That Time I Spoke To Jay Electronica On BBM

It’s been quite a while since people with BlackBerries weren’t looked at as the spawn of Satan himself. But a few years back, the number of Bolds and Curves you saw daily might have matched or even beaten the number of iPhones. Crazy times, indeed.


I was in high school for that particular period so maybe I remember it differently. The main attraction was BBM, which I’d hesitantly describe as the WhatsApp of its day. It was a trend that helped push the phone from local celebrity status to full blown superstar. I mean, look how in love Drake is with his BlackBerry pre gigantic Apple deal below.

“I think my BlackBerry probably knows me better than anybody… My BlackBerry’s just always there for me when I need to express myself… We just belong together.”

Try reading that without making a screw face. (Nah, neither can I).

All jokes aside, anyone in their late teens or early 20s likely has some fond memories linked directly to BBM and I wanted to share one of mine.

First of all, I know that just reading the name “Jay Electronica” is a harsh reminder that we still don’t have that debut album, so for the second time this year, I’d like to apologise for reigniting that flame in your heads.

But back in 2012, things just felt different. It had only been a couple of years since Jay signed to Roc Nation so we were all still optimistic about the near future, and rightfully so. He was also far more active on social media and would constantly tweet out his BBM Pin so that fans could have the opportunity to interact with him personally. Most of the time I thought that it wouldn’t be worth adding him since he’d probably have a hundred messages flooding in, but for some reason this one day was different. I figured why not? So I saved his most recent PIN in my BB, messaged him something I’m glad I don’t remember because it probably saves me embarrassment and I hoped for the best.

And that’s what I got. A reply.

“Appreciate it the love and hospitality fam” it read, typo included.

“Fuck!” I thought. “He actually replied”.

A need for the generic small talk to turn into a full-fledged conversation grew immediately and I started to think of what I could possibly ask him which would warrant another response.

“When’s the album coming? Lol!”

Way too predictable and annoying.

“What does it feel like being signed to Jay Z?”

You have every J. Cole track ever released, Akaash. You know all of the answers to this.

“What do you think about good kid, m.A.A.d city?

Genius. The album had only just come out. The perfect topic of conversation. I pressed send, sat back proud of my work and waited for a reply…

I never got that reply. Up until recently I assumed he was justifiably too busy to reply to some kid from London over and over again. But a ‘Control’ here and a ‘#TBE The Curse Of Mayweather’ there and I’m not so sure. Even though I feel somewhat special for being ignored by Rap royalty, it’s safe to say you can add me to the list of people who have been disappointed by Jay Electronica. Again.

by Akaash Sharma

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