NYC Tastemakers of 2012....by pemora

There is a bit of a background story here, so please bear with me. This morning, I was reading my daily email from The Daily Love (don't judge) and today's theme was about turning negative emotions into positive outcomes. What does this have to do with the Tastemakers of 2012? Well, I was reading a post about the resolutions of 20 of NYC's Coolest Influencers. Cool, cool. EXCEPT...not a 1 person of color. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but the fact that I had to say 'maybe' says a lot. I mean, this is NY freaking City. How can you NOT have a wide spectrum of diversity on that list?

Ok, back to this morning's email. As I was sitting, making my own list via twitter, I realized that I should just create my own post. Actually, my sister suggested it. But it is a positive outcome, nonetheless.

Here is my list of the NYC Tastemakers of 2012.

1. Alvin Blanco
If you are looking for someone who could be considered THE expert on hip hop, Alvin would be the #1 pick. He is the go-to person on the history, context, gossip, style, news and critical thinking of the genre. In fact, he wrote a book about one of the most influential groups of all time -- Wu Tang Clan. Alvin is also pretty darn funny, which makes it even easier to follow regular updates.

2. Samantha Black
Besides her fashion show receiving guest starring credit in a recent episode of 'Love + Hip Hop', Samantha is on a roll. Her line has major fans in the industry (secret: a certain pregnant diva's little sister loves Sammy B) and she has some big things lined up for 2012, including February's fashion week. Keep your eye on Sammy B!

3. Sian-Pierre Regis
Sian-Pierre is the founder and editor-in-chief of one of my favorite street style blogs, Swagger New York. This site features people who are both off the beaten path and embody NYC. Sian-Pierre also writes for MTV Act, a blog very reminiscent of the Rock the Vote movement. According to his twitter account, Sian-Pierre wants to be Ryan Seacrest 3.0....at this rate, I think people will be saying that they want to be Sian-Pierre 2.0!

4. Carla Zanoni
If you want to know something, anything, about Upper Manhattan, Carla is THE person to follow. Social Media Editor for DNAInfo, she reports on the good, the bad and the ugly of Inwood and Washington Heights. In fact, Carla is usually the 1st person to spread information and has a loyal and interactive group of followers. The great thing about Carla is that she is not content to just sit behind a computer; she attends community board meetings, visits (and endorses) local businesses, and even engages neighborhood police precints. I say -- Carla Zanoni for Manhattan Borough President!

5. DJ Rob Dinero
In full disclosure, Rob is my cousin + faux-twin....but that doesn't make him any less tastemaker-worthy. Name a singer, rapper or reggae artist and Rob has probably worked with them. Rob co-founded AMW DJ's, a coalition of 'America's Most Wanted' DJ's and he regularly works with Japan's DJ Honda. Rob will be spinnig at Abe + Arthurs for NYE but if you cannot make it to NYC, you can catch him on Music Choice network's MC Mixtape Channel.

6. Melissa Beck
A wife, a mother, a supporter of Hello Kitty, and knows both current events + The Real Housewives franchises? Yespleaseandthankyou. This is a woman after my own heart. With her sharp wit + sassy comebacks, Melissa has been on my radar for years. It is hard to believe that Melissa is not a native New Yorker but the city is lucky to have her now. I am anxiously waiting for someone to give her a book deal. Maybe it will happen in 2012?

7. HB Wellington
Lead singer of The Wellington Papers and all-around good guy, HB makes music fun, stylish and interesting.  His songs, especially the infectious 'Jackie', all sound a little familiar but entirely different. Check out one of his shows, where you will both be entertained and you might even get to share a drink with HB! Also, try to get your hands on one of the band's heartbreak stickers or pins...highly coveted in the NYC-area.

8. Mimi Jung
I know, I know, I am a bit obsessed with Mimi Jung. But given my opinion of her, how could I not include her on this list? Mimi runs the fabulous blog and jewelry line Brook & Lyn, which has already been featured in places like Anthropologie and Shopbop. Susie Bubble is also a big fan, showing off her B&L necklace in her Bluefly Closet Confessions video. Santa didn't bring me one of her harness necklaces for Christmas, so if Cupid wants to drop it off on Valentine's Day, I would be one very appreciative chica.

9. The Assimilated Negro (TAN)
If you have not been on his blog or bought his book, you are just missing out. Patrice Evans is talented at making intellectual social commentary while also retaining his wit. He is currently a columnist for Grantland and I am sure he has a couple of other surprises up his sleeve for 2012.

10. Dujeous
True aficionados will tell you that Dujeous has been killing it for a long time and I have to agree (as someone who saw them perform at 95 Leonard in '01). To call them a hip hop group would be oversimplifying their music; they make songs that truly sound like NYC. This year, Dujeous was the house band to Rosenberg's Noisemakers and it was THE ticket to get. Dujeous will be performing on January 18th at Southpaw, so check out their twitter for more details...

This is just a short list and it was hard to pick just 10...anyone you would add? Who is doing it big for 2012?

Honorable Mentions:El Bloombito, Locke be a Lady, DJ Shakez, Francheska, Wes Moore, Elana Aquino, Melissa Fortune, Danielle Lazarin, Naughty Cookies and, of course, Miss DTM.

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