My Top 5 Musical Moments in 2011

5. Frank Ocean at Bowery Ballroom

Frank Ocean

I was fortunate to attend this show about a month ago with one of my favorite ladies, and cover it for Frank Ocean proved how important he is to our current musical landscape of what was night two of his sold-out series. Everyone sang along, the air was hazy, and the ambience was chill and friendly. He covered “By Your Side” by Sade, who basically was the foundation of all non-Hip Hop music I listened to growing up. It was a special moment for me because it showed his appreciation for music as whole, and the artists before him that shaped his sound.

4. Hot 97 Summer Jam 2011

Hot 97 Summer Jam

Growing up listening to Hot 97, Summer Jam is the concert event of the year that everyone looked forward to. This June marked my first time attending, representing This was two months after starting this blog, so I was super excited to cover a show as a writer, and not just as a fan. It was a mini-adventure, but everything panned out in the end. I was able to see all the hottest rappers on one stage, no drama, and good vibes all around. Headliners Lil Wayne and Rick Ross put on a high-energy show that I will remember for years to come. Stadium music.

3. 4


Beyonce came into her own this year, releasing the album 4. It  was her fourth studio album, and first album independent of the management of her father, Matthew Knowles. What do I love about 4? I love that the album felt genuine and lighthearted in spots. It didn’t feel as “processed” as previous albums and I believe that it is truly the album we had beeen waiting for from Beyonce. In support of the album, Beyonce performed a series of four intimate concerts at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. I was lucky enough to attend with my beautiful Leo ladies (yes I have a group of female friends that happen to be Leos like myself), and we had an amazing time! Key moments were:

  • “OMG! I’m in the same room with Beyonce!”
  • Celebrity guests including Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and Maxwell
  • The heels coming off (yes, it got that real)
  • Her medley of hits over the years
  • The strategically placed fans for perfect wind-blown hair when she hit the end of the runway/stage
  • “I Care”… yea, I sang it at the top of my lungs and had a moment

2. The Passing of Amy Winehouse

July 23, 2011 was a very hard day for me. I was super stressed out, and while on a phone call with a good friend whose purpose was to calm me down, I received the news from her that Amy Winehouse has passed. I was literally an emotional wreck, and will always remember this day as it is the day before my birthday. I love Amy Winehouse’s music because it is so soulful and you can tell that it comes from a real place. We lost her before our time, but I am confident that she is in a better place now.

1. Watch The Throne

Kanye West & Jay-Z

When I say Watch The Throne, I mean more than just the album, and the group formed in the process, The Throne, that consists of Jay-Z and Kanye West. When I say Watch The Throne was my top musical moment in 2011, I mean EVERYTHING that encompassed it. Let us list these things:

  • The mass hysteria caused in NYC when Funkmaster Flex premiered “Otis” on Hot 97…MAJOR
  • The album artwork by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy
  • The “Otis” music video, specifically the deconstructed Maybach and the level of fun Jay and Ye were having
  • The pop-up shop in NYC where I purchases the special-edition album, and waited for HOURS the first day to catch a glimpse of Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, and Just Blaze
  • Getting to see the tour in the world-famous Madison Square Garden. OMG OMG OMG! I died like five times, not on some groupie shit, but for the fact that I was home in NYC seeing my favorite rapper, Jay-Z live.

2011 was full of musical moments, but these were definitely at the top of the list for me. What were your favorite moments?


*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo


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