Crunk Candy

On location with Lil Jon, Trick, hoochies, and director mamas

Assistant director Matsoukas, herself a beautiful woman wearing jeans and a cut-off Ethiopian soccer jersey and carrying a Frida Kahlo bag, doesn't much like questions about the difference between women in front of and behind the camera either. Her job mostly seems to be delivering the right kind of girl for each scene. ("Get the black girl; she was good," Watanabe-Batton tells her, and back Matsoukas comes with Genie, a lean, long-haired, long-limbed Slip-N-Slide video favorite who dances at the Liberty City club Foxy Ladies. An aspiring actress, Genie says, "I'm doing videos cuz that's how you get discovered.")

Happiness is a hip-hop hoochie mama
Colby Katz
Happiness is a hip-hop hoochie mama
Playin' video games with Lil Jon (in shades) and the Eastside Boyz (top) and strip poker with Fat Joe
Colby Katz
Playin' video games with Lil Jon (in shades) and the Eastside Boyz (top) and strip poker with Fat Joe

"I'd rather not comment," Matsoukas says, looking away. But she can't help herself. "My politics are different. But I look at it as I'm getting a lot of filmmaking experience." She stops and starts again. "I think hip-hop is really powerful, and young people get their ideas from music videos. But I'd rather not say any more." She does. "I'm not in the director's chair. When I direct, it will be different." But maybe it won't be. "A lot of it is that the artist knows what he wants to do," she says, more to herself than anyone else, "and if the director doesn't do that, you're not the director anymore."

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