In a past life, when I lived in Phoenix, I spent way too many weekends of my 20s making horrible life decisions in Las Vegas—and thankfully, what happens there allegedly stays there. However, every once in a while, hazy memories give me a glimpse into a life I no longer want any parts of, so I’ve spent the decade since avoiding Sin City like
Kyrie Irving did the Pfizer vaccine Lee Daniels did Mo’Nique Diddy ducking that Verzuz fade from Jermaine Dupri a student loan payment.
But this past weekend, I relapsed.
With the Grammys packing its bags and taking its show on the road to Vegas this year, that meant that all of the typical Grammy weekend hijinks that’ve become a rite of passage for Los Angeles residents such as myself did too. So if I wanted in on the action—the exclusive parties, the gaudy events, the complete absence of proper decorum or sobriety—I had to take a pilgrimage to the desert in order to partake.
So reluctantly, I did.
While most of my sleep-deprived weekend is a blur, word on the street is that I had the time of my life alternating between margaritas, cabanas, and complimentary massages at the OneOf.World Pool Party at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic. And a little bird told me that Spotify’s Best New Artist 2022 Brunch at the Wynn’s Encore Beach Club was poppin’ too, but please don’t ask me about Hit-Boy’s Pre-Grammy Brunch on Saturday because they left me on read (and apparently did the media members who attended dirty anyway—but that’s their story to tell).
A quick shower and a long talk with God later, I hit up the Recording Academy’s first-ever Black Music Collective ceremony at Resorts World, which not only paid tribute to Black music, but celebrated our contributions and achievements. And while just about everyone you can think of was in the building—including my Black ass—among those honored were MC Lyte, for the pivotal role she’s played as both a hip-hop pioneer; D-Nice, whose virtual Club Quarantine has helped us maintain our sanity throughout the course of this COVID-19 pandemic; and John Legend, who was given the Global Impact Award.
“Black music is—and has been—the rhythm, the root, the inspiration, the innovation behind so much of the world’s popular music. It doesn’t exist without us,” the “All of Me” crooner said. “Our art and music can help movements find their footing and voice. Our art and music can help activists, the people closest to injustice, and lead the way forward to equality and opportunity.”
Overall, it was a gorgeous event, brimming with positive energy, opulence, and copious amounts of Black excellence. But was it the highlight of my weekend? Nope. That distinction belongs to the same dudes who cleaned up at this year’s Grammys: Silk Sonic.
Earlier this year, the dynamic duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak revealed their master plans for
world domination a Las Vegas residency. And as someone who finally witnessed the anointed glory of “Leave the Door Open” in person this weekend, I can confirm that yes, I did in fact catch the Holy Ghost as they delivered what was easily one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen. As they coasted through their treasure trove of hits like “Come Down,” “Smokin’ Out the Window,” and “That’s What I Like,” I’ve never been happier to have every cell phone in the building confiscated than during those two hours of euphoria that I spent inside of Park MGM’s Dolby Live theater. With its nods to 70s nostalgia, the Earth, Wind & Fire-esque tweaks in musical arraignments, the over-the-top comedic interactions with the crowd, the Grammy Award-winning duo has successfully transported New Orleans’ Essence Festival to the desert—if only for a limited time.
So yes, my Grammy weekend was amazing—as were the post-Grammy parties and the actual awards ceremony itself. And although it’ll probably be a while before I step foot in Las Vegas again, this trip was one momentary “relapse” I don’t regret.
Nor will I ever forget.