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.

Friday, April 14

Lord have mercy. I am writing this from the media tent at Coachella. I can hear Phantogram performing right next door. Coming from someone who has been raving all her life and is now retired, being on festival grounds brings up a lot for me. Good memories, bad memories, flashbacks —the whole nine yards. Honestly, it’s too much. Dana from Biz3 put it so perfectly: I have PTSD.

The day was off to a rough start. My one excitement for the weekend was to interview Dillon Francis. We had a set time of 4:10 p.m. in the press compound, but unfortunately, we didn’t even get to Indio until 4:30 p.m.

I had a really rough time dealing in the car on the way down. I alerted the crew I wanted to leave by 11:30 a.m. at the latest to be able to make this meeting, with some wiggle room. My homeboy ended up being an hour and a half late. This caused us to be stuck in the most brutal traffic. I was so bummed and can fully admit I was a raging bitch the entire car ride. I’m over it now, but man was I livid. I really felt like that was my one opportunity. Dillon doesn’t do press for anyone.

Just spoke with #Phantogram about their upcoming EP with #BigBoi 🔥🔥 Who's at #Coachella??

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My next appointment was to speak with Phantogram at 5 p.m. Huge thanks to Dana who was so accommodating with our tardiness. Also, finally met Maddie from Goldenvoice in real life. I love when email relationships come to life. If you guys aren’t familiar, Phantogram is an indie duo who recently linked up with Big Boi for their Big Grams EP.

Dope, right? We talked about part two to this epic collaboration. The media trailers were so legit, I didn’t want to leave. The selling points were mainly AC and water, but those things are gold out here. I loved speaking to Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. They were so down-to-earth. Also, their dog was licking me the entire time. I thought it was adorable.

Next, Ural and I frolicked into the HP Experience at the Antarctic Dome. All I have to say is, I did not want to get up. I plopped down into those ridiculously comfortable cushioned seats and had no intention of getting up. This dome was insane. I didn’t get any footage because I had no service. A blessing in disguise really because it allowed me to just live in the moment. It was a short film in an enclosed IMAX VR dome. It was sick. It was mad trippy and made me feel like I was on drugs at one point. The majority of the audience was for sure.

After finally figuring out the map, we head to meet Max from Infamous PR backstage at the Do-Lab. If you’re a Coachella-goer, you know the Do-Lab pops off — EDM, Trap, and Hip Hop all in one. If you ever get bored, you go to the Do-Lab to turn the fuck up. We had just missed the Brownies and Lemonade set, but they were so kind to us when we arrived. We were laced with drinks and DIY vegan barbecue.

Heading to the media tent was a mission and a half. We attempted to get footage of Mac Miller’s set at the Sahara stage on the way, but that entire tent was overcrowded. There was no point in even trying. I love Mac, but we both agreed there was no point standing there trying to capture him as he came up as a dot on our iPhones. We’re here now, getting juice and doing some work. I love that they provide drinks and snacks. That’s the key to my heart.

Caught up with #Sampha 🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Coachella

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I embarrassingly ran up on Sampha while here as well. They actually said he wasn’t doing press, so I was very hesitant, but I had to. He wanted to say no so badly. I told him how amazing I think he is and that he’s a complete genius. One question in, I totally forgot he had a British accent.

We chatted about the Hip Hop artists he liked (barely any) and his short film Process. I’m so satisfied.

Saturday, April 15

It’s day two of Coachella weekend one madness. By now, I’ve accepted I’m here. It was a bit hard to cope with yesterday. Shout out to Ural and V for helping me publish the two exclusives I got yesterday (Sampha and Phantogram). Teamwork makes the dream work. Today was the day I realized that Coachella is beyond the festival. It’s the parties outside of the festival.

Huge shout out to Taylor from Golin for sending me this care package early in the week. It came with a key and everything. It was an invitation to the DEW takeover of Musicland Hotel in Palm Springs. This was the Label Motel, equipped with Label-inspired cocktails, music, art, style, technology and more. G-Eazy may or may have helped the invitation. I love how they called him a “top musician” in the email. Beyond rapper, young Gerald definitely has a pop/mainstream following.

The event was to celebrate the launch of the Mountain Dew Label Series: a line of premium sodas with crafted unique flavors, and herbal and citrus bitters. I was pressing for an interview with G the entire week leading up to today, even bugging his publicist Yash. I got the text late Friday night from Simon, and it was a go. I was lit. I’ve met G once before, but never actually interviewed him. We were given a time slot of 1-1:45 p.m., and, of course, we didn’t grab him until 2:30 p.m. Standard.

We arrived at the function at 12:30 p.m. It was lit —temperature wise as well. The sun was blaring down on all those in attendance, and they were ready to party. The music set the mood for the pool party, beer pong, mini-golf, Vfiles apparel cart, and more. Mountain Dew rented out the entire hotel. That’s a boss move. What a great idea, too. They had rooms occupied with VR and live art by famed street artist Bradley Theodore. From the crazy Mountain Dew-infused deviled eggs to the Cheetos puffs next to them. This was not your ordinary party. This was one you will remember as “that one time at Coachella.”

Caught up with Young Gerald today 🙏🏽 Exclusive interview coming soon! #GEazy #Coachella

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We were treated to a nice waiting area in the air-conditioned rooms, but time was running out. We had to be at our next location by 2 p.m. and it was 2 p.m. Patience is a major virtue in these situations, but you also have to make the call whether or not it’s worth the sacrifice, especially when your next appointment is a rare one. Luckily, young Gerald came right in the nick of time.

G walked in with his bodyguard and entourage following suit. This is an artist who I have been a fan of since day one and have watched his career flourish into the coveted position he is in today. We asked him about his feature on the Raekwon album, his new merch and any exclusives on his new album. He said he locked himself in the studio for four months. Respect.

Next up was my absolute favorite part of the weekend: the Weedmaps party. We had no idea we were walking into a “lit-uation.” Well, sort of. My homie who we were staying with sent me a picture of the Weedmaps party Friday night, and it was a table overflowing with bud. Also, Drake’s dad was in attendance. That’s epic right there.

#HannibalBuress does a #Nas impression 😂😂 #Coachella @hannibalburess

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Before I forget, the whole reason we were there was so Ural could get an interview with Hannibal Buress. Honestly, Hanibal is straight comedy. This man is one of the best comedians out there. Ural did his thing while I got social media coverage. It’s a wrap.

And then I run into the homie Duke, who actually invited me to this function way back in the week. Unfortunately, sometimes when I’m super stressed or busy, I can be extremely dismissive. I was so excited to see him and that the universe connected us, even though I was a shithead. We walked to the premises and found ourselves inside the dab tent. This girl literally gave me the smallest dab and I loved it so much I asked for another. It was zero fucks after that.

This was a mansion full of marijuana. “Free smoke, free smoke,” in the form of joints, edibles, jars, dabs, vapes, and even Kush Bombs. You know that last one got me. I had a nice conversation with the founder, Michael, who was beyond friendly. I mean, you have to be to be a stoner. But still. He was so open to speaking with me. I love when people can carry a conversation on some friendly shit, not trying to convince you of their product or any other motives.

By this point, I’m just lit. Things that were only mildly funny were extra funny to me. After we were satisfied with the goodies, we had stuffed into our hands and pockets, Ural spots John Salley. Not going to front, I didn’t know who he was besides being in Bad Boys movie. His height quickly gave it away though. He wasn’t one of us. He was an NBA player. I asked for a picture for the DX ‘Gram and he grabs my phone for a selfie of all three of us. It was comedy. His long outstretched arm got all of us in the shot.

Before we leave, it’s 90 degrees and I am parched. When I had asked for water earlier, I was given CBD water. Translation: Cannabinoid water. Weedmaps, you would. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the taste of this concoction. No one else could taste the difference. But I think I’m just hella picky.

#Xzibit at the #Weedmaps party 💨💨 #Coachella

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In our hunt for some ice cold water (for myself), we find ourselves in another mansion on the other side of the estate. Strolling into the main living room, we find Xzibit chilling on the couch to the sounds of DJ Battlecat. Honestly, you guys, if you ever get the chance to go to a Weedmaps party, don’t pass it up. It’s surreal.

Back to the festival we go. Our method of transportation to the actual festival and back was Uber, which wasn’t that bad. I say that with the disclaimer that it took us a solid hour and a half to get to the Heineken House. This stage was its own party inside the festival. I was scheduled to meet DJ Nu-Mark at 7 p.m. We enter to find George Clinton going up. Luckily, we were able to meet in the artist compound.

Thanks for chopping it up with us, DJ Nu-Mark 🙏🏽 #Jurassic5 #Coachella

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DJ Nu-Mark is one of the DJs for Jurassic 5, one of the most popular underground Hip Hop groups back in the day. The fact that they are still performing is everything. I’m actually really enjoying his “Zodiac Tracks” mixes, and had to let him know. Nu-Mark is so dope for his knowledge and experience in the game alone.

We did a quick pit stop at the media tent before strategically passing through Future’s set on our way out. I tried to find my homeboy and his squad at the C3 pole, and failed miserably. It is so, so difficult to meet up with people at this damn festival. Even if both parties have every desire to do so, the reality is it’s nearly impossible amid the mass amount of people. The good news is we were present when Future brought out Migos. That was definitely lit. The bad news — we were walking out when he brought out Drake. No FOMO though. I just saw him in a much more intimate setting.

What’s crazy to me is that just like the 21 Savage show, my homegirl I ran into on the way in had told me Future was bringing out Drake. I really can’t decide if I’d rather know or not know in advance. I feel like I’m way more fun when I get surprised. Speaking of FOMO, on our way back to Los Angeles, I find out Nav brought out Belly, Travis Scott, and The Weeknd. This dude is really coming up. Unfortunately, I heard his actual performance was horrendous.

It was a very last minute decision to come back a day early. Besides my love-hate relationship with the festival, realistically, I couldn’t stay for Kendrick’s set. As much as he might bring out U2 or play all the fire cuts off his new project, I have to be at my desk at 10 a.m. on Monday. There’s no way in hell we’re getting stuck in that Coachella traffic. Not even car traffic — human traffic. Huge thanks to Ural for driving my whip all weekend. Best believe we bumped DAMN. on the two-hour ride back.

Sunday, April 16

I can’t get over how glad I am that I’m in Los Angeles and not Coachella. I also can’t get over how crazy it is that you can live stream the festival and enjoy it from the comfort of your couch. That’s like cheating to me. You get to skip out on all the dirt in your nostrils and never-ending walk from the entrance of the festival to the actual stage.

Being that it’s Easter, church was honestly my main priority today. My girl Ari always keeps me in check. I’m very, very thankful to have her in my life. She actually asked me a week ago, but I had told her I would be at Coachella. This was meant to be. We hit the 6 p.m. service at Mosaic on Hollywood and La Brea. This is probably one of the most well-respected churches in L.A. No bias. Just facts.

There were so many services today, which left no excuse not to attend one of them. Several of them were even held at Avalon, which is a nightclub/venue. That’s so dope to me. The service always begins with worship and is followed with a sermon. This was the first time I’ve been back to church after I had been recently exposed to so much Christian Hip Hop (Legacy LA and Sho Baraka). As you can guess, I appreciate gospel in the form of music so much.

Today, we had the pleasure of hearing Erwin, the founder and lead pastor of Mosaic, speak. I’ve heard so many great things about him, but not sure if I’ve ever actually sat through one of his sermons. He has such an impact on anyone in his audience. Just the way he’s able to connect the Bible to our everyday lives. He makes us feel like we are in the right exact place at the right exact time every time we step into that building.

Right after I tweeted this, my homeboy texts me to bring him to Mosaic. I was ecstatic. That warmed my heart. I had to tell my girl and she was happy as well. I’d love to bring anyone who wants to come with me. Church is meant to be an experience that you share with others, especially when they are new to Christianity or curious to know more.

Isaiah 25:8 is the verse that stuck out to me the most tonight: “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.” The way Erwin worded it really resonated with me. Jesus will take away my sorrows. Coming from someone who suffers from depression, this means the world to me. I’ve had my fair share of rock bottoms and uncontrollable tears. It was a positive reassurance that God got me.

I got out just in time to meet my brother at 8 p.m. at Arclight Hollywood. We had made plans to see The Fate of the Furious. I may or may not have left Coachella early for this. Movie nights with my brother are something I crave on the regular. This is the eighth movie in the Fast and the Furious series. And I don’t think they are stopping any time soon. I remember I totally cried out in the last one during the Paul Walker tribute. It was really sad. He passed away in the most tragic car accident.

But anyways, this movie is dope. It’s all action the entire two hours and fifteen minutes, which is standard for these flicks. And if you like cars, this is definitely your steez. I loved seeing the whole crew back together: Vin Diesel, Tyrese, Ludacris, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, etc. But the real bae was Charlize Theron. Holy crap. She’s gorgeous. She plays the bad guy in the movie, which adds such a great plot twist

I definitely recommend it. I was waiting for the G-Eazy/Kehlani song (“Good Life”) the entire time. It didn’t play until the credits. Fail.