December 27, 2015
Nine degrees, blade like wind, piss stained ice formations everywhere – and the city is alive. I’d never seen a weekend like this in the heart of Winter, over seven days of constant events, everyone bouncing from fashion shows, to performances, ball games, parties after parties after parties and now to arguably one of the jewels, the East & Low event – watching huge fur coats roll in as I shivered in my long but superficial jacket. This weekend was a master class in crashing parties, play one connection into another and winding up in ridiculous make out scenarios in the middle of clubs, SUVs, and all sorts of random New York buildings.
After a couple of big nights, I was starting to come back to reality, content to sit back with a bowl and melt, but Jay had promised an angle to get us in, an angle that now appeared to be little more then hearing where the party was from one of his bosses. After a weekend of meeting hundreds of ‘influential’ people and nothing of real substance to show for it, I couldn’t turn down a party of this stature, where any number of people could handout a breakthrough. Music like much in life, was linked to a series of very impactful turning points. Inside was the biggest gathering of industry leaders that I’d ever been in proximity to, and the reason Jay couldn’t talk us in, but this was not our first rodeo.
We would stick this one out awhile, watching stunning women appear legs first out of cars, followed by characters in multiple gold chains.
Cursing our decision to show up without girls Jay franticly fired off messages. We both hated lines, but who didn’t. We would stick this one out awhile, watching stunning women appear legs first out of cars, followed by characters in multiple gold chains. East & Low’s parties were somewhat legendary; we would wait, although two random dudes being let into a party like this was like being plucked randomly by two models for a threesome. Near impossible. But it could happen. Here more then anywhere perhaps, given the high propensity of models.
I tried to resist, but I couldn’t hold back, instagramming Nas and Alexander Wang as they headed inside, I felt for the girls in front of us, they looked freezing, paying the price for the potential opportunity. Why not? They are young, they could handle it.
PLAY YOUR CARDS WITH CONFIDENCE
At the head of the line was one of those huge bouncers, dressed in a long odd leather coat that looked like it should be concealing dual machine guns. Jay had tried everything on this dude, even offering him cash, but we hadn’t even got his name out of him. He was almost had it with us, but we were too entertaining to kick out.
Behind him was the girl running the list, Jay had called her over twice now, dropped a few names – nothing. And we waited. Jay offering the bouncer more money; still drawing the reaction of a stern grimace.
Everyone has those friends – the ones that have to be considered socially elite.
Jay more then anyone felt he belonged in the upper echelon. Everyone has those friends – the ones that have to be considered socially elite. They do whatever it takes to break into the level above, and once they convince themselves they have made it, they only take a quick breathe before they see the next target of growth. It’s not necessarily a bad trait – it’s something that is often just inherent, it can be contagious. It’s something that can lead to a lot of success.
BE PREPARED WITH A BACKUP
We were close to bailing when a girl I recognized from a Redbull gig last year came out, I thought about calling out to her but without out her name that would suck, so with Jay as cover I ducked under the rope, behind the bouncer and popped up next to her.
“Hey, we did that Redbull music gig last year right?” She seemed a little distant, I needed to make my case fast, the bouncers gloved hand was already on my arm. “Ummm, yeah. I remember.” She said.
“There was some mistake with the door, my friend Jay said he had it sorted, we have been waiting out here..”
She had heard it all before, letting out a little laugh.
“Two of you? I guess. What’s your name again?”
“Thanks so much. Mason. Sorry, I can’t remember yours either.”
“Thanks Emma, means a lot.”
PICK YOUR FIRST CONVERSATION WISELY
Now we were inside it was time for serious charm mode, we bypassed groups of girls for the opportunity to break into higher level conversations. The room was full with the up and comers in fashion, music, sports and entertainment – a healthy portion of the old guard holding court.
I looked back to catch Emma again, but she had disappeared someplace, she had the chance to lord her power over me and instead just made it out like it was nothing, just shrugging us in with this sexy nonchalantness.
As Jay found himself talking to a young actress I spotted a table full with the East & Low founder, Darnell (a MC on the rise after his last few mix tapes blew up) some other guys I couldn’t place next to Terry Richardson. When you saw these characters together in settings like this you had to wonder how the chat could be anything but sensational. So many classic stories, although you had to wonder if being seen hanging with Terry was good for anyone’s career at the moment.
I took a good swig on the top shelf scotch, tracing it down my throat, slowly my body was warming up again. Spotting Emma again, dropping seamlessly into conversations with that grace that some people had.
The place was starting to get loose, and I chatted to a couple of people from the label and a couple of artists I recognized. A few more drinks. The promise to send a few tunes to some people that wanted to check them out. Surely it’s a numbers game right? you do this enough, someone likes you, likes the tracks – and your in?
But it’s not like this was easy. This city is jam packed full of talked people trying to get ahead. When you meet someone and they sense that you want something from them, they kind of glaze over.
I dropped the agenda and stuck to talking shit the rest of the night. It was a lot more effective but potentially less productive.