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Realest Volume 1.1
"not rappers" featuring:

Ashley Outrageous – Digital influencer. We got trapped in her house for a couple days because of a blizzard in January.

Cbass – Director and co-founder of Motion Family. We hung out in Atlanta like any other day.

Chuck Inglish – Rapper, producer, The Cool Kids. We met once, and then two days later he gave me with the keys to his house.

Ellie Sweetz –  The baddest entertainer in Atlanta. Best Valentines I’ve ever had.

Jonas Leon – Talent Buyer in New York. He thinks I’m crazy and fed me dumplings. I think he’s great.


intro in book
Realest began October 2015 as a very personal exploration of Hip Hop. To preface, I grew up in a small, white-ass town in Canada. I was that Asian girl who played violin and got straight A’s in high school except in gym. I listened to my first Drake song in 2013. When I met Mr. DJ, I didn’t know who he was talking about every time he kept saying, “Big.” And learning about Mustard was a recent milestone in my life. All that to say, I know nothing about Hip Hop.

Yet somehow, I ended up spending a healthy year chasing rappers, producers, directors…everyone. I convinced a lot of strangers into letting me follow them for 24 hours. Yes, I crashed for the night, we’ve share meals, I’ve watched them work, slept on many couches, and I took photos of it all.

In the beginning, I wanted to make this book because it was the only way I knew how to share my experiences. I was surrounded by so much good energy and it was my spiritual duty to pay it forward. In addition, I was passionate about showing a deeper layer to the industry and discovering unifying core values.

Let me pause for a second to say how grateful I am to all those who openly let me in to their lives with no reservations. It’s been a true honor to have spent time with some of the most amazing souls I’ve ever met.

Ok, fast forward to now, the beginning of 2017. A lot of shit has gone down recently. One of the most significant moments was last November, when millions realized how unprogressive America’s cultural landscape really is. Since then, I’ve done a lot of inner-reflecting and some growing. My project has also evolved as a result. Now I understand, Hip Hop was my gateway to the bigger picture: Black Culture.

This is only the introduction to an on-going dedication. Let me show you as an ethnographer, an artist, and friend. Understand that my deepest desire is to slip thought-starters into your conscious. When you absorb my content, you’re giving me the opportunity to contribute to your daily conversation. I aim to create things that you find pleasing. Easily-digestible.

So. Let’s turn on an episode of Soulection. Realest is my love letter and I already lit up.

Ashley Outrageous


This is the one time we left the house during our 24 hours together, to stop by her friend's birthday party.




We were snowed in for the rest. I actually ended up having to stay an extra day because all the trains had stopped running and cars weren't allowed to drive on the road.




Literally all we did was eat, smoke and sleep. I won't complain.




I visited Ashley many months later to drop off a copy of volume 1.1 in person.

Cbass


This is my good friend bass. He and Motion Family are the closest friends I have in Atl. It didn't take me long to understand why I feel this way. Bass is the most welcoming person. Always down for a good time. Forever looking at the positive side of things. He makes working hard look effortless.




Every time I'm with him I meet like a thousand famous hip hop people and I never know who anyone is. Everybody loves Bass. And he has a story about everyone.




When I was following him, I met Dr. Dax for the first time. Dax took me into the men's bathroom of Department to photograph him doing coke. We randomly ran into OG Maco there. I think he lost his eye shortly after.




This guy loved Bass so much he literally stopped in the middle of the road to get out of his car and have a conversation with him!

Chuck Inglish


I linked with Chuck on December 31st, 2015. He was DJing a New Years party. Notice how he's already faded. I may or may not have had to sign his release for him..




Did you know you're supposed to store your furs in the freezer? This was a house party somewhere in LA around 3am.




I texted this young artist I had just found out about at the time named Aminé, aka Adam. Adam rolled up to the house party just as Chuck was deciding to leave. Chuck had forgotten I was going to be here tonight, and he had already booked a hotel for the evening, so he gave me the keys to his house. Adam and I dropped him and his girlfriend off at the hotel and then drove to the house. It was like 630am by this point. We both sat there going "ok...we're in Chuck Inglish's house. Now what?"




Chuck came home by 8am to watch a football game. I hadn't even closed my eyes yet. I got so mad inside because I was so tired. Thank god we spent the day doing nothing. We had takeout, took turns napping, and smoked.




The day ended at Asher Roth's house. They had a moodboard party to bring focus to their goals in 2016. We made pizzas.


Ellie Sweetz


Ellie made my dreams as a photographer come true. It has always been my secret fantasy to photograph back stage at the strip club.




My god she stays out late. This is us back at her apartment around 5am? That's her best friend Tink.




Ellie's cat is named Price. He's crazy and she loves him like a son.




The next day was Valentines Day. We stopped in at the. most. ghetto. CVS I ever been to on the way to her girlfriend's show. We were picking up flowers to make a bouquet.

Jonas Leon


Jonas used to be the talent buyer at SOB's. He's now freelance.




I remember we went to a show, a party, another party, and then home I think.




The next day was chill.




I took so many of my favourite portraits of him during thesse 24 hours.




I dropped a copy of Volume 1.1 at his house too. His reaction was the sweetest. (To a photo of his mom's picture on his wall).






buy the book to see the full 24 hours →