When Rick Ross invites you to a special press conference for The Untouchable Maybach Music Empire on Wednesday May 2nd at 1 pm, you really don't have a choice but to attend.
So I went. The original plan was to live blog every aspect of it, but due to an incredible display of attendee overtweeting and an internet live stream, that seemed like a waste of time. But I did it anyway.
12:45pm Spilled coffee on living room floor. No paper towels or napkins in sight. All towels are in laundry. Kicked coffee under couch. Instantly ashamed.
12:55 In cab to MMG Press Conference, stressing because it starts in 1 minute.
12:58 Text to Complex Magazine staff writer Brad Wete "Has it started yet?"
1:03 Reply: "1:45." This is why we can't be great, Rozay.
1:08 Walk in. First thing I notice, two Ciroc bars. It's 1:08pm. On Wednesday.
1:09 A Ciroc and Cranberry, just because I don't want to be rude. To Diddy.
1:11 There are people walking around with finger food. Nice finger food. So nice, actually, I don't want to use my fingers. "Fancy toothpick food," it should be called.
1:15 Empanada #1. Some sort of Hollandaise sauce, perhaps. Or maybe a remoulade? 6/10.
1:20 Tuna Tartar #1. On some sort of cracker. Just fantastic. 8/10.
1:31 Tuna Tartar #2, 3, 4. Still good. 9/10.
1:35 Just noticed the building next door has a video screen, showing MMG music videos. #RichForever, indeed.
1:40 Kobe Beef snack #1. Just disgusting. It was easily moonlighting as a hot dog. I might have to leave. 2/10.
1:50 Doors finally open to enter press conference room and take our seats.
2:00 Had to sign up for a membership with Klimpton Hotels and Restaurants to obtain wireless. Huge low point in my year.
2:21 Finally, it's starting. With a video presentation
2:24 And just like that, with "O Fortuna" in the background of this Maybach Music Group montage video, they all officially just started taking themselves too seriously. This could be a long afternoon.
2:25 Rick Ross, shirtless for first time. In the video. One can only pray for that in real life.
2:26 Slightly disappointed in the amount of treble and lack of bass in these speakers for the video. This system sounds slightly #PoorForever if you ask me.
2:26 Ciroc is playing a large part in this video. Is Diddy here?
2:27 Our MC for the evening, Rap Radar CEO Elliott Wilson, introduces the first speaker. Lyor Cohen, CEO of Warner Music Group. I know Rick Ross is the "bawse," but Lyor is actually one of the few that deserves that title.
2:28 Nevermind. He just brought up LL cool J hosting the Grammys. In a good light. Sigh.
2:29 Lyor finally cursed. I can't believe it took three full minutes.
2:30 Classic Quote 1 of 3: Lyor (on Rick Ross) "Rick has the biggest office in the world. The streets." Wow. That's a line you can't take back. I'm embarrassed, less for Lyor but more for offices.
2:31 Lyor has now referred to ROZAAAAAAY as "Rick" twice. Why is this happening?
2:32 The announcement for Rick Ross to approach the stage has just happened and everyone is standing up. Could have sworn this was a move reserved for heads of state. This seems blasphemous. I'm not standing up, even if he did go out of his way to personally invite me to his press conference.
2:32 I should have stood up. That was rude. Sorry, Rick. If your office is all of the streets of the world, you are sort of the CEO of Earth, so at the very least, you deserve a standing ovation.
2:33 Ross is only talking in rap cliches. He talks just like he raps. This is amazing. Also, he's at the podium like he's Valedictorian of the streets. Maybe he is. I should ask Lyor.
2:34 Spotted: Diddy. Standing a few rows behind, wearing an orange leather jacket. Thanks for the Ciroc, Diddy. You're great.
2:34 By the time I turned back around from looking at Diddy, Ross had ended his speech. It couldn't have been more than 90 seconds. What he talked about, I have no idea, but I think he was just saying the first line from each song he released between 2008 and 2011.
2:35 There are three Grantland writers (myself, Amos Barshad, and Ben Detrick) all sitting within arm's length of each other. At the Untouchable Maybach Music Empire press conference, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, perhaps enjoying a mid day Ciroc. Yeah, this is definitely what Simmons had in mind.
2:39 I can't get over the way Ross talks in real life. I'm giggling too much, I think I'm going to be asked to leave.
2:40 After an interview between Wilson and Ross, we meet our first surprise guest. Swizz Beatz.
2:41 For the second time, the guest gets "walk down the aisle" music. That's powerful. I want that. Like on the Whole Foods escalator. Or when I walk into a movie theater. Or when I go and order a sandwich. So yeah, I want music playing when I do everything.
2:42 Seeing rappers talk is great. Just know that.
2:43 So far, we're 2-for-2 on guests wearing shades during their speeches.
2:44 Ross is coming out with a "Big and Tall" line through Reebok. This is actually really smart.
2:45 Classic Quote 2 of 3: Swizz Beatz on "Big and Tall": "There's a limit on clothes." That's just phenomenal. That means everything and nothing at the same time.
2:46 Classic Quote 3 of 3: Swizz Beats on Rick Ross' hobbies: "Ross is a painter. He understands Basquiat." No lie, I almost spat the rest of my drink on my laptop. I want "Ross is a painter. He understands Basquiat" tatted on my chest. By Ross.
2:47 First usage of "conversate." Pretty impressed.
2:48 OMG DIDDY IS WALKING DOWN THE AISLE. DIDDY IS ABOUT TO SPEAK. AHH.
2:49 Diddy's wearing shades. That's 3-for-3. This is amazing.
2:50 Diddy's being very inappropriate. I really wish he wouldn't talk about erections in the middle of the press conference that Rick Ross invited me to. Seems wrong.
2:51 This whole thing is turning into a love fest for Rick Ross. There's a lot of memory-laning going on. Is Ross retiring? Is this a roast? What is this? I NEED MORE CRAN-RAZZ.
2:53 The DJ keeps doing that "M-M-M-M Maybach" thing whenever he so feels. You would think by time 100 that it would be annoying, but no. It's great. Every time. Forever.
2:55 An unidentified man is walking in the center aisle, passing around sheets of paper. He didn't say what they are for, but one has to assume they are for a questions. Wait, is there a question hat? I wonder what kind of hat they'll use? Probably a really nice hat.
2:58 Diddy and Swizz leave, Wale's turn.
2:59 Why is Wale at the podium? What on earth could he have to say right now? He better be announcing that he's doing Teach for America or something. It better not be about music.
3:00 Wale isn't wearing shades. Looks like someone isn't on all of the #RichForeverLetsWearOurShades emails.
3:05 Next up, Meek Mill. Also not wearing shades. Interesting. I can't explain this, because he definitely get those emails. Maybe he forgot. Must have forgotten.
3:07 Holy moly, I forgot Rozay's next album is called God Forgives, I Don't. That's so aggressive. Good lord.
3:13 Rick announced when the album is coming out, but I missed it because I had something stuck in my shoe. Oops. Go here.
3:15 Finally, the big announcement time. Apparently, this is the whole reason we're all here.
3:16 Maybach Music Group are singing...
3:18 Looking for the quickest way to exit, but I think they've locked the doors from the inside. This is bad.
3:19 They're about to make us watch the trailer for the first music video. Also, Omarion is talking into the microphone like he's trying to lure the crowd into his dungeon sex dance studio lair. I miss the days where Diddy talked about his erection.
3:21 THE VIDEO ISN'T WORKING. Classic Omarion.
3:22 They temporarily move on from Omarion and bring out French Montana. Will this clown car ever end? (I mean "clown" in the most positive way possible, Rozay.)
3:23 French is standing at a podium, dressed like he just held up a 7-Eleven, with the biggest smile on his face. He's the best. There's officially nothing better than rappers with no clear knowledge of why they are at an event, or when they should start talking, or (most importantly) when they should stop talking. This is fantastic.
3:25 They fixed the Omarion video. I can't lie, the song sounds pretty good. So good that it deserved a press conference, absolutely not, but I'm not mad at Ross for singing Omarion. He can sing everyone's hooks, so you might as well keep it in-house. No need to outsource. They won't hang out with him though. No chance. I promise. When they fly to Vegas, he's definitely taking multiple buses and arriving on the last day.
3:28 Press conference over. I really don't know what to say, other than this will start a horrible trend of rap press conferences. That's the only thing I'm sure of. Nothing more. Oh, and Omarion taking buses. That too.