As Erykah Badu said in her smash cut, Apple Tree from her ’97 debut, Baduizm, “I’d like to dedicate this to all the creative righteous children.”
I’ve recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with mad friends from the creative community. Hustlers, bohos, intellectuals, showmen and women, performers, string pullers, filmmakers and headliners. Shit is heating up.
Until very recently, my long time friend and confidant, former head of Atlantic Records’ Urban Communications, Chrissy Murray was technologically averse. She’s the type, who thinks that returning an e-mail is a problem. At least it used to be that way.
Chrissy is a vet. Broke Jr. Mafia and Lil Kim at the national consumer press level. Introduced me to, Brandy at the very first, Vibe party when she was newly distilled and rocking, I Want To Be Down. Got Jody Watley a, Playboy spread after she was north of 40. She plays hard.
Chrissy’s on sabatical in her beloved, D.C. recuperating from surgery. Everyday is a struggle that she’s winning. Without knowing it, she’s quite inspiring.
A recent reassessment of her relationship to the web has caused a change in her get down. She’s recently acquired; a cordless phone, an i-pod shuffle, an upload of a friend’s entire music library via an external hard drive, a Facebook page and a new outlook on life.
Long time citizens of, Soul City and intimates of the insideplaya will attest to the fact that we are digital networkers with a vengance. We were satisfied with the connective tissue provided by MySpace and our phone.
Indian cover girl, neo-smooth singer and DesiHits.com personality, Manjit Devgun recommended that Facebook was a place to set up an annex for, Soul City. LA actress, Rena Andrews nudged us a bit more toward expanding the city limits in that direction. We mumbled that we’d look into it.
Months passed, questions arose like, “You on it yet?” We were unresponsive.
Conversations with, SAP software consultant and the prettiest lil hustla on the web, The Wirk, included her veiled references to Facebook. We weren’t connecting to it’s hidden promise.
A little over two months ago we filled out a membership application. We scouted a few familiar names. Tentatively we looked at the photos of matured faces from the club days. We looked at our desk top screen wondering if we were having fun yet.
In a conversation with Chrissy, the previously technophobic publicist, she revealed that she had over 180 Facebook contacts.
We asked increduosly, “180 Facebook contacts? You? You think checking your e-mail is a chore.”
Something ugly and diabolical took over . My competitive urge began to take hold.
In another life, I was a decent street ball player. Played a bit of organized ball here and there. Mixed it up along the way with some name Division I kids and a handful of pros. Held my own quite a bit and took advantage of some, who were less prepared.
In the school yard record books, I’ve scored my career 10,000 points. Under the right circumstances, I’ll play for keeps.
My former pick-up game running mate, author, social critic and filmmaker, Nelson George’s examination of the new black athletic aesthetic and b-ball tome, Elevating The Game: Black Men and Basketball is dedicated to me. I like to win.
CHRIS ROCK NIA LONG AND MY OLD PICK UP BUDDY NELSON GEORGE
Inadvertently, Chrissy had set it off. At the time of her revelation, I had eight friends. I had to get busy. I started with the club kids, the former bartenders and door people.
NY nitelife is a world unto itself and I’m a lifetime card carrying member. I scouted the night world crew. Fortunately, I was still welcomed.
Next, the media pros. Label mates from all of the different companies I’d called home, radio jocks and programmers, film people, producers, artists and friends.
Out of the blue we heard from NY artists Erika Cosby and Samantha Keely Smith.
We found film producer, Lauren Lloyd, who’s developing a project about a black female pimp.
Both halves of ’90’s neo-slick dou, Groove Theory, Bryce and Amel found their way on to my list.
Hip hop film vets, Alonzo Brown and Pam Gibson got spots.
Step Up 2: The Streets screenplay writer, Toni Ann Johnson checked in with an inspiring and stimulating phone call after a long absence.
SCREENPLAY WRITER TONI ANN JOHNSON
Midwest hustla and entertaiment vet, Livio Harris sent a number and kicked it about some soundtrack that he’s putting together for a feature on Pablo Escobar with NY Roxy vet and Wu Tang associate, Melquan Smith.
The LA Posse, the west coast based production team that produced, LL Cool J’s, Walking With A Panther, the second Def Jam release by the MC that ladies love. It contained the breakthrough ballad, I Need Love. They’re looking for tv opportunities.
Mix show vet, Chuck Chillout checked in.
Chuck’s former selector and current pop mega producer, Salam Remi (Nas, The Fugees, Amy Winehouse) dropped us a line.
Former MTV powerhouse and director for hire, Moses Edinborough wrote.
Progressive soul and hip hop producer, Erik Rico got in touch.
Facebook is a cauldron of opportunity. There’s more going on there than any black barbershop that I’ve ever been in.
Thanks to all the previously mentioned for continually reaffirming my faith in community. Keep it hot!!
shouts to the legendary, Chrissy Murray of CPR Media