Music & Nightlife

Here’s a list of the 10 biggest celebrities set to headline parties during CIAA Week

Cardi B, show at a Super Bowl party in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, will headline an unofficial CIAA party.
Cardi B, show at a Super Bowl party in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, will headline an unofficial CIAA party. Invision/AP

The CIAA basketball tournament and parties featuring famous hip-hoppers and celebrity athletes have always gone hand in hand, and this year is no different. In fact, this year’s dance card has some of the biggest names in recent memory, from a former reality star-turned-A list rapper to a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Here are our top party picks for those looking for celeb-focused fun to go with their basketball; just remember that none of these parties are officially sanctioned by or tied to CIAA Week, and that access to and visibility of celebrities at each event may vary.

Lil Wayne

While you’re waiting around for “Tha Carter V” (and after five years of doing so, good luck with that – although estranged collaborator Birdman recently guaranteed the album would finally come out this year), you can check out Weezy when he teams up with Gucci Mane to headline a party at Oak Room (200 E. Bland St. in South End) on Friday night.

Tickets: Click here.

(Warning: There’s explicit language in this video, as well as in others included with this story.)


The Atlanta rapper is arguably the most versatile entertainer on this list. It’s been almost three years since he’s released an album of new music, but he recently loaned his voice to a dog for the forthcoming Will Arnett family comedy “Show Dogs” and is also the new host of MTV’s revival of the reality show “Fear Factor.” Ludacris is the main attraction for a party taking place at the EpiCentre’s Whisky River (210 E. Trade St., A-208) on Saturday night.

Tickets: Click here.

Rick Ross

When the 42-year-old hip-hop heavyweight rolls into Oak Room (200 E. Bland St. in South End) on Saturday night, he’ll be toting new music from his forthcoming 10th studio album, “Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill.” Most likely to be heard: “Florida Boy,” the CD’s first single – the music video for it just dropped this month.

Tickets: Click here.


He was easily the most gifted and most polished of the opening acts at Chris Brown’s Spectrum Center concert last spring, and now the Brooklyn rapper is back to headline Friday night’s main event at the EpiCentre’s Whisky River (210 E. Trade St., A-208). If there was any doubt that he’s kind of a big deal, he was saluted by his hometown Nets during a home game, to which he’d invited 100 youngsters from his native Bed-Stuy neighborhood via his foundation.

Tickets: Click here.

Odell Beckham Jr.

The New York Giants’ star receiver is arguably the most-notable non-rapper taking on party-hosting duties during CIAA Weekend; he’ll be at White House Night Club (4809 Wilkinson Blvd.) on Saturday night. His team had a terrible season, but he ended it on a high note – as co-star of one of the funniest commercials to air during NBC’s Super Bowl telecast this month.

Tickets: Click here.

Michael Vick

Some have never forgiven him for his involvement in a dog fighting ring (which landed him in prison in 2007), but he’s moving forward while being mindful of his past: In January, he spoke passionately about his faith and animal welfare at Liberty University’s convocation. The former NFLer – who was inducted into the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame last year and recently signed on to be a Fox Sports NFL studio analyst – hosts a party at Ink n Ivy (222 S. Church St.) on Saturday night.

Tickets: Click here.

Cardi B

A year ago, the 25-year-old Bronx native was best known as the loud former stripper on VH1 reality TV series “Love & Hip-Hop: New York.” What a difference a year makes. On last week’s Billboard singles chart, her name was involved in five of the top 20 songs, including Bruno Mars’s “Finesse” remix, Migos’ “Motor Sport” and G-Eazy’s “No Limit.” She’ll headline a party at AvidXChange Music Factory’s World (900 NC Music Factory Blvd., B6) on Friday night.

Tickets: Click here.

Katt Williams

This barely qualifies as a CIAA-related event, but we’re including it because of the timing: The crown pimp of comedy is doing a stand-up show at Bojangles’ Coliseum (2700 E. Independence Blvd.) on Saturday night, right smack in the middle of CIAA Weekend and just a quick Uber ride from uptown. From what we’ve heard, you can expect lots of jokes about his run-ins with the law – and yes, they’ve been numerous (and rather serious) over the years.

Tickets: Click here.


The 43-year-old rapper’s career trajectory has been, roughly, the opposite of Cardi B’s – she’s been in the rap game for 20 years now (and once was engaged to Lil Wayne), but just this year became the star of VH1’s new Miami edition of “Love & Hip-Hop.” You can catch her headlining the fun during an afternoon/evening part at Club Onyx (5300 Old Pineville Road). In case it matters: Club Onyx is a strip club.

Tickets: Click here.

21 Savage

If you don’t get a chance to catch the rapper at the Friday-night party he’s headlining with NBA Youngboy and Lil Boosie at Cameo Charlotte (3049 Scott Futrell Drive), he’ll be back as a support act for Post Malone on May 16 at a much bigger venue: PNC Music Pavilion. 21 Savage and Post Malone collaborated on the chart-topping hit “Rock Star” last year. (And again, if it matters: Cameo is a strip club.)

Tickets: Click here.

Janes: 704-358-5897;

Twitter: @theodenjanes