by Barry Michael Cooper
I'm in a two-door
I'm in a new lane
I'm countin' new money
I need a new name
(I know what you want)
Cassie, "I Know What You Want," from RockaByeBaby (2013)
"I'll never get used to anything.
Anyone that does, they might as well be dead."
- Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Before she became Holly Golightly, I'm sure Lula Mae Barnes -- that fantast, backwoods Texas-teenage-bride-turned-fabulous-New York-fabulist -- dreamed of dinner at the Four Seasons (and an even more improbable Breakfast at Tiffany's) -- each time a rooster or one of her babies screamed at the crack of dawn. Lula needed a new name, too; she was a moonshine girl powered by champagne dreams and jet plane schemes; dreams too big to crash and burn in the backyard barbecue pit of her small town's southern-fried discontent.
At least those are the lines I read between the lines of Truman Capote's (and Blake Edwards) 1961 paean to reinvention, self-discovery, trickin' and love (or at least an approximation of love), in the midst of Space-Age, ratchet wretchedness.
Like Holly Golightly, model, actress, and Bad Boy Entertainment recording artist Cassie Ventura, reinvents herself on the truly impressive mixtape RockaByeBaby, as a hip hop/electro-pop gangstress, whose Giuseppe Zanotti's reek of jet fuel while speeding down the fast lane of the good life, before ascending into the rarefied skies of the great Louis Vuitton-yonder. Cassie's recording persona channels Keisha -- the fearless gun-woman I created for my 1991 screenplay New Jack City -- on the 13 tracks largely produced by the Portsmouth, Va., phenom Rob Holladay and executive produced by Sean Diddy Combs, Matty Rich, and Cassie.