How Hip-Hop Drives VIP Culture

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Rappers often boast about being on top of the world, living a life of power and significance. True, money and fame can get you quite far in the world, but what exactly separates the top dogs from the average everyday guy? The line is becoming thinner every day and the culture of the rich and famous has to adapt and evolve in order to distinguish itself from the regular crowd. Hip-hop culture, in particular, has been a driving force behind the evolution of VIP service, and the effects can be seen in many clubs around the world.

Being a VIP used to simply mean getting unique treatment—backstage access, exclusive skyboxes, the best tables, and of course, being able to bypass the lines. This kind of treatment was typically reserved for celebrities and the super-elite, a way to attract them to an establishment in order to draw a crowd. However, as demand for club entry has risen throughout the years, many of these VIP services are sold off to anyone who can afford them, and the price goes down every year as venues close the gap between the elite and the regular.

While this is great news for people willing to spend a little extra on luxury, celebrities are actively trying to find ways to distinguish themselves. Private rooms and dance floors have become a thing for the common vacationer and party goer, and the elite have realized the need to show off in front of the masses instead. The resulting “bottle culture” has been largely inspired by hip-hop, as noted by the Guardian, and is the newest form of VIP treatment at nightclubs. It is not unusual to see celebrities spending thousands per bottle of alcohol, complete with their personal mixing service. In some cases, the music at the club changes to reflect the big spending of the patron. This kind of money also gets tables at the edge of the stage, on top of the crowd for everyone to see.

Beyond being in front of a crowd and downing some of the most expensive drinks in the world, VIP treatment now includes other amenities as well. Not only is it fully expected for transportation to be included and pre-arranged by the venue (just ask Xzibit, who blew up recently over his poor VIP treatment) with everything from limos to private jets, celebrities now also demand exclusive stage access. The ability to take over the mic at any time is a sure status symbol and was seen repeatedly at Nas’s birthday party last year. When celebrities like Dave Chapelle drop in to wish you the best on stage, they certainly set themselves apart from the crowd.

With rappers continually bragging about the special treatment they receive, or getting angry over being supposedly mistreated, or making fun of each other for having to share a bottle, competition for the best VIP treatment only gets hotter each year. Every celebrity wants to appear the richest and at the top. This is especially true as VIP treatment gets broader every year. Many venues are now “VIP only,” which means every single table is for VIPs—not exactly the sort of thing that makes you feel unique or special. The common partygoer can easily book VIP access to pretty much anywhere from places like VegasVIP, sometimes for the same cost of the cover itself. And you can even get VIP treatment online with the casino promotions at Betfair, which offers high-rolling players the chance to get go
ld, platinum or diamond status with some serious perks. As it becomes easier for regular people to get special treatment and access to the best clubs in the world, it gets more difficult for celebrities to show off.

Those of us who enjoy celebrity-watching can feel lucky that they will find a way to impress, regardless of how much money it costs. Whether they’re buying absurdly expensive drinks for everyone in the club or flying their friends around in private jets, celebrities will always be competing to be the most flashy and the richest. This is especially true as hip-hop continues to be a driving force in mainstream music, a genre that has a history of promoting competition between its leading artists. It’s a certainty that hip-hop’s “bottle service culture” will continue to inspire the VIP traditions around the world, and club crawlers can look forward to the innovations that this culture makes to the VIP scene in coming years.

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