Going to Vegas used to be all about one thing; feeding your cash into the casino coffers. People from all over America, and indeed the world, went to fulfil their vices, and of course try and come home with more money than they went with. Over time, the amount of visitors coming to the city contributed to an entire entertainment industry, and before long some of the world’s biggest and best music acts were making a killing from entertaining the millions of visitors who were flocking to the desert to enjoy some good old fashioned hedonism.
The Las Vegas residency became a pretty unique feature, where musicians could quite literally book out years of gigs at a time, with enough fans flowing through the doors to major hotels and casinos to pay the bills many times over. After a few years of, well, ‘older’ acts dominating the tickets sales, Las Vegas went through something of a music revolution, as a new generation of fans began leaving the auditoriums and residencies and heading for pool sides and clubs instead. By the late 2000s, EDM and urban music had begun to take over, and Las Vegas was once again a top global destination for new and up-and-coming acts that offered visitors more than the ‘greatest hits’.
Finding great Rap, Hip Hop and R&B music in Las Vegas is now easier than it ever has been, and no matter when you’re planning your visit for, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The Cromwell Hotel is one of Las Vegas’ newest hotel casinos, having been fully refurbished and renamed back in 2014. Instead of your standard tacky Vegas hotel, and Drai’s is all about a classy party atmosphere, and you’ll hear the latest hip hop and rap from both East and West Coast artists, as well as international urban stars who hit up Las Vegas multiple times a year. With 65,000 square feet of world-class dance space and a huge 2,500-person capacity, Drai’s feels more like an arena than a nightclub, and you’ll be blown away by the visual effects and music quality.
Drai’s has recently hosted the likes of Chris Brown, Tyga, 50 Cent, Future, The Weeknd this year, and many more from the world of international hip hop. The rest of 2018 is looking pretty sweet too, with Akon and Nelly both lined up in July, as well as tons of DJ sets that will be packed with both new and classic rap, hip hop and R&B tracks. Don’t forget to sign up for guest list access at no additional cost to save you from queuing on the night and if you want the real VIP experience, pre-book some table service so you don’t spend half the night waiting around at the bar for a drink!
1OAK LV @ The Mirage
You won’t get a much better view than that at the top of the Mirage, and 1OAK is the perfect place to enjoy fresh Hip Hop whilst overlooking the millions of lights that bring Las Vegas to life at night. 1OAK has hosted Juicy J, J.Cole, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Tyga, Flo-Ride, Major Lazer and Chris Brown over the past 18 months, and there’s loads lined up for the rest of year and into 2019, with DJ Shortkutz and DJ Bamboozle ready to liven things up next month.
The Bank @ The Bellagio
Simply put, The Bank is easily one of the best nightclubs in the world. One of two Hip Hop venues just within the Bellagio, the décor and main room take things to the next level, with the same extravagance found throughout the rest of the casino making its way into the Bank.
DJs at The Bank spin records from the balcony above the intimate yet uncrowded dancefloor, with a much more chilled atmosphere in here than other urban music venues around Las Vegas. That is until it hits about 1am, and the old school tracks start playing.
The beauty of The Bank is that you can take a break from the club to go and enjoy some gambling in the Bellagio’s more than impressive main casino floor. The Bellagio has quite literally everything. From the latest slots to staple table games like blackjack, roulette and craps. If you want a real Bellagio experience however, we’d recommend a game of poker. If you’re good enough, you can even bag yourself a private room, perfect for impressing the new people you’ve just met in The Bank! If you don’t already know, we’d suggest that you learn how to play poker, before your visit, so you can truly appreciate the surroundings and maybe even earn so money to pay for a couple of events while you’re there!
Omnia is the hottest club in Las Vegas right now. Opened in 2015, the club takes up the old space at Caesar’s Palace that previously hosted Pure, and they’ve done an incredible job. The huge main room is packed with lasers, and lights, and the atmosphere certainly gets a helping hand thanks to the gigantic four-storey roof that makes for truly epic sound.
Although Omnia is usually filled with mainstream artists like Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix, there are regular hip hop / rap / top 40 nights throughout the year so you can get your urban fix.
Light is one of the most mind-blowing Las Vegas clubs just thanks to the incredible visuals and light effects, never mind the great music. From gigantic LED screens to costumed dancers, this gigantic club feels very Ibiza 1990, without the trance. Hip Hop takes stage a few times a week, but you’ll tend to get touring acts and huge names rather than up-and-coming artists or urban DJs. The Light calendar is quite short notice thanks to the exclusive acts they tend to get each weekend, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the calendar if you want to experience everything this mad club has to offer.
Although EDM still steals the show, urban music has gained a lot of traction over the last few years, and Las Vegas is definitely becoming something of a capital. With perfect weather, great gambling, and a 24/7 party atmosphere, it’s hard to think of anywhere better in the US right now to see some of the best acts out there.