Events Fashion/Art

#RuffRuggedRaw: A 90’s Hip Hop Photography Exhibit f. Danny Hastings; IVY Rooftop Yoga, Movement & Music Experience f. BENDER @ ROW DTLA

September 10, 2017

Saturday, September 9


Happy Saturday. I just got home from the most perfect evening. I’ve been waiting for this. Not going to Day N Night Festival was the best decision I’ve made in a while. After an extremely stressful week, I needed a pick-me-up. Something to get me back on track. Somehow, IVY read my mind. Rooftop yoga in beautiful downtown LA? Sold.

Huge, huge thanks to Ashley for the invite. This was Ivy‘s Rooftop Yoga, Movement & Music Experience, “among sunset skies and city lights in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles!” IVY is essentially an inspiring community of leaders, also known as “the world’s first Social University.” I could not stop thinking about how blessed I was to be here tonight. This was hosted in partnership with BENDER, an “urban playground for body and soul.” Their mission is to create experiences that blend yoga, dance, fresh music, art, and culture- throwing events all over the US. Best believe I just signed up for the LA newsletter.

This was something I’ve never seen before, and I’ve done a lot of yoga. Tonight was unforgettable. Just the energy, the sense of community, the feeling of being grounded and present… all while enjoying the beautiful fucking sunset. Speechless. Honestly. Truly. Where do I begin? First off, Row DTLA. I fucks with you. Heavy. Located right near the arts district and in the heart of downtown LA, I pull up to the biggest, most spacious, vast venue/creative space. I was honestly confused on where to go or where to park, when all of a sudden, this security dude on a bike comes over and saves the day. The timing was impeccable. He said parking was free (bless), and gave me directions to the white building where rooftop yoga was being held.

Row DTLA is also 30 acres of historic buildings in LA. It’s like its only little town. We take the elevator up to the rooftop and the second we stepped out, we were in love. Obsessed. Speechless. The sun was beaming down on all of us. Yoga mats were laid out across the entire patio, complimentary kombucha and water were chilled in the coolers, an amazing DJ named Justin Henderson provided the most chill, wavy, groovy tunes, and the most lit yoga teacher… ever. JQ Williams, THANK YOU.

JQ has to be the most loving, hippie, genuine, spiritual human being, and we could NOT have had a better instructor tonight. I got to introduce myself later, and we totally figured out that I’ve taken her classes before, at Core Power Yoga on Wilshire. You guys, this was the most uplifting, spiritual vinyasa session I’ve ever experienced in my life. Like, we literally did yoga together, as a community. Holding on to each other for support during our chair and Warrior 3 poses.

In the end, it was a full-on dance party. No judgment zone. Everyone was legit dancing like no one was watching. It was fucking beautiful, to say the least. Shout out to my soulmate, Nechelle, for joining me. We both could not get over how much we needed this tonight. Fruits and beverages were provided after. We peacefully soaked up the beautiful sunset as the clouds disappeared and the sky transformed from blue to pink to purple to the nighttime. Thank God for peace and serenity.

The next event was literally 4 minutes away, in the beautiful Arts District. Seriously, even driving into the area made me happy. It was so crowded, alive, and laced with art. Tonight was the RUFF, RUGGED AND RAW: A 1990’s HIP-HOP PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITION. Translation: my heaven. Put on by Paper Planes Collective ,and APT.4B™, this was showcasing the legendary works of Danny HastingsBrian Cross (aka B+), and Xiouping.

First off, Art Share LA is such a glorious space, so perfect for this event. It’s set up like a museum, where there are layers of art in every room you step inside, including the hallways. The best part: it was free. Anyone could come. You had to RSVP on Eventbrite, but that’s just to keep track. Huge thanks to Alma for having me. I really wanted to catch some of the artist Q&A panel, and they were not down. But the lady relentlessly shut the door in my face lmao. She didn’t let anybody else inside the back room.

Danny Hastings stole my heart tonight. I had the pleasure of meeting him too, because the homie Allen purchased this fucking sick JAY-Z shot. This is Hov’s first magazine cover with Stress Magazine. Homeboy is so lit for this one. He deserves that photo 400 hunnid. I had a ball genuinely studying each frame and reading the corresponding name tag. So much history.

Danny has shot more than 150 album covers. His most notable work includes Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Big Pun’s Capital Punishment, and Nas’ I am. It makes you wonder how one man is so fucking lit. This Lil Kim shot is trill af. I have soooo many photos on my camera roll to choose from lmao. I legit fell in love with every single piece tonight.

Shout out to my girls and everyone I ran into tonight. This was one of the dopest events I’ve been to in a while. Nothing, absolutely nothing beats old school Hip Hop. Nasir is GOAT. I remember earlier in the week, I was so sick of all the current rap that sadly our generation is accustomed to. I put on Illmatic and was straight vibing for two days straight. “The World Is Yours” low key saved me this week. High key.

The event was also sponsored by Hennessy, which meant free drinks. The back room was lit. Every single attendee shared one thing in common tonight: a love for Hip Hop. It didn’t matter who you were. I talked to so many strangers tonight about how dope the pieces were. This was a straight win.

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