tonight and tomorrow—West treated an intimate crowd to a medley of hits. With just a microphone and a lot of smoky special effects, he spared the audience his signature rants and just straight up performed. (At one point, he even confirmed he was saving his voice for the Hollywood Bowl.)
West ran though “Power,” “The Good Life,” “N*ggas in Paris” and “Heartless,” while fans assisted by singing along. As his short set came to a close, Ye shouted “2020!,” a confirmation of his presidential run, which he first announced at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards last month.
Tech savvy A-listers were also in the house to celebrate Verizon’s Go90 launch and to shake their butts to Mr. West—including Gabourey Sidibe, Sanaa Lathan, Christina Milian, Zoe Saldana, John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen, crooner Luke James, plus-sized model, actress Chasity Saunders and more.
Verizon’s free app Go90 allows users to stream live events, like NFL games and their favorite prime-time TV shows, from networks like Comedy Central, ESPN, VH1, Vice and more right to their phone or tablet. The app targets millennials, and allows users to “cut and share” their favorite entertainment with friends through texting, Facebook, Twitter and email. Users can also follow their favorite celebrities to learn when they’ll be starring in upcoming featured shows.
Lathan mentioned to EBONY.com that she’s addicted to social media. “I am crazy, like to the point where I need to put myself on timeout. Like I did it a lot for [The Perfect Guy]. Now studios require you to do that with the marketing, and I have a lot of followers. But then what happens is, it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So now I’m ready to take like two weeks off.”
Chrissy Teigen, who some might consider an “oversharer” on social media (who could forget when she broke the Internet after posting a picture of Legend’s exposed derriere), explained to EBONY.com why the Go90 launch was a big deal to her. “I’m a big fan of social media,” she said. “I’m a big fan of anything entertainment, so to combine the two is a godsend for me.”
Zoe Saldana, whose Nina biopic on Nina Simone drops in December, revealed to EBONY.com that she wants to use her social media for a more responsible purpose. “I find myself asking questions like, ‘What is it that I want to say?’ now that I have a microphone. Now that I have the Instagram, the Facebook and everything, what do I want to say? Do I just want to [pantomimes taking a selfie]?” She continued, “I get it. I respect it, but there has to be a little more depth.”
And finally, Luke James currently in a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend (British soul singer Jessie J), shared that social media keeps their relationship hot, since she unfortunately spends a lot of time overseas.
“FaceTime is awesome, but you make time for those things you love.” he said. When asked how spicy those FaceTime sessions get, James revealed, “Oh, it’s spicy as everyone else’s!”
Crystal Shaw King is a seasoned TV, radio and online entertainment writer. She's also a contributing editor for a social justice foundation in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @crystalamberbam.