On Instagram straight flexin’! Miguel posted up this shirtless shot on the social media network earlier this week, and we were somewhat surprised he’s been hiding that physique. Ladies, would you let Miguel give you the “Third Leg” Drop?
Homeboy is currently featured on the cover of the new Summer Music issue of Paper magazine. Hit the flip to read about how he almost lost the love that inspired “Adorn” and how he tried not to creep out Mariah Carey.
At this point in his life, Miguel is leaning more toward the tender side he showed on “Adorn,” which he wrote for his long-term model/actress girlfriend Nazanin Mandi. Still, expressing his emotions isn’t as easy for him in person. “As comfortable as I am dealing with it in my music, it’s so much harder to do for real. I’m not even going to pretend.” Back in 2007 Mandi temporarily called off their relationship. “I was mad young, just wildin’ out,” he recalls, “and she was smart enough to leave, like she should have.” He was also struggling with a go-nowhere deal with Black Ice, an independent label that had cartoonishly styled him as an “urban” artist in oversized sportswear and chains. He says he couldn’t handle being alone, and crashed on a friend’s sofa for a while, getting up every morning with a backache at 4:30 a.m. to get to his day job selling car warranties. “I was good at it, but it was so bad,” he recalls. “Imagine you’re lonely, you’re missing someone, you’re like, ‘I fawked up,’ and you have the worst job in the world.”
SMH. Good thing he got it together.
More excerpts and photos from the mag on the flip.
By the time Kaleidoscope Dream arrived in the fall of 2012, Miguel had completely refashioned his image — becoming an artist’s artist along the way, working on collaborations with established crossover figures like Kendrick Lamar (the buzzy, cerebral rapper who is featured on a remix and in the video for “How Many Drinks?”) and pop stars like Usher and Mariah Carey, whose single “#Beautiful” with Miguel is a strong contender for the song of summer. Their duet, a classic pop track steeped in retro-Motown production, is Miguel’s most impressive mainstream coup to date, but “#Beautiful” was actually the very first song he wrote for Kaleidoscope Dream. He scrapped it at the time because it felt like it was missing something. Almost two years later, the track is bolstering Mimi’s latest comeback and has its own ultra-sultry video in which Carey straddles the back of Miguel’s motorcycle clad in black leather hot pants. Miguel says working with Carey brought back a few boyhood fantasies. “The moment she dove into that pool and came out of the water…oooh,” he recalls of Carey’s 1997 “Honey” video, released when Miguel was just barely pubescent. “When she first walked into our session I was like, ‘I had such a crush on you, b!tch!'” Asked if those were his exact words, he grins. “Nah, I had to keep it cool.”
We’re glad he didn’t totally geek out. Tell the truth though, how many of you remember that exact image of Mariah Miguel is describing? *raises both hands
Check out more photos from the issue below: