Kevin Federline is profiled in the September issue of GQ—on newsstands now. Here, in a GQ.com exclusive, we invite you to sit down to breakfast with Federline and his buddies after an early-morning interview at the Los Angeles radio station Power 106.
Kevin Federline poses for photos with the radio crew—including the producer and the engineer—before declaring himself “famished.” The morning went well, he says, and he seems to be breathing easier. “Big Boy sat there and closed his eyes and listened to every word of ‘America’s Most Hated,’ ” Federline says. “That means a lot. He was feelin’ it. He didn’t have to say anything. I observe all of that shit.” Federline and his friends pile into his new truck, a grey Dodge Viper SRT10 with tinted windows (he left the Ferrari at home for fear it might rain), and head out for breakfast at Vivian’s, a nearby brunch spot that may or may not be owned by King of Queens actress Leah Remini’s parents. Once seated, Federline fiddles with his Sidekick while his friends, looking over the menu, debate the question:
JIMMY: The fucking mother of Leah Remini owns it.
JIMMY: Leah. Remini. Her mom owns this place.
EDDIE: No. This is Spanish shit. How much do you want to bet on it?
JIMMY: Ask the lady when she gets here.
EDDIE: No, let’s put a bet on it.
JIMMY: All I’m saying is that Leah Remini is involved somehow.
[The waiter comes over.]
JIMMY: What is the name of the owner of this establishment?
JIMMY: Is it somehow involved with Leah Remini? Her parents, right?
FEDERLINE: Who cares? Order your fucking drink, dammit.
EDDIE: Can I get an Arnold Palmer?
(Eddie is sort of right—the restaurant is half-owned by Leah Remini's husband.)
Though Federline’s album release is still months away, he has already made several promotional appearances—for which he’s reportedly been paid $10,000 a pop—including a recent stop at Pure, the nightclub at Caesars in Vegas, where some people gave Federline the finger, though Federline doesn’t recall it that way from up in the glass booth. “They were feeling it,” he says, picking at a double order of turkey bacon. “I’m learning what I gotta do to get people hyped up. It doesn’t matter even if they’re not dancing, as long as they’re bobbing their head and as long as it looks like a mosh pit down there.” Federline took Jimmy and Eddie with him to Vegas. “I don’t want to show up and be sitting in a booth and have everyone staring,” he says. “Like it’s just me and my old lady sitting up there like, ‘Hey, how you doin’?’ ”
Federline has begun thinking ahead to his own tour, which he hopes will feel—backstage, anyway—like the vibe on his first big job as a backup dancer for Pink. (Eddie hired him for that gig, by the way. “I seen Kevin, and he had braids, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s him.’ White guy, braids—he had a look.”) “We did not have no drama on Pink’s tour,” Federline says. “We fucking went in, did our shit—when it was time to work it was time to work, and when it was time to play we played hard.”
“It’s the company you keep,” says Big Mike, who up until now has been silent. Big Mike has been Britney’s bodyguard for eight years, and he’s one of Federline’s best friends; he’s also roommates with Jimmy and Eddie. “I was living with them before she and I got together,” Federline says.
“Everything’s a cycle,” Eddie adds.
GQ: What’s good here?
JIMMY AND EDDIE: Everything.
JIMMY: We said it at the same time. The chicken melt’s bangin’. The pancakes are bangin’. Turkey bacon. All the breakfasts.
WAITRESS [to Jimmy]: Ma’am?
FEDERLINE: She called you ma’am.
[Federline’s cell phone buzzes, and he walks away from the table.]
GQ: Where did you all meet?
JIMMY: I grew up with Kevin. We danced together. I knew him when I was real young. Then a couple years went by, and then I got to know him more when I was 16. And then we hung out a lot when we moved out here. Then he went on tour with Eddie and our other best friend Marty. Marty lived in a quadruplex apartment, and me and Kevin moved in.
EDDIE: The P Palace.
JIMMY: The P Palace.
GQ: Why did you call it the P Palace?
JIMMY: The Pimp Palace.
EDDIE: The Pimp Palace, because it was so packed. We taught dance class—
JIMMY: The hot spot.
EDDIE:—so the afterparty from class was always at our house.
GQ: What about the neighbors?
JIMMY: There was a woman, she was on medication, so at night, after eight o’clock, she was gone. We’d come home from the clubs, and we’d blast the music at four in the morning. Just like blowin’ out, dude. It would always be cool. People above us would have loud-ass parties. Everybody just vibed together.
[Federline comes back.]
GQ: Kevin, when you go on tour, will you dance in your show?
FEDERLINE: Uh, a little bit. Some stuff. Won’t be full-out choreography like it was when I was dancing, dancing. But I’ll have some constructive chaos. That’s what I want my show to be. I gotta get some fucking girl dancers that can go up there and really rock it, though. That’ll be great. That’s where Eddie could fuckin’ help me out.
FEDERLINE: Picking out the girl dancers, dude.
EDDIE: That’s gonna be an all-out audition search. We’ll hold your audition like a Janet audition. You want to see propaganda, watch. You’re gonna really see the hype.
GQ: Tell me about Vegas.
FEDERLINE: It was wild, dude. They had a red carpet there. I did some interviews with Extra and E!—I have to get the tape.
EDDIE: You see it? It was good.
FEDERLINE: It was?
JIMMY: We got it TiVo’d.
GQ: What was the crowd like?
FEDERLINE: There was a majority of women there. I mean, I’ve gone to those places quite a few times, and I’ve never seen… There are always girls there, but not like this. The ratio of girl to guy was crazy. The show was on Friday. I slept all day Saturday. I got up in the morning and went and gambled Saturday morning.
GQ: What’s your game?
FEDERLINE: Craps. And it was crap this time, too. Big time.
DAN: Craps is awful.
JIMMY: The rooms were dope. I think we gotta stay at Caesars next time.
EDDIE: I love the W. But the size of the rooms is gonna be small.
GQ: What do you guys remember about that first Pink tour you did together?
EDDIE: The first tour? I think that was like the best time of my life. One of my best times, besides working for Janet. Hell, yeah. We went through a lot, dude.
FEDERLINE: Pink, dude—that was my favorite tour ever.
EDDIE: Because she was just a great artist to work for. When the artist makes the environment great to come to work every day, you want to wake up and work. She was just the greatest. Nobody like—as far as being humble, real grounded… And you could see what she’s been through. She doesn’t hide it. The best part of that whole Pink tour was that Domino’s Pizza delivery guy coming to the crib.
FEDERLINE [laughing]: What about when we went to Melbourne, Australia? I’d been awake—I can’t fly on planes, so I’m up for like fifteen hours. I’m drinking on the plane, trying to relax, and by the time we get there, I’m wasted. I have to go through security check. I was the only one picked out of the whole group. They dragged me in there and did a security check, because I looked so fucked-up. My face was pale, my hair was just—I was gone.
JIMMY: Are we sure we want to let this guy into the country?
FEDERLINE: So we’re on our way to the hotel. As soon as we got off the plane and I went through security, I had to throw up, because I was fucking finished. I’d been up for too long drinking.
EDDIE: You’re scared of flying.
JIMMY: That’s an understatement.
FEDERLINE: We’re on our way to the hotel, and Pink’s like, “You guys gonna be downstairs in thirty minutes. I got a surprise for you.” I’m like, Fuck, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it. She’s bitching me out. I went upstairs and got in the shower for as long as I could and just like, I don’t think I’m gonna make it, I don’t think I’m gonna make it—walking downstairs with a headache. She’s sitting at the bar, dude. It’s like fucking nine thirty in the morning over there, and they’re pouring us Patrón shots. She’s like, “Drink this—you’re not gonna want to have a hangover all day.” So we get in the van and drive all the way to the fucking middle of nowhere. We get there, dude, and she takes us on a safari on horseback. It was dope. She paid for all of us. Eddie, this guy right here, he doesn’t know that he’s allergic to horses. We get on the fucking horse, we ride for two hours. We’re up in the middle of the hills chasing kangaroos and shit, and this dude starts breaking out—his face is swelling up.
EDDIE: My nose looked like that ketchup. I was fucking done.
GQ: What did you do the rest of the day?
EDDIE: Sneeze and cry, sneeze and cry.
GQ: Jimmy, were you on the tour as well?
JIMMY: No, I was on tour with Mandy Moore at the time.
GQ: What’s life on the road like?
EDDIE: Hard. You do show, show, show, day off, show, travel day, show, show, show. It varies. But a new act, they try to compress it: fifty-one dates with Sundays off. You might be in a different city every day. Once you finish that show, you’re on the road and you wake up in the next city.
FEDERLINE: The bus is the best thing invented for tours. I love the tour bus.
GQ: You guys like to make bets, I hear.
JIMMY: We used to bet on Ping-Pong.
FEDERLINE: That’s what started it. And this fool had a Sega Dreamcast, and we were playing NBA 2K on it, and everybody was hustling me on tour.
JIMMY: He was the worst.
FEDERLINE: They had been on tour playing, and I was the worst, and everybody was hustling me out of my fucking per diem every week and shit.
JIMMY: He was the new guy on the bus—we had to! It’s like college.
FEDERLINE: I was getting pissed. So whenever these fools would be off doing other stuff, I’d sit up playing until I made sure I got good, and finally I got to where I fuckin’ took everybody’s per diem.
FEDERLINE: Then Marty comes in with his dice. We gambled so much that we couldn’t gamble for money anymore. It wasn’t fun, you know what I mean? It was like, “We gotta do something better. We gotta start creating stunts.” So we got these fools jumping off the roof into the trees and jumping off the roof onto the plastic chairs.
EDDIE: Which comes back to the Domino’s Pizza guy.
GQ: What happened with the Domino’s guy?
FEDERLINE: So I lost at Ping-Pong, right, and we ordered Domino’s pizza, and they told me whenever the dude rang the bell, I had to get it, open up the pizza box, take a big old piece of the pizza, and slap it in my face.
JIMMY: It sounds sort of random, but it was hilarious.
FEDERLINE: I took like half of the pizza, and I smacked it on the side of my face. I didn’t think about how hot it was. Dude, I had this shit—the cheese was in my ear, burning in my fucking ear! So I’m looking at the Domino’s dude, and the guy is looking at me like, You’re a crazy fuck, what are you doing?
EDDIE [imitating the Domino’s guy]: How much is that gonna be?
$13.98? Oh, that smells good. Wham!
FEDERLINE: It was hilarious.
EDDIE: We have it on video. There’s gotta be the DVD bonus features.
JIMMY [to Federline]: You working with Jason later?
GQ: Who is Jason?
FEDERLINE: My trainer. He’s gone right now. He’s in Virginia. That’s another fool’s been stealing my cigarettes. He comes right into the house. You know, I leave my cigarettes in the bathroom. He always knows, and he’ll look through the drawers, and he’ll find the packs that aren’t even opened. He puts them all in his pockets. I always know when he takes them, because he’ll leave me one cigarette. He does it on purpose.
JIMMY: That’s messed up.