DJ Irie Talks the Miami Heat Getting Beat, Irie Weekend 2011, and His New Non-Profit Charity
There's no question -- Miami loves its sports teams and its DJs. So, no wonder official Miami Heat deckmaster DJ Irie has taken over the 305.
You know it's summer once those jam-packed charity events come into play -- the seventh annual Irie Weekend, presented by Sugartime Sports, begins today -- and there's no one better to kick off the hot season than Irie himself.
"I still can't believe it's been seven years since I started this weekend," he told Crossfade while waiting for his headlining turn at Wednesday's Red Bull Bulletin Launch at New World Campus. "It's been an amazing journey. And for me to do this with my friends and support our local community is incredible."
This year marks the first time that proceeds from Irie's charity affair will not only go to his long-time charity of choice, Make-a-Wish Foundation, but also to his very own non-profit, the IRIE Foundation. "I've been so passionate about supporting education and for me to have my own foundation to do so is just a dream come true. I believe that proper education is the core for our youth to be successful in life and without that, they have nothing."
In a nutshell, the Irie Foundation seeks to improve the lives of South Florida youth through educational and extracurricular opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them. With a particular emphasis on the arts, the foundation's ultimate goal is to improve the graduation rate among the young people it serves. Middle school students will be mentored and encouraged to remain in the program all the way through high school and they will receive scholarship money towards college or trade school tuition.
So now Irie's professional portfolio includes a charity as well as a billion star-studded DJ gigs throughout the world, not to mention successful side businesses DJ agency, shoes, clothing, and the like! It's no surprise he barely sleeps. Crossfade asked five quick questions to the busiest man in Miami and here's what he had to say.
Crossfade: Blackberry or iPhone?
DJ Irie: Blackberrrrrrrrrry!!! I cannot live without it!
What was the last dream you had?
The last dream I had ... Wow, I don't even remember! [Laughs] Oh, I know ... I was on a podium getting my second title ring for the NBA Championships. But, ahh ... Well, the dream was just too soon.
A record you can't live without?
Oh, man, that's easy -- Bob Marley's "Legend." I can play that thing forever and it will never get tired.
Your thoughts on the NBA Championship loss?
Maaaaannnnnn ... Well, you know, I can't complain. In fact, we all can't complain. For all the obstacles that came to the Heat and for us to come back and be in the Finals -- that alone was a victory. You know, it was just too soon. Honestly, we got this next year, mark my word.
The thing you're looking forward to most during Irie Weekend 2011?
Wow, we're doing so much this year. So many people are coming down -- Nick Cannon, Luke Wilson, Lil' Jon. So many supporters! Man, I guess the thing I'm looking forward to most is probably sleeping when it all ends! [Laughs]
Irie Weekend 2011. Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25. See the full schedule of events. Visit irieweekend.org.
Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.