Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us, and with that comes a number of beer-soaked beach and poolside parties to launch us into the summer months. From Fort Lauderdale Beach's 6th Annual Great American Beach Party on Saturday, May 23, to the Salvation Memorial Day Pool Party at the W Fort Lauderdale, there's no shortage of options for South Florida this weekend.
But the most happening place to be this Memorial Day weekend might not be poolside or by the beach, but in downtown Delray Beach, where Mix Master Mike — who's often hailed as one of the greatest DJs of all time — will be throwing down at Honey to headline the lounge's old-school-style Memorial party on Sunday, May 24.
According to Honey partners David Robinson and Scott Frielich, the show has been organized as part of a larger tribute to old school hip-hop before the Memorial Day Legends of the Old School show featuring Salt N' Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Stevie B, Color Me Badd, and 2 Live Crew at Boca Raton's Mizner Park on Monday, May 25.
"They've done so well in years past, we decided to team up and act as a sort of pre-party before the larger show at Mizner Park," said Frielich. "We looked at a lot of DJs for the gig, and when we saw Mix Master Mike was available, we went for it."
Michael Schwartz — aka Mix Master Mike — is best known as the DJ assassin for the Beastie Boys, and is credited for inventing the "tweak" scratch. He's also one of the most talented competitive turntablists of this era.
Raised outside San Francisco, the self-taught DJ grew up listening to a wide variety of music — everything from Jimmy Hendrix and Muddy Waters, to Thelonious Monk. But it wasn't until he caught a Herbie Hancock performance with DJ GrandMixer DST that he became inspired to forge his own unique musical path.
"I wanted to apply that same amount of passion those artists had to my own music," Schwartz said in a 2012 Serato Icon Artist Series interview. "I ran away at the age of 14, and I had to learn through all that. And that reflects in my music."
While cutting his teeth at competitive turntable showdowns across the country, Mix Master Mike found inspiration in the music of New York hip-hop trio, The Beastie Boys. A chance meeting in 1994 with Adam Yauch (aka MCA) evolved into a gig as the group's resident DJ. It would prove to be a crucial turning point in his career
Since 1991, the Serial Wax Killer has put out several albums including his 2010 NaPalm Rockets, a Dub Step smash that was a step away from his series of classic hip-hop and funk-laced mashups and mix tapes.
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Expect his show at Honey to be pure improvisation. The DJ says he works with no set routine, no set lineup, and no set plan in mind.
While some South Floridians will be shoving sandy Coronas down their throats, those lucky enough to get into the door at Honey this Sunday will have a chance to witness disk jockey royalty.
Mix Master Mike with DJ Selecta Steve, DJ Johnny Quest, Big Dave, and The Frielich. Sunday, May 24, at Honey, 16 E. Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach. There is a $20 cover charge. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Nicole Danna is a food and music writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. Follow her @SoFloNicole.