On "Clique," design buff and Rem Koolhaas fan Kanye West raps that he just wants to "design hotels and nail it," but most rappers—aside from maybe Jay Z, who helped plan the luxury suites at New York's Barclays Center, and the design-dabbling Pharrell Williams, who is set to give a keynote address to the American Institute of Architects—are artistically content with name-dropping them in songs. Ever since the Sugarhill Gang uttered that oft-repeated line, "Ho-tel, mo-tel, Holiday Inn" on "Rapper's Delight," hotels both upscale and down have been a recurring theme in hip hop. Mapped out below are some of the most notable references; Ye and Jay coming "live from the Mercer," Rick Ross soaking it up in the pool at the Eden Roc, Drake being (what else?) heartbroken at the W New York. Go ahead, have a look:Read More
Hip Hop Hospitality: Mapping the Many Hotels of Rap Lyrics
1. Mercer Hotel
Jay-Z raps that he and Kanye West come "live from the Mercer" on Watch the Throne's "Otis", after the dynamic duo rented out an entire floor of the NYC hotel to record the album. West also lived there in 2011 while his apartment was getting renovated, and once took the entire staff to one of his concerts via Party Bus.
2. Palms Casino Resort
Grammy nominated up-and-comer Kendrick Lamar, recipient of the faux-humble Macklemore apology heard around the world, name-drops the Las Vegas Palms Casino Resort on Drake's "Buried Alive": "My vice is similar, women love when you're my type / And you're winning from everything that your palm write / Put her in the Palms Hotel, sin city / Devil in a dress, Platinum Chanel."
3. Hôtel de Paris
On 2006's "Anything," Jay-Z reports that an unidentified woman turned his "Maybach back seat / Into the Hotel De'Paris," which would be quite the transformation for one of the discontinued rapper-adored luxury cars, considering the Monaco hotel dates back to 1863.
4. Waldorf Astoria New York
Rick Ross' "Maybach Music III" finds T.I. on a guest verse inviting an old flame to "Fly to NY, meet me at the Waldorf / Astorian, Architecture Victorian / Ridin' in the past like you're driving a DeLorean." Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria is most definitely an Art Deco, but we'll give it to him.
5. W New York
Ever tortured by fame, Drake raps on Young Money's "Bedrock" that he's "at the W, but I can't meet you in the lobby," following that up with "Girl, I gotta watch my back, cause I'm not just anybody." The W New York would be a bit of a step down from Drake's "Yolo Estate," lacking as it does a huge illuminated swimming pool with a manmade grotto.
6. The Eden Roc
William Leonard Roberts II, otherwise known as Rick Ross, talks about being "at the Eden Rock in the pool with a dame" on P.O.D.'s "Something's Going On." These days, Ross can spend all the time he wants at the probably lavish pool that came with Evander Holyfield's former 54,000-square-foot Fayetteville mansion, which Ross recently purchased, but one of Miami's architectural gems is also a great place for a soak.
7. Holiday Inn St. Louis, South County
On St. Louis rapper Chingy's "Holidae In," he and Snoop Dogg answer a call of "Whachu doing" with "Nothing chilling at the Holiday Inn," following that up with a request to "bring 4 of your friends." While it's unclear which Holiday Inn Chingy refers to, we'll hazard a guess that it's in his hometown.
8. Gansevoort Meatpacking
Where can you find Pusha T, according to "Raid"? Why, at the "Gansevoort, any of them top floors."
9. Mondrian LA
On "Window Shopper," one of 50 Cent's many extended-metaphor sex anthems, he relates the story of telling some fresh young thing to "Meet me at the Mondrian so we can do our thang.' / She can bring the lingerie with her, I sup-pose." A prudent call, because unlike the Vegas Hard Rock, LA's Mondrian does not have an in-house lingerie shop with a room service hotline.
Also Featured in:
10. Beverly Hills Hotel
Eminem's reference to one of LA's classic hotels comes on "California," off the 8 Mile soundtrack, where he raps about "Beverly shoppin’, Beverly men pickin’ / Beverly hotel, Beverly sweet pimpin.'" No word on whether Mathers is a fan of Martinique "A" Wallpaper BH90210, the ever-popular banana leaf print that made its first appearance at the Beverly Hills.
11. Four Seasons LA
According to Game on "Jesus Piece," "God says everything happens for a reason, / I seen four seasons at The Four Seasons." His reference to the high-end hotel chain could also allude to the time he was arrested at Greensboro, N.C.'s Four Seasons Mall for disorderly conduct.
Also Featured in:
12. Pittsburgh Marriott City Center
"I'm Feelin'" finds Pittsburgh wordsmith Wiz Khalifa working in "Shawty rollin’ them veggies up / That’s RAWs at the courtyard / Take it to the Marriott," and a Marriott courtyard would probably be as good a place as any for attending to leafy greens wrapped in RAW-brand rolling papers.
13. Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Rapper and producer Sudan Ahmeer Williams, better known by him stage name Iamsu!, name-drops the Fontainebleau hotel in "Only That Real," saying "Fontainebleau MIA / You can hang with us baby but you cannot stay." Rich Homie Quan and Camp Lo also profess love for the Miami hotspot on tracks of their own.
14. Trump International
"I'm at the Trump International, ask for me I ain't never scared," grandstands Jay Z on "What More Can I Say." If he's ever stayed there, it was probably after he let go of the Brooklyn "stash spot" he references in "Empire State of Mind," which recently sold for $870K.