Photo: Danny Vega
There's nothing like a traffic jam to point to the fact that a bash is gonna be packed. When the four lanes of traffic is backed up for blocks in both directions and the host is Miami Heat DJ Irie, packed is only half the given. See, in addition to putting the beat to the Heat, Irie is also spin man for Jamie Foxx whenever the actor turns troubadour, as well as just about every hot spot happening in town. When Irie's not boothed-up his own self, there's usually one of his Artist Related DJs boothing-up for him. All of which kinda puts a lock on what's rockin' in the MIA.
On this breezy Thursday night though, Irie was holding court rather than pumping one up, and he was doing so at the waterfront estate of Ludus CEO Hamed Wardak. The two teamed to celebrate the launch of the South Beach-based lifestyle brand (which also partners with USA for UNHCR) and to herald the efforts of the Irie Foundation, which "seeks to improve the lives of South Florida's youth through educational and extracurricular opportunities that may otherwise not be available to them." One of those opportunities had taken place earlier in the day, when Miami's most benevolent DJ played host to a coterie of 78 kids from Madison Middle School, who spent the afternoon gorging on pizza and swimming in the estate's way cool pool, then leaving with an iPod of their very own.
Among the 500+ swells attending the after-dark (and Stoli-sponsored) portion of the throwdown were Miami Heat owner/Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, the Miami Dolphins' Reggie Bush, and perennial do-gooders Alonzo and Tracy Mourning, who've pretty much set the bar for benevolence. But as Irie was adamant in pointing out before he screened a clip of the event's earlier merrymaking, it was the kids who were "the real superstars" of the party.
As for superstar DJ Irie, well, what went down served as a singular swing to what's coming up. This week he's got sets at Mokai and Louis before jetting off to his native Jamaica for Christmas. Then it's back to Miami for New Year's Eve and the 2nd Annual Orange Drive Miami Beach Music Festival, which also includes Ne-Yo, Cee Lo Green, Pete Wentz and Black Cards, Boyz II Men, Gym Class Heroes, Cobra Starship, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Samantha Ronson and more. For Miamians ringing in 2012, it'll indeed be one helluva night; for Irie it'll likely be just another one of those star-studded evenings -- one where the confluence of good and great make for something spectacular.