I didn’t want to tell anyone I was going to HotepCon.
I think we all do it.
Whether you consider yourself ”Hotep,” “Red-Pilled,” “White-Pilled,” or just any philosophy that breaks from the mainstream, there’s a hesitancy to share your real worldview with the normies and NPCs in your family, friend groups, and workplace.
So we all have to play a little wordsmithing game with some when we explain to people why we are taking 2-3 days off of work to go to something like HotepCon in Vegas.
There was no way I was missing it after my experience last year, but I wasn’t telling too many people where I was going. HotepCon is like fight club. You know the rules.
But this year I decided to bring my oldest son with me.
Now imagine it’s the first week of school and your 16-year-old has to miss two of the first five days of the school year to make the trip with you.
“Where is he going?” The question came from the school administration. I laughed and said “it’s a leadership conference.“
Honestly, in the moment, I was just trying to deflect without being completely dishonest. “Leadership conference” seemed to fit best.
Not surprisingly, though, it lived up to that and so much more.
But it nearly ended before it began.
We were supposed to arrive Wednesday night to get settled in and help set up, but God had other plans.
Delay after delay and the writing was on the wall that we were not going to make it to Vegas as scheduled. I hate being late so I was pissed when I found out our flight was pushed back to Thursday morning.
On top of that, our bags were still on the plane to Dallas. Their bag tracking system was so bad, no one could tell me definitively where my bags were or where they were going or if they would even get to Vegas in time—if at all.
So I reached a point where I just had to surrender and leave it up to God and let the experience be whatever it was going to be.
And that’s when things got awesome.
As much as I was mad that I was missing out on time to hang out with my friends who had arrived to Vegas Wednesday, I got an unplanned opportunity to spend some one on one time with my son in New Orleans while we waited for our flight Thursday morning.
This was an unexpected and serendipitous start to an epic weekend.
When we arrived Thursday morning, our bags were waiting for us at the airport and HotepCon MVP, Brody, picked us up and took us back to the hotel just in time to sit down at breakfast with the whole crew to chow down on the best chicken and waffles in the universe.
I had planned on bringing my son out last year, but wasn’t sure if he was going to end up being excluded from a lot of activities because he was only 15 at the time. But with that convention under my belt, I knew he would only be too young for a handful of activities a year later at 16. Turns out he was able to participate in everything.
I also knew that I really wanted him to get in on the ground floor of what I think maybe the most important movement in America—and possibly the world—right now.
But that’s not to say I didn’t have by apprehensions. I wasn’t sure if he was going to enjoy it or really connect because it’s just not a guarantee that a 16 year old is going to vibe with his dad‘s friends. And would we be there “together,” but possibly not really spending any time together if he didn’t fit in and I would be doing my own thing with the squad? Here again, I just had to trust that God would steer the ship in the right direction.
Back to the chicken and waffles
When I say these are the best chicken and waffles on the planet, this is not hyperbole. I feel like trying to describe them will be a disservice as it doesn’t even do them justice. But I’ll try anyway: all dark meat chicken and crispy jalapeño syrup glazed skin with spicy waffles. As I write this, I’m simultaneously feeling my mouth water and realizing that no one who hasn’t tasted them will even understand. You’ll just have to trust me. Or trust Chef Bruno:
After we finished breakfast, my son and I went upstairs and put our bags in our room and each took a much need shower after spending 36 hours in the same clothes and most of that time either in airports or airplanes. Then, I showed him around the world class Ahern Hotel and he was blown away by the style and class and variety of culinary options available.
After we got cleaned up and rested for a bit, it was back down to the lobby and meeting and greeting the Hotep family as they arrived.
When I say Hotep family, that’s not hyperbole either. Everyone who is there will tell you, to a man, that it felt more like a family reunion than anything I’ve ever experienced in any other conference before. There were no awkward moments or uncomfortable silences.
It was just a bunch of old friends getting back together again, even though many of us had never seen each other in person before. The vibe was unmatched by anything I’ve ever experienced before with that large of a group of people.
After an epic live Hoteps BEEN Told You Thursday night (if you weren’t there or didn’t watch it live, you missed it because its gone), the 5-course food tasting was the perfect way to end what felt like one of the longest, but most enjoyable days of my life.
Kicking it into high gear
Much better rested by Friday morning, we were ready to attack the next two jampacked days with energy and enthusiasm.
Another another elite breakfast, followed by live Sharpe conversations with project Rook and Wendy O, we spent the afternoon at the botanical gardens at the Bellagio shooting some content and just hanging out and taking in the scenery, including the animated fountain at Caesar’s Palace.
Then, we were treated to the musical talents of Ricky Bascom on the piano with some vocal accompaniment that you needed to be there to appreciate. What happens in Vegas…
We moved from the piano bar to the pool party and the delicious poolside eats cooked up by one of the world-class chefs on site. Again, some great conversations were had around the pool, but the details of those conversations are for the ears of the attendees only.
After the pool party, while most of the crew went out dancing, my son and I went to the Stratosphere Tower.
Every right of passage has to involve putting your life in danger, right? So we did just that.
We bought our tickets and then took the elevator 100 stories up to the amusement park rides on the roof. There’s nothing more terrifying, and at the same time exhilarating, than being suspended 1000 feet in the air over a parking lot with nothing between you and the pavement but a seatbelt and a lap restraint.
I regretted the decision as soon as the first ride started (I just had to keep repeating Project Rook’s words in my head over and over again to not invite any negativity into the experience), but once we got back onto solid ground safely, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It was something my son really wanted to do—and something he really wanted to do with me—so it instantly became a classic moment neither one of us will ever forget.
Saturday morning was another epic breakfast followed by a father-son experience where we went with Cannon Hotep and a group of about 10 and took turns at TheRange702 firing off an AK 47, an MP4, an MP5, along with several handguns.
This is where our friend Jabari got his nickname Ja’Blickie of the Desert. If you know, you know.
After we were done destroying targets on the range, we made our way back to the Ahern show room to catch a fire conversation between Sonnie Johnson and Project Rook on Sonnie’s Corner live.
Then, we were treated to two more Sharpe Conversations with Hotep Jesus, featuring Kim Klacik and Sonnie Johnson.
That night, we had an amazing sitdown dinner to close out the weekend, but we couldn’t close it out without the unforgettably entertaining musical performances by Ricky Bascom and Patriot J.
The entire contingent was alternating between singing along and rolling on the floor laughing. You truly had to be there to even understand how incredible and indelible in all our memories this moment was.
I knew I didn’t wanna leave early in the morning on getaway day, so I had already scheduled our flights to leave on Sunday afternoon. That gave us a little time to visit one more attraction before we left for good.
On one of our many Uber rides during the weekend, my son saw an ad for an attraction he had apparently seen countless YouTube and TikTok videos of that he had been wanting to visit for a while—before he even knew that it was in Vegas. When he found out we were fewer than 2 miles away from it, he asked me to make that our last event for the weekend.
So OmegaMart was our Sunday morning activity. Continuing the theme for the entire weekend, it didn’t disappoint, either. A hilarious, bizarre, and magical museum of eccentricity is the only way I can describe it without spoiling the whole thing. But I highly recommend it if you enjoy unconventional parks and attractions.
As I already explained, I admittedly didn’t know what to expect my son‘s experience to be like. He’s always been mature beyond his years in both intellect and intuition, so I’d be lying if I said I was surprised he responded well to the conversations being had by the adults, but I was definitely pleased to see that he was consistently engaged and absorbing the game that was being offered.
That’s what makes Hotep Nation so great. There is enough of a respect for ancient wisdom, but it is all couched and presented in a very relatable style that transcends generational and cultural differences.
My 16-year-old son was right at home with this group of Hoteps as old as 55 to the extent that, on the last night, we didn’t even sit at the same table because he was comfortable sitting with folks who, three days earlier, were relative or even complete strangers to him.
It was an amazing weekend where I think we all grew through our connection with one another and with the information and activities shared an experienced. But my son and I grew closer together and built memories that will last forever. And now he is one of—if not THE—youngest members of Hotep Nation.
Trust me when I say you need to start saving your money now to come to HotepCon 2023.
I’ve already started saving so I can bring the whole family next year.
And I really hope to see the whole crew back again next year: Brody, Tricia, Taylor, Amber, Cannon, Sonnie, Rook, Wendy, Patriot J, Olivia, Jordan, Jabari, Natasha, Marty, Jimmie, Ricky, Carlos, Silvia, AG, Ashley, Kristin, Melinda, Chris, Francisco, Patrick, Kim, and of course, Hotep Jesus and Uncle Hotep.