jas­mine cur­tis-smith

Whether she real­izes it or not (and she prob­a­bly does) Jas­mine Cur­tis-Smith is the way­ward mil­len­nial’s true spirit an­i­mal

Scout - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view by ROMEO MO­RAN Pho­tog­ra­phy by CENON NORIAL III Styling by JED GRE­GO­RIO

I HAVE TO ASK, in the mid­dle of an ar­tic­u­late and well-thought out rant, Jas­mine Cur­tis-Smith if she’ll al­low me to print any­thing and ev­ery­thing she’s just said, and has yet to say. “Yeah, I guess?” she says, a bit hes­i­tant. But in the space of a nanosec­ond, lit­er­ally blink-and-you’llmiss-it, that hes­i­tance im­me­di­ately turns into un­abashed swag­ger. “Yeah! I’m just be­ing hon­est, right?” she fol­lows up quickly, each word in this sen­tence slightly slurred, drip­ping with the con dence of know­ing just what it is you’re talk­ing about. It is the swag­ger of a thou­sand fall­ing pipebombs.

I feel like it’s the thou­sandth time I’ve had to ask her this in the course of this in­ter­view, when it’s really only the rst I guess I must’ve been si­lently ask­ing her in my head over the many times she’s made a bru­tally hon­est opin­ion about, well, the in­dus­try she’s in. She does not hold back and by God, I ap­pre­ci­ate her for it, es­pe­cially af­ter go­ing through a glut of per­son­al­i­ties prof­fer­ing safe an­swers to pro­tect them­selves. Or man­agers chid­ing me for pub­lish­ing things they’d rather not share with the world. Truth is in short sup­ply around th­ese parts.

What’s bet­ter, though, is that she’s also wise enough to not over­play her cards and be too ag­gres­sive. I ap­pre­ci­ate her all the more for that. You should, too.

I would have never re­vis­ited the most re­cent Ken­drick La­mar al­bum to seek a lit­tle in­spi­ra­tion if Jas­mine didn’t blast

King Kunta and Al­right while she was be­ing made up for her shoot. I would have never taken an­other lis­ten, un­til prob­a­bly much later, to the al­bum’s epic clos­ing track, Mor­tal Man, which is split in two halves. The rst is a nor­mal rap song with a nor­mal com­po­si­tion, and the sec­ond an ethereal mo­ment in which Ken­drick con­verses, through the magic of edit­ing tech­nol­ogy, with the long-dead Tu­pac Shakur.

Their con­ver­sa­tion is capped with a poem. The cater­pil­lar is a prisoner to the streets that con­ceived it Its only job is to eat or con­sume ev­ery­thing around it, in or­der to pro­tect it­self from this mad city

While con­sum­ing its en­vi­ron­ment the cater­pil­lar be­gins to no­tice ways to sur­vive

One thing it no­ticed is how much the world shuns him, but

the beauty within the cater­pil­lar

But hav­ing a harsh out­look on life the cater­pil­lar sees the

Al­ready sur­rounded by this mad city the cater­pil­lar goes to work on the co­coon which in­sti­tu­tion­al­izes him He can no longer see past his own thoughts He’s trapped

Jas­mine Cur­tis-Smith is a cater­pil­lar. She is a mil­len­nial who isn’t en­tirely happy in the jun­gle she lives in, an un­for­giv­ing land­scape she never wanted to be part of in the rst place, one of fak­ery and pranc­ing and ab­sur­dity and con­form­ity and re­lent­less, some­times de­grad­ing work. Like the best of us tend to do as much as the worst of us, she falls into an ex­is­ten­tial trap ev­ery now and then, usu­ally in soli­tude and ex­haus­tion,

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