- anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
- “I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO”
Urban dictionary definition: The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.
My definition: DON’T MISS THE EVENT.
Luckily, I’m here to provide you with all things you’ve missed, in this popping city of Los Angeles. My name is Shirley Ju, and I live, breathe, sleep Hip Hop. Coming from the Bay, I grew up to the hyphy movement. That being said, turning up is all I know. This will be a weekly recap of the dope events that I myself felt like I couldn’t miss, and you guys wish you were at.
Sunday, February 5
Man, today was bizarre. Definitely one for the books. I had a pretty rough night (dealing with some personal stuff), so I was in my Sunday feels. I head out to Weho to hit Medmen, Sophia Chang’s dispensary, to fix my vape pen. Apparently, the battery pack died. That thing is essential in L.A. traffic, and today was my only day off to make it to that area.
I had my heart set on stopping by Big Sean’s I Decided pop-up shop. I was literally tearing up listening to “Light” with Jeremih on the drive over. I pull up to the tiny blacked out shop on Fairfax (right next to Fight Club), and find the line wrapped around the corner past The Hundreds store. After trying my luck at the door and somehow hustling my way inside, the most unexpected happen. Sean Don walks in literally one minute after me.
Man, I can’t even tell you how humbling it was meeting Big Sean. We’re talking about an artist whose music has gotten me through a very dark time in my life. It was so crazy that I had this opportunity. I overheard some kids behind saying he had just tweeted he was pulling up. The fact that they had us line up to meet him and take a selfie was truly something special. They let every, single fan have their one on one time with Sean.
He took my phone to take a selfie and I told him I didn’t like selfies. He proceeded to ask someone to take a photo of us. I can honestly say he’s one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met IRL. I told him how much his Detroit mixtape meant to me and he just kept saying, “Thank you so much.” I also told him how cute him and Jhene were, but he already knew that.
He gave every fan the time of day. It was so fucking cute. He is a legitimate inspiration and someone who has come up from nothing. Talent speaks for itself. Big Sean is making his trademark in rap history.
The homie wanted me to cop him the shirt Big Sean was rocking, but being the cheap fuck I am, I didn’t bring any cash flow. I know. Who goes to a pop-up shop without money right? I told him I’d go to my car to get my card if he Venmo-ed me, but he only wanted the tee if Big Sean signed it. I guess he was only signing posters (I asked).
My next move was to catch the damn Super Bowl. That was everyone’s agenda for the day. Get turnt and pretend to care which team wins. My homie from the bay was throwing his second annual Super Bowl party, catered by a taco truck. Shout out to Mark and the bachelor’s pad he shares with his roommates, equipped with a hot tub and pool in his glorious backyard. Did I mention catered by a taco truck?
Few were watching the game. Most were socializing. There were definitely the sounds of dedicated fans from both the New England Patriots fans and Atlanta Falcons. The one time I looked at the score, Atlanta was up by 14. I’d root for them just because all my favorite rap artists are from there lmao. We were a bit occupied with the $500 worth of Costco snacks (separate from the tacos) and fire pit.
This was definitely a dog-friendly party. Puppies make the world go ‘round. I stayed through halftime, enough to see Lady Gaga fly. And then it got cold. Time to finish the game indoors, in the comfort of my brother’s apartment in Lil Tokyo.
The comeback was pretty bizarre. All of a sudden, I was interested lmao. Congrats to Tom Brady. This just proves yet again why he’s GOAT.
My next move was to catch Go Dreamer’s set at The Echoplex at 8:15 p.m. I’m not going to lie, this took some mental convincing, I was stuck at this point, along with every other single person who got turnt for the game. But, I had promised my girl Taylor I’d peep her artist, and I’m a woman of her word. Plus, I had met him a couple days ago at Juice. He was nothing but good vibes.
Go Dreamer’s music can be described as psychedelic funk trap rock. That’s a handful lmao. I would say Odd Future/Tyler, The Creator vibes. His whole mantra is to represent the “weirdos,” which seemed to be a hit with the all-ages crowd. The last song he performed was called “Piece Of Shit” (above) and is dedicated to Donald Trump. So fitting.
Shout out to Tyler, The Creator coming through later and starting a mosh pit with his wild self. Sad I missed that one.
My night didn’t end there. Movies (always) to unwind the crazy week/weekend. My brother, along with his roommates, and I decide to hit The Founder at Arclight Hollywood at 10:05 p.m. We were debating for the longest time if this was a smart move, with work in the a.m. It was a two-hour movie. And then we said YOLO. Stemming off the high of Jackie last week, we wanted to learn some shit.
This was a documentary/biography of how McDonald’s came to be. It’s a story that would probably never be revealed unless you seek it. There’s so much behind America’s most popular fast-food chain. So much. Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the salesman who turned two brothers’ hamburger joint into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world. How did this happen? Ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
Persistence was emphasized above the others. Persistence is the key to success. Unfortunately, this may mean hurting others along the way. . . including your loved ones. The story behind it all is truly remarkable and a bit savage, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested in business or the food industry. Or if you’re like me, and just enjoy learning.
Monday, February 6
Tonight was another silent listening party. The last one I attended was Nick Grant’s for his album Return Of The Cool, which is fire btw. That was my first taste of this super dope concept. Everyone is hearing the music through headphones, and the rest is silent. It really helps you focus and get some one on one time with the music. The moment I walk into Dash Radio, I recognized those same exact headphones. I text my dude Jahmal with Millennium Age– he’s the man behind it all.
This was a private GRAMMY Nomination Toast & Listening event for My Guy Mars’ latest project called No Days Off. Shout out to Sasha for the invite. Mars is a producer who is now embarking on his solo tip, as many producers seem to be doing nowadays. It makes sense. They know how to make music that sounds good better than anyone. Mars is a member of 1500 or Nothin’, a collection of the most lit producers, songwriters, singers, and musicians.
This was more of a celebration than anything. The headphones had two channels: one of this project and one with just straight turn up. There was liquor and water provided. He was super down to earth when I met him. Just overall good vibes and energy. Did I mention he was nominated for two Grammys? Shit, I’d be celebrating too.
He had his DJ play us his favorites off the project, which includes features from T.I., James Fauntleroy (also a 1500 or Nothin’ member), Jay 305 and Buddy. Of course, the first song they drop after the project was “Bad And Boujee.” Always a party-starter.
Tuesday, February 7
Tonight was a treat. I walk into Estrella on Sunset in West Hollywood not knowing what to expect. Huge thanks to Ben at NBC Entertainment for inviting me, it turned out to be a mixer for media and NBC Talent. I was kindly given a tip sheet as I was lead to the back. I then remembered I had been here for a screening of Kicks. That was just the theater, though. This time, I got the whole experience.
I was so excited to see Darron, the plug for The Lego Batman Movie, a familiar face. Everyone had name tags on, along with their publication or show. I sadly didn’t have one printed, so Darron hand wrote me one. So great, so ghetto lmao. I kindly scoped out the strangers who were also standing alone and made some small talk. I couldn’t help but keep returning to the free food. Those blue cheese lettuce wedges were so fire, along with the grilled cheese on top of a small serving of tomato bisque. Damn.
This was definitely an urban mixer. The stars from The Carmichael Show, Marlon, Shades of Blue, Taken, and more were all in attendance. I had the pleasure of meeting Lil Rey Howery, whom we are currently trying to lock down for an interview (stay tuned). There was an open bar too. Many glasses of wine were poured lmao. I felt honored to be there. Unfortunately, I had to cut out halfway through to my next destination.
My girl Brittney throws the dopest events called Musicology, which usually consists of a red carpet, music performance, and panel for anyone pursuing a career in entertainment. The primary goal with these events is to provide you with education and inspiration to follow your dreams. That is a win in itself. This time, Lenny from Roc Nation and Scott Storch were on the panel. I definitely didn’t want to miss this one.
The last one I attended was a songwriter panel featuring Candice PIllay, who I later got to chop it up with. I missed the red carpet this time but, was surprised to walk into a completely full Ivar Theater. This shit was literally packed. They told us we could go upstairs to the balcony. I was so happy for Brit lmao. You go girl.
I have to admit, I was truly humbled by the presence of Scott Storch, the legendary producer. I took notes as they were speaking but saw someone get in trouble for filming, so not sure they want the content repeated too much. My guess is they want you to attend the event to soak up the knowledge. Makes sense. One thing that really stuck out to me was Scott’s love for the music, and always finding ways to push the envelope.
Scott talked about how music isn’t one formula, and how you can work with anything. Sometimes, you might not like something on the first try, but you might love it on the second. I thought that was super interesting. It’s true. I’ll literally hate a song at first listen and then grow to love it.
I’ve met Lenny at one of the million events in L.A. (DJ Mustard/Tidal screening), and totally didn’t make the connection that he was @kodaklens lmao. He shed light on what it’s like working with Hov, one of Hip Hop’s greatest.
I also really enjoyed hearing from Benjy Grinberg, the CEO of Rostrum Records. His message: persistence is key. He gave the perfect illustration of this from working with Wiz Khalifa, who went from independent to signing to Warner, back to independent, then Atlantic. You have to keep trying. He also emphasized the connection he has with artists, and really truly believing in their music.
I then meet my squad at Regal L.A. Live. Tonight, we were seeing Rings, for $8 Tuesdays. Nothing like a good old horror movie to keep you going through the week. We had high expectations. We all loved The Ring, which I remember being truly terrifying (a remake of a 1988 Japanese film). That came out in 2005. Hello, high school nostalgia.
This was almost two hours and a bit of a snooze. I mean, I had fun with my people but if you’re truly looking for a scare, you will be disappointed. Plot? Watch this one clip, and you have seven days left to live. I thought it was interesting the advance in technology since the first movie. Instead of a videotape, the clip was just a file on the computer. It could be copied with a click of a button. . .
Wednesday, February 8
When opportunities of advanced movie screenings come knocking, you take them. Tonight was a BH Tilt’s film titled Sleight, written and directed by J.D. Dillard. Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it features Jacob Latimore, who also starred in Collateral Beauty alongside Will Smith, and Storm Reid from 12 Years A Slave.
I pull up to then QC Screening Room in Beverly Hills to find the smallest theater imaginable (maybe 12 spots). That experience in itself was so intimate, which I liked. The smooth leather seats helped as well. The film is about a young magician (Jacob) who is left to care for his little sister after their parents’ pass away. Unfortunately, this means turning to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. I absolutely loved that it was filmed in L.A. I loved recognizing the streets.
When I arrived, I was handed this set of playing cards. That made the film that much more exciting. I had something substantial to take away from it. Now, whenever I pull out these cards to play, I can tell them about this dope film. Genius.
They describe the movie as a “fascinating blend of drama and science fiction,” which it was. I can vouch for that. SLEIGHT hits theaters nationwide on April 7. Definitely, go check it out.
Tonight was something I was actually super excited for. I had never seen Janelle Monáe live, and I fell in love with her when I saw Hidden Figures. Actual love. That’s bae right there. Wondaland Records is her record label, with Jidenna being the first artist. Real recognize real.
Yo. Honestly. This shit was free. You just had to RSVP to this link that was being passed around via text. I was so surprised because they could have easily charged for this show. This show was incredible. And not just like turnt, but everyone genuinely was there to have a great time and dance to some great music. It felt like exactly what a music show should be. Such great vibes.
I walk into The El Rey as St. Beauty took the stage. This is one of my favorite venues in L.A. but it’s been a minute. Last time I was here I think was for the Lil B show, that was off the roof. St. Beauty is a duo of two singers, Alexe Belle and Isis Valentino. They definitely had that Wondaland vibe. Real instruments, real voices, and real personality.
Who really blew us away tonight though: Roman GianArthur, an American musician/producer. He was dressed like Prince or MJ. His set left us absolutely speechless, especially the last song he performed. The live instruments, the production, his voice, his performance, everything. It was so theatrical. He definitely takes after Jidenna, whom I saw behind the curtain literally singing every word and cheering him on. It was the most adorable thing. You could just feel how excited he was for this dude performing his heart out on stage. Again, real recognize real.
Janelle Monáe IRL is everything I ever wanted. She’s perfect. I saw many girls at the show with their hair just like hers: two little poofy buns on either side. She just stands for so much greatness. Did y’ll see her speech at the Women’s March? Damn. She was hosting tonight, and I really was hoping she would come out and perform at some point. I really just wanted to her to perform “Yoga.”
Jidenna put on an amazing show. I hadn’t seen him before live either, but I’ve been told I had to. He is so talented. Before he started, he gave a whole spiel about Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants. His father is from Nigeria and he said he wouldn’t be here today if the ban was in place then. Smh. The States need Jidenna.
On top of playing his hit song “Classic Man,” which Kendrick Lamar is on the remix of, he also performed “Knickers” and “Long Live The Chief,” a fucking statement. Throughout the night, they did a great job of reminding the fans that his new album The Chief drops on February 17. And then, he did the smoothest crowd surf I’d ever seen. The crowd dragged him out but then brought him right back to the stage. It looked rehearsed.
Bae did come out to turn up with the rest of the artists. They ended the show abruptly as they all formed a train and stormed off the stage and into the crowd and out the venue. And then right back in lmao. I love them.
I walk out to my car missing from the Walgreens parking lot. I legit thought the show would end by 10 p.m. for some reason. This was definitely a life lesson. I’ll be beating myself up over this one for sure.