Bring On the Seamen, the Navy Takes Over NYC

May 26 marks the official start of Fleet Week 2010 in New York City.  Fleet Week is a US Navy, Marine  Corps and Coast Guard tradition that spans over 70 years.  Fleet Week began in New York City in 1984.  Each year active military ships deployed in overseas operations dock in the Hudson Harbor for one week, releasing tons of US approved beefcake loose on the streets of Manhattan.  Besides the sight of all those lovely sailors walking about in their Navy dress whites, Fleet Week is filled with lots of fun free activities.  Below is a list of the 2010 Fleet Week Events.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010:

8:30 am
Parade of Ships
Where: Hudson River on Manhattan’s west side

7 pm
USMC Flyover at NY Mets game
Where: NY Mets Field

Thursday, May 27, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

7-9 am
USMC display
Where: USS Intrepid (Please Note: this is not a free event)

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, Staten Island (Static Display)

9-9:30 am
Flag Raising & Morning Colors
Where: New York Public Library

10 am-noon
USMC MAGTF Air/Ground Demo
Location: Coney Island, Brooklyn

11 am-noon
SI Blessing of the Fleet
Where: SI Piers

11 am-1 pm
USCG SAR Helo Demo
Where: NY Harbor near Homeport Pier, SI

6-8 pm
Marine Forces Reserve Band Concert
Where: Central Park Band Shell

Friday, May 28, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9 am-4 pm
USMC Day in Times Square
Where: Times Square

11-11:30 am
USCG SAR Helo Demo
Where: NY Harbor near Homeport Pier, SI

2:30-6 pm
USMC MAGTF Air/Ground Demo
Where: Orchard Beach, Bronx

5-6:15 pm
Navy Band Northeast performs at Times Square
Where:  Times Square

Saturday, May 29, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9 am-4 pm
Marine Day
Where: Battery Park

Noon-1 pm
MWR Intrepid Cup Sports Tug-O-War
Where: Intrepid Pier

1-3 pm
Navy Band Northeast Concert
Where: Staten Island Pier

Sunday, May 30, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-5 pm
USMC Static Display
Where: USS Iwo Jima

8 am-6 pm
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Staten Island Piers

8 am-6 pm
USCG Static Display
Where: Homeport Pier, Staten Island

9:30-11:30 am
Catholic Mass
Where: St Patrick’s Cathedral

Noon-2 pm
MWR Intrepid Cup Jousting Competition
Where: Intrepid Pier 86

4 pm
Pier 88 Static Displays
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St.

6-7:15 pm
Navy Band Northeast in Times Square
Where: Times Square

Monday, May 31, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-5 pm
USMC Static Display
Where: USS Iwo Jima

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9:40-11 am
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Day Observances
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Riverside Dr & 89th St, Staten Island

10am-4pm
Raising Citizens: Meet & Greet with US Military
Where: Children’s Museum of Manhattan

10am-4pm
Sailors and Marines at the Bronx Zoo
Where:  Bronx Zoo

11 am-2 pm
Kings County Memorial Day Parade
Where: 3rd Ave & 87th St, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

11 am-2:30 pm
Allied Veterans Memorial Day Parade
Where: Ridgewood/Glendale, NY

11 am-6 pm
Staten Island Memorial Day Parade
Where: Hart Blvd/Forest Ave

12-1 pm
Manhattan Memorial Day Parade
Where: Broadway/Dyckman Streets

2-5 pm
Memorial Day Parade: Bronx City Island
Where: City Island, Bronx

Tuesday, June 1, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

8 am-noon
USMC World Trade Center Run
Where: Federal Hall to Ground Zero

3-4 pm
USMC Reenlistment / Promotion Ceremony
Where: WTC Site

7 pm
Karaoke Party at the Hard Rock Restaurant
Where: Times Square

The ships and service members will depart from the harbor on June 2.  Happy Fleet Week, and to all the single ladies of Manhattan, happy hunting!

Promise Fulfilled

As I stood outside the Broadway Theatre, my original thought was maybe the name for this production should’ve been changed to lines, lines.  The appeal of this play was obvious from the procession of people with tickets in hand anticipating the opening of the doors. While I slowly made my way inside the venue, I had another thought.  I realized that every time the curtains rise on a stage a promise is made.  So what do you get when you combine a concept based on a Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond screenplay, a book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David? You get a formula for success, success.  And that is exactly what the revival of Promises, Promises is.

Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenoweth and cast had huge shoes to fill.  The original 1968 production garnered a Grammy award for Best Cast Recording and two Tony awards.  The simple, soft, yet potent elegance of Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s music is deeply woven in the fabric of pop culture.  Songs like “I Say a Little Prayer”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Promises, Promises”, and “A House Is Not a Home” have been indelibly ingrained on the psyche of any music lover thanks impart to iconic singers like Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin.  The musical is based on the hilarious, Oscar winning comedy, The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClain.   Although I was not alive when the original musical appeared on Broadway, the music and movie it was based on is very familiar to me.  Needless to say, I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. 

From the opening overture to the reprise of “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, Promises, Promises delivered absolute amusement.  What a joy it was to witness Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s music come alive in a way I had never experienced before.  Sean Hayes was born to play the charming, ambitious to a fault Chuck Baxter, a young bachelor that works at Consolidated Life.  Will & Grace showed he had the comedic chops, but his overall talent shines in this musical comedy.  He is exceptional in his Broadway debut, so much so that his portrayal of Chuck has garnered a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.   His constant breaking of the fourth wall in order to narrate the story was a scream. 

Kristen Chenoweth is simply adorable as the sadder but wiser Fran Kubelik, the young waitress that has an affair with a married executive, played by Tony Goldwyn, and is the girl of Chuck’s dreams.  Her renditions of “Whoever You Are”, “A House Is Not a Home”, “I Say a Little Prayer” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Againare heavenlyShe and Sean are a delight to watch and have great chemistry. 

 

 

 

The slinky, Fossesque choreography of Rob Ashford was right on queue.  The hip-swiveling, energetic moves harkens back to a time when the mash potato, frug and monkey ruled. Rob Ashford received a Tony nomination for Best Choreography and it is well deserved.  Combined with the orchestrations of Jonathan Tunick, 2010 Tony nominee for Best Orchestrations, Promises, Promises provides its audience with a knock out punch.  

For me the breakout star of this musical comedy is Katie Finnerman.  She is a sensation as the brassy, sex-crazed Marge MacDougall.  She delivers some of the most side-splitting lines of the show and is one of the reasons why “A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing” has become my favorite number.   Tony Goldwyn and Dick Latessa also give stand out performances as J.D. Sheldrake, the womanizing executive, and Dr. Dreyfuss, Chuck’s cynical neighbor.

Set in Manhattan during the early 60s, Promises, Promises transports the audience back to a simpler time just before the nation lost its innocence from the eruption of Vietnam War protests, assassinations and riots.  The show is filled with unethical and immoral subject matter, yet in the wake of all the ills that plague us today, infidelity, nepotism, attempted suicide and turkey lurking hardly seems like issues that would raise any eyebrows.  Besides, I so entertained by the performances of the cast that the depravity of the show themes did not register.  Sexy…witty…gut-busting humor…memorable music Promises, Promises has it all.  It is a tremendous triumph.

After seeing Promises, Promises I walked the streets of the new Times Square floating on a cloud of Bacharach.  Once you see it, you will fall in love and stay in love with the revival of this groovy musical.  I promise.

FAMERS to order discount tickets for Promises, Promises, click  http://www.promisespromisesbroadway.com/PPAMC56.php.

Photos courtesy of Promises, Promises.com and Broadway.com

Model Search 2010

The next top model might not be found by Tyra Banks; she might just be an email away.  Models International is conducting their 2010 model search.  Models International is a boutique agency that prides themselves on giving their models acute focus and attention.  The agency originally started in Los Angeles and opened a division in Manhattan two years ago.  Andrienne Kennedy is the Director of New Faces; she is responsible for the general appearance of the women’s board.  Models International is looking for young women who want to fashion a career in modeling and are serious about being successful.    “I am looking for stars!  This model search is a perfect outlet to scout new faces that can be the future faces of Models International,” Andrienne says. 

To enter Models International’s 2010 model search email your age, contact information, bust, waist and hip measurements and four color photographs to scoutny@mi-agency.com no later than June 15.  The winner will be selected on June 21 and will receive an exclusive modeling contract with Models International NY.

For more information about Models International NY, please visit www.mi-agency.com.   Stay tuned to find out which lucky girl is selected the winner.

The Black President Leads Tony Nominations

F.A.M.E NYC told you that Fela! was the best production for 2009, and The American Theatre Wing agrees.  Fela! nabbed 11 Tony nominations including Best Musical, Bill T. Jones for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, Sahr Ngaujah for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and Lillias White for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.    The revival of La Cage aux Folles also grabbed 11 Tony nominations with Kelsey Grammer also vying for the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical award

The revival August Wilson’s Fences garnered 10 nominations including Denzel Washington for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Viola Davis for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, Kenny Leon for Best Directions of a Play and Branford Marsalis for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. 

 

 

 

Broadway goes to Radio City Music Hall as the Tony Awards air live Sunday June 13 on CBS.  To view a list of all the nominees please visit www.tonyawards.com.  Good luck to all the nominees and we at F.A.M.E NYC will have our fingers crossed for Fela!

 

Prom 2010

Josh Madden

Soon after the cherry blossoms arrive and spring fever fills the atmosphere, another fever quickly approaches.  This fever usually is accompanied with the desire to don formal attire, order corsages, take a hundred pictures and ride in rented limos and town cars.  That’s right; I’m talking about the prom.

 

 

Paul Iacono

For teenagers across the United States, the junior and senior proms are a rite of passage that culminates the high school experience.  It is a moment that resides in the memory bank and is carried throughout the rest of our lives.  On May 8, the fashionable of New York City came together to create new, fabulous prom memories.

Claudine De Sola and Joonbug.com’s CEO Jon Gabel

Joonbug.com and FashionIndie.com presented Prom Class 2010.  Fashion’s dandies and dandettes braved cyclone winds to Wang Chung at Espace, located on W. 42nd St.   The venue with its chic décor provided the perfect setting for the razzle-dazzle and bumping and grinding found inside.  Drinks were flowing and a good time was definitely had by all. 

 

Shontelle

DJs Josh Madden, Steve Powers, Manero and Claudine De Sola spinned a mix of 80s and 90s hits as well as future dance classics.   And as expected at any prom the dance floor was filled with fashion.  I shook a tail feather with Glam God and designer Indashio who wore an Asian-inspired prom kimono.  Songstress Shontelle looked sexy in a black and taupe geometric print dress.  And what would a prom be without a king and queen; Prom 2010 provided royalty as well.

Rebecca Minkoff

The hosts for this extravaganza were designer Rebecca Minkoff, Paul Iacono from The Hard Times of RJ Berger and Gurj Bassi from Downtown Girls, Rescue Me’s Callie Thorne and Micah Jesse of Micah Jesse.com.  Half the proceeds collected from ticket sales went to benefit The Society of Independent Fashion Journalists.   I never had the opportunity to attend my prom when I was a teenager, but the longer I live the more I realize that it is never too late to do anything.  My prom memories may have come 17 years later, but I now can say that I have had my night of spree and style.  Too bad I did not get elected queen.

 

Photos courtesy of Joonbug.com

Gawk and Awe

Dozens of strangers corralled into a wide dark space unsure of what will happen next.  Strobe lights are overhead as the DJ spins electro-tech sounds.  I’m no stranger to clubs (in fact they are my second home) and this definitely feels like one.  There is barely anywhere to sit and I began to think to myself, “I thought I was going to see a show.”  But before I could get lost in my thoughts, it began.

A man dressed in a white suit begins to run on a treadmill.  He accumulates speed as simulated wind and rain try to block him.  In a flash a loud shot rings in the air, my heart briefly stops.  He is shot and pauses, but the action is just beginning.

Fuerza Bruta Look Up is an explosion of performance art.  From start to finish it is a marathon of aerial acrobatics and constant movement, even the audience gets to participate.  As a member of the audience you move from one end of the theater to another following the show as the cast moves from one form of movement to the next.  You become part of the experience as the cast joins the audience to revel, break boxes of confetti over willing audience members’ heads and dance as water is sprayed from above.  And if you enjoy watching women in baby doll frocks slosh around in water, Fuerza Bruta Look Up has that too. 

It does not matter how you feel when you enter.  The vibes are so kinetic that you will leave soaked with bolts of energy to carry you through the rest of the night.  Fuerza Bruta Look Up is an out-of-the-box celebration that can be enjoyed by young and old.  It is provocative and absolutely the best fusion of art, nightlife and theater I have ever witnessed.  It is carnival on steroids.  Look up, look left, look right, but I guarantee you will not look away.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of  fuerzabrutanyc.com

Sneak Peek: Dres of Black Sheep – “Doin’ It Wrong Remix” Produced By Jim B.

Van Damn, it looks like Black Sheep is back!  At least one half anyway,  Dres, the lyrical half of the legendary ‘90s hip hop duo Black Sheep will be releasing a new album this summer.  In anticipation for From The Black Pool of Genius, Dres has dropped a new video for the remix “Doin’ It Wrong.”  Take a look and stay tuned for F.A.M.E NYC’s feature on Dres as soon as the album drops.

 

Video courtesy of Audible Treats

Affordable Art

Today marks the start of the Affordable Art Fair in New York City.  AAF NYC is a cool introduction for anyone who loves art.  There are over 70 international galleries represented, providing art connoisseurs and novices an opportunity to browse and view hundreds of different works from notable and blossoming artists.  This year AAF NYC features an I ♥ Brooklyn party, children’s programs, Foto Focus walking tours, sculpture and print making classes.

The main attraction of AAF NYC is the art prices; all works are priced from $100 to $10,000.  At those prices, anyone can be a collector.  The Affordable Art Fair is being held a 7W New York (7 West 34th St, near 5th Ave, NYC) and ends on Sunday.  But if you miss AAF NYC in May, you will get the chance to see it again in its first inaugural fall fair in September.

To learn more about AAF NYC or purchase tickets, visit www.aafnyc.com.

A Glance inside the Gates

In the pantheon of fashion, the fashion publicist is the most powerful mortal on the planet.  They hold the keys that open the gates providing entrée to the gods, goddesses and titans of the runway. They are the priests and priestesses of media.  Without proper tribute, your request will never reach the deities of design.  Bravo’s first season of Kell on Earth shined a spotlight on the zany universe of fashion PR.  There are times when Ms. Kelly Cutrone and her team appear to be fierce Medusas piercing an arrow through the heart of any ne’erdowell who does not have the fortitude to pass the series of tests it takes to make it in this glittery/grueling industry.  Truth is they are not far off the mark.  It takes the will of a titan and skin as thick as a Michelin tire to be successful as a fashion publicist.  A fact that Claudine Desola knows all to well.  She stands at the gilded gates, a place of undisputable power, but as I have come to learn, she wields her force in a benevolent manner.  “I wouldn’t say everyday is crazy, it’s pretty calm right now,” Claudine expresses, “but if you come when we’re putting an event together, everyone is running around and it looks like they have two heads.  I do think you need to have thick skin but not at all points because some clients are super chill. You just have to go with the flow.”

The most important role of a PR rep is to make a client desirable enough that a demand is created, which can also be interpreted as sell…sell…sell.  Fashion publicists look as if they lead a chic, glamorous life, but there is a lot of elbow grease behind all the shimmer.  To succeed at the business of public relations, one must have desire.   “I think it is important to know if you really want to do it or not.  It takes a certain type of person I think to be in PR because you have to be outgoing.  You can be an introvert but you have to be sort of an extrovert too,” Claudine explains, “You’re essentially a sales person. Do you want be in sales?  If the answer is no, then you don’t want to be in PR.  You are selling something whether it’s a person, event or a product.  Before you have the skills, you need to have the attitude.  That is fifty percent of what we do here.”

Claudine entered Marist College as a Communications major with a concentration in PR and Marketing and a minor in Fashion Merchandising.  While attending classes, she interned at JCrew, WWD and Pfizer Inc.  Soon after graduating with a B.A., Claudine received a phenomenal opportunity to work at Yeohlee Inc.  For three years Claudine carefully honed her skills working alongside one of the immortals of innovation.  As the public relations director/global sales account executive, she oversaw all press aspects of the 7th on Sixth Bryant Park shows, special events, trunk shows and exhibitions.  She was also part of the organizational team for ENERGETICS: Clothes and Enclosures, an international exhibition that combined the disciplines of fashion with architect Dr. Kenneth Yeang and designer Yeohlee Teng.  “That was a great experience because I did everything.  [Yeohlee] gets amazing inspiration from architecture [and] artists.  She is very intelligent, besides being talented; it’s almost to the point where you feel silly talking to her so you take notes and look it up later,” Claudine recalls jokingly. 

No one forgets their first time, for Claudine the first show she helped to organize came with a dose of anxiety.  “For the first five years of my career, especially at Yeohlee, I always got nervous, like freak-out nervous,” she says.  But over time this seasoned pro has learned to brush the nerves off her shoulders.  “I’m much calmer now. We just did a show with Kim Kardashian and we did a show with Pete Wentz and Khloe Kardashian.  We’ve gotten to work with some really amazing people so now there’s like a formula, if you do all the legwork you need to do, you’re organized, troubleshoot and if you’re encountering a problem, you let the client know sooner rather than later, there is no reason to be nervous,”  Claudine adds.  

 
 
Another element in Claudine’s formula of success is surrounding herself with an equally talented team.   After leaving Yeohlee, Claudine worked as a freelance publicist before moving to Fonte PR where she would meet future partner Reshma Patel.   At Fonte PR both Claudine and Reshma worked with fashion brands like Urban Outfitters.  In 2001, both Claudine and Reshma left Fonte to create a public relations and marketing agency that reflected their eclectic, “indie” style.    THINK PR became the result of their entrepreneurial efforts.  Claudine and Reshma employ a team of 18 publicists, with boutique offices in Manhattan and Los Angeles and offer publicity, event production, marketing and branding to an array of fashion, beauty, hospitality, design, art, luxury goods and entertainment clients.  “I think Reshma came up with it or one of the managers at the time,” Claudine answers when asked about the naming of THINK PR, “We looked it up and no one else had it.  And that was kind of what we were trying to do, not to be quirky, but it’s like ‘Think outside the box.’  We didn’t want to be so traditional.”
 
 

 

 

Since THINK PR opened its doors, Claudine, Reshma and staff have worked with DKNY Jeans, STYLELOUNGE, Rock & Republic, Too Faced Cosmetics, ArgyleCulture by Russell Simmons, Bensimon, EMU Australia and The Humane Society of the United States.  “A lot of what we do is thinking about how we are going to position someone, like this isn’t just a pen,” Claudine explains, “what can we say about this pen?  All of our clients have something so interesting about them, so the first step is for us to think about it; the second step is to get the editors to think about it.”  Other services offered at THINK PR are celebrity wardrobing for red carpet events, premiers and appearances as well as product placement.

Thinking outside of the box is not just a phrase for Claudine, it is a lifestyle.  In June 2005, Claudine launched Caravan; a refurbished RV converted into a clothing store on wheels.  The Caravan RV could be seen in densely populated areas in the city such as the West Village and the Meatpacking District creating a phenomenon.  In 2006, Caravan opened its first store in NoHo totally revamping the shopping experience by combining the elements of a cool lounge setting and a retail store, and in 2007, Caravan expanded opening an appointment only boutique in the Carnegie Hill area.  With Caravan, Claudine has met with numerous celebrities such as Ashlee Simpson, Chevy Chase, Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union, Miley Cyrus, Sophia Bush, Penelope Cruz and Christy Turlington and dressed them in peices from the store.

Music is an essential component in fashion.  Designers use music to create the best aural effect and the music played in retail stores can transform a shopping experience.  Constantly searching for ways to expand her creative horizons, Claudine has started to dabble in world of DJing.  “It really is an art form,” Claudine says, ”cause you look at a really good DJ and they’re just doing amazing things up there.  But I guess it goes back to fashion, there are all these fashion houses that are all about music for their runway.  And it is a way to learn more about music.”   Merging the two worlds together Claudine interviewed 20 designers and asked about the songs they were listening to when designing their collection and on the day of their shows, their answers ended up becoming a mix that Claudine used at her first DJing gig.

To excel at DJing one must have the same inner abilities as a fashion publicist.  Desire, the ability to sale yourself, an extroverted personality and a deep knowledge about your craft are essentials.  DJs spend hours “digging in the crates” and downloading music to create an experience that is heard in the audience’s ears and expressed in their feet.   There is more to DJing than playing music; being able to lay a set down using vinyl, looping, blending, knowing when to drop the beat and let the song go are what make legendary DJs great.  “I use turntables.   I’m trying to do it the right way so it’s not just on the IPod,” Claudine states.   Just recently Claudine prepared a spring 2010 mix for Beba’s preview.  During fashion week she djed at Capitale.  The event  attracted musical celebrities such as Fabolous, Charles Hamilton, Josh Madden and Pras Michel.  On May 8th she will be DJing at Joonbug.com’s and FashionIndie.com’s Prom 2010.

With all Claudine’s achievements, she could rest easily at the threshold of fashion taking her place amongst its divine.  But for Claudine the journey to make sure the creative voices of the world are heard is one that continues.  “The one thing I love to do is to get more people to be inspired and come up with more creative ways to show creativity,” Claudine reveals, “You can have a creative idea, but you also have to figure out a way to present your idea.  I meet a lot of creative people, with good ideas that want to work with us so I also want to find ways to be more creative with my time too.  I have a lot of creative friends.  I have some friends that have lost their jobs and have been out of work for more than a year and they have brains of steel.  My goal is to raise enough capital here so I can figure out a way to put a creative team together because I think you’re better when you’re inspired, you do a better job.”

Dresses designed by Claudine

 

To learn more about THINK PR, visit www.thinkpublicrelations.com. 

 To learn more about Claudine’s DJing endeavors or Prom 2010, visit http://caravangirl.com/.

Photos provided by Claudine Desola 

Remembering Guru

On April 19 the music world, hip hop in particular, lost one of its most illuminating lyricists.  Guru, whose real name was Keith Elam, lost his over year long battle with cancer at the age of 43.  Guru was part of one of the most prolific duos in hip hop, Gang Starr which consisted of himself and DJ/ producer Premier.  Gang Starr was formed in 1985 and released six albums before disbanding in 2005.

I was first introduced to Guru in 1989.  I was tween fresh out of jheri curls, watching Yo! MTV Raps after school when I saw the video to “Words I Manifest.”  I was hooked from that moment on.  I watched him stand behind a podium and spit as if he was the reincarnation of Malcolm X.   Conscious lyrics behind a danceable sample are always a pairing for success in my book. 

 The combination of DJ Premier’s beats, Guru’s lyrics and monotone vocal delivery was nothing more than pristine.  Gang Starr soon became one of my favorite groups releasing hits like “Mass Appeal”, “You Know My Steez”, “Step In The Arena”, “Dywck”, “Just To Get a Rep”, “Ex Girl To Next Girl” and so many more.

Another reason I loved Guru and Gang Starr was their music set the blueprint for fusion of hip hop and jazz, a genre of music I grew up listening to courtesy of my dad.    Gang Starr’s music blended my childhood like no other group.

To me Guru was one of the representatives of hip hop’s golden age.  It was a time of great diversity and lyricism at its finest.   Throughout his career Guru showcased what is best in hip hop and it is through his and many other’s pioneering efforts that hip hop dominates FM radio and pop culture today.

Thank you for all the gifts you have bestowed on your fans.  Although you are gone in body, your spirit lives every time I hear your music and the light you gave to hip hop will never be extinguished.