DJ Irie may not have thrown any crucial three-pointers during Game 7 of the NBA Finals, but for 13 years he's been a part of the Heat family and has watched the team grow into one of the most-loved and -criticized franchises in professional sports. "Now, I have three championship rings," he says. "I mean, how do you even say that when you spin music?"
On Friday and Saturday, Irie has another reason to celebrate. Now in its ninth year, his charity, the IRIE Foundation, will host its annual Irie Weekend. The two-day event raises money for children's organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, and includes a concert featuring Gym Class Heroes' Travie McCoy, LMFAO's Sky Blu, and DJ Jermaine Dupri, as well as golf and bowling tournaments. This year, Irie's celebrity guests will include some of the Heat players as well as TV personality Michael Strahan, singer Christina Milian, reality star Audrina Patridge and former N'Sync singer Chris Kirkpatrick.
You almost didn't take the job with the Miami Heat.
Yes, when the [Heat] first approached me, I thought the premise was so left field. I didn't think it was the right thing for me. I was known for being on the radio and in the nightclubs and for playing the newest, cutting-edge, hip-hop. I thought, "How would that fit in an arena?" Thankfully, I dug a little deeper and understood that it was a brand-new thing that had never been done before. Not in the NBA, NFL or MLB. So I made it mine, and was up for the challenge.
What would you say to all the Heat haters out there?
Seriously, here's the thing, a couple of years ago, when I looked at my [Facebook] timeline, I'd see cool stuff. Now, I get a ton of cool messages peppered in with a comment like "Screw the Heat." But if someone yells at me on Facebook, and they dedicate the time to say, "You suck," I take it as a form of inspiration and energy. It's more of a validation of success. We ain't got no worries.
With your busy schedule, when do you find time to sleep?
I'm not going to downplay sleep. It's definitely important to me. But I take my career so seriously, I don't sleep that much. On average, I sleep three to four hours a night. I'm actually not a night person, so when the sun comes up, and I open my eyes, I jump out of bed. For the first time in 10 years, I'm actually thinking of taking a vacation in August. No music, no phone. It's going to be tough to do, but I think I can do it.
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: Golf tournament 11 a.m. Friday at the Miami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton Road; concert 11 p.m.-5 a.m. Friday at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; bowling tournament 6 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Strike, 1691 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach; closing-night party 11 p.m.-5 a.m. at Mokai, 235 23rd St., Miami Beach
Cost: $100 for golf and bowling tournaments; prices vary for concert and party