We celebrate Memorial Day weekend differently down here. Every year, when the last weekend of May rolls around, Miami and Miami Beach become the epicenters of hip-hop culture as scores of locals and thousands of tourists drink, dance, party, and jolt this town out of the late-spring doldrums.
A bunch of the biggest names in rap will perform too. But don't scramble to find out who's playing where. We've got you covered. Here are the ten best hip-hop concerts coming to the city this week.
Trina. The first spot on this list goes to the high-heeled, red-bottom-wearing baddest bitch in town, the queen of Slip-N-Slide Records herself, Trina. One of the reigning monarchs of Miami’s rap scene since www.thug.com dropped 20 years ago, Trina has held her place among the most talented rappers in the game and has repped her city since day one. And if you want to start your Memorial Day weekend early, you can kick things off with a performance by the Diamond Princess herself at Studio 23 tonight. If you arrive before 12:30 a.m., it’s free! If you’re going to commit to going hard for the long weekend, you might as well commit all the way and start getting loose in the middle of the week. Do it big for the home team. 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Studio 23 Miami, 247 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-401-5438. Admission is free before 12:30 a.m.; tickets cost $20 after via eventbrite.com.
Rick Ross. Trina won't be the only Miami-Dade rap royalty performing in town this week. Rick Ross has cemented himself as one of the 305's treasures, professing his love for the city on practically every album and music video. Ross gave the world a scare earlier this year when he was hospitalized for four days after being found unresponsive and breathing heavily in his Davie mansion, but now the Teflon Don is back on his hustle. We can all breathe a little easier and celebrate the fact that Rozay is OK. And what better way to celebrate than by seeing the Maybach Music/Wingstop mogul in action this Thursday at Story. 11 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Story Nightclub, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424. Tickets cost $30 via tixr.com.
Migos. There’s hardly anyone as hot in the rap game right now as Migos — everybody loves them. Donald Glover, the genius otherwise known as Childish Gambino, thanked them for making “Bad and Boujee” when he accepted his Golden Globe for Atlanta, calling it the best song ever. The Atlanta trio has shown Miami a lot of love over the years, including having the city’s own DJ Khaled open for their certified-platinum banger, Culture. So it should come as no surprise that they’ll stop in Miami Beach this Memorial Day weekend, and when Migos come to town, you’d best believe it’s gonna be live. 11 p.m. Friday, May 25, at Story Nightclub, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424. Tickets cost $40 via tixr.com.
Future. If one song got stuck in your head in 2017, it was probably Future’s megahit, “Mask Off.” Even if you’ve never heard a single lyric of the song — "Percocets, molly, Percocets" — you’ve definitely listened to that opening flute sample about 14 million times. And rightly so, because it’s insanely catchy, never mind the fact that Future has become one of the most respectable heavy-hitters in the industry during the past decade, collaborating with everyone from Gucci Mane to Drake to Taylor Swift. Make sure you don’t miss the trap star this Saturday on South Beach. 11 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Story Nightclub, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424. Tickets cost $40 via tixr.com.
Ashanti. If you’re looking for a bit of a departure from the South Beach madness, head north to Hallandale Beach and check out the All White Party happening at Gulfstream Park. If the dress code that states you must look “clean” and the age policy that says you have to either be over 30 “unless you are mature” puts you off at all, just remember that you’re not just there to party with prestige; you’re also getting to listen to Ashanti, one of the greatest of the hip-hop songstresses of the early 2000s, arguably the greatest period of rap music ever. 9 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Sport of Kings Theatre, 501 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach. Tickets cost $24 via eventbrite.com.
Music Explosion With Shaggy. Have you missed the dulcet tones of Shaggy, the maestro famous for his mix of reggae, R&B, and rap? He's known for songs such as “Angel” and “It Wasn’t Me”— no one straddled the ethical spectrum of relationship songs quite like Shaggy. Well, guess what? You’ll have your chance to enjoy all the hits you could hope to hear from Mr. Boombastic this Saturday at a free concert on the beach organized by the City of Miami Beach. With Max and Kent Jones. 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 11th Street and Ocean Drive on the sand, east of the dunes, Miami Beach; 305-673-7400. Admission is free.
Jadakiss. Ruff Rider alum Jadakiss has been a favorite among hard-core rap fans for more than two decades, ever since he debuted in 1994 with The Lox. Jadakiss released a four-LP set in 2015 titled Top 5 Dead or Alive, which was not only a testament to a braggadocious nature that’s influenced generations of rappers that have followed him, but also proof of his industry-defying longevity. Don’t miss your chance to catch this veteran of the game. 11 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Studio 23 Miami, 247 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-401-5438. Tickets cost $20 via eventbrite.com.
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50 Cent. "In da Club" was the anthem for a minute in 2003, and if it was your jam, you probably had at least one daydream that included you and 50 Cent ballin’ out together, poppin' bottles, and making it rain at the club. You can finally make that dream come true this Memorial Day when he plays King of Diamonds. Just remember: Fiddy is a self-made millionaire who’s not shy about throwing his money around. At KOD, you’re not really doing it big unless you’re willing to part with a few thousand singles before the night is over, so don’t feel too bad if you can’t keep up. 10 p.m. Monday, May 28, at King of Diamonds, 17800 Ipco Rd., Miami; 305-999-9500. Ticket cost TBD.
Lotos Music Festival. This one is a bit of a hike, but trust us when we say it’ll be worth it. When else will you get a chance to see some of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time, from the Pharcyde to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Cypress Hill to Miami’s own 2 Live Crew, performing at the same venue? This isn’t just one of the best lineups festival season has offered; it’s arguably one of the dopest lineups to play South Florida in years. This is your chance to see some of the greatest hip-hop squads of all time. 4 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $49.50 via ticketmaster.com.