The Zola Story
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The Zola Story is an anecdote about a woman who is roped into a weekend of debauchery in Florida with a prostitute, her boyfriend and her pimp. After the story was posted in a series of tweets in late October 2015, many Twitter users began joking about the tale accompanied by the hashtag "#zola."
On October 27th, 2015, Twitter user Aziah King (@_zolarmoon) posted a series of tweets chronicling a bizarre tale about a road trip to Florida with a white stripper named Jess (shown below). In the story, the protagonist Zola discovers that Jess is also a prostitute, Jess' boyfriend has an emotional breakdown and her pimp commits homicide.
I met this white bitch at Hooters, I was her waitress! She came in with this old ass big ass black dude, so you know as a Hooter’s girl we have to talk to our customers. I sit with them and we get to talking, she tells me she dances! So I’m like Oh yes bitch me too! Then she tells me this hulking black man is her Sugar Daddy.and I’m like oh yes bitch my Sugar Daddy at home. So we vibing over our hoeism or whatever and we exchange numbers! and I’m like “next time you dance hun I’ma come dance with you!”
The next day I get a text like “BITCH LETS GO TO FLORIDA!” and I ‘m like huh? She’s like “I’m going to dance in Florida, let’s go!” Now I’m skeptical like DAMN bitch we just met and we already taking hoe trips together? but I had went to Florida two months prior and made 15K so lowkey I was down. So I was like “okay I’ll go, who’s all going and when we leaving.” All this bitch says is “be ready by 8” So I call her like “bitch I SAID who’s all going!” and she says “my boyfriend and our room-mate. My room-mate has a place in Tampa,” So I’m like ok. I’ll be ready. So I pack my baddest stripper wear and I’m ready.
My nigga DID NOT want me to go, he was so hurt. So I had to fuck him calm, and then I left. When I got in the car it was a white boy (her bf) and this hulking black guy (NOT the same one) So I texted her on the slick while in the backseat like “another sugar daddy? You got a type bitch!” and THE BLACK DUDE HAD HER DAMN PHONE! So he starts laughing and he goes “I’m using her GPS, no I’m not a Sugar Daddy, I’ve known her and her dude for eight years, we all live together.”
So we’ve been traveling on the road for about 12 hours playing Gucci Mane, smoking blunts, drinking etc, and we finally about to approach our destination. I’m thinking I know our hotel about to be laid and we pull up to some raggedy Motel 6 type cheap ass shit with Pimps and Tricks (with they ass and titty’s all out) just chilling turnt up like it’s a Player’s Ball. So I’m like “I’m not staying here, I got my own money, I’ll get my own room.” So Jessica (the white bitch) pulls me to the side and is like “we gone be at the club all night, this room for Jarrett not us, don’t even trip” So I was like “yea bitch okay, but trust I am NOT laying my head here.”
So we leave our shit at the motel with Jarrett and head to the club. So we working, it was king of slow (it was early Friday night) the club had HELLA rules which I’m not use to (Ima full nude type of bitch) but this club require pasties and boy shorts and all this other shit or whatever. After making about $800, I was ready to go. Jessica was talking to some dude, trying to talk him out of his wallet and they exchanged numbers. So I was like “call your man, I’m ready!” She calls the black dude, I’m like ummm that’s not your man but okay. I pull her to the side before he pulled up like “what’s up with your roommate?” and she was like we’re really close, before I met Jarrett I was with him. He was taking care of me. I was like OHHH well I don’t need that! “Taking care of Me” in stripper language means that was her pimp. So I was like does Jarrett know? and she goes “of course not,” strike one, So then she goes “I didn’t make anything tonight. What you make because he’s going to ask” I said “umm that’s not yalls business Jess!” chill!
He pulls up and AS SOON as we get in he goes “what y’all make” we said at the same time “nothing” so he goes damn my girl said she had a bad night too. We about to go pick her up, (His fiancé who lives down here) we pick her up and he goes “nobody made shit, y’all wanna trap?” “Trap in stripper lingo means trick, So Jessica goes “hell yea! you got some clients” I’m in the back on mute. He was like “you can get some!” So Jess is like “yea I need to trap, but Jarret is at the room!” and he goes “I wasn’t putting y’all in that shit hole, that was for him not y’all” I’m still quiet, we pull up to a nice ass hotel on the other side of town and he goes “I’ll get the clients together and text y’all off this” He handed her a trap phone. So I am mind blown at this point, then we get to the room. It’s nice as fuck.
Now it’s Just me and Jess and I start GOING OFF “BITCH U GOT ME FUCKED UP. I’M NOT ABOUT TO PLAY WIT U HO. I’M GOING HOME” so she starts crying and she’s like “I didn’t want to take this trip alone, please don’t leave me, I would be so scared alone” she’s fucking sobbing, I’m like OMG really?! Now I’m feeling bad for the ho, she goes “you can just check the guys in, he’s not going to force you to trap” I said “OH BITCH I KNOW HE NOT, I WILL DEAD ASS KILL YALL” verbatim. She cleans herself up and there’s a knock at the door. I open the door and some fat white man goes “I’m here for the white girl” So I check his pockets, take his wallet and let him in, they start fucking RIGHT on the bed next to me. It was a fucking mess, A MESS So when they finished he gave her $100. I said “Jess, you selling pussy for $100? Pussy is worth thousands, you tripping” she goes “I don’t make the prices, the prices are already discussed before they come in”. So I was like “bitch NO, if u gone do this, do it right.” So I took some pics of her and put them on Backpage. Along with a the trap phone # wit a MINIMUM of $500. The phone starts BLOWING UP! I was like “see bitch, I got you a nigga coming up RIGHT NOW giving $500 for 15 minutes” he comes, I check him they get it in, he leaves. We are doing this ALL NIGHT! She fucked about 20 dudes and her sorry ass pimp only sent three of them.
Around 6am JARRET CALLS, she answers on speaker and he is going OFF! “WHERE TF ARE YOU AND ZOLA?! The club BEEN CLOSED!” she goes “we went to another club because it was slow” So I’m googling 24h clubs (FL has a few) trying to help her lie and he is NOT having it. He’s LIVID. He goes “if u went home with a dude your DEAD!” So he asks to speak to ME?! I was like maaannn ima end up killing these crazy white niggas tonight. He starts cursingME out! “Where are y’all! I know she’s lying!! Don’t be a ho like her Zola!” I said “I PROMISE you, I’m not” he hangs up on me and that was it. We didn’t hear from him for the rest of the night. We fall asleep, a few hours later the black dude (I STILL DONT KNOW HIS NAME) comes up he’s like “how much u make last night?” Jess goes “5,500” I was like WTF WHY SHE TELLING THE TRUTH?!?! I pimped her NOT HIM! he goes “wtf how? That’s good but I only sent you three clients” she goes “Zola made me a Backpage” I was like WOOOOW here we go, he goes “you can do my job better than me?” I said “I was just helping her out, I really don’t care, your clients were cheap” he started laughing, He goes “give me the money” she gave him ALL OF IT and he goes “thanks Zola, you’re a real one” and throws $500 at me, I put that shit right in my bra. Jess goes, what about me? and he said “you owe me rent Jess. You haven’t paid in months” I was like damnnnn.
We leave and head to Jarret and the raggedy motel because our shit was there. As we pull up, Jarrett chilling outside smoking weed with some dude PAY ATTENTION HERE!! We get out and walk up to them and Jarrett goes “here they go” the pimp goes “HERE WHO GO LIL NIGGA, WHO DIS?!” Jarrett starts laughing and was like “he was asking me who I was here with and I said my girl and her friends that’s all, chill out” The guy Jarrett was talking to laughs and goes “I’ll catch you later man, nice meeting you,” and leaves. He was a black guy with dreads, a FL nigga. So we all go up to the room and the pimp is going OFF on Jarrett. “You don’t know these niggas! I can’t believe you told him two bitches in here!!” and Jarret goes “he asked why I was out here mad last night, all I said was my girl went to work with her friend and I aint want her to!” Now the pimp SCREAMING “SO THAT NIGGA KNOW IT’S MONEY UP HERE NOW?! HELL NO. WE GOTTA GO!! NOW” me and Jess are like OMG, So we pack our shit and head out. We went to a nicer hotel about 20 minutes away. So the pimp was like “Zola keep a eye on Jarrett!” I was like oh shit he done promoted me to look out and shit, so he leaves (to go back to his fiancé at home) and Jarret and Jess start arguing He was like “I know you was trapping Jess, I saw the Backpage add ho” and he shows her a screenshot, I was like OH SHIT. HERE WE GOOOO so he starts crying like a bitch. I was like wow, he’s like “I thought you were done with this, I didn’t come to FL for this, you messy,” then he turns to me and goes “this what you came here for Zola?!” I said “HELL NA Jarret she lowkey set me up, I’m not fuckin with y’all after this, he goes “wow u even set up your friend, you’re such a ho” they arguing for hours. I leave and go down to the pool. I mean, I am in Florida!
MY MAN calls me! I lied and said everything was okay. I didn’t want him worrying. I had a nice dinner and then the
pimp calls the trap phone I answer and he’s like “since u a madam and shit, do that shit again tonight, but set up outcalls only because this hotel to nice to trap out of” I was like cool, I got you, especially for another $500. I go up to the room and tell Jess to get ready, Jarrett goes WTF AGAIN BITCH NO! I said “Jarrett calm down, please” this white nigga starts PUNCHING HIMSELF! like crazy people do dawg! I was like OH HELLLL NAWLLL, He goes “if u do this again Jess, I will kill myself. I love you too much.” I was like this nigga lost in the sauce and his bitch lost in the gameSo I said “Jarret sit THE FUCK down, Jess come on so I can take some pics it’s already 10 o’clock, y’all playing.” I make her a fresh ad, we come out the bathroom (I did her hair and makeup and shit) and Jarret goes “everybody knows you a ho now, FUCK YOU! I wanna go home!” I said HUH? He throws his phone at her and its HER FACEBOOK! A status of BOTH ads! HER MOM IS ON THERE GOIN OFFFFFF in the comments! Jessica starts BAWLING! “Omg. My mom had my daughter this week! How could You! She on the floor literally breaking down” I was like OH FUCK, So Jessica calls the pimp “JARRETT JUST PUT EVERYTHING ON FACEBOOK. MY WHOLE FAMILY SEES!” The pimp goes “I TOLD ZO TO WATCH HIM!” LITERALLY 5 minutes later its the pimp BANGING at our door. He comes in with his fiancé this time and snatches Jarrett up by the neck, he wasted NO TIME!! He goes “I should really kill yo ass.” Jarrett is dangling off the ground crying “please don’t please” lowkey I’m crying, the fiancé pulls out a handgun y’all!!! She goes “you want to bae or what? Fuck him, He did OUR girl so wrong” I was like OH MY FUCKING GOD! So now Jess steps in “she’s like please don’t, just beat his ass Z” I was like (oh his name Z? Okay, got it) so he puts him down. Z goes naw I am gone kill his manhood though, and he sits on the bed next to his fiancé, he goes “sit in front of me Jarrett”. He does still crying, he goes “delete the post and give me your phone.” He did, then he goes “come here Jess” I was so lost.
His FIANCE unbuckled his pants and Jess gets on her knees and starts sucking his dick IN FRONT OF JARRET AND I! I was like YOOO he then gets up and starts fucking Jess from the back, Jarret just sitting there, i’m standing with my mouth to the FLOOR! The fiance right next to them with a gun in her lap, I was like damnnnnn, So then he gets up and says “go clean up Jess, you gotta work” he looks at Jarret and says “any questions?” Jarret says “i wanna go home.” I laughed out loud, I couldn’t help it and Z goes “now I’ma spend the night wit my girl so YOU gone take Jess to her out calls.” I was like DAMNN!!! That’s fucked bro He goes “Zola got the clients and addresses so y’all can take her” and him and his fiance leave. The room is silent for the next 30 minutes, swear. The first client calls and says he ready, so Jarrett takes us. Z left a handgun but told me not to tell them, he slid it to me on the slick He texted the trap phone like “I’m trusting you with my bitch Zola. If anything goes left, use it.” I was like WHAT?! NIGGA I CANT! So anyway, Jarrett took us to about four clients and then the phone was slow. Me and Jarrett were in the car together while she was working so we started having deep convo. He really wasn’t a bad dude, but he was bipolar. VERY bipolar, so I understood his outburst a little more.
We head back to the hotel and I get this one last call late as fuck and the client says “I got 5,000 but I want two bitches” I said “oh sorry we only have one.” The client goes “well i got 2,000 for one but its four dudes and we only do in calls” I was like wow, what? So i text Z and told him, he was like “hell yea, tell him come on.” So I set it up, then last min the client goes “actually, out call is fine” and gives me an address so we get in the car and head to the address. Jess goes “its four of them can you just wait in the hall please” I was like bitch, iight cmon. So we head up to the room number they gave and Jess knocks, a dude goes “who is it” and she says “incall” the door FLINGS OPEN FAST AS FUCK AND TWO BIG BLACK DUDES SNATCHED JESS! Bitch I ran so got damn fast I couldn’t even see straight, I was OUT! Fuck that, I run out and THE CAR IS GONE! I’m screaming “JARRETT! JARRETTT!!” This fool gone. So i call him, STILL RUNNING and he like “yall done?!” I said “BITCH Z TOLD U TO NEVER LEAVE US! WHERE ARE U!” He’s like “I’m at the gas station, I was thirsty, I thought she was gone be a minute” I’m STILL RUNNING, lmfaooo. Dont know WHERE I’m going. I’m like “they snatched her dude! COME GET ME. IM CALLIN THE POLICE!” He pulls up a minute later and is like “don’t call the police, call Z” I was like “Z gone BEAT EVERYBODY ASS!! YOU WASN’T SUPPOSED TO LEAVE!” and he’s like “well YOU have the gun, if you call the cops you done too!” I was like shit, you right.
So I called Z and told him what happened! Z IS LIVID! and this deep African accent comes out! I couldnt even understand him on the phone. I was like maaaannnnn, we dead bro So Z pulls up and is like “let’s go” I said
“ummm ima stay here, yall go” he goes “IM NOT IN THE MOOD RIGHT NOW, COME THE FUCK ON!” So we all go me and Jarrett on the side of the hall where you cant see and Z knocks on the door, a man goes “who is it” Z goes “where my bitch man?!” Jessica SCREAMS and the voice says “aint no bitch in here bruh” I was like OH MY GAWD. Z goes “open the door” guess who opens the door THE NIGGA WITH DREADS THAT JARRETT WAS SMOKING WITH AT THE RUN DOWN MOTEL! I WAS LIKE YOOOOOOOOOOO! So he goes “come in and check,” to Z. Z motioned for us to stay hidden. THANK GOD. So he goes in the room and dread head there by himself, Z sits on the bed wit his strap out and goes “where she at man?” dreads goes “well since she wants to steal work from my girls, she clearly wants to be here wit us (we still don’t see Jess) so Z goes to the closet and bust the door in and she in there, tied up and knocked the fuck out. Dreads goes “I got 20K for her right now man and all is forgiven” Z said “we made more then 20k this weekend alone. Get outta here!” So dreads goes “my dudes downstairs not gone just let you walk out with her like that” and Z said “we’ll see” mind you, I can barely see I’m around the corner. So i just hear everything. Next thing I know I hear some shuffling and a gun goes off, once again I TAKE OFF but I took off down the hall threw the back! Jarrett wasn’t far behind and then we look behind us and Z is runnin too wit Jess over his shoulder. He throws Jess in the car and hops in the drivers seat, I hopped in wit him and Jarret hopped in the other car and we got the fuck ON, I’m crying. I said “wtf happened?!” He goes “that nigga reached for his piece, I shot him in the face man” i was like OHHHMMAAAGAWDDD!!
We got back to our hotel, packed our shit and checked out. We went to Z and his fiance’s condo, it was nice as FUCK by the way. Jess is up now and she tells us what happened. Apparently they recognized her from the motel and set her up (clearly) and once they snatched her they told her to trap for them and she said no. So they beat her ass that’s what Z interrupted when he knocked so they knocked her out. I was like, I REALLY gotta go home y’all. Sorry to kill the mood but I cant take no more of this. Jarrett was like “same” Z’s fiance was in the kitchen counting money dawg, Just like a rich ho. So Z was like “everybody get some sleep, I gotta get rid of this” (talking about the gun) so he leaves. We all try to get some sleep. The next morning he comes in with tickets for me and Jarrett. Jarrett goes “I’m not leaving Jess here, not after last night,she has a daughter and needs to come home” Z was like “Na we making money” I was like wooooww! wit a black eye and busted lip and some FL niggas looking for y’all, you STILL trying to trap? Crazy, I was like “WELL I’M READY!” Jess goes “it’ll be ok Jarrett, I’ll be home in three days” Jarrett started with that punching himself shit again, I was like oh mannn, here we go. Jarrett goes “come with me or I’m killing myself” Z was like “ugh, not this shit again. I’ll be in the car, y’all need to hurry up!” So Jarrett is literally breaking down. You ever seen someone hysterically crying? It’s intense and Jess trying to calm him down. I’m at the door ready Jarrett randomly stops crying. Instantly, like some movie shit and goes “so u aren’t coming?!” Jess said “no Jarrett, I cant” this nigga Jarret RUNS TOWARDS THEIR BALCONY & JUMPS! I swear to GOD, right hand to the Bible, he fucking jumped, I screamed SO LOUD my heart stopped Jess runs towards the balcony and this nigga Jarrett was hanging. He didn’t fall all the way, he was stuck by his pants. THANK GOD! We were only on the 4th floor but he still would’ve died, It was a good drop. So jess is helping him and I call Z. Still crying I was like “Jarrett is stuck, he tried to jump off your balcony” Z was like “WHAT IS WRONG WIT THIS NIGGA!! FAMILIES LIVE HERE BRO, WTF” So Z came up, helped get him, slapped the fuck out of him (literally) and physically guided him to the car.
Jess comes out and goes “I swear I didn’t set you up Zola. I never intended for you to trap, that’s why you didn’t !I hope we can be friends after.” I looked at her like she wasn’t speaking English and I said “i’m not gone beat yo ass right now because you already in bad shape, but I better not ever see or hear from you again.” She walked away. Z LITERALLY buckled Jarrett’s seat belt lmfao and we went to the airport. When we landed in Detroit my man picked us up. We both looked HORRIBLE, so washed up and so tired. My man was like “who is this white boy and what’s wrong with y’all” I said “babe neither of us are the same, Just take him to his car and take me home.” We drop Jarrett off and on the way home I told him everything, he couldn’t even speak honestly. I get a collect call four days later from a jail in LAS VEGAS! It’s JESSICA! she goes “we got caught trapping in Vegas and we all got arrested” I said ” Oh, why you calling me?” She goes “Z was wanted for kidnapping 15 underage girls and is linked to six murders including FL” I said “Florida? Murder? You have the wrong number!” She screams “ASK JARRETT TO BAIL ME OUT, he wont answer my collect call” I said “JARRETT??? You really have the wrong number” I hung up and called Jarrett. He goes “yea I heard it’s on the news, he’s a huge trafficker” I found out later that Jessica and his fiance played victim and said they were forced and Z who’s name I can’t pronounce was a African man and was wanted literally everywhere. He got sentenced to life and I hear Jess is back in Detroit with her mom & baby, The END.
On October 28th, Redditor pscriivin submitted a post titled "What is the Zola Story?" to the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit. That same day, Redditor HeathenBarbie submitted a post titled "Zola, Jess and Z," featuring a picture of Drake sitting next to a blonde woman (shown below, left). Meanwhile, Redditor awesomewavves submitted an image macro of a woman sitting on a bed with the caption "Zola on the bed when Jess was trapping" (shown below, right). In the first 24 hours, the post gained over 5,000 votes (91% votes) and 4,900 votes (88% upvoted) on the /r/blackpeopletwitter subreddit respectively.
Also on October 28th, American film director Ava DuVernay praised the story as a "best seller in waiting" (shown below).
In the coming days, many news sites published articles about the Zola story, including BuzzFeed, Time, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, Complex and Jezebel. According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy, the hashtag #zola was tweeted over 19,500 times within 48 hours (shown below).
On October 30th, 2015, TMZ reported that film and TV producers had been approaching Zola for to turn the story into a movie or series. They write, "Zola tells TMZ her story captivated execs at MTV, VICE, WME and a few independent film makers."
About two years later, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the film would be directed by Janicza Bravo, star Tayolour Paige and produced by A24. The film would be written by Bravo along with playwright Jeremy O. Harris, Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts.
In a statement, Brova said, "I’m at a coffee shop in L.A. and in walks this girl. I’m entranced and can’t stop staring. It’s the way she sits in her body. It’s agency. It’s self-possession…everything that drew me to telling this story. One year later she auditions, and I knew instantly -- like, I knew it then: After seeing 700 girls, the one meant to be finally walked in."
A24 said, "Zola is an iconic, iconoclastic role, and Taylour and Janicza are exactly the people to bring the character to life. We’re thrilled to be working with them on this too-real-to-be-true saga, a defining and legendary entry in the deeply American road trip genre."
 Reddit – What is the Zola Story?
 Reddit – Zola Jess and Z
 LustfulSensations – Tales of a Thot the Zola Story
 Reddit – Zola aint playing that game
 Time – Twitter is Freaking Out Over This Womans Story
 BuzzFeed – Everyone is having a meltdown over this womans story
 The Daily Mail – Zolas story
 The Mirror – What is Zolas story?
 Complex – Zolas Twitter Tales of Strippers
 Jezebel – Someone Get Zola a Pulitzer or Potentially a Spot in the Witness Protection Program
 TMZ – Zola The Stripper: Hollywood's Knockin' At My Door
 The Hollywood Reporter – Taylour Paige Cast as Lead in A24's 'Zola'
Oct 29, 2015 at 04:25PM EDT
Oct 29, 2015 at 04:13PM EDT
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