Just An Online Minute... Russell Simmons Grinds Your Gears
GlobalGrind.com Countdown To Change, Taj, New York
October 15, 2008
If you watched the debate on Wednesday, Oct. 15, are you as tired of the "Joe the Plumber" quips as I am? Then, last night, I watched the SNL "Weekend Update Thursday" (can we rename that please, come on) and I feel like I'd already heard the good stuff on Twitter. Come on, writers, hit the social wave and fish out some good jabs about Joe's blog, or his faux Twitter account. All that aside, I spent the debate at Taj with my new best friend Treach from Naughty By Nature and the friends and family of GlobalGrind.com. Yeah, totally trumps your party with the veggie tray and your toothless neighbor lady with eight cats, especially that one with the missing eye.
Fresh off my nerd extravaganza at The Time Hotel with the Ars Technica crew, I hoofed it in THE most uncomfortable shoes I had ever worn. The gelatinous inserts did nothing to stop my screaming toes, but I held onto the hope that they'd eventually go numb and I'd catch them just before amputation called. I got a flutter of excitement when I saw the brightly lit red carpet and Ludacris emerging from his shiny black transport, square diamond earrings cracking my corneas from a block away. My +1 and her +2s were supposed to meet me outside at 9 p.m., but they were still blocks away and I wasn't about to miss out on this big "Countdown to Change" event.
Oh, right, what was this big event? Well, it's weird. It was one of those events where you can't decipher who's sponsoring it versus owning the "product" versus celebrity endorsement/involvement. I shook out from the final press release that SmartWater was sponsoring the NYC launch party for GlobalGrind: The World According to HipHop. Hmm, I don't know what that would be if I looked at the world through the eyes of Lil Wayne, self-proclaimed alien.
The girls from Danity Kane must have been told to stand at the entrance for maximum exposure, because there was the flawless Dawn Richard, posing with Vinnie from Naughty By Nature and someone I didn't recognize, at the entryway. Continuing my path, I walked into the vacant gaze and purse-lipped pout of Aubrey O'Day, just kind of standing there. I hope they're registered to vote. I slithered away through the crowd while paparazzi jumped out, grabbed, and wrangled other celebrities in attendance.
I ran into DJ Skribble who was grabbing a drink for his wife. I asked him if he was still working with MTV. He said he's been doing a lot for VH-1 lately since they do more with, uh, music. Now, you see the problem with that right? I know I'm not the only one who saw that sneaky transition though. Except VH-1 still feels adult contemporary compared to the pre-TRL heyday of MTV. DJ Skribble tried to get the bartender's attention, was ignored, and said, "Sorry, I tried!" and took off. I gave up as well and headed to the back of Taj where I met Andrena K. Andrews, a petite Sean John employee holding it down as Licensing & Intellectual property manager. She kept me company gabbing about the who's who of hip hop and various other pop culture tidbits.
Sitting in the back at a table covered in carafes of juice were the SmartWater guys, Amyn Mirza, Marketing Manager, and his colleague. Their table was beside Russell Simmons, who nestled on the back of his settee like a hawk perched atop a telephone pole. He was behind Global Grind CEO Navarrow Wright, who had a bird's eye view of the debate running at full volume and was garnering catcalls and applause equally throughout the night. I don't recall if there was any music playing over the sound of the Obama/McCain confrontation, which was all very surreal. There I was at Taj watching the debate. I peeped Ludacris getting his GlobalGrind.com photos moment, and as I headed out, I accosted Treach to blather about Hip Hop Hooray, middle school, and my proud ownership of the Naughty By Nature Greatest Hits CD.
Cliff's Notes? Taj=interesting, party=short, Treach=naughty!, GlobalGrind.com=jury's still out, probably a good way to check the temperature of the "urban graduate" and teenage fan of hiphop, lady who read my palm outside of Taj while I changed back into my grey Converse=freakishly right-on until she told me that I was cheap for not letting her "cleanse" me.
Get your good reading glasses out people! Next week I'll be covering the launch party of an awesomely rude and informative online radio show; The "Never Not Fresh" celebration of DECON's multi-media roots -- and the launch of its creative agency; a smallish soiree with 360i; the Internet Freedom Bash (sooooo curious!); and PerezHilton's One Night in NYC pre-party, followed by his CMJ showcase (even more curious). I'm tired already! Thank goodness you're coming with me.
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