Miami, at times, can make New York look like Des Moines. Here, beauty and connections are everything, everybody knows everybody and luxury reigns supreme. And, like any playground for the rich, all is amplified when annual events like Art Basel and Ultra come to town. You can add Irie Weekend to that list too. Miami's dedicated club goers and a handful of celebs came together last weekend for three nights of debauchery, and we were there to soak up the scene.
DJ Irie, founder of his namesake event, was described to us more than a few times as the "King of Miami." Sounds like hot air...until you find out Lebron James cut his post-title-loss vacation short to make a surprise appearance and support his friend. Other stars who turned out included athletes Jonathan Vilma and Reggie Bush, Nick Cannon, Flo Rida and the infamous Lil Jon, who gave us the exclusive inside scoop on his new album. “I’m calling it Party Animal,” he reveals, “'cause everybody knows me for partying. My moniker has been party animal, so it's gonna be basically all party songs.” In collaboration with LMFAO, their forthcoming single “Drink”--not to be confused with the duo's previous club hit "Shots"--will be the first to drop off the album come October. (Jersey Shore fans, get excited.)
The weekend kicked off in style Thursday at Mokai, a hot spot in the bustling Miami nightlife scene, with a party at the Crown Royal Black Lounge hosted by Tracy and Alonzo Mourning. DJ Jazzy Jeff pumped up the crowd with a great set, Miami beauties were out in full effect and the weekend was primed and pumped for a party like few others.
Friday brought the main event. We were treated to a charity golf tournament at Melreese Country Club, which helped raise money for the good folks at Make-A-Wish and the Irie Foundation. Hooters girls served up wings as Lil Jon cruised the course in his custom PT Cruiser golf cart. Later that night, Flo Rida and Irie took over LIV nightclub to a packed house for a Verizon-sponsored event. Irie has been called “Miami’s best club DJ” and has deejayed for Playboy events before, but seeing the guy in action is something else. He really gets into it, engages the crowd and brings his oversized personality to the turntables, bringing the party to life as only he can. When Flo Rida arrived and jumped up to greet the crowd, the already pumped audience went wild, keeping their high energy alive well into the morning.
Saturday brought a chance to mingle and relax poolside at Fontainebleau's Arkadia, with a New Era-sponsored party and DJ set by Lil Jon. Nick Cannon kicked it with a cadre of Miami’s hottest girls, and righteous New Era swag was had by all. The weekend went out with a bang that night at Arkadia Lounge. Grey Goose and Heineken flowed, a gigantic mascot in the likeness of Lil Jon roamed the club and DJ Irie set off the crowds with yet another explosive set.
As far as Miami goes, it’s hard to be impressive when everything is so over the top. But Irie Weekend definitely impressed. The weekend’s celebrity-studded events and jam-packed concerts proved that DJ Irie really is the king of this town. Aside from being able to launch his own foundation, Irie admits the best part of the weekend was the cake presentation at the Crown Royal Black Lounge (and we don't blame him). Miami's rock star DJ filled the clubs, all for a great cause, and he made sure everyone had a blast doing it. Must be great to be king.
DJ Irie will be spinning beats across the country and worldwide this summer, so look out for performances in a city near you.