DJ Jus Ske has just about seen it all, and on Friday night Jay Z’s personal DJ had a front row seat to the lavish gathering of hip-hop royalty at Mansion nightclub on Miami Beach.
Working as the concert DJ for Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s Legends of the Summer tour, DJ Jus Ske hopped in a chauffeured, blacked-out Escalade with DJ Cassidy once the show ended at midnight at Sun Life Stadium and headed to South Beach for the after party presented by D’Usee cognac.
One may think a DJ would party it up on the chauffeured ride to Mansion, but Jus Ske kept things low key to save up energy for the club. He and his friends checked their Instagram accounts and looked through their cell phone camera roll to find great photos to share while traffic moved at a glacial pace. Jus Ske also talked about his plans to begin his first album and asked his friends in the car if they wanted to collaborate when the time came to begin the recording process.
Someone who decided to call it an early night was Beyonce, who was seen at the concert but who was not seen at Mansion. Singer Rihanna flew in from New York to attend the show and the after party and invited 10 of her friends to tag along; she was seen wearing a two-piece ensemble from her River Island collection and a pair of sunglasses. Justin Bieber (who is under 21) crashed the party and was seen drinking bottled water. (Mansion’s official statement on Bieber being at the club was “No comment.”)
Also in attendance were comedian Kevin Hart, producer/rapper Jermaine Dupri and recording artist and producer Timbaland, who shared the stage with Timberlake at both the stadium show and the smaller Fillmore Miami Beach show that began at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
For his part, Jus Ske played many of Jay Z's biggest and favorite hits while the signature Mansion dancers wearing pasties, skimpy bikini bottoms and high heels danced over him. The DJ also played Rihanna's "Talk That Talk" and Meek Mill's "Believe It" (which mentions Bieber multiple times) as a nod to the stars in attendance. The party hit its peak when Jus Ske played Jay Z's new single "Tom Ford" and shortly after a parade of women holding bottles of D'Usse cognac with sparklers were served to the partying VIPs.
Other celebs seen at the concerts on Friday night included former N*Sync stars Lance Bass (backstage at Sun Life Stadium) and Chris Kirkpatrick (at the Bud Light Platinum VIP area at the Fillmore).
But putting the icing on the cake of a busy Friday night was Miami Heat star LeBron James, who received a police escort to Sun Life Stadium. In order to beat the traffic, James shared a video on Twitter in which he followed a police escort that is driving against traffic in the opposite lane. On Monday, Miami-Dade police issued a statement saying the escort violated department policy and was being investigated.
Jus Ske, who has been DJing many star-studded after parties like Friday’s says the experience on the tour has been incredible.
“It’s different from just a Jay Z show or just a Justin show. I think the experience of [working on the combined format] has been a trip for me,” he said. “It’s unbelievable to see it flow and work perfectly.”
The two met when Jus Ske used to be a nightlife promoter in the 90’s in New York City, where Jay Z attended many of his parties. After working for a number of years with producer and recording artist Pharrell, Jus Ske began working with Jay Z.
He says his favorite moment with Jay Z was DJing his 40th birthday party in the Dominican Republic, which Beyonce threw for him. During the party, major rappers like Jeezy and Kanye West were rapping their own songs to each other.
“I was nervous and they loosened me up. Puffy [aka Sean “Diddy” Combs] comes over to me and he’s like ‘Come on man, you’re killing it. Loosen this up’ and ripped my shirt open because they all [had] ripped shirts. It was amazing.”
While he has been grouped with other “celebrity DJs,” a term used to describe DJs like Samantha Ronson or the late DJ AM who mostly work at private celebrity parties, he says he resents the term and considers himself “open format DJ”.
“I want to take people on a journey through hip hop, rock, jazz, trap, electro, house, dubstep [and more].”
While many DJs like David Guetta and Calvin Harris have become household names, Jus Ske is still a relative unknown despite the fact he is currently associated with one of the world’s most prominent recording artists. He cites a number of reasons for this including the competitiveness of the DJ scene.
“It’s a game and you got to play it to win. It is tough. I think it’s because I [haven’t released my] own music or dating a celebrity or something. Hopefully it will grow organically and people will come and hear me spin and love it or hear any mixtapes, songs, or remixes I put out and love it.”
For his future plans, he hopes to release an album of his own material inspired by his own diverse tastes, which includes hip hop, indie rock and electronic music.
“I don’t necessarily want to aim for the pop sound but if it becomes popular, then so be it,” he said. “I like weird sounds.”