Sam Hillmer of Zs


On being fly in Brooklyn and Manhattan.


Sam Hillmer | April 27, 2010

the fly girlz

The Fly Girlz

As some of you may know, I roll with young people, like, kids. It became sort of a mission of mine to find presentation opportunities for the music and art my students were making, that got them out of the cafeteria and the gymnasium, out of the auditorium and the classroom, and put them and their work in front of bigger, more diverse audiences. The corporate media is always making things for kids like KE$HA, who apparently brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels, but people who actually train to work with young people, and are really thinking in terms of their best interests, are confined to school rooms which might as well be on Mars from the point of view of your average person. If you live in Brooklyn you almost definitely walk by a school on your way to the subway, or a spot you like to eat at, or the park, or something, there are more schools in Brooklyn then anywhere. It’s actually kind of crazy how many schools there are, but with the exception of noticing how intense it is trying to buy a slice of pizza at 3PM, what type of engagement do us Brooklynite transplant types really have with schools??? Exactly… So I took it upon my self to shed some light on the matter, sharing the work these really deep and hard working young artists are doing.

The first group I worked with was the Fly Girlz, who had there record release party at the New Museum with Mr. Lif and Porkchop and Zeebrablood from Excepter, and were chronicled in this mini documentary on Fader TV:

The group I put together to execute these projects is called Representing NYC and we are continuing with a new record by the all male teen rap radicals Nine 11 Thesaurus (record out this fall on Social Registry/Sockets/RNYC). We’ve also been running a concert series out of the community center where Representing NYC is housed called REAL BUSHWICK/BUCHWICK REAL. You can see Nine 11 and check out the series here:

We are also co-presenting a hand silk screened t–shirt line with the Bread and Butter Collective, putting on two teen radio shows for, and pumping up a dance team called Uniquely Intellectual Prestigious Young Ladies (which is the most awesome name for anything ever!)… You can read more about all of that stuff here.

So all of that is good, but I am also interested in bringing something up here that is a bit more strange, and from the point of view of certain folks, maybe from my point of view, maybe not totally cool, but definitely really interesting, and possibly important if we have the right kinds of conversations, and tell the right kinds of stories about it. This past fashion week in New York City the music of six junior high school students (all girlz) from Brownsville Brooklyn, backed up an extremely high-end fashion show, namely that of Proenza Schouler. This actually happened, and you can see the footage (proof!) of it here:

So, how did that go down?!

The Fly Girlz record came out on True Panther Sounds, which was in the middle of becoming an imprint on Matador at the time. Matador is part of Beggars Banquet record label group, which, of course, is one of the bigger of the big indies. Beggars Banquet has people that pitch music to various entities for use in commercials, movies, and stuff like that. Apparently Proenza Schouler dug the Fly Girlz, because they licensed the whole record for their runway show at fashion week, and for a streaming online video.

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