New York City, for all of its crowds, filth and bad attitudes is undeniably one of the most amazing cities in the world. Millions of tourists flood our streets, trains, ferries, parks, restaurants, buses, markets; I’m sure you get the picture we are overrun with tourists from all over the world and different walks of life. But living in the city that never sleeps requires a different sort of skill that you might not have encountered in you hometown; The Hustle, and I assure you everyone in New York City has one or more of them.
Two such New Yorkers who I had the unexpected privilege to meet last night, are Taja Lindley and Jessica Valoris two artists and friends who have come together to create Colored Girls Hustle to inspire women to live their daily lives confidently, creatively and passionately. Now that is something I can get behind!
So, on the Event:
Nestled within a converted Brownstone in Brooklyn owned by the equally amazing women of The Black Women’s Blueprint, a civil and human rights organization for both and women. We sipped on wine and perused the walls covered in tiny bits of history pertaining to the Civil Rights movement here in America (there even was a Coretta Scott King chair, that I ALMOST laid my bags in, The HORROR! Luckily before committing that particular faux pas I noticed the note attached to the seat, whew!) and dotted around the room were beautiful pieces of African Art.
Any who, back to reason why we were all there; the mix tape pre-release listening party, which they called a Mix tape Listening Salon that really spoke to the intimacy of the event, as they called us all to join the circle together to listen and commune together. Now, I’m not one much for Audience participation but even I appreciated that during their introduction to the mix tape they asked us all to introduce ourselves to the group and share what our Hustle is. Let me just tell you that by this point I had already had a bit of the wine in me (on an empty stomach, as I had just come from work, I am NOT a lightweight!) and so I’m not altogether sure what I said but I definitely got some laughs out of the group, so all in all it was a success.
Set to familiar sound tracks The Colored Girls Hustle allow us to experience, through their rap stylings, getting Krunk while still being conscientious. The lyrics are at times fun and light-hearted but remain true to its message of highlighting the struggle women face in their sexuality, place in society and their creative expression. To check out their songs, the mix tape is available for free download here
At the end of the evening I can say that Taja and Jessica have a vision and a style of their own are definitely two young women who are about themselves and their art from visual, spoken word, fashion (they also sell jewelry through their site) and performance art while remembering the communities that have reared them. I for one will be keeping my eye out to see what these two get up to next!
“Catchin’ bullets wit my butt-cheeks” Really? That must be painful….