"Things just couldn't be better," says Miami Heat's DJ Irie about the team he's been with for twelve years. "I'd like to get a second championship ring," he adds hopefully. Well, he along with the rest of SoFla.
Sure Irie's a fan of the home team, but we asked him if he's ever wanted to root for another while behind the decks at the American Airline Arena. "You know," he admits, "there've been so many guys that come and go, but for that year or two or three, you build a camaraderie. They become your friends. Some of these guys, I've done their weddings, their birthdays, I know their kids, their families. So you want to see them do well." And that just seems like the kind of guy DJ Irie is, a loving dude with a good perspective on things.
Irie is not only providing the tunes at the AAA, he's hosting and spinning a few sets at the upcoming Black Friday Festival with rising hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar and the UR1 festival. This is his first time working with Lamar, though he says he's been following his carer for a while. "I'm extremely proud of this guy," he tells us. "Here's someone, he came from a very, very, very rough situation. The streets of Compton, it doesn't get realer than that. Straight up looking up to guys like the Dr. Dres and the Snoops and the Tupacs, that made it out of their own situations, but stayed true to who they were and he was able to fall into the same footsteps."
Though Irie says he doesn't know the rapper personally, he's impressed by his ability to rise above the pressures of the industry as well. "The music he's written today is the same music he was making when he first got started. He never tried to conform and become more mainstream or more pop. I really respect that. He's gained the notoriety he deserves. He's a really talented guy."
Unlike Lamar, who's new to the game, Irie's been around for a minute, and we didn't want to give up the opportunity to ask him about what he thinks about Miami's changing nightlife scene. "I'm definitely impressed by the level of entertainment that our nightclubs deliver on a nightly basis," he admits, saying that creatively, clubs and bars are doing a lot to stimulate those ready to party. "It's more than just walking into a dark room with strobe lights flashing, hearing music. So that's come a long way. But then there's also other things that have kind of eroded that experience of having fun."