Off the chain. Those three words are all you need to describe the chill yet fun atmosphere surrounding Roc Nation’s annual Pre-Grammy Brunch 2015. Major names on both sides of the industry fence — artists and executives — didn’t let a little rain dampen the party spirit. Held at the same sprawling Beverly Hills residence as last year’s brunch, this year’s gathering served up a seemingly unending supply of Ace of Spades champagne, D’Usse Cognac and delectable care that included down-home grits topped with a to-die-for lobster sauce.
Holding court in the VIP-designated area under one of three covered areas in the massive backyard: Jay Z, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland and Roc Nation CEO Jay Brown. Spotted milling around and chatting up friends and colleagues: Big Sean and his mother, RCA urban music chief and ByStorm Entertainment CEO Mark Pitts, J. Cole, Miguel, current Grammy nominees Kem, Mali Music, Lecrae, Primary Wave’s Tom Maffei, Atlantic’s Michael Kyser, WTnwr/Chappell’s Jon Platt, music legend Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monae.
Actually getting into the four-hour long brunch — accessible only by shuttle bus and red wristbands — sometimes felt like waiting in line for a Disneyland ride.
11:24 a.m.: I am standing in one of four lines on first floor of parking structure, waiting for check-in table to open to get wristband to board one of the buses.
Between 5-10 sleek black buses are already lined up on curb outside of the parking structure to take guests to private house. Check-in time is noon.
11:30 a.m.: Time is moving slowly, but wait line now stretches down the first floor. Who are all these people and what do they do?
11:44 a.m.: Spotted in line, former Billboard editor Danyel Smith and husband and Rap Radar CEO Elliott Wilson.
11:56 a.m. Overhear group talking about T.I.‘s private show last night. Pharrell, B.O.B. among performers. Tyrese also hosted a soiree at his house last night.
12:09 p.m.: After someone says, “This is crazy,” the check-in table opens. Among those in line now: Grammy director Jodie Blum.
12:47 p.m.: Finally get my red wristband and now standing in another line for a bus.
1:33 p.m.: Finally inside the mansion, reminiscent of the house in The Bodyguard movie. First people sited: industry godfather Clarence Avant and his son Alex.
1:49 p.m. J. Cole giving props to Grammy nominee Mali Music.
1:57 p.m.: It’s raining. See singers Secyn Streeter and V. Bozeman (Empire) greet each other.
2:06 p.m.: Janelle Monae in a black-and-white polka outfit accented by a floppy red hat sits at a table on the upper patio.
2:10 p.m.: Meet up with Tim Blacksmyth, who manages Stargate production duo, and learn everyone in the crew has relocated to Los Angeles.
2:30 p.m.: Heading down the stairs to the VIP area, Beyonce and Gayle King are going back up the stairs.
2:45 p.m.: I say hello to Kelly Rowland, who says she didn’t realize how great motherhood would be; wishes someone has told her earlier. Then introduce her to Mali Music, who says he’s a huge Rowland fan.
2:41 p.m.: Singer/actor Tyrese arrives.
2:50 p.m.: Spot an unidentified guest, bend down under one table and pull out an Ace of Spades bottle and walk away with that and empty glass in hand.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.