“Should I spend a weekend in Vegas?” Drake asked on “The Resistance” from his 2010 debut album, Thank Me Later. The answer, several times a year for the past eight years has been “yes.” Sometimes he comes through to celebrate his birthday, sometimes it’s to christen the stage of a new nightclub, and sometimes—as was the case on May 21, it’s to sweep the Billboard Music Awards with a record 13 wins and blow everyone’s mind with an explosive performance in the middle of the Bellagio fountains. We took the occasion of his historic weekend to revisit some of the Canadian superstar’s favorite Las Vegas haunts, so you can pop Champagne (or sip Virginia Black whiskey) just like Champagne Papi.
Dinner: “Last table left in Carbone, callin’ plays on a rotary phone I take a glass of Dom’ignon to go with me home.” There’s no way Quentin Miller wrote that line on More Life’s “Do Not Disturb,” because Drake has a well-documented love for the fine Italian restaurant. Though the original Carbone opened in New York, Drake chose the Las Vegas location to celebrate his 29th birthday in 2015. In 2016, he rang in his 30th in Los Angeles but had his soiree catered by Carbone. The “30 Years of Excellence: Aubrey Graham” menu featured the restaurant’s beloved dishes such as Caesar alla ZZ, Veal Parmesan and Octopus Pizzaiolo. Take that, The Cheesecake Factory!
Drinks: Drake launched his own brand of whiskey, Virginia Black, in May 2016 and has been sharing it with Las Vegas ever since. (At the Hakkasan after party for his Summer Sixteen tour stop in September, he gave out bottles of it to every table in the club.) While in town for the 2017 BBMAs, Drake unveiled the Night Owl signature goblet at Sugar Factory’s newest Fashion Show Mall location. The behemoth of a beverage is made with Virginia Black and peach lemonade and topped with three gummy owls (a nod to his OVO record label’s logo.) Do not call your ex after drinking the Night Owl though, she will ask you if you’re drunk.
Gaming: “I’m down 200 in Vegas but winning on a daily basis.” Whether or not there’s any accuracy to the line on More Life’s opening track “Two Birds, One Stone,” Drake has been known to hit the tables during his visits. In December 2016, he was photographed with then-flame Jennifer Lopez at MGM Grand’s casino. Then again, maybe he did lose money… like he lost J. Lo’s affection.
Shows: During that December 2016 visit, Lopez confirmed via Instagram that Drake came to watch her Planet Hollywood residency All I Have. (Daily Mail reports that he saw it twice.) Would he see it again now that she’s got a new #MCM, professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez? Eh, maybe he’d rather see Celine Dion. Backstage at this year’s BBMAs, Drake gushed to the fellow Canadian” “You’re very iconic. We love you. I’m like, a year away from a Celine [tattoo].” That’s plenty of time to check out her show Céline at Caesars Palace… maybe even twice.
Nightlife: Drake has performed at a number of nightclubs over the years: he headlined opening night at Chateau in 2011, swung by Rehab the same year and rung in 2015 at Marquee nightclub, to name a few. Most recently, you’ll find him at either Hakkasan (where he hosted his latest BBMAs after party) or Jewel, where he served as the “special surprise guest” for its 2016 opening weekend. For a record-shattering rapper though, nightclub performances are more work than play. His real parties are private, hotel suite affairs. Word has it he’s retreated to Palms and Caesars Palace’s Nobu Villa in the past. Thanks for the invite, Drake.