1. Lil Nikki. Circa 1987. #terribletwos #sweatergameonflee #matchingbarettes

     

  2. #repost from my mentor and biggest supporter @nakimuliinc - I whole heartedly believe this now, more than ever. #wisdom #truthtea

     

  3. It’s my birthday 🎂 but I’m giving gifts today. New chapter of #wildny online. Check it out, it’s getting good! #getmoneygirls #wehustle #alwaysreppin #nyforever #writing

     


  4. Chapter 4: Dinner at Dmitri’s

    The 6 story, pre-war building had been in Dmitri’s family for decades. His great grandmother was a day worker for a prominent Jewish Lithuanian family, the Minkowski’s, in the 20’s and 30’s and by 1960 she would inherit the buiding from the family’s patriarch. At the time of his death, unbeknownst to the rest of his people, he had left the entire building in his will to Viktoriya Volkov. She had already been given cushy five-bedroom apartment on the top floor; Mr. Minkowski knocked down the walls to three adjacent units turning it into a master suite for a young Viktoriya and her growing brood. In those days a young woman with children out of wedlock was a social leper. Being that all of Viktoriya’s children were fathered by Minkowski it was even more taboo. Luckily his wife was none the wiser and she passed away without so much as an inkling of any of her husband’s unfaithful ways.  Unfortunately, her children grew suspicious as the years went on. However, Minkowski was a lawyer first and a family man second. His will was ironclad; Viktoriya would inherit the building as well as a sizeable stake in his firms profits until her death. 

    Viktoriya had 3 children with Minkowski; Ibrahim, Sara and Harvey. They took her surname and had no idea who their birth father actually was. Minkowski might have provided for Viktoriya but she had other plans for her own personal gains. In the fall of 1955 she fell in love and privately wed a WW2 veteran named Dmitri Chomsky. Chomsky was honorably discharged from the army but faced heavy discrimination when he returned to the states. He spent his time at the racetracks and eventually began running numbers. In 3 years he had amassed a small fortune but as an unmarried man there were certain circles he wasn’t privy to. Viktoriya and her pre-made family made for the perfect cover. They said their vows at City Hall and had a small reception with the children and a few of Dmitri’s buddies from the track. Despite their shady beginnings, Viktoriya and Dmitri made a good life for themselves and their children. 


    Dmitri remembered spending summers with his grandfather Ibrahim, visiting his great-grandmother, affectionately called Bubbe, and learning a little Russian from her. She was a small, delicately featured woman who wore flowy caftans and turbans around the house. He especially loved that she would find clever ways to slip him money by sending him to the store for her favorite things. Much to his fathers chagrin, it would be Bubbe who gave Dmitri his first cigarette at 13 and it was why he continued to smoke the brand that was so hard to come by. Every week Dmitri would ride the trains from Flushing to Brighton Beach to spend a day or two with his favorite girl. He had his own room there and often when he fought with his father, he would retreat to the warmth of his great-grandmother’s home.  Dmitri and Bubbe were inseparable until her death. It was no surprise to him or any of his cousins when he was named the sole heir of the building. 


    "We’re on our way. You want anything from outside?" Dmitri’s phone buzzed from the incoming text. 

    "Ayo, Bu, you want something from the store?"

    "Nah, I’m good fam. Oh wait. We got any Red Stripes left?"

    "Bu, you know better than to ask me that. If we aint got nothin in here, we got beer."

    "True."

    "No thanks sweetheart, I’m good." He hit send and put his phone back in his pocket. 
    After ringing the bell Liz was impressed by the modern video intercom system. She smiled brightly into the camera as the door buzzed and unlocked then marveled at the vaulted ceilings and marble floor tiles in the buildings main hall. It was a classic old building. Paneled mirrors lined the lobby walls making the space look bigger than it actually was. Staircases flanked each side of the hall and a beautiful, ornate chandelier hung bright and high. The floors were spotless, the air smelled of pine, the windows were crystal clear. She even noticed a fresh coat of paint on the walls.

    "Very nice. Well maintained." she murmured "this sells itself."

    She was all smiles as Dmitri opened the door. He introduced her to Buddha who was still in the throes of an incomplete Call of Duty mission. Bu made a grunt that Liz took as a hello. 

    "Don’t mind Bu." Dmitri started "He’s part caveman."

    Bu growled but did not take his eyes off the screen “Watch your mouth, fam!” He was backed into a corner before taking a fatal shot and losing the mission. Dejectedly, he hit pause and took register of Liz’s arrival. At 6’8” he was a behemoth of a man. He pushed his long locs off his face and his eyes were now fixated on the beauty that was Elizabeth Sanchez. He grinned before extending his hand to Liz. 

    "Damn. You fine as hell. What’s your name, beautiful?"

    "Don’t answer that." Dmitri interjected "Bu, focus. Where’s the food? Get that together before you try to bag my new employee."

    "Employee, huh?" Liz smiled "Well, let me tell you how gorgeous this location is. That lobby is breathtaking."

    "The lobby was just redone. I could show you some of the units. Where’s your girl?"

    "She had to stop at the store. I gave her the address, she should be here soon."

    "Ight, cool. Bu will let her in." Dmitri grabbed his keys "B, I’ll be right back. Imma show Liz some of the apartments right quick."


    Dmitri had cleaned up the apartment and had even called a caterer for the occasion. Actually, his main man and bodyguard, Buddha, had picked the food for the night and as Dmitri had pointed out, it was late. Bu called the restaurant.

    "Wha’apm star? It’s Buddha. Mi orda suttin from two nights ago. Yes, two nights. Full dinner for 6. Wey it dey? Brighton Beach. Special orda." The buzzer rang. 


    Chase swiped her card again to check her balance for the fourth time. There was no way she was overdrawn but she was. The cab ride from Crown Heights to Brighton Beach had thrown her balance off by 3 dollars and her account was in the red. It had been a week since she received the denial letter from the department of labor. She quit, she wasn’t fired or laid off, so she was assed out. The rent was a month past due and now she and Liz were stranded in Brighton Beach. She sent Liz a text. 

    Liz’s phone buzzed and she instantly felt panicked but didn’t let it show on her face. She had spent her last on getting her nails done and buying a little food for the house. She had a whole $5 in her pocket and was itching to seal the deal with Dmitri. She played it off like she was looking for her camera app before asking if it was okay to take pictures of the empty apartment’s bay windows and hardwood parquet floors. 

    "Do you know what you could get for this studio?" She inquired excitedly.

    "Nah but I bet you do." Dmitri retorted. 

    She could tell he wasn’t taking this as serious as she was but she didn’t mind. If there was something Liz knew how to do; it was making a believer out of a skeptic. 

    "Oh watch me. This building will be filled by the new year."

    "Word? That’s less than 4 months away. Lemme find out you know how to move weight like that" Dmitri joked. 

    "Oh I move units, honey." Liz snapped back "I always move my units. Quickly."

    Dmitri’s phone buzzed again. “Come on, I’ll show you the rest after dinner.”

    Chase and the food had arrived. Buddha was in the dining room setting up and speaking hushed patois with the caterer. Chase stood and introduced herself to Dmitri after kissing Liz on the cheek. Now it was Dmitri’s turn to be rendered speechless. Chase’s thick, coily hair was in a high bun and her clear chocolate complexion was makeup free. She wore gold elephant shaped studs in her ears and a cute hooded sweatshirt with slim fitted jogging pants. Her kicks were a pair of her favorites: grey and royal blue Bo Jacksons. Coincidentally, she and Dmitri had the same sneakers on. They both looked down and smiled shyly. 

    She and Liz didn’t even look like they traveled to the same place in the same ride. Liz was real estate chic; a navy blue pencil dress that hit right below the knee, leopard printed pointed toe flats that matched the skinny belt around her waist. Her hair was a slate gray caesar that took 5 tries, 4 dyes and 3 bleachings to achieve. The rhinestone encrusted nails were her signature look and it never looked cheap or over the top. Dmitri didn’t know how lucky he was. These two were definitely different. Liz got him hype about making money and Chase made him wanna spend it as soon as he got it. 

    The caterer was busy setting up the sternos while Buddha inspected the food. When the figure in the chef coat turned around both Liz and Chase yelped.

    "Yessie?!" Chase shrieked "What are you doing here?" Liz gave Yessie a tight hug. 
    Dmitri paused. “Wait. Yall know each other?”

    "Yeah this is my best friend." Chase introduced the two. Yessie smiled politely at Dmitri before going back to setting up. Chase sidled up next to her. 

    "Yo we stranded out here. Did you drive?" Chase whispered. 

    Yessie was placing the pans in the cages. “Nah, I took a cab. Amir might pick me up.”

    "Fuck!" Chase was stressed. She hated being out of the house without any ends. "Well, you got some bud, at least?"

    "Barely. I got a clip in my purse."

    "Damn."

    "What yall whispering about over there?" Dmitri called from the living room.

    "Nothing. I just wish I had some bud right now. I meant to cop before we left." Chase answered. 
    "Why you aint say something?" Dmitri called for Bu. "B! Bring the kit."

    The kit was a silver plated serving tray with several glass jars full of exotics. A wooden jewelry box contained several dutches and a bag of fresh fronto leaf for rolling. 

    "These days I always like to smoke before I eat." He tossed the bag of fronto to Bu. "My appetite been off for a minute. Real talk, since Bubbe died I aint been right."

    "Hold up." Liz’s mind was racing and she wasn’t one to hold her tongue. "You got at least $500 worth of bud on this tray." 

    "$700 actually. That Blue Dream is fresh from Cali."

    "Blue Dream!? Are you forreal. That’s hard to come by."

    "Oh so you’re a connoisseur now?" Dmitri rolled up and watched Liz think for a second.

    "Are you selling this?" Liz asked.

    "Sell weed? Nah, this is just my personal. I sell other things." D took a few pulls before passing it to Chase.

    "So you mean to tell me you sitting on some good shit and you not even selling it?" Liz had hit the jackpot. "How about this? I’m tryna make some short and some long term ends if you down."

    "I’m listening."

    "Well we don’t have access to strains like this on our side of town. Let’s make a deal: we move a little bud for you and you hook us up with your connect."

    "Oh I’m just gonna give you my connect, huh? Just like that? Dmitri smirked. "You hear this one, Bu? She bold as hell. That’s your girl." He laughed.

    Liz was dead serious. “Nah, straight cheese. You don’t know what you got in the room. We all could eat very nicely off this. And fast.”

    Chase’s eyes widened. Liz was a trip but she had a point. If anyone needed a quick break it was her. She was running out of ways to duck her landlord’s demands for the rent. The marshal was liable to show up any day now. She turned to Dmitri to gauge his reaction. 

    "Well if I get to see this girl again then yeah. I might consider it." He smiled at Chase who playfully rolled her eyes. 

    "Look. I am so serious right now. You have 3 women with connections. We could make you some of the easiest money and the best part is you won’t have to worry about us getting knocked." Liz crossed her leg and leaned forward as she took a pull. "How many D-boys can say that? None. You know why? Cause they aint us."

    Her bravado was off the charts but Dmitri knew she was right. He currently had men posted in several parts of Crown Heights and Bed Stuy; the probability of losing weight because of one or two men holding all the packs was to high. 

    Dmitri turned to the dining room. “You in on this too, ma?” He asked Yessie. 

    Before she could speak Liz answered for her. “Yup. She’s a master pastry chef as well. We could create some edibles that are out of this world.” 

    "Liz, can we speak to you for a second?" Yessie’s face was pale with fright. 

    Chase and Yessie stood in the kitchen staring at Liz. 

    "What? Look I’m trying to look out for all of us." She turned to Chase "my nigga, you don’t even have cab fare to get home."

    "Exactly! How the hell are we gonna afford this? Plus, I don’t know shit about selling drugs." Chase shot back. 

    "No but you know how to buy and you know you’re tired of the same old shit around the way." Liz answered. She turned to Yessie "Let me hold something until this takes off."

    "Hold something? Are you crazy? I’m saving." Yessie craned her neck outside of the doorway before returning her gaze to Liz. "Besides, that dread out there knows my mom. If she gets wind of this that’s my ass!"

    "She won’t. Trust me. Just hold me down with $500." Liz was relentless "I know you’re good for it Yessie. Plus it’ll only be a week."

    "A week? You must be out of your rabid ass mind. Chase just said she don’t know shit about selling drugs. Plus my my mom will find out. To top it off you are dead broke. I can’t with you right now." Yessie went to leave. Liz grabbed her arm. 

    "Yessie. Please. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t know it would work."

    "You down with this Chase? Say something." Yessie pleaded with her. 

    Chase wrung her hands together, her acrylic nails click-clacking softly. “Well….It doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I’m bout to be evicted. I gotta make moves.”

    Yessie fell back. “Fine. I’ll do it. But as soon as I get my money back I’m out. I can’t be caught up with this.”

    Liz kissed both of Yessie’s cheeks with excitement before stepping back into the living room. 
    "So what’s the verdict, ladies?" Dmitri smiled "Yall down?"

    The trio looked at each other before nodding. 

    "Yup, it’s a deal." Liz rubbed her belly "But can we eat? I’m starving."

    Buddha laughed “A woman after my own heart.” He pulled a chair out at the dining room table. “Come. Sit. I wanna look at you while I tear this food up.”

    Viktoryia’s portrait watched as the crew sat down to break bread. The air was electric and full of hopeful vibes. It was the start of a new season for everyone. Dmitri winked at Bubbe’s picture. Maybe it was the high but for a second he could have swore she winked back. 

    Comments
     

  5. Cam is a hood staple!
    #mymoney #mydough #myhair #mynails #owwwww

     

  6. Pre-gaming. #jesusbeafillin #pedicureordie #itsalmostmybirthday #2daysaway

     

  7. Darkness is. #blackisbeautiful #younggiftedandblack #bighairdontcare

     

  8. "let’s get in the first car" he said #kingdaka #6flags #thrillseekers #firstcarview

     

  9. Six Flags!

     

  10. Mama’s got a brand new bag! 👜#decd #fannypack #studs #gems #GetDecd #streetwear

     

  11. Happy new year, Libras! Today is a new moon so that means new intentions, goals, tunnel vision for those dreams and desires. Copped these 3 books today (thank you amazon prime!) to feed my mind. I have a lot that I want to accomplish in my last year of my twenties. Definitely excited for the future. #dontwasteyourpretty #outwittingthedevil #storyengineering #brainfood #fundamentals #libraseason #newmoon

     

  12. The world is bigger than America… #moreworldthanlimits #nolimits #blacklivesmatter #wegottago #jamaica

     

  13. (Source: marfmellow, via fuckyeah4chair)

     


  14. Chapter 3: Bed-Stuy Brunch

     

    "Where are you?" 

    Chase hit send. She hated these bourgie brunch parties but the hostess was a family friend. Her sister, Liz, was supposed to be at her side verbally picking apart the hoi polloi of Bedford-Stuyvesant. She was running late and that was unlike her. Chase was furiously texting her to no avail and after a minute or two she threw her phone back into her purse.

    "I hope everything is alright" She thought. Her face must have looked strained when a voice from behind said "I hate these things too but damn. Who died, Ma?"

    His name was Tony and he introduced himself as the hostess’s brother. “I didn’t know Sunny had a brother.” Chase mused. “Well actually we have the same dad, different moms.” He replied. “We didn’t know each other until a few years ago” “Oh that explains it”. Chase had known Sunny since they were kids and Sunny had always been Super Bourgie. This young man could clearly not give two damns about whether the brie was imported or if the champagne in the mimosas was Andres Cold Duck or Vueve Cliquot.

    Whether or not the occasion called for it, Sunny always maintained an air of pretention in everything she did. In high school she was infamous for her lavish birthday parties. One year she had an overnight pool party at the Grace Hotel in Times Square. Another year she shuttled the entire 10th and 11th grade classes to Big Boulder Lodge in the Pocono’s for an all-expense paid ski trip. The kids had free reign to the lodge privately reserved for Miss Sundara McClean and 149 of her closest friends.

    "Wait, was that you in the silk pajamas at Sunny’s ski trip party?" Chase asked. "Oh you mean the red joints with the lipstick prints?" Shawn laughed, "Yep." He took the last swig of his bubbly like it was a shot of Henny. "I still got em too!" They cracked up. A few of the other guests looked over at them with obvious looks of annoyance. He had a hearty laugh that showed all 32 of his pearly whites. One of his incisors was rimmed with a gold cap. He was definitely from the other side of Sunny’s family tree.

    "I’m bout to top up," Tony said, shaking his empty champagne flute. “Would you like another?" "Sure," Chase smiled as she handed him her glass. As Shawn turned on his heels and cut through the crowd she thought about her new friend. He wasn’t drop dead fine but his face was pleasant. His chestnut brown complexion was clear and even, his shapeup was fresh and he smelled nice. With his straight teeth and a good sense of humor he wasn’t half bad company at this stuffy ass brunch. Bed-Stuy was now the Washington D.C of Brooklyn. Upwardly mobile out of towners loved it and as a result the cost of living skyrocketed with each new wave of transplants.  He almost made her forget she was still waiting for her sister. Liz still hadn’t responded to her text and now her calls were going straight to voicemail. Something was up.

    Tony returned with two fresh flutes of bub with a plate of cheese, crackers and fruit delicately balanced on top. One of the fruits rolled to the edge of the plate,  fell in one of the flutes and bobbed to the top. A couple minutes passed when Sunny came by their little corner to mingle.

    “Tony! I hope you’re not harassing my company.” She chided playfully. “Chase let me know if he gets out of hand.”

    Tony’s face was that of mock surprise. “Me? Out of hand? Never!”

    Chase giggled before taking a nibble of cheese. “He’s good Sunny, he’s lucky he’s cute or I’d spill the beans on what he said about your look.”

    Sunny’s outfit for the brunch party was a bright yellow romper with military-esque epaulettes on the shoulders, a belted waist and deep pockets. Despite the August heat her thigh high boots were the exact same shade of canary in suede. Her makeup was even louder than the jumpsuit: cobalt blue eye shadow, heavy lashes, blush, concealer, a contoured nose and a bright pink lip. Sunny was proof that money couldn’t buy taste. She was a sweetheart but couldn’t dress to save her life. Out of all her friends Chase and Liz were the ones who kept it real when she needed it. She had a tendency to get defensive though.

    Sunny looked down and huffed up her shoulders. “What’s wrong with my outfit? I’ll have you know this romper was custom made and these boots are from Sak’s – they haven’t even been put on the sales floor yet.”

    “Now, now. No need to get indignant, boo.” Chase purred, “your brother was just saying how much you reminded him of his favorite TV show character.” Sunny’s face softened. “Oh really? Who?” Tony smirked, unaware of where Chase was going with this. “Yeah, Chase. Who?” he asked.

    “April O’Neil from the Ninja Turtles!”

    Chase could barely contain her laughter and Tony spat out a mouthful of champagne as he doubled over in tears. Sunny’s face went from blank confusion to seething anger in seconds.  Her nostrils flared as she wiped a glob of spittle from her brow.

    “Chase,” she growled, “meet me in my room. Right. Now.”

    “Ooooh” Tony joked, “You in trouble.”

    Chase laughed it off. “Hush. I’ll be right back.”

    Sunny’s bedroom was more than a room and less than an actual apartment.  The bedroom itself was flanked by a full bathroom, dressing room and walk in closet. She might be a terrible dresser but that didn’t stop her from shopping. The ten-foot deep walk in closet was packed to the brim with expensive designer duds; sequined Cavalli gowns, floral Pucci silks, red bottomed Louboutins. Too bad the colors were off and the fits didn’t compliment her body type. Chase was turning the seams on a studded Balmain jacket when Sunny burst in the room.

    “What the fuck, Chase?”

    “Sunny I was just joking.” Chase started, “You know I get silly when I drink.”

    “It’s not just that.”

    Sunny went to her vanity and pulled out a mini train case, a vintage Samsonite. She popped the latches open and revealed a dozen or so small jars inside. A sliding top tray held a few varieties of rolling options: grape Dutchmaster cigars, White Owls, Zig Zag papers, Rizzler from her latest trip to Jamaica and a pack of vanilla Entourage. She reached for her grinder and motioned for Chase to hand her a folded postcard from her dresser.

    “Girl Scout Cookies or Purple Train Wreck?” Sunny asked.

    “Hmm. I’m not in the mood to pass out. I gotta meet Liz when I leave.”

    “Girl Scout Cookies it is.”

    “So what’s the problem, Sunny?”

    Sunny began crushing. “I just got tapped to be the next lifestyle editor of Mixxy.”

    “What? That’s great. What’s wrong with that?”

    “The problem is I have to do a staff shoot and, as you so loudly put it, I can’t dress my way out of a paper bag.” Sunny looked deflated at her admission but she continued. “I trust you Chase. I just didn’t expect you to embarrass me at my own damn house. The Editor in Chief of Mixxy was standing right behind me.”

    “Was she the light skin woman in the red fro?” Chase asked.

    "Yes."

    Chase felt a pit of shame welling inside her chest. “Oh fuck. Sunny. I’m sorry. I was just joking.”

    Sunnys shoulders slumped a little. “It’s fine Chase. I was just really trying to impress Andrienne. I don’t even think she likes me but my dad golfs with her dad so….”

    Leave it to Sunny to let nepotism work for her. 

    "In any event, Chase, since I obviously need help maybe you can be my stylist?"

    It had been a week since Chase put in her unemployment claim. She had tried not to think about her overdue rent, empty fridge and the turn off notices for both the gas and the electricity. Sunny didn’t know any of that but Chase knew if she did she would never hear the end of it. 

    "I mean, that’s if you have time. I know you’re so busy at the agency these days." Sunny went on, "I could really use the help though, girl."

    Chase took a pull and kept her responses cool and even. She didn’t need to raise any suspicions. “When is the shoot exactly?”

    "Next week Friday. I’ll give you $400 plus expenses to pull 2 looks together for me."

    Four hundred dollars would at least keep the landlady at bay. Lights, gas and food be damned. 

    "Sure, Sunny. I gotchu."

    "Oh gosh, Chase, thanks so much. I really need this." Sunny looked down at her outfit, "How about you style me something right quick to celebrate our new venture? I can’t go back out there looking like this."

    Chase smirked. Leave it to Sunny to be extra. “No prob, babe. Give me a second. I gotta make a call.”

    Once in the hall, away from Sunny’s prying eyes and ears Chase checked her messages. There was a text from Liz:

    GUESS WHAT? I GOT A NEW JOB!

    Chase smiled and wrote back:

    NO SHYT! I GOT ONE TOO!

     

     

    Comments
     

  15. My #wcw is dedicated to my top 3 favorite black authors. Octavia E. Butler, Zadie Smith and the Queen of black folk anthropology Zora Neale Huston. #inspiration #writing #authors