*At the All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, the hottest ticket in town was for the Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and LeBron James’ fifth annual Two Kings Dinner & After-Party presented by Bing in Los Angeles on Saturday night, February 19, 2011. The event drew the crème de la crème from sports and Hollywood.
This is the third year Jay-Z and James have participated in a charitable event during All-Star Weekend in which they gave back to the community. Earlier that day, the power pair took time out from their hectic schedules to address the Boys & Girls Club in East LA in which they encouraged the young people to “work hard and finish school” followed by photo and the grand unveiling of a completely renovated gym facility with a rare mural created by celebrated artist Mr. Cartoon, courtesy of Sprite Spark Parks.
Unbeknownst to the young people was that Mrs. Shawn Carter aka Beyoncé was in the house having quietly snuck in the back and taking a seat in the crowd and enjoying the performance the kids created for the dynamic match. Afterward, LeBron took on all the kids in a game featuring them against him in a three basketball scrimmage.
That night, the legendary duo co-hosted the fifth annual Two Kings Dinner & After-Party presented by Bing at Craft restaurant in Century City, Los Angeles. “Top Chef” star Tom Colicchio prepared food for an impressive crowd that included guest speaker Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake, Melanie Fiona, J. Cole, Young Jeezy, Leo DiCaprio with girlfriend Bar Rafaeli, Ellen Pompeo with husband Chris Ivery, Kanye West, Lyor Cohen with girlfriend designer Tory Burch, Ron Howard and Jerry Bruckheimer.
A modest Jay-Z – who usually shies away from the mic unless he’s performing – thanked everyone for their support in helping kids in need and announced that next year’s dinner will be a benefit to help underprivileged kids.
James shared with the crowd about his and Jay-Z’s trip to the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club earlier in the day and noted that he enjoyed meeting the youth and wants to do as much for them to foster their success.
After dinner, luminaries sauntered over to the Creative Artists Agency building for the acclaimed “After Party” and enjoyed musical sets by DJ D Nice and DJ Mick Boogie.
Mixing and mingling at the star-studded after party were Ciara, Brandy, John Legend, Amber Rose, David Arquette, Drake, Gayle King, Maria Menuous, Ryan Philippe, Reggie Bush, Floyd Mayweather, Jimmy Iovine, Ne-Yo, Vin Diesel, Chris Rock, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade.
Just past midnight, Jay-Z and Rihanna toasted with a shot to celebrate her 23rd birthday and the DJ spun her hit “What’s My Name” to which she danced the night away into Sunday morning. Happy Birthday Rih Rih. And that’s a RAP! (Photos: Johnny Nunez)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.