FO·MO

ˈfōmō/

noun

informal

  1. anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
  2. “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 12

The day has finally come. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards, described as Music’s Biggest Night. And it was. This is the weekend where everybody from the U.S. and beyond flew in to celebrate the most talented artists in the world. This year, it took place at Staples Center/Microsoft Theater, down the street from me. I made the mistake of driving, which was soon realized when all the roads surrounding were blocked off.

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The life-size Grammy trophy.

They scared us saying that we had to check in to the media center before 12:30 p.m. Before we get there, let’s talk about my damn journey to find this media center that no one had heard of. Smh. It took me a good 40 minutes running around L.A. Live to finally be where I was supposed to be. Upon exiting (the first time), I realized the parking pass had designated where to enter: near one of the statues in Star Plaza. where I usually enter Clippers games. Smh.

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HipHopDX takes The Grammys.

I enter a heavily unpopulated room with tables lined up. Each seat was provided this very thick Grammys book and an agenda for the day. I saw it closed at 9:30 p.m. and immediately thought “oh hell no” lmao. I came way too early. I had no laptop either. I was imagining this to be way different. Everyone probably thought I was one of the fortunate ones to attend the ceremony, but I was actually cooped up inside a room all day. But hey- it was worth it. If anything, it was a learning lesson for next year. I now knew what they meant by media center. Bring your laptop and come when the show starts at 5 p.m. Got it.

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Beat Billionaire does The Grammys.

I decided to Uber home. I had to. Time is money, and I had a couple hours to get shit done. On my way out, I hit up Kasim who works with Beat Billionaire. I did a phone interview with Beat, and we became fam after that. I saw on his IG that they were flying in for The Grammys, and the fact that we were able to meet IRL was super dope to me. You know how people “try” to meet up and never do? I will try to make an effort to meet up with you. I care. Btw, Beat Billionaire is Rick Ross’ right-hand producer. Boss moves.

I came back after the designated meal break, which meant lots and lots of leftover lunch boxes. I was low key bored, waiting for any Hip Hop artists to roll through. Nope. I grabbed the grilled veggies on a focaccia roll, which came with a side of chips, pesto pasta, and a cookie. Honestly, though, these journalists/reporters needed fuel. I saw a handful of people type furiously away on their laptops all day long, from the moment I walked in until I left. At that point, I was grateful to work for a Hip Hop-focused publication. That’s definitely where my passion lies.

When Solange rolled through, I literally jumped out of my seat lmao. I started filming at which point I get reprimanded. No photos or filming. Whoops. That rule made no sense to me. But anyways. I quickly turn on my voice memos to record her speech. Her presence is so mesmerizing. So happy for her. Having Beyoncé as a sister must not have been interesting for her career as an artist.

Chance The Rapper teased the entire media center when he walked in, only to walk right back out lmao. Literally. I got this on my Snap. It was for real one minute after he won his second Grammy. I’ve honestly never seen someone so happy in my damn life. He fucking deserved the shit out of those two trophies.

Chance promised the media center he’d come back after his performance, which we watched on TV. It gave me straight chills. He killed it. That performance genuinely had my attention from beginning to end. Most of the time I get distracted. I tried to stay until the last possible moment, but Chance did not pop up. And apparently, I missed Adele. Literally, she shows up the minute I left. She’s the fucking realest. Did you guys know she won every Grammy she was nominated for? Fun fact provided to the lucky herd tucked away in the media center.

Sevyn Streeter, I’m coming boo. I honestly fell in love with her tonight. I loved her previously, but have never seen her live. Shout out to The Roxy for providing the most intimate setting to see this very talented dimepiece from Florida. This was the #GirlDisruptedTour, and we were all excited. I loved, loved, loved seeing all the guys reciting her lyrics verbatim. I was posted right next to the left of the stage, so I could see the entire front row. It was special.

Stand out tracks: “Prolly” featuring Guwop, “D4L” featuring The-Dream, and “My Love For You.” She has two amazing backup dancers, whose combined choreography was on point. Halfway through the show, they pull a random guy from the crowd who gets blessed with the best lap dance of his life. She proceeds to give him seven (Sevyn) kisses on the neck before he takes off. She had us count them out loud for her. We were glad to.

"Say It" Remix by #SevynStreeter ❤️ #GirlDisruptedTour @sevyn

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She definitely knows how to put on a show. If you need help getting over your ex, she got you. Her “Say It” remix covering Tory Lanez is one of my favorites. She took the time in between songs to thank everyone in the building, who she calls her #StreetTeam. I definitely want to be on that team lmao. She then proceeded to talk up one of her idols, saying how much this next song meant to her. Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.” She covered it beautifully.

This was the last stop of the tour, so you know they had to do it big. And you know it’s not a show in L.A. unless Ty Dolla $ign shows up. Ty graced the stage to perform their new single titled “Fallen.” I caught him on my way out and joked about how he didn’t play “Blasé.” Not sure if he heard me, but he’s the sweetest. She ended the show with her hits “Don’t Kill The Fun” and “It Won’t Stop” featuring Chris Brown. The latter is how I discovered her <3.

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Next up: celebrating Steve Aoki’s Grammy nomination for Best Music Film with the Netflix Originals documentary I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. The event was too fitting. That title is my mantra. I have a jam-packed day tomorrow and the Sevyn Streeter show would have sufficed, but hey. This was five minutes down Sunset. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

I was definitely unenthused when I saw this was at Bootsy Bellows, I’m so negative when it comes to Hollywood clubs. Bootsy is one of the more boujee ones for sure, but tonight was for Steve. I love that guy. He’s so inspirational. I always say he’s my Asian brotha lmao. The moment we walk in, we were turnt. Funny story, we pull up at 11:30 p.m., only to find zero parking. Hello, WeHo. The curb’s valet parking across the street from us ended at midnight, so we literally waited in my whip for about 30 minutes, bumping  Migos. The struggle is real.

The Dim Mak family was definitely out tonight. As well as many females in gowns. They definitely came straight from The Grammys. Bootsy was crowded as fuck. The venue itself is actually tiny. We make our way to the front to see Steve Aoki on the turntables, only to be kicked off stage. It took the security guard like five tries to get us off, though. Finally, we were like, alright. You win.

Fist Fight

Monday, February 13

Man, I was tired today. So tired I almost fell asleep in Fist Fight, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to miss a beat. This movie was fucking hilarious. This was the red carpet premiere at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood. This meant we were watching in the theater with Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, the director, and the rest of the cast.

I was tripping out walking through Westwood, the small college town of UCLA. I lived here for three years all throughout my last years of undergrad. I walked by two of my old jobs: Yamato Sushi and Ami Sushi. Shout out to being a slave in the restaurant, I was a server for nine years. Pure nostalgia. But anyways, we walk up to the will call table to pick up our tickets. These tickets were special. Definitely going on my wall.

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Free beverages.

The screening was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m., and it was pure mayhem trying to get everyone inside. It looked like they were used to this, though. The yelling was just routine. Shout out to the free water, drinks, and popcorn ready for us in our seats. They took care of us tonight.

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Beautiful theater in the heart of Westwood.

This was the perfect theater to hold this special screening. It reminds me of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. If you can’t tell, Fist Fight is a pure comedy. We were laughing the entire film, which is a quick hour and thirty minutes. Perfect length, perfect cast, perfect date night. I brought my homeboy, who usually is down for my poor movie choices (The Bye Bye Man). This time, it was my treat.

Before the film started, director Richie Keen took the mic to shout out all the members of the cast in attendance tonight. The entire theater roared with applause when Ice Cube stood up. He was posted literally in the middle of the theater. No special VIP treatment. I loved that. I also can’t get over how hilarious Charlie Day is. You guys may recognize him from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. That high-pitched voice coming from his petite body. . . you literally can’t help but laugh at his jokes. Ice Cube and him make the perfect combo, with a side of Tracy Morgan.

I feel like if you’re a teacher, you have to watch this. The takes place at a public high school, where the kids decide it’s senior prank day. I’ll stop there. This movie is a hit. Go watch it. And come talk to me after.

California Love 🙏🏽XIX

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The timing for the evening couldn’t get better. I dropped my homie off at his whip and mobbed on Sunset to The Roxy. Again lmao. Definitely was here last night. Huge shout out to my girl for putting me on. I actually hadn’t heard of Ro James, minus his hit song “Permission.” Her excitement for the show had me excited for the show. That’s what I love about music. It’s contagious.

My girl also paid for my parking. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. This show was conveniently the night leading into Valentine’s Day. She was my valentine. Huge thanks to Rob at ICM for the tickets. Ro sold this bitch out. The moment I walk in, I noticed how packed it was. It was almost 6LACK status. . . almost. I caught the end of Candice Boyd’s set, which was wonderful. That girl can sing. She played her track with Frenchie called “Damn Good Time.”

Everyone in the audience looked like a damn artist lmao. The support was real. I’m that person who whenever I find a new dope artist, I have to find out where they’re from, and their life history. Ro actually gave his fans some background info, which saved me from Googling at the show. He was born in Germany, but raised in Indiana by his father. He moved to New York to pursue music, which he had been doing for 10 years. Major salute. Look where he is now.

His last album, ELDORADO, is what really put him on the map. Highlights of the evening: “A.D.I.D.A.S. (All Day I),” “Holy Water,” “Eldorado,” “Already Knew That,” in which Luke James pops on stage. So much love tonight. Ro James’ music is a lot of baby-making R&B, mixed with missing your ex-boo. Hello, Single Awareness Day. We meet again lmao.

Congrats to Ro on “Permission” being nominated for a Grammy. That’s huge. I love that BJ The Chicago Kid and Sevyn Streeter got on stage with him to close out the show. That was beautiful. Sevyn was behind me in VIP earlier and I had to tell her how amazing her show was the night before. She was so sweet. Also met BJ, who is so down to earth.

Btw, Ro’s OOTN (Outfit Of The Night) reminded me of some A$AP Rocky swag. He’s definitely a hit among the ladies.

Tuesday, February 14

Happy Single Awareness Day. I spent mine watching Warren G perform all his throwbacks. It was the perfect date night (for me and my homegirl). This was a $10 show at The NOVO, which I was surprised to find pretty full. Huge thanks to Goldenvoice for the tickets. We pull up a little after 10 p.m. to find him already on stage. He was on time. I loved that.

When he played “Summertime In The LBC,” I straight went into nostalgia. We all did. This was the West Coast OG. He was straight chilling on stage with a beer in his hand a Regulators hoodie. His era of ’90s Hip Hop w̶a̶s̶ is everything. He did give us a Valentine’s Day show by playing “Pony” by Ginuwine, in which his wife comes on stage and gives him a little freak dance. So cute.

When I say he played us all his throwbacks, I mean literally. “I Need A Light,” “I Want It All, “Nobody Does It Better,” “Ain’t No Fun, “Regulate,” all of them. The NOVO was lit. Security was walking right through the crowd, and didn’t give a fuck about the weed lmao. The guy in charge of the pit was rapping every line. It was great.

#WarrenG performing "So Fly" by 213. 🙌🏽 @warreng

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“So Fly” by 213 was that song. Man, but the show was so short lmao. All of a sudden he says he’s done. It was an awkward exit. The DJ proceeds to drop a Rae Sremmurd track and Warren G looked thrown off. Although he was gigging to it. Lmao. Where my regulators at?

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Guests arrive for GREATEST HITS at Gibson Brands Sunset

Wednesday, February 15

Tonight, I made my way over to Sunset to check out this GREATEST HITS: Photography Exhibition, which launched at Gibson Brands Sunset (former Tower Records) in West Hollywood. I received this in my inbox and had to come check it out for myself. This premiere art retrospective and photography exhibition celebrates the work of veteran Los Angeles photographer Chris Cuffaro.

#WestCoastWednesday 👐🏾

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If you missed the initial Los Angeles launch (me), you can see an abbreviated version of the show from Wednesday, February 8 through Saturday, February 18 at Mr. Musichead Gallery (7420 Sunset Blvd. L.A., CA 90046) in Hollywood. My hope is that if you are in the area, you go check out this amazing spot. It’s right on Sunset, and open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Ice T.

I walk in close to closing to find Sam, the owner, and Michael the manager, sitting at his desk. They were very friendly and happy to answer my questions. I always have questions. While most people would die over the David Bowie piece in the very front, I asked about the Hip Hop pieces. I had to post The Game for #WestCoastWednesday (It was either that or Ice T).

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Gwen Stefani <3.

I was heading out when Gwen Stefani caught my eye. I had to backtrack to snap a photo. The unfortunate thing about taking pictures on the iPhone meant an annoying glare on each piece. I confirmed with the manager that this was inevitable. As I waited in my car to put in the address to my next destination (Core Power Yoga), I see the owner prepare to walk his dog. You could just tell they’re good peoples.

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After yoga, my brother and I had plans to see John Wick 2. Holy shit, this movie was fire. If you’ve seen the first one, you probably loved it. Even Migos made a song about it. Agreed by my one friend who saw it opening night, this one was better. Basically, Keanu Reeves is a hitman, with some business to take care of. It’s two hours of action and violence. The picture is incredible too. It was overall just dope af.

I had no idea Common was in this film. That was a nice surprise. He was karate chopping just like Keanu lmao. Definitely a good look for him as an actor. And then I lost my parking ticket, AGAIN. $20. Hello Arclight Hollywood, you’re robbing me of everything I’m worth.