Let’s take it back a few weeks shall we? One of my good friends, Jasmine’s, birthday is very close to mine. Hers is August 24th and mine is August 28th. Last year for my 21st and her 22nd birthday we had a joint celebration that was one of the best ways I’ve celebrated my birthday in my short span of existence. This year, we knew we wanted to go something together again. Ideas of going out to dinner, hanging with our close friends were thrown around but one idea struck and without hesitation we decided that’s what we wanted.
Earlier this year, J.Cole announced his Forest Hills Drive Tour with acts Big Sean, Jeremih, and YG on the lineup (for this leg of the tour at least). When I scrolled through the dates I saw Virginia on there (whoo!) but as I scrolled down further I saw two things: August 29th and Fayetteville, NC **HOMECOMING SHOW**
If you’re familiar with J.Cole he’s from Fayetteville, NC and the last date of the tour would be in none other than his hometown. Jasmine and I freaked out at this and needed to make this happen. Come mid-July and plans for our road trip to Fayettenam (as they call it) was finally pulling together. Joining the Jas and Amira celebration were Tiffany, Toby, Gabby, and Senayt!
On my actual birthday, I spent the morning with my dad as we went out to breakfast and then off to work. My office all went out to lunch together to celebrate myself and my co-workers birthday. After work, my friends Free and Justin surprised me with balloons, a cake, and an awesome vinyl record player. That evening the three of us and Jasmine went out to dinner and had an anti-climatic end to the night (ahaha).
The next morning Jasmine and I got picked up by Toby and Co to drive from VA to NC. We were staying at Tiffany’s place in NC and once we arrived we quickly changed and drove from Greenville to Fayetteville.
Once we got into the venue and found our seats, the excitement started to kick in. Our seats were actually pretty good (thanks Tiffy) and YG graced the stage first. I love YG.
If you know me you know that I have this weird infatuation with him and support his musical career. In my opinion, his set was too short but I did have a fangirl moment when he performed his latest song, “Twist My Fingaz.” After YG was Jeremih. Yep. Tiffany serenaded me during the oldie but goodie, “Birthday Sex.” That’s all I’ll say about that. (girlllll you know i-i-i-i)
Big Sean brought the energy back into the show with a really solid performance. I truly loved his set from start to finish and it was so adorable seeing him live again. Then…the moment we were waiting for arrived…J. Cole came on stage.
Being the concert junkie I am, I love it when an act has a great set up to it. The visuals in J.Cole’s set were almost dreamlike. It was essentially the view of Cole’s childhood home but at an angle as if you were looking up at the sky. He performed all the tracks 2014 Forest Hills Drive and his notable hits. As an artist, I give Cole a lot of respect and hearing those tracks from FHD live just added to my appreciation of them event more.
WHEN WE THOUGHT HIS SET WAS ABOUT TO FINISH…
J.Cole start talking about how great it was to be in his hometown and how he had to do it big for this show. Literally on our way to the venue all of us were joking about how Drake was going to make an appearance at the show (mind you that Jasmine and I LOVE Drake). The shock on my face when Cole brought out Drake as a surprise guest was so overwhelming. DRAKE. CHAMPAGNE PAPI DRAKE. DRIZZY DRAKE. DRAKE CAME OUT AND PERFORMED AT THE HOMECOMING SHOW A DAY AFTER MY BIRTHDAY? My twin, Nicole, told me on my birthday that she hoped my Champagne Papi dreams would come true…little did we know THAT THEY ACTUALLY WOULD. I cried. I jumped up and down. I screamed. Jasmine cried. Jasmine screamed. We both sang almost every word but took breaks in between to come to terms that this was actually happening.
WHEN WE THOUGHT THAT WAS THE ONLY SURPRISE…
J. Cole brought out another surprise guest…JAY-Z. Yes. Hova himself. Let’s just take a minute to pause really quickly. THE Jay-Z?! I couldn’t fathom what was happening right before my eyes but Public Service Announcement dropped and I was amazed. Both Jasmine and Tiffany are huge Jay-Z fans and they took over a majority of the screaming and yelling when he was on. Whenever I think about those moments I’m still in shock that we were there. Such a genuine experience Cole was able to bring to his hometown and I’m glad I was able to be apart of a *legendary* show.
All in all the show was oh so great and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday. I cried a few times due to the overwhelming joy that was felt (that I hadn’t felt in a long time). I’m so grateful to have spent a few hours of happiness with some of the people I enjoy most in life.
If you don’t believe me just watch: