Influencers Odalys, K$ace and More Move From iPhone screens to TV screens in Fuse TV’s new Docu-series ‘212’.
In Azelia Banks’ hit ‘212’ she spits the lyrics “Sayin’ you grindin’ but you ain’t goin’ nowhere,” pretty furiously over a string of other shade-throwing lyrics, summing up the New York experience entirely with the first half of the verse and calling out others who aren’t grinding hard enough in the second half. The rest of the song remains rather unintelligible to those on the outside – another distinct trait of New Yorkers.
Since New York established itself as one of the queen cities for arts and culture it has innately developed a kind of hustle infecting everyone living within its parameters. This proves especially relevant for the young creatives involved in gig economy or the freelance lifestyle. FuseTV’s new docu-series ‘212’, named appropriately after Manhattan’s (in)famous area code, follows five city kids as they chase their own dreams of stardom, community and of course, $money$.
212 boasts an influencer-full cast and their trendy friends – but it’s not your typical feed. With DJ, model and aspiring producer Odalys, model and designer Derek Drummond (aka Poster Boy), artist Milk, rapper K$ace, and model lil Dalla$ leading the all-star cast, the series is quick to show that the hip and occasionally lavish lifestyles portrayed on their Instagrams are less than realistic in their everyday grind.
Odalys, hailing from Harlem, struggles with supporting her family while her father is ‘in and out of jail’. Lil’ Dallas searches for a sense of identity and community after his recent transplant to New York. Milk and Derek, recently engaged (congrats) like many of their other millennial lovebirds, try to build their clothing brand, milk&poster, while finding the financial means of supporting it. K$ace, whose first single went viral, struggles to find his voice and prove his talent post-one-hit-wonder internet fame. Throughout the arch of the show, each character experiences setbacks and successes that are relatable to anyone young and hustling.
Instagram’s quickest trick was its ability to create a false reality — and all the self-made stars that were able to profit off that. In today’s economy being an entrepreneur is much easier than before, but competition has matched its pace. 212 depicts kids who were able to rise to the top in the world of Instagram as they attempt to achieve the same level of success in the real world. Watch them navigate adulthood while still chasing their childhood dreams–a trait that remains elusive and disappointingly rare in New York. Amidst all the hustle, both success, and failure, what these five kids share is the childlike charm of believing in themselves and each other in a way that many of us have forgotten.
It’s hard to not be borderline broke living in New York in your early twenties, and for this group of creatives, financial struggles become increasingly evident as the episodes progress and each is challenged to further their dreams due to the money that is just not there. For all the young people out there chasing dreams, 212 might just be your scene.
Photos: FUSE TV