Fashion, music and business collided in Houston for the final stop on theTanqueray Trunk Show tour; a six-city tour that gave select audiences a chance to witness dope performances and sound industry advice from a panel of veterans including the talented DJ M.O.S., Maxwell Osborne(head designer for labels Black Apple and Public School,) Ronnie Fieg(Kith) and Grand Hustle Records co-founder Jason Geter, also known as the creative management machine behind Iggy Azalea.
Though typically only open for special events like weddings or corporate parties, Houston’s newly renovated The Astorian served as the venue for the evening. Boasting an incredible view of the skyline, it set the bar high with the successful invite only affair. Explaining the transformation of the newly opened location the owner explained, “We’ve been working on it for two years, had to renovate and put the utilities in. We want to stick strictly to special events. It has a meat packing district feel because we were inspired by New York, the Oyster Bar in Grand Central.”
Presented by popular liquor line Tanqueray, the event was a creative way to give insight into the music and fashion industries from those who have already earned their stripes in the game. Complimentary cocktails flowed as the crowd enjoyed music, food and conversation.
Putting the final shine on the evening was a performance by legendary emcee Common, fresh off his Oscar win alongside singer John Legendfor “Glory,” if anything the win only intensified his ambition.
Speaking with us privately before hitting the stage, he briefly revealed how words can be taken out of context via headlines in this new digital age, “I feel like I gotta speak my mind. I know who I am; I’m a Black man who loves Black people. I know that I wasn’t saying extend a hand to the police officers that have killed people but I never chose to elaborate on it you know. I didn’t see the need.”
Warm and personable, it’s quiet easy to see how the South Side emcee was able to smoothly transition into film with roles in American Gangster,Selma and more.
When asked whether he would return to TV following his three year run on Hell on Wheels he teased a potential film and didn’t knock out the possibility of another series explaining, “I’m going to act on another TV show hopefully.”
He also revealed he’d like to take a hand in script writing adding, “I like everything from August Wilson plays to Death of a Salesman.”
In an energetic performance that immediately topped off the night, the rapper let the crowd know how happy he was to be in attendance: “It’s something that’s here to really spark all of us as entrepreneurs, as people, as artists, and find our voice. I say that because the first step to our entrepreneurship is to find our path, finding what we are really passionate about, finding our voice.”
First published via Houston Style Magazine, April 2015