Vibe With: Houston’s ‘Da Pink Celebrity’
Written by Nakia Cooper on September 30, 2020
Her look is uniquely unforgettable, her grind is unstoppable and her #BossBabes moves are something to behold. Sharlene Dismuke, aka “Da Pink Celebrity,” is either someone you know — or someone you need to know — because this 4’11” southeast Houston native in the small package has moved far beyond the “Dead End” side of Crestmont Park where she grew up and is on a meteoric rise.
And we’re not just biased because she’s H-Town, baby. Our recent one-on-one interview with “Pink” showed us she’s more than a rap snack, she’s a whole damn “business-minded” meal.
The single mother of two sons is a licensed phlebotomist, but her creative side and entrepreneurial spirit has her out doing her own thing.
“I describe myself as an entrepreneur first, then an artist after that. Everything I do, I started on my own as a form of female empowerment,” Pink said.
The majority of my family is from Louisiana and Navasota, Texas, but I grew up in South Park, Houston. I went to Frost and John E. Caldwell elementary schools, then Albert Thomas Middle School and Sterling and Worthing high schools. I have one sister and five brothers with my mom, but I don’t know how many siblings I have on my dad’s side. Out of my mom’s kids, I am the second to the baby, and I had to grow up fast. We basically grew up low-income and with mom having so many kids — by six different men — we didn’t have much. It made me realize how I didn’t want to be, and I wanted my children to have more. I just strived to be better.
My mom always catered to my brothers but were tougher on the girls, so I had to be more independent. Eventually, I had to get out there on my own. I left home at 16 years old and, like many young women, ended up being a stripper. I used my best friend’s ID and I started making lots of money. I actually helped my mother get a new home with new furniture. I was making lots of money and the rest..as they say …is still history in the making.
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How did you start rapping?
I started rapping professionally in 2002, but my love for it began when I was in elementary school. When they had the D.A.R.E programs, my best friend and I would do a little rap and mix it with dance and gymnastics moves and have our routines. Then in high school. Believe it or not, I was on the basketball team — in fact I played all sports — and we would crank up a beat and everybody would be freestyling on the bus on the way to the games. I was one of the main ones who wanted to freestyle.
I went through so much with trying to be in the music industry when I was younger and nobody wanted to pick me up, especially people in Houston, and men in the industry would pretend like they wanted to help me, but then they’d start “pushing up on me” and I was not going to have that. I knew I needed to fund my own career. We women shouldn’t have to go through that. I started to build my own platforms so I could finance my own projects.
Tell us about the Pink Car Club:
It’s actually called the “Pink Stunnas” and I started it back in 2003 and it went viral, I guess because I stayed consistent with it and I didn’t give up. Pink is a color that a lot of people are scared of when it comes to vehicles, but I knew that would make my group stand out. Anyone who wanted to join the group — male or female — they would have to customize their vehicles with pink paint. A group is more powerful than one person. That was my way of getting us up there and have people wanting to find out who we were. When people would approach me, I’d give them my mixtape. I wanted to grab their attention instead of me asking for theirs, because if you come to me, then you are not going to throw my mixtape or flyers on the ground, you are going to take a closer look at me and accept what I have.
Everyone in the club has some sort of business; one person does hair, another makes t-shirts, etc. We have a reason behind what we are doing, we focus on building our fan bases so we can drum up more business for our entrepreneurial endeavors. We have multiple group members and yes, they each pay a membership fee.
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You have almost half a million followers on Instagram. What do you think draws people to you?
I think it’s my laid-back personality. When people first see me on pictures, they think I am conceited, but when they meet me, they tell me how surprised they are that I am pretty cool. And I’ve always been real with people. If they ask me something, I tell them the truth.
Another way I grew my followers is just by marketing the right way. I would do “share for share” with others. If they share my content on their timeline, then I would share theirs on mine. It’s a give and take. Then when others see what I do on my page, I guess they like it and they remain fans.
One look at your IG page, and we see you are very sexy and risqué. You have a great body (and booty) and you are not afraid to flaunt what you have. Do you receive a lot of criticism for that?
Actually no. A lot of people already know what I do comes with the territory, and they congratulate me for that.
What do you say to people who say you are mimicking your colorful hair and looks off of Nicki Minaj or similar artists?
I ignore it but a lot of times my fans will fire people up. They have been following me from way back in the day and will let people know that I’ve been doing this. It’s all documented on Youtube videos and photos.
What other projects are you working on?
I just started putting my music back out there because everything I did in the beginning, there was always some BS from someone that came with it. My boyfriend was once my producer and when I left him, he took all my music so I didn’t have access to anything anymore. I learned my lesson then, but it made me push forward harder.
“I’m not afraid to start over, it doesn’t make me or break mem” said Pink.
After that, I released my first single in 2017 called “Bang Bang” and it did pretty good. I still hear people playing it in the club.
And while I remain an independent artist, I’ve now linked up with a multiplatinum producer — Phunk Dawg of House of Phunk Music — and my music is out. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify and other platforms.
To sum it up, I am in control of my own music, I am the CEO of the Pink Stunnas car club, I do my own marketing, promotions and booking, and I also have a new online boutique. I am in charge of my own money, it’s all me!
Favorite rap artist?
I love Fergi and Cardi B. I would love to do collabs with them one day. And my favorite rappers when I was younger were Lil’ Kim and Trina.
Describe yourself in one word:
Describe your life in one word:
Describe your music in one word:
Last question, do you feel you’ve been supported by other Houston artists?
No. I’ve always supported others , but many don’t return the favor because they think you are going to surpass them, but it’s all good. Even when Love and Hip Hop came to Houston, my fans were tagging away telling people to put me on the show, but others were trying to block that too, I heard. I have no hard feelings. I am going to keep going and I am on my way! There’s enough for everyone to eat… just keep grinding and putting out good products and great music.