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Vol. 8, No. 10 | I Thought About Making A Rap Album While Cooking
I woke up this morning and saw the new track listing for André 3000’s flute album, New Blue Sun, and it gave me such a chuckle. Larry, who reads this newsletter and encourages me to write it, always compares me to Andre because of the irregularity of our creative offerings. This morning though I actually felt connected to the way that André thinks as a creative.
The album also reminded me of the time in college when my friend and roommate, Nailah, and I would cook and pretend that we had a hip-hop cooking show with Britsh accents. Sometimes we’d cook for ourselves and other times we’d throw dinner parties. When you consider that the lyrics were of the Cam’ron variety (tuttie fruttie, lemon sushi) it’s probably a good thing that I stumbled into hospitality instead of trying to forge forward with a rap career. (Sidebar - I was trying to find a Cam’ron video to link to and then remembered that Nailah had a brief cameo in the Hey Ma video that was shot in DC.)
Here are some other things that I’ve been thinking about:
I was in Grenada last week for a much-needed unplug. At Patrick’s Homestyle, one of the local restaurants, I was talking to the cook and she said “ I need reggae to cook. I came in today and they were playing soca music and I said, I can’t work like this.”
I stayed at an Airbnb in Grenada, but one day we went to a boutique resort that had a day pass. We hung out at the beach, got massages, ate all meals at the restaurant, and had a great chat with the bartender. Most of the restaurants in Grenada have a day pass option and it really felt like the best of both worlds. I wish more places did this.
In Grenada, I realized that I almost always end up having at least one meal at an Italian restaurant when I travel. Jamaicans and Italians are a lot alike. You can always find one anywhere in the world and they are guaranteed to have opened a restaurant. One of my most memorable meals in Japan was a simple penne arrabbiata from an Italian food truck set up in the most random place in Tokyo.
A few months ago I started a new role as the Advocacy Lead for St~Germain/Noilly Prat. It basically means that I manage our program and lead our team of ambassadors across the country. I haven’t announced it anywhere because I’ve been grappling with it. While there are parts about it that I find exciting, it’s more engrained in a corporate structure than anything I’ve done in the past 18 years. I also struggled with how I’d be able to nourish the deeply creative side of myself. I was sitting on the beach in Grenada taking in the sun and waves while reading The Earned Life and it made me realize that what my identity is actually centered around is empathy. I like creating spaces, dinners, and stories that allow people to feel seen and deeply understood. I like creating space for people to show up authentically. It’s with that ethos that I’ll lead a team. This understanding has also helped free me to create in a way that I haven’t in a while.
I hope you’re all doing well. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
P.S. - I listened to the new André 3000 album as I wrote this and I love it.
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