Did you watch Ava Duvernay’s Venus Vs. last night on ESPN? I was most blown away by Venus’s confidence. 23 years old, 6’1″ and those white and green beads and those long, gangly legs. When she said, “I’m tall, I’m Black and everything is different about me and those are the facts,” I knew EXACTLY where she was coming from and EXACTLY where she was heading. She was on the precipice of not giving a pluck about anyone else’s opinion of her. She was her own beautiful and didn’t give a damn!
I remember being 18, and being the tallest girl in class and out. The kids around the way would call me “doofy.” I heard that snap the most and it hurt the most too. It’s taken me many years, actually more than a decade to shake loose those funky feelings and to get my esteem in check. Now I embrace the skin I’m in. I know I’m awkwardly social. When pushed I can be the cool kid so I usually hang out with Leos, Geminis and Scorpios– party-starters. They pull me on out of my shell and make me dance, make me turn around and poke my booty out for selfies, and they inspire me to let loose. When I’m by myself though, I will stick to myself– play to the corners unless aided by my other homies Jose (Cuervo) and Jameson who get me dancing on tables and talking Spanish to strange, handsome men.
Anyway, the week before last I went solo to this afterwork mixer given by Vested In Culture– a new record label to meet their new artist Kat Dahlia. I had heard a couple of her songs & thought she was dope and wanted to check her out. I arrived at the Hudson Hotel early, like before it started, like the DJ was still setting-up early and so I decided to cop a drink to past the time. There were some grrrls sitting in the back and from their fly gear I knew they were most likely there for the party. I smiled at them and kept walking by not even waiting for a return glance. Awkward! I held tight to my spicy tequila and passion fruit libation, sat at a long table in the middle of the outdoor courtyard and pulled-out this longish NY Times article and started reading. Yep, while the dj started his set, while folks profiled on their iPhones and ladies sashayed with their cute Louis Vuitton clutches by the bar, I got my library flow on.
Five minutes into my article, this woman approaches me and asks me what I’m reading. I tell her, a really interesting interview with Kanye West. I look up and it’s Sylvia Rhone– THE music industry mogul and one of the most powerful women in the biz! She ends up sitting down with me and our mutual comrade Margeaux Watson and we chatted for maybe 15 or 20 minutes about Kanye, hiphop, Miles Davis, theHotness & Harlem. At this point there was a whole room of partygoers who wanted to have a minute with Ms. Rhone, the President of VIC and co-host of this gathering. I just had a good quarter of an hour with her. I wasn’t even stunting. I was my geeky awkward self. Moral of story: To thine own self be true! There’s nothing like authenticity to attract the best and brightest in the room! And speaking of authenticity, let me say it now: Kat Dahlia is that dame! She was the real deal in person and her “Gangsta” is the joint! I’m looking forward to her CD when it drops this fall.