Friday, April 19, 2013

RockaByeBaby (Cassie's New Jack Pretty Lullaby)

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)
You want/everything...

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-Ageratchet 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.