Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tanqueray Style Sessions

Last night Tanqueray got the green bottles out and did it big for their Tanqueray Style Sessions-- some crazy synergistic, cross-marketing mash-up of booze, music, fashion and art all taking place under one roof in the name of brand development. The roof in question was that of The Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, NYC. When I arrived it was a mob scene outside and immediately I was ready to head home, but comrade Larry Ossei let me slide to the front of the VIP line and I was able to ease in rather quickly. I honestly forgot how frickin loony people get when the call of "Open Bar" is made. Tanqueray, not even really a hot brand in terms of what’s poppin, had folks standing at least 50 deep in three different lines waiting to get their gin and tonic on or some other concoction. The whole experience reminded me of back in the day how folks in my hood would line up for our free cheese and butter. I saw author Trey Ellis who said to me in astonishment these lines are ridiculous. "Yeah, but how ridiculous does that make me for actually waiting on the line," I responded. After being on line for 15 minutes I started wondering if I had lush life issues, but then just contended that these types of industry affairs—fraudulent attempts at being supa cutting-edge necessitated a drink. Keeping it real, the music and art takes a back seat to cocktail sipping. There was a fashion show featuring a few lines including Marc Ecko and throughout the space were cute lil "branded" lounge areas created by Crate & Barrel and live art displays by graffiti artist STASH. It was a 3-ring circus with the main attraction being the concession stands.

There were however two thrilling moments. The first happened 30-minutes before the fashion show started when a vent fell from the ceiling, hitting a woman. She was knocked down to the floor but looked like she would be okay after medical attention. Clearly she's got a good case for a lawsuit. How's that for brand development Tanqueray?

The second thrilling moment was a "surprise performance" by Ryan Leslie. I had heard so much about him-- heard his jawn "Diamond Girl," but never saw him live. He danced, twirled and generally sang his behind off. It took him a minute to gain the attention (and respect) of the crowd, but by the third song he had won over the audience with his charm and enthusiasm and folks had gathered around the stage to show dude in the shiny jacket some love. His band was tight. I just wish he would lay off of the Usher routine and give us more edge-- more James Brown if you will.

I saw Sylvia Rhone standing next to DJ’s Steve Aoki & Mos cheering her artist on and looking fierce as ever. Damon Dash, who I interviewed a couple of years ago was there with his son chatting with Angela Yee from Sirius, and speaking of Diamond Girl, I met Jenn Tsang who creates fresh gold rings and other bombastic bling rocking the flyest denim jumpsuit. Also in the house Charles of Hustlemode with Mary Phanmaha from Rocawear and Slim Pickens.

I had an aight time. Will I check for Ryan's record? Yep. Will I start ordering Tanqueray when I go out? Nope. Will I make sure not to stand under any open vents? You damn skippy I will!

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