"Spread love, it's the Brooklyn way" isn't just a popular Biggie reference. It's a maxim that is embedded in every native Brooklynite, a truth we live by and share with anyone who comes into contact with us. Which is why I wasn't at all surprised when I arrived on the set of Junglepussy's shoot and heard things like "she's super happy" and "so conversational" or "the energy has been really great." Her East New York upbringing and West Indian heritage account for that. What does surprise me is how she greets me the first time we meet, with a soft-spoken "nice to see you."
Prior to this introduction I had listened to JP3 for hours on end (Get Down feat. Rico Love was on heavy repeat), revisited my favorites from her social media profiles (you won't regret following her Twitter), and watched JPtv videos that amplified her bravada (BrownSugar Sunshine Tarot is the astrologist we all deserve). So I was expecting her to be as animated in real life as she is in her videos, this gentle exchange throws me off. It also didn't help that she looked like a modern-day Wonder Woman, outfitted in a sparkling bodysuit and patent red knee-highs that gave her already towering height a few additional inches. If it wasn't for the warmth in her tone and the ease with which she says it, nice to see you, as though she was addressing an old friend, I'd be nervous.
"I used to be like 'there is no difference between Junglepussy and Shayna' but my friends told me there is," she briefly pauses before collecting her thoughts again. "But they don't know shit!" she exclaims with an energetic handclap, revealing the Junglepussy I was accustomed to seeing. We're in her trailer now, and she's facing a mirror, seemingly directing this dialogue to her reflection. "Only time when I'm really like, 'Okay, this is Junglepussy,' is when I have to show up and when I'm doing a shoot or when I'm doing a show. Other than that, when I'm just in between, living life, I don't feel like there's a difference." She turns to me, eyes locked, and lets out a deep sigh. "Imagine being funny, being a good writer, being all these things, being stylish, then also being a good person or somebody who tries to better themselves all the time. Imagine fitting all of that into a person," she explains. "Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by my own existence."