Common Blows Roof Off Studio 54
Category: Parties and Nightlife
Story by Andreas Hale 2.18.08
(Photos by Anthony Springer, Jr.)
If you would have told me 10 years ago that the artist formally known as Common Sense would have been nominated for a Grammy, I probably would have laughed in your face. If you would have said Common would be headlining a party with Winky Wright at the esteemed Studio 54 in the MGM Grand five years ago, I may have slapped you.
Well it’s 2008, and apparently hell has frozen over, because the long-time underground staple has not only garnered a Grammy nod but also has become a respected thespian and garnered major crossover success. Lonnie Lynn’s appeal was evident in front of the many who crammed into Studio 54 Saturday night for the Jermain Taylor-Kelly Pavlik fight after-party hosted by former Light Middleweight boxing champion Winky Wright.
With celebrities and fellow rappers such as Kia Shine, Krondon (of Talib Kweli’s Strong Arm Steady crew), J Prince (CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records) and others in attendance, Common attacked the mic with a hunger reminiscent of his early days as a rapper looking to break through. Indie rock group Radio Reset set the tone with its energetic set, warming the crowd, which surged toward the stage as Common roared through a session filled with classics and songs from Common’s 2007 hit album, Finding Forever.
Just to make sure he proved how hip-hop he is, Common delivered a four-minute freestyle, covering everything from Barack Obama to Studio 54 to Winky Wright. He also highlighted a brilliant exhibition by his DJ – who goes by the name of Dummy – showcasing a number of turntable tricks.
After rocking the mic, Common joined Wright and his crew in 54’s VIP skybox, sipping Silver Oak Cabernet and Ciroc vodka, which must have drawn hot Ciroc models to the area, who proceeded to spoil Common with Truffle-tinis (Godiva liqueur and Ciroc shots in glasses molded from Godiva chocolate). The party lasted well into Sunday morning as Common and his entourage moved to MGM’s Tabú Ultra Lounge to enjoy more Ciroc and close down the place.
Argue all you want that Common has “sold out” by selling records, starring in movies and rocking a glamorous club such as Studio 54. For all his work over the last decade, it seems like this brother has finally deservedly cashed in.