Upon the announcement that J Cole was going to perform in South Africa, I was determined to be in attendance albeit a trip to the other side of the country and for one night only!
The morning tickets went on sale, I swore I was the most stressed, the website crashed, I forgot my card online password and resetting it would take 12 hours, so I called a friend did a few transfers and purchase my ticket at 14h31; 31st March 2016 – The excitement began!
It would be my first time in JHB and had no logistical knowledge, made a few calls and sent a few messages – got my bearings and then began the travel arrangements. I had driven to JHB before but never flown, but due to the fact that I was scheduled to work on the day of the concert, a flight to JHB would have to do to save time.
Weeks leading up to the event made my colleagues crazy with my constant J Cole references, days leading up to the concert almost forced me to cancel, I properly cried the ugliest tears, BUT thanks to the powers that be I managed to pull my crooked smile together and somehow managed to get all back on track.
A special thanks to management for allowing me to report to work earlier than usual to complete my work allowing me to leave the office at 8:30am – we got to the airport at 10h30 and managed to get through the check in gate at 11h15. We then proceeded to walk to the wrong boarding gate, LOL, but thankfully saw our mistake and steered our way to the correct boarding gate and within good time.
My first time flying was definitely an experience, something I would not mind repeating at all however I need to find a remedy for my ears (chewing gum does not work). We landed at Lanseria Airport 15 minutes ahead of schedule and got to breathe in the JHB air around 14h00 – the hourly countdown to J Cole had commenced.
Got to our beautiful and cosy accommodation – Protea Ridge Guest House and Conference centre – definitely worth the 4 stars (if I’m not mistaken). Super secure and we had a beautiful view of the TicketPro Dome. Whilst exploring the venue we the owner “Fred” who offered us whip training, I was not prepared to hurt myself before the concert, however my travel buddy did #LOL (see Cody whip training on NicciNotes IG)… Then it was time to get ready for my man of the night – Jermaine Lamarr Cole 🙂
As soon as we got to the TicketPro Dome I was in awe – there was so much on offer in terms of entertainment and making everyone feel welcomed and hyped. There was the Castle Lite Lemon promotional stand which offered attendees a glass or three; there was the Mnet Movies Blackout arena, promoting the new movies channel as well as the DSTV app – offering free slush puppies, popcorn and a gaming arena whereby if you won, you were given a cap, a sweater, a phone cover or a headset – I won a headset 😛 – there was also the Castle Lite Ice truck where you could dance or take a selfie and receive a free 500ml can of Castle Lite. To boost the party vibe there was the Iced out headphones which provided some jamming tunes – there is a different sense of socialism that one rarely if ever feels in Cape Town which is inexplicable (is that even the correct word? Well, you know what I mean)
By the time we entered the Dome, it was packed! We missed “NastyC” only I think, but Kwesta got the crowd and me too hyped, that the heat got to my head and I actually tweeted the Castle Lite crew to hold on bringing J Cole out whilst I got some fresh air and water – don’t know if they actually were waiting as I made it bag into the dome in good time and ((YOH)) Did J Cole not put on the best performance of my whole life?!
From the moment the self-proclaimed king of hip hop came on stage, he ruled the crowd with his hit songs. Starting the night off performing songs off his double platinum album “2014 Forest Hills Drive” and the crowd sang along to every word of every song which did not go unnoticed. J Cole spoke to the crowd a few times during his performance admitting how he had not known what to expect but was amazed at everyone’s reaction and how he had some “day one” fans who knew every word to every song and not just his latest releases as he performed tracks from his earlier albums (Sideline Story & Born Sinner) and mixtapes (The Come Up & The Warm Up) as well.
My favourite moment has to be when J Cole walked off stage and everyone thought the concert had ended and then he came back with “Can’t Get Enough” – I probably did a fan girl kinda shreek, but I forgive myself, LOL.
The JHB trip and entire concert was well worth every rand! I am superbly grateful for everyone who made it possible and cannot wait to experience more of JHB with awesome friends, great company and more unlocked experiences 🙂