how i got a video choreography gig and a jamaica lanyard in one night

After watching the All-Star game with Chris “Billups” Ryan, a more entertaining basketball commentater than anyone ever (BCAT, hit him up here) Connie Wohn, Ghettotechmanica, and I hit the grime thing–DJ Cameo from radio 1xtra, who played i think FOUR Dizzee Rascal tracks and was clearly from radio’s landscape, because every shout was a kind of advertisement: (ladies come upn get cds) (don’t forget to sign the mailing list) (free minute maid at the bar) woo, and also, the flow was as fluid as shattered glass. However, on a janky sound system run over with dudes rapping/toasting/announcing/backspinning almost nonstop through tracks like “Pow” and “Wot Do U Call It,” it is not a mystery that people riot at grime clubs in London–epileptic audio activity + disenfranchisement = exactly what happens when you put marshmallows in a microwave.
Speaking of equations.
Dave S., aka ghettotech young buck Disco D, whos pals-ish with JC, arrives wearing a Jamaica lanyard & white surfnturf wifebeater-beater. He tells us fuck this grime, and convinces us to visit his studio, which he calls “The Booty Barn,” at 3 am. He has just produced a track for 50 Cent, and he wants to play it for us. Also: beats he’s made for a well-known singer whose career began on a reality TV show, a rapper from Atlanta, and “the female Eminem,” who’s actually quite good. We get in Jon’s little car and while he’s scraping the snow off the windows, Dave’s like, “I invented an equation for living. Its called positive pimpin. Give me a pen.” On a discarded ATM receipt, he writes:
(Pos En Neg En)(NT)^i = R
“That stands for Positive Energy, minus Negative Energy, times Networks, times Time, to the power of Individuality and Ideas, equal Results. You can use this equation for anything.. love, work, investments. Apply it to any scenario; it’s positive pimpin, and it works.”
He breaks the good news: he has just gotten engaged to a 35-year-old Brazilian supermodel/actress, who is about to star in an Antonio Banderas film. In case we do not believe him, he spits to us in Portuguese.
It is unclear whether his equation has created this union, or if he managed to get into it on his own.
When we arrive at the Booty Barn, Dave shows us photos of his fiancee, who is indeed a gorgeous Brazilian supermodel, in various states of glamour pose; then informs us he is making a DVD of his life, to be released in series as completed. This also means he must film us. He flips on the camera and makes formal on-cam intros:
“This is Jon Caramanica, the best hip-hop critic out there as far as I’m concerned… this guy is so knowledgeable and I totally respect his opinion. He’s always shown love and support to the D train” or something to that effect. Applause; thank you Jon.
He aims the camera on Connie and asks her to introduce herself:
“I’m Connie Wohn… that’s all you need to know.”
He gets to me. “What do you do?” he asks.
“My name’s Julianne Shepherd. I’m a writer, choreographer and editor–”
“You’re a choreographer?”
“Yes, actually–”
“Don’t sleep on the choreography,” Jon affirms.
Dave says, “Listen. We need you to do our video… the idea is to have the New Rock Steady crew and a regular choreographed group of dudes start a dance-off here in the studio, and then they all spill out onto the roof for a big dance battle. It’d be gratis, but the money will be there later…”
I can’t believe it. He’s describing a five-minute-long version You Got Served, which he wants me to choreograph… AND it’s low budget! This is the moment I have waited for my entire life.
TO BE CONTINUED

This entry was posted in Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to how i got a video choreography gig and a jamaica lanyard in one night

  1. Eva says:

    Julianne, it’s Eva from Alarmist, formerly Portland, now Oakland. Let me tell you a story. My first boyfriend, who took me to see the Destroy All Monsters reunion show in Detroit as my first date, lived next door to Disco D in his freshman year of college at University of Michigan. I asked this man, Jim, about whatever happened to Disco D a few weeks ago when we had our annual chat. Jim didn’t know. Now I know. I should have known about Dave, he was so shiny even when 17 and puny.
    CIAO

  2. Will says:

    shepdini,
    i shall pour out a lil’ diet coke for your choreography gig . . . (rosie per–who?) yay!
    “disco d” sounds like a long-lost member of the fat boys, pre-name change. but he produced 50′s “ski mask way,” so he gets props over heah.

  3. rollie says:

    ‘ski mask way’ is up there for beat of the year right now. tell that kid to let me know what else he’s done. my friend marc won’t fucking shut up about this song.
    i’ll email you, it’s just my birthday and shit and i’m drunk and in this red violet haze. i love everything.

  4. hason says:

    Jshep!
    The first in a long string of choreojobs, I’m sure. Oh yeah, and checked out yr review of ms Maya inna Spin, so good, my head bowled over by yr ingenious wordplay, I stood there last night, next to my car in the parking garage transfixed, too focused to find my keys, mind swooping through the phrases
    AND YOU USED BINOCULARS!
    please go to the head of the class.

  5. Sean says:

    You surriously killin it in the game right now. And believe the hype about that Disco D jam. The best thing on that record, easily. When you guys heard it were you like “Oh yeah, this is pretty trill?” It takes a minute to realize how great it is.
    And you blog! What!

  6. I have been Googling “Disco D” and “Ski Mask Way” daily to judge what the response is really like. Thanks guys! Every word she said was true! But actually, the equation only came out of my head last month in Jamaica… the girl situation was settled, but I didn’t pop the question until last week. Bless up, meu amigos!

  7. John says:

    Eva…Jim S? I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same person as I met Dave many times through a friend of mine also named Jim who also lived next door. He always seemed like this hilarious creation, something that could only come from detroit. Super happy, always working hard and always striving…but the last person you’d ever think would eventually produce for 50 Cent just judging a book by it’s cover. Which is why i liked him…you could just tell he didn’t give a fuck and was just going to make it…somehow.

  8. John says:

    Eva…Jim S? I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same person, as I met Dave many times through a friend of mine also named Jim who also lived next door. Dave always seemed like this hilarious creation, something that could only come from detroit/ann arbor. Hilarious because the outside world had no idea what they were missing, but you knew eventually, they’d catch on and claim him for their own. He always struck me as pretty balanced – super happy, always working hard and always striving…and the last person you’d ever think would eventually produce for 50 Cent just judging a book by it’s cover. Which is why i liked him…you could just tell he didn’t give a fuck and was just going to make it…somehow. I think everyone around him knew too. Glad he did, shame he didn’t stick around the party longer…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>