Hustle 101 

DVD exposes cutthroat college party promotions

Peachtree streets, colleges and clubs — these are a few of Atlanta's favorite things. College students Donte Murry's and Michael Cooke's debut documentary, Hustle 101, taps into the latter two, giving perspective on a lifestyle that has rarely been exposed: the college party promoter.

"We see a lot of [stuff] about fraternities and sororities and even bands, but nobody has exposed this scene, which is probably the most dominant on black college campuses," says Murray, a 21-year-old senior at Morehouse College.

From cultlike followings to the wads of cash, and even the groupies that the most elite promotion teams obtain, Murry and Cooke say people are surprised to find out about this alternative culture. Hustle 101 shows savvy young promoters walking away with more than $30,000 after just one successful club night.

"You got 19- and 20-year-olds with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry on, throwing money into the crowd – and it's all legal," Murry says, adding that although an estimated 100,000 students live in the city, only five or six clubs consistently cater to them.

While a glimpse into the superstar status of the promoters has certainly been the draw for the 1,500-plus online downloads of the film, the cutthroat competition and the exploitation of eager female students drives the story. One girl who makes the cut for a promotions team slowly deteriorates onscreen as she struggles to keep up with the hectic lifestyle.

"By the end of us filming and editing, I realized that this scene was just like what happens in multibillion [dollar] businesses on a daily basis," says Cooke, a freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design, "just on a smaller scale."

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