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JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#1 Surprising My Nephew…

To understand why this is #1, I need to explain to you the story of Te and I. 

My nephew was born during my last year in LA. When I came home it was a hard time in my life. I’d walked away from somethings I thought I’d always wanted, so it left me sort of…aimless. And here was this lil dude, brand new to everything, with this big infectious smile and needed all the love he could get. The timing was perfect. 

Before Te, I never really paid that much attention to kids. But that time with him opened a part of myself that I had no idea was there. We formed a bond. And when time came to move on - to come to New York - it hurt like hell to leave him. 

He’s too young to truly understand why I’m here, and that became evident when we’d talk on the phone and he’d ask 'when are you coming home from The New York?' To him there is no ‘industry’, there’s no blogs, now webisodes, no marketing, no celebrities, he doesn’t care what I look like, he doesn’t need a contact, he has no idea - and could care less - who a Jas Fly is. To him I’m TeeTee and he knows he’s my most favorite person on Earth. And he misses me. 

So I knew when he stopped asking me when I was coming home, that I needed to get back to Chicago. I didn’t tell him I was coming. Instead on Friday afternoon, I simply walked into his classroom. 

He was sitting on the floor for story time when all the kids turned towards me. his teacher asked, ‘Who is that?’ and he stared at me for a good second then smiled and said, ‘It’s my TeeTee.’ I could hear the relief in his voice, confirmed by the long hug that followed. 

That moment trumps any concert, interview, listening session, vacation, party or ‘cool kid’ thing I could ever do. It was by far the very definition of #DOPE. 


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#2 I Interviewed Jay-Z This Year…

Let me say that again, I interviewed Jay-Z this year. 

I found out about The Shawn Carnival Foundation Charity Carnival in early September but my confirmation didn’t come until September 13th - my second anniversary living in New York - otherwise known as the #Jasaversary. 

Aside from the carnival itself being THEE #DOPEST event of 2011 (they REALLY built an entire carnival in Chelsea), hands down the moment of the night came early on. 

The crew was still setting up as I arrived. The red carpet was small as the approved press list was kept uber selective. Of course we had no idea what or who to expect, all we knew was there were two little people walking around in top hats and women outfitted with tables adorned with bottles of Ace. 

Questlove was the first to arrive and true to his personable demeanor, walked the entire red carpet and spoke to everyone. So of course we (the press) start to speculate when the man of the hour would arrive. Would he bring a (newly revealed) pregnant Bey?

Jay hates interviews. Like HATES them. So of course he wouldn’t really walk the carpet. But maybe, just maybe he’d pose for a pic or two. 

Then the Bach arrived. The door opened and Shawn Carter stepped out. His mother Gloria (who was there when I arrived, along with his two sisters), grabbed his hand and they immediately came to the step and repeat and posed for pics. 

'Dope' I thought to myself. Then…then he stepped forward to the first camera (think it was Access Hollywood). 'Holy shit' I thought, 'He's talking…nice.'

Then, well then JF catches my eye and mouthes ‘I’m gonna bring him around to you.’

I got one quote:

“I got an email this morning and it said ‘some people climb the ladder to success and then pull the ladder up behind them and then some people climb that ladder and then once they get to the top, start pulling people up behind them.’ And then it said ‘and you’re one of those people’ and that was the first email I got this morning, and that felt…kinda nice. This all wasn’t necessarily my plan. And it’s not that there was one particular moment. Its just that I know where I’ve come from and as I’ve built piece by piece I know I have a responsibility to help those who come behind me. There’s going to be more executives than artists, and they are going to need an education, so if I can help…”

Then went back into the carnival and had a ball. A little later Jay asked if I was having a good time…He had no idea. 

To read the recap and the see all the pics CLICK HERE

JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011
#3 The WTT Listening At The Rose Planetarium…
*The pic above was taken the night of the listening. Because I adhered to the rules, I checked my phone*
Ok so originally WTT was supposed to be a mixtape, sponsored by a third-party company (think Ford or GE) and given out freely to everyone. So from jump, everything they planned for this album would be unconventional. An after two uber-small listenings in the middle of the night at the Mercer, everyone pretty much knew that the big listening would be an event…And boy was it?
There were three listenings - we sat in the second one - with no idea what to expect. Walking into the dome, there were HUGE speakers in the middle of the room. After most of us were seated, Ye came in with a huge smile on his face. You could tell from the childish grin, we were in for a treat. Soon Jay and Bey entered, followed by Lyor, TyTy, Kyser, Julie and a handful of others. As they took their seats, we realized there would be no performances. That’s when things really got interesting. 
The lights dimmed, we reclined and as ‘No Church In The Wild’ began blasting from the speakers, the domed ceiling transformed into outer space. We flew through constellations, worm holes and orbited the sun all soundtracked by the album. It was surreal. 
As ‘Niggas In Paris’ began, people got out of their seats, dancing, Low and I looked at one another. Instantly you knew this song was special. 
When is was over, Jay stood and thanked us for coming. Jokingly he thrust the mic in Bey’s face and asked her is she had anything she wanted to say. We didn’t know it at the time but her glowing giggle was likely the new secret growing inside of her. 
While hearing the album in such an amazing way was incredibly #DOPE, this night is my #3 because of what followed. 
@LowkeyUHTN and I walked into the reception that followed, and as we sipped champagne, we couldn’t help but sit and take stock. 
Hip Hop, this little culture of ours, built itself from the ground up. And look how far it’d come. 
I won’t go into the details of that convo but just know that I rock with that kid for life. The night was amazing. 

JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#3 The WTT Listening At The Rose Planetarium…

*The pic above was taken the night of the listening. Because I adhered to the rules, I checked my phone*

Ok so originally WTT was supposed to be a mixtape, sponsored by a third-party company (think Ford or GE) and given out freely to everyone. So from jump, everything they planned for this album would be unconventional. An after two uber-small listenings in the middle of the night at the Mercer, everyone pretty much knew that the big listening would be an event…And boy was it?

There were three listenings - we sat in the second one - with no idea what to expect. Walking into the dome, there were HUGE speakers in the middle of the room. After most of us were seated, Ye came in with a huge smile on his face. You could tell from the childish grin, we were in for a treat. Soon Jay and Bey entered, followed by Lyor, TyTy, Kyser, Julie and a handful of others. As they took their seats, we realized there would be no performances. That’s when things really got interesting. 

The lights dimmed, we reclined and as ‘No Church In The Wild’ began blasting from the speakers, the domed ceiling transformed into outer space. We flew through constellations, worm holes and orbited the sun all soundtracked by the album. It was surreal. 

As ‘Niggas In Paris’ began, people got out of their seats, dancing, Low and I looked at one another. Instantly you knew this song was special. 

When is was over, Jay stood and thanked us for coming. Jokingly he thrust the mic in Bey’s face and asked her is she had anything she wanted to say. We didn’t know it at the time but her glowing giggle was likely the new secret growing inside of her. 

While hearing the album in such an amazing way was incredibly #DOPE, this night is my #3 because of what followed. 

@LowkeyUHTN and I walked into the reception that followed, and as we sipped champagne, we couldn’t help but sit and take stock. 

Hip Hop, this little culture of ours, built itself from the ground up. And look how far it’d come. 

I won’t go into the details of that convo but just know that I rock with that kid for life. The night was amazing. 


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#4 DC…And WTT

Some stories are just harder than others to tell…

The show was dope. This was still early in the tour, the night they did NIP that third time (they’d always planned to do it twice), so we saw the show’s original closing, with ‘Encore’ and a few other hits. 

The after-party was fun. Guru played a super rare gem, my homegirl from high school got SUPER drunk, Tia came through and partied with us and I think I drank more than is ever suggested of Goose. 

But honestly, this is #4 because of one reason, time. 

Amazing and unforgettable.


JAS’ TOP 11 MEMORIES OF 2011

#5 Taking My Brother & Sister To WTT Chicago…

So we’re inside the Top 5 moments of this past year and narrowing it down is getting tough. But this def had to make the list. 

I’d just gotten to Chicago that morning and immediately had a Jeezy interview to do, then a bunch of other stuff, so by the time the show started, I hadn’t seen anyone. My phone was going crazy with questions of my whereabouts and ppl asking for after party details. It was crazy. 

My brother and I’d been texting back and forth and I kept asking him to let me know when they got to the United Center, but of course there was no cel service backstage and it was spotty in the arena. As the show started, I started to get a little nervous that they hadn’t made it. 

Then, as ‘Otis’ finished, I got the text 'parking'. I immediately put my drink down (don’t judge me) and told them to meet me at will call. I literally ran (in heels) up through the stands (full of drunk hooligans) and out into the hallways. I couldn’t get there fast enough. 

We all walked up at the same time. All I could do was hug them. I hadn’t seen them since July of 2010. My invite to the concert was more about getting to hang with them, than seeing the show. 

When I’d arranged for the tix I had no idea where they’d be. Both Chicago shows were sold out and I’d asked at the last minute. But as we looked at their tickets, I asked the usher where the section was. 

'Front row, center. Right in front of the stage.'

Walking them down to their seats, literally right in front of Jay & Ye and telling them 'Have fun guys' was one of the coolest feelings ever. It still makes me smile, thinking about it. 

*Plus seeing Ye at home, in Chicago was incredibly #DOPE. THANK YOU to everyone who made that possible.*


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#6 Shooting Dope Shit…

Here’s the thing, I’ve worked in Entertainment since I was 19 (technically earlier if you want to count the stuff I did as a kid) but I never considered myself ‘talent’. I guess that’s changed. I shot a lot of dope stuff this year. 2012 should be interesting. First up, I believe is Vh1 in January.

"It’s going to be fun to watch you." - My Yoda

JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011
#7 The Jersey Shore Nude Beach
So it was late mid July and I needed to get out of the city. Luckily @Arzoisms had already planned to head to the Jersey shore to lay out with some friends. The ride out there was great. Although I love the concrete jungle, there is something to be said for trees, green grass and quiet flat land. 
Arriving at the shore, I didn’t realize there were actually different beaches to choose from. As we’re driving, we’re more concerned with open parking lots than the beaches themselves - assuming they’re all the same. So finally we get to Lot J, park and trek about a half mile through the HOT sand down to the water. We set out our towels, unpack the rum soaked fruit, I dig out my ipod and copy of whatever book I was reading, and then I settle in ready to catch some rays. 
After about 15 minutes, I realize I needed some sort of SPF, so I sit up and standing off to my right was a penis. 
In fact there were several penises, attached to several body types. 
All four of us looked at one another, then back at the literally dozens of breasts, ass cheeks and furry testicles surrounding us. 
This was a nude beach. 
So what do you do when you accidentally end up on a nude beach? Nothing really. We continued on with our day. But something interesting happened. 
For me, I’m not the most comfortable in a swimsuit, in fact for most of the day I’d work a sarong. But after a while I begin to really look at the others out there. I was able to see past the nakedness and see the point. 
None of these people could’ve posed for Playboy. There were no perfect bodies out there. The breasts hung low, the booties had dimples for days and don’t get me started on the bellies. But despite the imperfections, they were happy. Because they were themselves. 
So I took my top off. 
Turned out to be on of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot that day, including that there’s a LOT of overweight older white men frequenting Jersey’s nude beaches. 

JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#7 The Jersey Shore Nude Beach

So it was late mid July and I needed to get out of the city. Luckily @Arzoisms had already planned to head to the Jersey shore to lay out with some friends. The ride out there was great. Although I love the concrete jungle, there is something to be said for trees, green grass and quiet flat land. 

Arriving at the shore, I didn’t realize there were actually different beaches to choose from. As we’re driving, we’re more concerned with open parking lots than the beaches themselves - assuming they’re all the same. So finally we get to Lot J, park and trek about a half mile through the HOT sand down to the water. We set out our towels, unpack the rum soaked fruit, I dig out my ipod and copy of whatever book I was reading, and then I settle in ready to catch some rays. 

After about 15 minutes, I realize I needed some sort of SPF, so I sit up and standing off to my right was a penis. 

In fact there were several penises, attached to several body types. 

All four of us looked at one another, then back at the literally dozens of breasts, ass cheeks and furry testicles surrounding us. 

This was a nude beach. 

So what do you do when you accidentally end up on a nude beach? Nothing really. We continued on with our day. But something interesting happened. 

For me, I’m not the most comfortable in a swimsuit, in fact for most of the day I’d work a sarong. But after a while I begin to really look at the others out there. I was able to see past the nakedness and see the point. 

None of these people could’ve posed for Playboy. There were no perfect bodies out there. The breasts hung low, the booties had dimples for days and don’t get me started on the bellies. But despite the imperfections, they were happy. Because they were themselves. 

So I took my top off. 

Turned out to be on of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot that day, including that there’s a LOT of overweight older white men frequenting Jersey’s nude beaches. 


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#8 My Very First Summer Jam

One day I’ll tell the full story of my very first Summer Jam - trust me, it’s epic - but I’ll just say that the reason why I ended up watching the show from on stage was honestly because I needed somewhere to charge my phone. 

But I had a ball. Saw Wayne live for the first time (when he realized I was trying to take a pic of him, he stopped mid song and posed), Breezy put on a good performance, Drake, Ross and Khaled came out and they did ‘I’m On One’ for the first time, Diddy showed up (inexplicably) and once my phone was charged, I realized I had some prime real estate, christened it Section 1021 (making Lloyd my section security) and ran a ponzi scheme charging people to use my phone charger. 

Like I said, the entire day was epic. 

Fun times. 


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#9 Cool Interviews

This year I’ve been fortunate enough to get paid to chat it up with some interesting ppl. I’ve learned a lot. I’m continuing to grow in the craft. Still having fun. 

Common

Young Jeezy

Kanye West

Emily B

Michael Ealy

Bridget Kelly

Tyrese (the part he’d let us show you)

The Braxtons

Da Brat

Laz Alonso

Laura Govan

Lisa Price

Steve Stoute


JAS’ TOP 11 MOMENTS OF 2011

#10 Boyz II Men’s Private 20th Anniversary Party

Most invites come in and it doesn’t phase me. This invite came in and instantly I was transported back to the 13 year-old me jumping around my bedroom in Evanston IL. I was in LOVE with BIIM (Nate in particular) but had only gotten to see them live once - at this mega concert at Soldier Field (our seats were terrible). 

So this night - complete with a mini concert (and champagne) - was soooo #DOPE

I sang along (completely off key) to every song and spent the evening (mostly) in fan mode. That rarely happens. It felt great. 

S/O to @KRoseL for thuggin it out with me. 


The Alchemist
By Paulo Coelho



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