london a z

A 19-year-old Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, photographed during a recording session at Battery Studios in London in 1989.

The photo was taken during a month-long trip to the English capital when Hov was helping his early rap mentor record his debut album Word to the Jaz. EMI sent Jaz there to record with with Brian “Chuck” New, a producer who was riding on the success of his work with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Jaz, Hov and Irv Gotti stayed in a luxurious apartment in Notting Hill and were treated like royalty by The Jaz’s record label.

Jay broke down the experience in his autobiography Decoded in 2010:“Jaz invited me along for the ride. Inside I was doing backflips and shit, but when I told my crew, they didn’t share my excitement. They thought I was bugging for leaving the block at a time when we were doing so well. ‘These rappers are hoes,’ was the general response. ‘They just record, tour, and get separated from their families, while some white person takes all their money.’ But it didn’t matter to me. Jaz’s money was real; I respected that. And even though I didn’t go around talking about it to even my closest friends, I believed I could make it as a rapper, too.”

Jay-Z, photographed at a dinner celebrating Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams’ 29th birthday, at Ayoush restaurant in London on July 23, 2009.

Hov wore a shirt with a famous Dave Chappelle quote printed on it: “You can’t get un-famous. You can get infamous. But you can’t get un-famous.”

youtube

Skunk Anansie — You Do Something To Me (Live In London An Acoustic)

You do something to me 

Somewhere deep inside 

I’m hoping to get close to 

A peace I cannot find —

“I dabbled in crazy weight, without rap I was crazy straight, partner, I’m still spending money from ‘88!″

A young Shawn Carter, photographed showing off his jewelry and assets during a recording session at Battery Studios in London in 1989.

The photo was taken during a trip to the English capital when Hov was helping his early rap mentor record his debut album Word to the Jaz. EMI sent Jaz there to record with with Brian “Chuck” New, a producer who was riding on the success of his work with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Jaz, Hov and Irv Gotti stayed in a luxurious apartment in Notting Hill and were treated like royalty by The Jaz’s record label.

Jay broke down the experience in his autobiography Decoded in 2010: “Jaz invited me along for the ride. Inside I was doing backflips and shit, but when I told my crew, they didn’t share my excitement. They thought I was bugging for leaving the block at a time when we were doing so well. ‘These rappers are hoes,’ was the general response. ‘They just record, tour, and get separated from their families, while some white person takes all their money.’ But it didn’t matter to me. Jaz’s money was real; I respected that. And even though I didn’t go around talking about it to even my closest friends, I believed I could make it as a rapper, too.”

Oh Boy(s)

Anon Request: Is there by any chance you do Harrison? If so, could you do an Imagine where Haz is drunk and he is singing Shape Of You. You may let your imagination loose on the rest, surprise us readers with the out come 😊

A/N: So while writing this I kind of let my imagination loose a little too  much and decided to turn this request into the idea I mentioned months ago, so hopefully this works out. Possibly another part to add.

Warnings: jealous!harrison, jealous!tom, alcohol use, harrison and tom being drunk jerks, sexual implications

A/N: Also, I just want to point out that, judging by this picture, Tom (and Jacob if they’re playing teams) is horrible at beer pong.


Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four

Young and hopeful, (Y/N) decided to be a volunteer at the 2016 Comic Con, however she could not have imagined how far this act of civil service would take her. From manning backstage at panels and working the photo-op lines, she had managed to find an ‘in’ with some of the celebrities her age making an appearance at the con. When she learned that she’d be able to have a behind the scenes photo-op with any actor or actors of her choice, she eagerly chose the Spider-Man: Homecoming crew. At the end of the day, when her chance came, she’d managed to hit it off with a few of the actors, namely Jacob and Tony.

A few months later, after stewing in anticipation, (Y/N) received an email from Tony saying she was chosen to be a PA on the set of Spider-Man. During this time she had grown to be incredibly close to all of the main actors, but the person she bonded with most had to be the other PA their age: Tom’s best friend, Harrison.

When the actors were running lines and perfecting takes, Harrison and (Y/N) were doing whatever needed to be done, whether it be helpful work or coffee runs, they did it together. They roasted Tom, told jokes, distracted their actor friends one too many times, and frequently hung out outside of work as well. With how much time they spent with one another, Tom, Jacob, Zendaya, Tony, and Laura all assumed that Harrison and (Y/N) were already an item. It wasn’t until their last day in Atlanta that the rest of the group figured out that their relationship was still considered ‘platonic.’

Months rolled by and the group remained in contact with one another, but Harrison and (Y/N) remained closer than the rest, except for maybe Harrison and Tom. About a month before Tom’s upcoming birthday, Harrison sent a message in the group chat that hadn’t been used in half a year, with the exclusion of Tom.

HazO🇬🇧: Trying to have a surprise birthday bash for Tom at my place. Who’s in?

JB🌺Aloha: in london?

Tony⚡: I’m in

HazO🇬🇧: Yes in LONDON!

Z✊🏾: ON his bday?

HazO🇬🇧: No in December

 Z✊🏾: Did I ask for your negativity?🙅🏽 

La-La-Laura👑: I can make it :)

Tater🍠: I can try

JB🌺Aloha: who TF is tater?

Z✊🏾: can’t be Tom. He has a quackson emoji 😂

Tater🍠: It’s (Y/N) -.- you nuke a sweet potato around Haz and Tom ONE TIME and you’re scarred for life 

JB🌺Aloha: Ohh, I forgot about the tater name.

Tater🍠: I wish everyone would…

HazO🇬🇧: So everyone’s coming??? cool!


A month and a lot of convincing later, (Y/N) managed to work out a way so that she could afford the plane ticket out of the country and to England for Tom’s birthday. Jacob, Tony, Laura, Zendaya, and (Y/N) all stood outside in the warmth of the London sun, waiting for Tom  to stroll into the backyard alongside Harrison, unaware of the gatherings taking place. They lingered around a cooler, each sipping on cold beer or hard cider, chatting about their time in Atlanta and catching up in one another’s lives.

Slowly, the back doors opened to reveal Tom and Harrison, bare chested and obviously buzzed, sauntering toward the group. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM” they called as he approached. Jacob passed Tom a beer and smiled.

“First legal one with all of us according to your home away from home,” he said as Tom twisted off the top of the bottle. (Y/N) continued to linger around the outside of the group and sip her drink. She had always felt slightly different from everyone else. Even though Harrison wasn’t one of the stars, he was still an actor and shared the extraverted tendencies of the rest of the group. Lingering and ostracizing herself was just a few of the many introverted qualities of (Y/N) that seemed to overcome her when in social situations.

(Y/N) sat along the side of the pool and kicked her legs back and forth in the water as the icy alcoholic apple taste slid down her throat. She listened as Tony connected his phone to the stereo system and heard faint footsteps as Tom made his way toward (Y/N) as she sat alone by the pool.

“You came!” he smiled while sitting down beside her.

“You think I’d miss this?” she questioned with a laugh as Tom sat down beside her.

“I bet Harrison is excited to see you,” he said lightly in a deep tone under his breath

“Why? Are you not excited to see me?” she teased in return, offering Tom a small smile..

“All I meant is that you and him are close, right?” Tom returned with apprehensive eyes. “He’s been blabbing about (Y/N) since Atlanta.”

“Yeah sure,” (Y/N) sighed while finishing her drink, catching on to Tom’s lack of stream of consciousness. His eyelids looked heavy when he blinked and (Y/N) could almost hear the fuzziness of his brain like one of the static channels of televisions from her childhood. “Are you already drunk?” she asked.

“Maybe,” Tom said with a chuckle in his voice and holding a finger to his lips, signaling for her to keep quiet about it. “I mean, it’s my birthday!” suddenly his light hearted tone fluctuated to irritation. “It’s my birthday and I have to watch my best friend try and get it on.” 

“It doesn’t look like he’s hitting on anyone,” (Y/N) said, trying to reassure Tom while looking over her shoulder to Harrison as he stood beside Zendaya and Tony. 

“Not yet,” he said while finishing his drink. “Look, just…don’t tell him I was talking to you,” he rushed to add while slurring his words. “Harrison doesn’t want anyone to know that he likes (Y/N).”

“Then why did he tell you?” she asked sneakily, feeling guilty for taking advantage of Tom’s inebriation. 

“He thought I wasn’t interested.” With that he slipped into the pool and swam underwater to the opposite end where Jacob and Laura were practicing underwater handstands.

Since Tom was drunk, (Y/N) chose not to give their conversation much thought, but she couldn’t help remember her interactions with Harrison and Tom in Atlanta and even during the convention when she first befriended the group. When she first met everyone, she immediately threw herself into a roasting battle and got caught in the crossfires, inevitably being on the receiving end of Tom’s banter. As the day went on, she and Tom continued their roasts even when the others had stopped and soon their banter was interpreted as bickering. Harrison was convinced Tom wasn’t interested in the random girl they had just met. After all his breakup was still moderately fresh, fame was on the horizon, and when Tom shows and interest in girls it’s normally through jokingly showing off and being kind, not by what Harrison was interpreting as him being blatantly rude to the new company.

(Y/N) always had a hunch that Harrison liked her. He would occasionally bring her favorite candy to set for a snack, he’d use his own money to buy her coffee when they went on Starbucks runs, and always seemed slightly shier around her than with anyone else, opposed to one on one, they were always laughing and smiling. She had begun to rely on Harrison’s kindness to get her through the relentless teasing from Tom that had, in reality, been a continuation of their banter from when they first met. She didn’t have anything against Tom and liked that he could be a genuinely nice person, but he was never that way when anyone else was around. He was always standoffish and on defense when (Y/N) was involved in the group’s activities, but since that first night that Harrison disclosed to Tom that he may like (Y/N), Tom set roasting as his default when (Y/N) was around. He had to keep himself from indulging in whatever could have been for the sake of his best friend and if being an ass is what would make Harrison happy with (Y/N), then being an ass is what he’d have to do.

The sun faded behind the earth long ago. Since arriving, the group had run out of alcohol and was then replenished when Harry and Sam arrived at the party. Pizza fueled the young adults’ day and turned into a life source once night fell upon them. (Y/N) was pretty sure that, between Harrison and Tony, the local pizza joint had to have been called at least four times; Harry and Sam didn’t make the food overload any better when the brought frozen, prepackaged hamburger patties to the party.

Despite trying to ignore any inclinations of either Harrison or Tom trying to make a move on her, it was nearly impossible for (Y/N) to keep her mind off of the thing causing her the most anxiety. Everything seemed to be a sign, whether it be through the chicken fights or their water rugby/basketball game, everything pointed in a million different directions. When the group decided to play chicken, Harrison chose (Y/N) to be on his team, one of the twins took Zendaya, the other chose Laura, and Tom and Jacob were a team while Tony continued to man the music. Harrison’s logic was to keep (Y/N) as close to him as possible so that, if the time was right, he could tell her how he felt. Having her on his shoulders was about as close as they could get. Tom’s logic was to be as physical as he could: fighting her would fulfill this. She was caught between support and competition as Harrison held her above the water and Tom tried to pull her off Haz’s shoulders and into the water with him.

When the sun began to set, the game changed when Tony threw a rugby ball into the pool. Z and Laura drew the line at dangerous sports but (Y/N) had grown up playing watermelon ball with her family every summer since she was fourteen. The object of the game was very similar to the one proposed in this game: teams were divided and the object was to get the ball from one end of the pool to the other; the only difference is that when (Y/N) played it back home, a watermelon was used instead of a ball, which made the game much more difficult. Again, she was paired with Harrison per his request. Competing alongside them was Tony and Harry while Jacob, Tom, and Sam became their opponents.

As soon as Laura threw the ball into the pool, (Y/N) took off. She dove into the water and grasped at the ball, careful not to bump heads with the other players, and swam to the bottom of the pool. Thinking she could skim the bottom until reaching the other end, she hurriedly kicked her feet only to have a pair of hands come from behind her and latch onto her hips. Frantically, she looked at the swimming trunks around her and tossed the ball toward the white shorts with blue stripes: Harrison. She turned underwater and looked for the person who had grabbed her but they were already gone. Once resurfacing, she found that her team had a turnover and Tom now had the ball. She went back under and quickly used her feet as leverage while she grabbed his ankles and pulled him back. As expected, he face planted into the water and dropped the ball, giving Harry just enough time to swoop in and rush toward their scoring end. Just as quickly as (Y/N) had pulled Tom, she shoved him away and swam toward their scoring end to receive Harry’s pass and dunk the ball through the small basketball hoop. From there, the physical interaction among players only escalated. Guys were able to avoid groin kicks to one another but they were really grabby with the ball and forgot their completion was female until they accidentally grabbed a boob. Used to the similar physical interaction in watermelon ball, and being too incredibly competitive to let it bother her, (Y/N) took advantage of the guys’s awkward moment after accidentally grabbing her and scored against them. It wasn’t until the end of their fourth round that (Y/N) began to notice the looks on both Harrison’s and Tom’s faces. Both exhibited excitement but while Harrison’s showed pride, Tom’s displayed thrill–the thrill of the chase. The two didn’t square off on one another until Tom forced (Y/N) under water and Harrison hurried toward them and shoved Tom under, allowing (Y/N) to swim away throw the ball to Tony and their team to score the winning point.

After the sun was completely absent from the sky, the group decided to settle down from the roughness of their afternoon, eat dinner, and play a little beer pong. Harrison and (Y/N) stood side by side as they each took their turn throwing pingpong balls at the red solo cups that floated opposite them.  As the songs transitioned into Ed Sheeran’s latest album, Harrison’s excitement and confidence boosted. Without coordinating anything, Harrison and (Y/N) began to sing ‘Shape of You.’ She laughed as he hurried his drunk slurs to hit all the right words and notes during the verses, but once the chorus came on, it was like he was at a concert, screaming to hear himself over the roar of the crowd and pounding speakers.

“I’m in love with the shape of you; we push and pull like a magnet do. Although heart is falling too, I’m in love with your body. Last night you were in my room and now my bedsheets smell like you. Every day discovering something brand new; I’m in love with your body. I’m in love with your body; every day discovering something brand new. I’m in love with the shape of you!” Laughing, he took her hands and spun her around in an attempt to dance only to find the resistance of the water to make it much more difficult than expected. Thankfully, almost everyone had joined in with Harrison’s charade and (Y/N) was able to deny that he was doing any of this seriously rather than to be funny or because of the heat of the moment or the liquor in their systems. Harrison had definitely crossed her mind in the romantic way but she’s constantly debated with herself for and against taking their relationship from friendship to romantic. He was nice and kind and loving and she would love to be able to see where their relationship could go, but she was more than terrified of losing the friendship she had with him. It had been ages since she had someone like Harrison in her life and being friendless was something she was too horrified to return to that she couldn’t imagine risking what she has to have something else. She wasn’t greedy, she was thankful for how things were and didn’t see a need to try and have more.

“Get it, Haz!” Zendaya and Jacob laughed. (Y/N) let out a small chuckle as the faces and voices faded in and out of her buzzed analysis of her situation. She focused on their actions rather than the implications and hurried to take her turn, inevitably missing the cup and accidentally hitting Tom in the chest.

“(Y/N), quit staring at Harrison and get your head in the game,” Tom grumbled as he rubbed water over the stinging welt on his chest. Harrison rolled his eyes and gently put his hand on (Y/N)’s shoulder in a reassuring and also possessive manner. She partially melted in his touch, ready to surrender her opposing argument and be in favor of a romantic relationship, but the other half of her felt nothing more than a platonic protection. In hopes to drown her thoughts out, (Y/N) chugged one of the cups in front of her and felt a buzz return to her head.

“Come on, mate! Don’t take your anger out on her just because you suck at beer pong,” Harrison chuckled.

“She pegged me!” Tom protested.

“I’m sorry!” (Y/N) quickly interjected with a small laugh on her lips, assuming the back and forth between Harrison and Tom was playful, friendly banter.

“Let’s go Holland!” Harrison called while slipping his arms around (Y/N)’s waist and resting his chin on her shoulder. Hesitant, her heart started to flutter against her chest in both excitement and apprehension, not wanting to start a relationship with Harrison on account of alcohol. Tom rolled his eyes and tried to shoot at one of the four cups he and Sam had left. After missing, he huffed as Harrison leapt back, lifted (Y/N) and spun her around in the water–her back against his chest–in a drunken victorious jest. Tom walked to the edge of the pool, hoisted himself up, and grabbed his towel.

“Is he okay?” (Y/N) asked Harrison who shrugged in return. Her eyes then flashed toward Sam who also exchanged a look of confusion. Both of the guys she was trying to get information from were even more inebriated than she was so she swam to the edge of the pool, quickly got out, dried off, and then picked up her phone and followed Tom’s path into Harrison’s home. Slowly, she raised her hand to the bedroom door the boys used to change: Harrison’s room. Pushing the door out of it’s closed position, (Y/N) entered to see Tom hunched over on the side of the bed staring aimlessly at his phone as his thumb scrolled against the glass screen. “Tom, are you coming back out?”

“In a minute,” he stated. As (Y/N) closed the door and made her way closer toward him, she could see that he was staring at a now blank screen and the reflection of his face didn’t look very happy.

“Is something wrong?” she asked him. At her words, Tom rose and faced her.

“Yeah, I don’t need you to come and check up on me when I’m just trying to cool off.” (Y/N)’s nose scrunched at his words and she turned as he tried to pass her.

“Why do you try so hard to be an asshole to me?” she called him out. Biting his cheek, Tom turned to face (Y/N).

“For Harrison’s sake,” he stated. When (Y/N)’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, Tom continued to explain in an exasperated voice. “I’m always acting like I don’t like you so Harrison doesn’t see that I actually do like you.”

“What’s the big deal with pretending not to be my friend? Harrison is your best friend and he’s one of my closet friends. He should be glad we get along!”

“Never mind,” Tom sighed while walking away. “You’re not getting it.”

“What am I not getting? You’r paranoid about Harrison knowing you’re my friend so you act like you can’t stand me! Just tell him you actually like me and don’t hate me and maybe he’ll stop trying to drown you in water rugby.”

“I can’t do that to him,” Tom stated.

“Why not?” (Y/N) asked as her frustration continued to soar. Tom let out an aggravated groan and cupped (Y/N)’s face in his hands before allowing his lips to crash onto hers. Stumbling backward from the force of their bodies colliding, the pair fell on the bed, Tom’s bare chest pressed against (Y/N)’s now chillingly wet bikini top. Subconsciously, her lips opened against his, asking for more. The fluttering in her chest that rose when Harrison put her arms around her was tenfold as Tom’s mouth latched to hers. The hesitation and confusion over Harrison disappeared and everything seemed not to exist except for the moment shared between her and Tom. 

She could smell the beer on his breath as it trailed her neck but didn’t protest his touch. Even when he tugged at the strings of her top to unlace them, it was as if the rest of the world was gone. The sloppy kisses, fluttering hearts and various other products of the moment swept her away into a realm where reality ceased to exist and what was to follow seemed like a dream.