Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Reason Why I Hustle...
"I'm an artist...and I'm sensitive about my shit" -me/erykah/chris/rashad

No, I'm not in the trap, but I do hustle. If I have realized one thing about myself while here at The Mecca, I've realized that I am ambitious as hell. I'm always at meetings, the one that's trying to meet my deadlines, put in extra work, be extra courteous, just go above and beyond. I'm always striving to be that star student and frankly I get very weary after a while and wonder what I'm really doing all this for. This week I have definitely reaped some of the benefits of my hard work and effort.
About three weeks ago, my friends and I went to see Madea's Family Reunion, while there we saw a preview of the movie, ATL. Immediately we all talked about how we wanted to see it.
While in Atlanta for Spring Break , we were at Bang On! in Little Five Points where I encountered the cutest most distinctive chubby guy who laughed as I joked about one of the iron-ons ...It's so weird that I even noticed him and can remember his face along with other details(his nose, his smile, his outfit).
On Tuesday, my friend/managing editor/past roomate, Charreah, called me up and asked if I wanted to go to a "thing" where I'd meet Chris Robinson. Now, we all know that, Christopher Robinson is a common ass name but for some odd reason- I knew just who she was talking about. Chris Robinson the video director, you know...the one who did "You Don't Know My Name" and "Fallin" for Alicia Keys, "I Can" for Nas, "Bonnie & Clyde 03" for Jay and B, and as quiet as it's kept he did Mandy Moore's first video "Candy" (lmao) he's the brainchild behind the Boost Mobile campaign, "Where You At?" Needless to say, I knew just which Chris Robinson she was referring to: brown skin, heavy set, dreadlock directing mastermind.
I said "sure" not realizing what I was really getting myself into.

So, the day came to take Charreah up on her offer and we went to see what Chris Robinson has to say about his new movie, ATL. Keep in mind, both Charreah and I were both born and bred in the A and we know our city.

When we arrived at the Ritz to meet up with Mr. Robinson, we got a bit turned around and couldn't quite find what we had come there for. I noticed a heavy set brown skin man with dreads having a seemingly intense conversation with a petite blonde haired white woman in the lounge- that had to be Chris, which I noted to my friend. Then we ran into Dan, the Warner Brother's Representative who had extended the invitation to come to Charreah. He then introduced us to three other men. One...the tolken black man- Tim, the former producer of the morning show here at WHUR with really interestingly foul breath. Two, the overweight atheist film critic. Lastly, there was the nerdy but endearing white film buff from George Mason who claimed he was raised off of "Don't Be a Menace" and thought both the Madea movies, "Diary" and "Family Reunion", were genius.
Turns out there would be no collegiate round table discussion that was talked about before. It would just be me, Charreah, the atheist film critic, and the nerdy but endearing film buff who had seen every Spike Lee Joint including Girl 6 having an intimate conversation with a regular guy from Edgewood, Maryland who ended up at Foothill College whose first film experience was in Sweden where the "music was horrible and the video was wack." He was so easy to talk to, everyone *including me* had engaging questions, and around our candle lit conversation in the Ritz-Carlton I realized...Chris Robinson is really the shit!
Being the aspiring journalist I am, I happened to recall the buzz about a movie I heard about last summer called Jellybeanz, which I knew would be about Atlanta and was slated to realease right around this time. Turns out it's the same movie,because legal reasons, with a new name- ATL.
Because we were from Atlanta and could relate to what he was saying, Chris loved us and insisted on us coming to the screening and telling him what we thought of the film. After getting turned around abit, we eventually arrived in Arundel Mills just in time to see the second half of the movie. It was soooooooooooo authentic. Turns out that cute guy from Bang On was a supporting character with a broken arm from skating.
Now anyone knows me, knows that I LOVE TO SKATE! (roller skate, not ice skate... i hate fucking ice skating!)It's an Atlanta thing...I used to go to Skate Town on Old National every Saturday when I was little, when I was in middle school I went to Sparkle's on the Southside or Golden Glide on the Eastside ( you wouldn't bring skates because everyone just came to dance, see, and be seen), and even in high school we'd make our way to Cascade Family Skate every now and again for college night (where you could see even the thugs dippin' and dogdging through the crowd on four wheels), even my 20th birthday party is going to be a skate party (yes, it's just that serious). And for anyone that knows me a little more, knows that as a kid I was known for keeping a broke wrist- I was always trying some new trick or fooling around and I just kept breaking my right wrist.
Chris had captured the essense of Atlanta sooooo well. From people saying "finna'' to "not for real, but fo' play play"...JJ's Rib Shack...."At Your Best" by Aaliyah.... "Blackberry Molasses" by Mista (yeaaa ya'll know Bobby Valentino but do you know about Mista)....The movie was just soooo Atlanta. It was great. And just like he asked, we met up with Chris after seeing it and gave him our two thumbs up. I must admit it felt really cool to be able to talk to a big time director on a first name basis after seeing a screening of his movie. The only rule in this game is to "never be star struck" (that means no pics *unless there's a natural photo opt*, no autographs EVER, and save the jumping and screaming until you get to the car) ....oh yea, we met Larry King today too ....
It's moments like this that remind me why I hustle so damn hard!

Now Playing: "Show Me Love" - Kilo Ali (yeaaaaa gotta' take it back one time to that ole' skool ATL bass music)

Sidenote: now, if I could just make it to my Tuesday/Thursday classes
(oh and the cutie from Bang On! is the one with the cast on!)

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