Tue., Feb. 7
LL Cool J at the House of Blues
You knew this was gonna be a hot show when, walking into the HOB, I ran into the Jigga man himself, Jay-Z, in a cool white blazer and those old-school CHiP shades. The anticipation for LL was huge. When the curtain opened, three giant LCD screens were laid out as LL Cool J in his red jump suit and red NY cap took the stage. He ripped into “Phenomenon,” and then it was like listening to a Best of CD, hit after hot hit: “Radio,” “Boomin’ System,” “I’m Bad,” then LL, feeling romantic, began to pass long-stem roses to the lovely women in the front as he sang “I Can Love You Better.” There were many people in the house, including Spinderella dancing her ass off in front of me to “ Jigglin’ Baby.” Then it was time for LL to get sexy, pouring water over his white, muscle T and bringing the big-booty women up on stage as he sang “Hush,” “I Need Love” and “Hey Lover.”
“God blessed me with two Grammys, thank you,” he told the crowd. “We’re going to take it back.” Then, with his OG deejay Cut Creator, LL murdered it on the classic “Rock the Bells.” With video camera in hand, LL began to shoot the crowd. “This is how California gets!” he said, and went into “Mama Said Knock You Out” and his new hit “Control Myself,” complete with break dancers on stage. “I want to send love to all the Grammy nominees, and I’m glad I came back to Cali,” he said. He finished the night with “Going Back to Cali.”
Wed., Feb. 8
The Grammys at the Staples Center
On a beautiful L.A. day, with the sun shining down on all the stars coming to Staples Center for the Grammys, I find a place to hang out by the red carpet rehearsal entrance. There’s Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, The Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am, Mr. eight nominations Kanye West, U2’s Bono and Larry Mullen Jr., Herbie Hancock and Jay-Z.
“Hey Jigga,” I say.
“What up, what up,” he spits back.
I then make my way to the official red carpet, which was actually green. All the television and cable shows are lined up to try and get a piece of the musicians. The MTV News people give me nothing but attitude. I feel sorry for the army of interns who have to deal with prima donna Kurt Loder. I see homegirl from Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell, who has on way too much makeup. Everyone is here, including some TV show from Japan with the host wearing a traditional kimono.
The limos, Escalades, Bentleys all wrap around the convention center as the “stars” begin to show up. There’s T.I., Damian Marley, Sean Paul, the Ying-YangTwins with their blinging grills.
I make my way into the Staples Center, where there’s time to kill before the show begins. I find a place to hang with crew members outside the patio area overlooking 11th Street, where all the lovely people are entering. Predictably, the male talk quickly turns to the obvious: women’s breasts hanging out from bright colored dresses.
“Look at those,” one guy says.
“They’re too big,” the other guy responds.
“Too big?” the first guy answers back.
“I’m from NY and we don’t have breasts like this,” another dude chimes in.
Enough of the boob talk— the shows about to begin.
Before I sit down, I run into American Idol judge Paula Abdul.
“Hello, sweetie,” she tells me.
Madonna’s opening number was hot. She still has it.
U2 and Mary J. Blige singing “One” was cool.
What’s up with Kanye West lookin’ like Michael Jackson as he accepted his best rap album Grammy? I know Michael inspired him, but that was not a good look.
Paul McCartney ripped it on “Helter Skelter.”
Mariah Carey hitting those high notes on “Fly Like a Bird,” was heartfelt.
Kelly Clarkson was definitely the humblest winner; really surprised to win. She even thanked Bonnie Rait.
Dave Chapelle is still a funny fuckin’ dude.
Sly and his bleach-blond mohawk, that was probably the highlight of the night.
Jay Z, Linkin Park and Paul McCartney singing “Yesterday,” that was nice.
Kanye and Jamie Foxx battling it out as drum majors was pretty cool.
Now, for my personal awards
Ciara, with her lonnnng legs in that sexy silky white dress. HOT!
John Legend was cool and casual in his white suit. Man, that guy had ALL the women drooling.
BEST NEW INSIGHT
Linkin Park announced Rick Rubin would produce their still untitled next album.
Kanye’s and Jay Z’s— both had had an armies with them.
THE “WHY ARE YOU HERE?” AWARD
Michael Jackson’s father Joe Jackson wearing this glittery cap that read “Joe Jackson’s HIP-HOP. ” Like his son, he’s a bit strange, rambling on about some reality show or something.
THE PIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY AWARD
Slide-guitar player Robert Johnson. Dude had this hat with a huge feather sticking out of it. Reminded me of the Shaft days.
BEST HAIR OF THE NIGHT
Sly Stone’s bleach-bond mohawk and Damian Marley’s long ol’ dreadlocks.
Jay-Z wearing a John Lennon T-shirt
Those oversized shades that EVERYONE now wears. Sooooo tired.
Can we go back to the old Ray Bans or something?
Before I bounce from the Staples, I run into double Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson.
“What’s crackin’?” I ask her
“Oh, I’m getting my drink on!” she replies with a smile.
A huge fireworks show across the street ended the night with a bang!