I was inspired to repost the 4 part “Just Another Girl” series below after having a heart to heart talk with bestie Maude Duque Ek and lunch with old close friends, one being a new young DJ that is on the rise that I hope you guys get to hear spin next week at DJ Jay-P & Vince Garcia’s Capsule Barbershop next week.
Amazed that he is now a DJ and knows every genre of music from house to neosoul makes me so proud. Ever since he was a young kid, he loved listening to music – he remembered word for word every song at such a young age. (Kind of how Marlee Rae- my little niece of a genius does now. Click to watch her ADELE COVER here.. 😉 It was nice to hear that the young DJ remembered that I would show him how to use the turntables (the very first ones that DJ Concise, Jay-P and Analog would used to host Third Floor Radio from my old bedroom that we bought from Shawn of Deux Process) – (SIDE NOTE: I love you Dizzy Dustin of Ugly Duckling, but your coke bottle filled with alcohol in the CSUF Titan Radio studio got us kicked off the station so we were forced to try to host it from my house! You owe us! 😉 …
Sorry I got sidetracked but while reminiscing, I thought back to over 7 years ago of why I stopped DJing on a regular, the first being that I was totally intimidated by all the guys out there who were quick to call out my errors but secondly – the person I thought would be the most supportive was the exact opposite. Being a girl that has loved music since my early days recording Hollywood Hamilton countdowns on KIIS FM (back when it was an urban/hip hop station) – to play at lunch at Shelyn Elementary school- I felt the natural progression as I got older to start learning how to really technically DJ since I already felt like I already knew what people wanted to hear. Not just the big ASB speakers at Walnut High School – but actual turntables. I remember being at Sureshot’s house a few times and scared to even touch a record because of hearing how wrong I was doing it lol. Or wondering how I can create my own “Darwinism” mix tape like Glen Brieva – tagging along to the group trips with Jason Gerodias, Melvyn Castro and Ivy Quejado to Fat Beats, the DMC and so on just to get a glimpse of DJ Q-Bert. Some of you like bestie Mike Park have the first mixed cassette that had Black Star, Ugly Duckling, Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5 on it that I was so happy to make at WHS. Thus the inspiration for being a professional promoter for music was born…
So why did I REALLY stop DJing???
At the time I was in what I thought was a very supportive and loving relationship. It actually was on the outside. We supported each other’s careers by promoting each other’s events and talents. I made it a point that as good friends and family, we attended every family and friends gatherings together that we could to show support – whatever it was & no matter how frequent because this is how we showed them our love – the boys BSO fratnight, the annual Thanksgiving/Christmas parties with our friends or even fun Walnut backyard boogies at Gar’s, Terrence’s or Maude’s. BUT the truth behind the scenes is that I was in a very restricted and controlling relationship. Most of you know I was beyond loyal – how our family was taught to be. We were so loyal that we would stand by our men no matter what they said to us and would even go above and beyond doing things for them like co-signing for their first car, driving them around gig to gig when they didn’t have a license or car, forcing them to attend record label meetings to learn the business, drawing out their shoe designs, spending every hard earned dollar we earned to support them when they weren’t financially stable with their careers and even giving them advice on dealing with new girlfriends.
One night during a typical drunken episode, my jealous boyfriend at the time said, “Why don’t you JUST do girl things? You’re always surrounded by guys! Just be a GIRL.” I was confused because until that point, I don’t really think I knew I was a girl, first of all – my everyday wardrobe consisted of overalls, Timberlands, Charles Barkley or DKNY Jerseys and every color tennis shoe I could buy at my job- the Athlete’s Foot at West Covina Mall. I had 20+ Walnut guy best friends who I loved talking sh*t to, I had a radio show with boys that were like my brothers and I had fun hosting the radio show with our guests that were predominantly male that included everyone from Slum Village to Dwele to A Tribe Called Quest to Delta 9 to Mos Def. He would yell at how embarrassed he was that he heard I was doing all of the above and didn’t like the frequent comments of how they saw his girlfriend here or there surrounded by guys. I can recall a time when a friend called to tell him he saw me freestyling and he couldn’t take it anymore, I had to stop or he was going to leave. (Who knows why I thought I could even freestyle… lol. but I think we all went through our phases of thinking we could be apart of every element of Hip Hop 😉
I guess I kind of understood, He just wanted his “girl” to be a girl and not always surrounded or joking around with the guys – it made him insecure that he wasn’t the only one – especially when he didn’t understand what “OYR, D*ck Boy” (one of many Mike Puruggs 91789 coined phrases) meant – I imagine he always felt like the joke was on him.You guys know my sarcasm can actually get me to say the opposite of what I want to say and that could really make someone overly self conscious. Funny because at the time – No Doubt was on tour that summer with friends I’d frequently visit on the road and I coincidentally heard Gwen sing the song “Just A Girl” at the end of every concert in different cities and it spawned me to write the 4 part series below – feeling her owning being a “girl” I felt I had to – too… It was a college mockumentary/documenary type of thing called “Just Another Girl.” It was a way of venting my frustrations of hearing that I should just do “girl” things.
What were girl things? Watch the videos below of Sureshot being the bad guy and portraying every negative sentiment women hear everyday. All this time I was struggling to decipher what were “girl things.” Looking back I realize “girl things” meant staying home and not living or working within my passion but just watching and supporting him live his. I aging there are a lot of women out there that share or have been thru this same experience so I write this in hopes for you to know that you don’t have to set aside your passions to help a man feel secure, a real man would be equally if not more supportive for being co dependent and not subservient.
I REALLY wanted to be a girl so I could be what i thought would be a better girlfriend and future wife at the time, but at the same time I couldn’t let go of the person I always was so I trusted my gut and through several years of back and forth – I let go of pretending to be something I never was. I struggled with what being “just a girl” meant and at the end of it, actually made a self mission statement to be the exact opposite… From there I watched him turn into a narcissist jumping from relation to relation without any sense of respect for the women he encountered and what’s sad is that deep down I know that’s not the kind of guy he wanted to turn into but he only felt secure when he felt praised or admired – even by those that were around him for superficial reasons.
I wrote the series about women in the 4 elements of hip hop: graff, b-boying, mc-ing and of course – DJ-ing that the videos below were based on. The premise? “The only way to counteract the stereotype of being JUST another girl, is by JUST not being one…” I had a vision to show the everyday struggles as women that we dealt with but wanted to show a silver lining that if we networked together we could get through the tough times. After speaking to several women in the music industry I heard so many stories that I wanted to portray but on a low budget airplane scale. Alot of it was selfishly to convince myself that everything was going to be okay. I had my own funny stories like one time when I was promoter of a capacity filled club and while I was backstage at the end of the night – the owners yelled “No girlfriends are allowed back stage!” and I laughed at the statement, looked around in shock, trying to see who they were yelling at – umm… it was me that they were yelling at! My Garfield personality came out and I jabbed back – “Not a girlfriend, I’m actually the promoter here to collect the money we made for the night! The money that’s paying YOUR staff.” 😉 I watched girls frequently get the 9pm first DJ slot automatically just by hearing their name or tomboy girls being pushed to the back of the line at a club because they weren’t “sexy” enough. I had to visually show these experiences.
Thanks to Vivian and Edward for being amazing directors/producers who saw the vision that was on paper and made it come to life after the initial meetings. We gathered so many of you to create this four part series and alot of you probably didn’t even know the deeper meaning of why you were in it. Indirectly – you were there for me. Inspiring me to be more than I was always told I couldn’t or shouldn’t be. It was something internal that I just had to do, to assure myself that I didn’t need a relationship if the relationship didn’t support who I REALLY was inside. Yes, I was a girl – but I know there are things that girls should still be allowed to do and I wanted to see if I could do them. My mom raised 4 women all by herself and running a successful Farmers Insurance business for over 20 years, she has heard some of what I had heard in the past. If she just stayed back and just did “girl things” – my sisters and I would probably be whirling around a stripper pole right now or struggling to find money by marrying a rich man. 😉
The videos below – although very amateur – were speaking for all of us out there.
Find yourself and your friends in these videos:
It’s funny how serious we thought we were!
JUST ANOTHER GIRL:
Dedicted to all women in the 4 elements of Hip Hop:
Starring Randy Nangpi, sister Chrystal Cruz, Stephanie Hollman
Young girl tries to design a logo for the “Just Another Girl” Network and her brother (played by your favorite Randy Nangpi) draws a picture on the logo. (Of course when directed to draw on the image – Randy draws a blunt on it lol). He also steals her spray cans and she’s forced to either give up, or continue. The girls work together and go back to the drawing board – re-creating the logo that then leads to a series of events trying to bring women of all backgrounds, races and discrimination together.
Starring DJ Aimee, DJ Addverse, Sureshot, Jayski
Shot also at Cal State Fullerton Titan Radio in our first studio with DJ Sureshot’s infamous lines that had me dying that day “girls should stick to cheerleading, make up and barbie dolls. Girl dancers should stick to stripping.” Plot here: Female DJ (played by the beautiful and incredibly talented Aimee) trying to rock the turntables at DJ Icy Ice’s Stacks Vinyl in Cerritos and kicked off the stage by male DJs (played by Sureshot and Jayski) laugh behind her, even making sexual jokes and visuals about her, kick her off the stage and throw her vinyl – but check out how I catch it! Now that is some crazy effects right there! lol. Rather than get discouraged and give up, the female DJ is prompted to meet another female DJ (played by Addverse) and together they are newly inspired.
Starring Sureshot’s favorite cousin Martin, Trek Life, DJ Addverse & many more!
Female MCs trying to rock the mic but were bombarded by male MCs trying to battle. (I heart you Delta 9 but I thought of you when writing this part 😉 Rather than get discouraged and give up or walk away, their encouraged to join forces and take the guys out.
Starring Monisa Moreno (We miss you!), Marie Viray Cabral, Terrence Aguas, Ismael, Tish, Monique & many more!
The scene starts off where Monique and I aren’t let into the club or told we have to pay (even though we were told girls get in free) because we’re dressed in tracksuits and the pretty girls (played by Monisa Moreno and Marie Viray) were automatically let into the club. We change out of our suits, slightly a little more feminine and we are finally let into the club where the battle begins. Amazing dancer Tish takes the cypher followed by LA dancers you all know and love. Monique doesn’t want to battle – she just wants to dance – yet she is mocked by the guys around her. Rather than get discouraged – we team up and turn the cypher into a full dancing party. BUT – while leaving the club – the Just Another Girl networking posters are again vandalized by thugs played by Terrence Aguas and DJ Jayski. Frustrated at the day’s courses, instead of giving up – we remember that there are more posters in the car – we replace the old ones with new ones and the overall theme of “never giving up” sets in. Don’t laugh at the quality of the videos, it was before HD Canons existed. Tom and Chris didn’t invent Myspace yet so there wasn’t a social network to share it – glad there is now!
I envision these videos becoming an actual movie one day and I can’t wait to see it, being that we all lived it…
Don’t get me wrong, no grudges here. What’s happened in the past only helps to innovate the present for a better future (connecting the 3 levels is the “Third Floor” way…;)
I believe everything happens for a reason and while a majority of you supported my decision several times to get out of several bad relationships to focus on myself and grow into the person I am today, some of you know it wasn’t an easy path and I lost myself a few times while I was finding myself. I cherish every memory that I have – whether good or bad – as all women do. At the end of the day if you don’t know how to love someone – you have to step away to let it strengthen the both of you. I know people can change and probably regret alot of what they said and did – especially with the influence of alcohol and drugs hindering them in the past, but so long as they are humbled and always speak the truth within themselves, everything will be okay for the future.
I’m proud of how far we’ve all come – sometimes the best way to succeed and fight for your dreams is to separate and do them on your own. But one thing I know? You need the support of your friends AND family to really enjoy it – otherwise your surrounded by people who don’t really know you and your stuck “pretending” that everything is okay when everyone around you knows it isn’t. At the end of the day, it’s really those that were there for you and loved you when you had nothing that should be the ones you celebrate when life hands you everything materially you could have ever dreamed for. Because at the end of the day, when the cameras are gone and the lights are off – and all the people there for the wrong reasons, could be gone and what would you be left with? I thank my family and friends who are there for me on a daily, especially on the days when I want to go crazy!
so remember ladies – the ONLY way to counteract the stereotype of being JUST another girl, is by just NOT being one….
Alot more exciting things to come in the near future. Can’t wait to get started on continuing to bring us all together…
I’ve been happy slowly getting behind the turntables again… I’ve finally stopped being stubborn, put the vinyl away and started to learn Serato- (yes i know I’m late…) Still practicing and re-learning the basics that I should have learned years ago but I’m REALLY excited that I can do so without any restriction and help you leave that 9-5 up on the shelf and just enjoy yourself by being a human jukebox!!! 😉 – More “spontaneous sets” to come… Follow below to find out when to have a good time with us!