So I recently had the pleasure of getting to know and understand Dream Girls NYC, the second installment of the female powerhouse in music, fashion, culture and independent world of entertainment: the Shaolin Jazz Project.
Gerald Watson, co-founder of the Shaolin Jazz Project, along with DJ 2-Tone Jones, describes the DREAM GIRLS project as “a fictional group of female friends. DREAM GIRLS is a concept we developed to help, organically, market our T-Shirt line. We’d actually created a DC version (our 1st edition) about two years ago: http://wp.me/p2XAB-1nL and decided to create another installment based on its success.”
These ladies are more than just women in an awesome T-shirt. They are a nod to the essential 90s hip hop woman. Dream Girls, in my opinion, is a raw, female lead of new age hip hop, paying respects to the art through knowledge in its culture. These women are a male hip hop connoisseur’s dream, each talented within their own right. Here you have models, singers, music enthusiasts enjoying friendship in NYC, living, breathing and understanding hip hop and jazz influenced culture. Looking at the photo shoots on their website, it is easy to see these cultural influences. Their crazy yet beautiful natural flowing tresses and the way they hold their heads high saying, “I’m a confident African-American woman who is ready to take on the world and have fun doing it.” These women are strong, yet still have a feminine flare to them; casual but still amazingly striking, edgy and still have a playful side to them.
It all started two years ago when Gerald and DJ 2-tone Jones came up with the first Dreams Girls DC edition, and the same vibe followed those woman so they decided to do another series, Dream Girls NYC.
Although some of these ladies knew each other before the Dream Girls project, the thread that holds them together is their relationship to photographer Chris Carr. Carr, who shot both the DC and NYC editions of Dream Girls, instantly clicked with the group, allowing their creativity to flow to create awesome photo sets for the group.
On their website you can find interviews of each group member. These interviews were created to introduce each individual woman to the world and to help create new fan base while showcasing their talented work.
When given the privilege to write about these women I really didn’t understand a lot about their project. However, after researching and viewing the photos of the Dream Girls, it has given me a desire to want to explore them and the Shaolin Jazz Project a little more.
I see these women and it reminds me of old school hip hop; when it was about talent, culture, and the art. I have never been a big lover of rap music, but I have always appreciated good talent and the art behind it. Seeing the Dream Girls NYC, reminiscent of jazz culture, took me back to a time where hip hop was respected and understood as an expression, not just who has the most money. Jazz and hip hop, I believe, are on the same level, although some people would arguably disagree. Jazz and hip hop are an expression of the human heart and soul through music, style, and culture. It is for this reason the Dream Girls are such a powerful group of women, representing respect and love of both jazz and hip hop.