Memorial Day weekend in Miami, colloquially known as Urban Beach Week, is almost upon us. So yes, we must honor our fallen troops. But we must also get set for beats, bangers, public intoxication, near-naked insanity, and pimped-out Chevys causing gridlock on Ocean Drive.
There are two ways to deal with Urban Beach Week. One, you sit with your head in the sand, post angry statuses on Facebook about traffic, and watch Netflix until everything blows over. Or, two, you do like those badasses in the street and put on something that sort of passes for clothing before getting turnt up in the club for four days straight.
Now, if you feel like being cool instead of lame, head to one — or all — of these Memorial Day weekend parties.
Fabolous. 11 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $120 at the door. Ages 21 and up. Here’s a chance to kick off your four-day celebration in a big way. This New York rapper has been in the game for more than a decade, but his latest album, Loso’s Way 2: Rise to Power, packs the hits: “When I Feel Like It” is a damned banger, and “Lituation” is still rockin’ the radio. Come through Story to witness some Fabolous-ness and maybe even some back-in-the-day bangers like “You Be Killin’ ’Em.”
Yo Gotti and Jim Jones. 11 p.m. Friday, May 22, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $120 at the door. Ages 21 and up. It’ll be north meets south when gravel-voiced Tennessee gangster Yo Gotti and Dipset superstar Jim Jones tag-team South Beach this weekend. With two larger-than-life superstars in one night, there’s sure to be something for, as Gotti would say, “Errrbody.” Be there when Jim Jones gets the whole club popping bottles and screaming “ballin’!” And if you missed Dipset’s Miami reunion show a couple of months ago, this is your chance to make things right.
Jeezy and Rick Ross. Presented by 99 Jamz. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 954-835-7000; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets cost $25 to $195.50 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. All ages. Do you really need to be convinced that Jeezy and Rick Ross together is gonna be a good time? Jeezy is a true “Trapstar” who’s “Seen It All.” Then there’s Ross, the Teflon Don, the biggest boss to ever rise from the streets of Miami. He’s been carrying this city on his back since the mid-2000s. Plus, he’s lost a lot of weight. Dude probably has all the energy in the world when he takes the stage these days. Oh, and don’t you want to see what a sexy Rick Ross looks like in the flesh?
Erica Mena. Hosted by the Love & Hip Hop star. With Lava Sound, Fire Reds, Jagga B, and Fire T. 11 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at Lou La Vie, 1444 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-974-1914; loulavie.com. Tickets cost $60 and up plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Boom Events is back for another Memorial Day weekend with drinks, beats, and down-ass babes. Throw down for general admission and get free drinks all night. Or ball out with a VIP table and bottle service. As for the babes, they are not included with any of Lou La Vie’s party packages; you’ve got to win them over on your own. Of course, a $200 magnum of champagne probably wouldn’t hurt.
Best of the Best 2015. With Beenie Man, Capleton, Spice, Lady Saw, Shabba Ranks, and 28 others. 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday, May 24, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets cost $57 and up plus fees. All ages. Visit bestofthebestconcert.com. Don’t have a babysitter? Go party with Best of the Best, because kids 12 and younger get into this family-friendly Caribbean music fest for free. There’s gonna be reggae, dancehall, and soca; games and bounce houses; and even the “Reggae Music Journey,” an exhibition curated by renowned label VP Records. Plus, if it’s a Caribbean fest, you can bet the food is gonna be dank.
Best of the Best Official Afterparty. With Massive B, Foota Hype, Steelie Bashment, Noah Power, and others. 11 p.m. at Café Iguana Pines, 8358 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; 954-433-8787; cafeiguanapines.com. Ages 18 and up for women and 21 and up for men. Once the fun in the sun is over at Bayfront Park, the party keeps going just north of the Broward County line. Leave the kids at home for a night of grown ’n’ sexy fun as nine DJs take turns dropping the hottest in reggae, dancehall, soca, hip-hop, and R&B. Bottles are available for $150 until 1 a.m., and parking is free, so bring the whole crew.
Special Ed. A Special Birthday Celebration. With DJ Heron and DJ Exes. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at Will Call, 700 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-577-5900; willcallmiami.com. Tickets cost $10 plus fees via eventbrite.com. Ages 21 and up. If old-school hip-hop is your thing, Crooklyn Dodgers’ own Special Ed would like to extend an invitation to his Special Birthday Celebration. This East Coast rapper is of Jamaican descent, but he’s reppin’ the BK till his last day. Catch some of that throwback flavor as only Special Ed can cook up, and then stay for an all-night dance party starring two of Miami’s classic hip-hop selectors.
Jeezy. 11 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $120 at the door. Ages 21 and up. If you can’t make the Rick Ross and Jeezy show in Sunrise, this is the back-up plan. Sure, Rozay probably won’t make a cameo at Story, but the Snowman will most definitely take the stage at the SoBe megaclub. So even if the Bawse skips this bash, it’s still guaranteed to be, as Mr. Snow Go says, “so icy.”
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DJ Khaled and The Game at LIV on Sunday. With DJ Stevie and Don P. 11 p.m., Sunday, May 24, at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Ages 21 and up. Everyone from Drake to Kanye reps this Miami Beach rap party. It’s the biggest night in hip-hop every damn week. So you know the Urban Beach Week edition will be one for the books. Nobody ever knows exactly which rich rappers, pro athletes, or video vixens will roll through LIV on Sundays, but there are always lots of celebs up in the club. So dress to impress and keep that camera phone on fleek.
The 305 Finale With Trick Daddy and Trina. 11 p.m. Monday, May 25, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $120 at the door. Ages 21 and up. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up! Da Mayor and Da Baddest Bitch on one stage, under one roof, going back to back on hit after hit, right here in the 305? This is a moment not to be missed by anyone who’s ever claimed to rep Miami. You need to be at this show; otherwise, you’re a total poser and nobody likes you. End of story. We can’t wait to hear “Nann.”