Robbie Rivera on Juicy Beach, Skrillex's Balls, Death of Dutch Melodies

House music producer-DJ Robbie Rivera brought some South Beach heat to the cold city streets of NYC Friday night, January 22nd. To kick off his Juicy Beach World Tour. Pacha, which boasts an eight-city schedule, leading up to his notorious Juicy Beach party in Miami's Nikki Beach Club during Winter Music Conference. Hosting such rising stars as Bob Sinclair, Manufactured Superstars, and Cosmic Gate in its Phase One Lineup, the event has already received staggering media attention and fan hype, especially after news of its associated contest where one lucky DJ/fan will have the opportunity to perform alongside Rivera at Juicy Beach (details here).

VIBE caught up with Rivera at his hotel before his jumpin' event to talk a very special V-Day plan, what he's looking for in new talent, Miami venue faves and fast food temptations.

VIBE: Explain the idea behind Juicy Beach.
Robbie Rivera: Well the first few parties we did in Miami were called "Juicy Friends." We would throw these parties and they would sell out. One day we were walking by Nikki Beach, and Monica [my wife] said, "We need to do a party here, outdoors, make it a 15-hour party, bring in a new DJ for every single hour, keeping you excited hour by hour." We planned it out really well, but it rained, and that was [still] awesome. It was packed and it was great!

What are you looking for in the "Makes Me Feel Good" remix contest?
For the remix, you can take all the music parts I gave you, so I really want to see what these new kids do with my original music. I expect them to take it to the next level and add some originality, and not just the current music trend.

Who do you think we should be keeping an eye on in 2013?
A lot of the house/techno DJs are the people doing the most creative music and keeping the groove in the music. Last year the groove was lost, it was all very "in your face" noisy sounds; and it worked... last year. I think this year people want something more, going back to the groove, so artists like Umek - he's a really talented guy. A lot of the Italian producers like those at this year's Juicy Beach [Stefano Noferini, Federico Scavo, Alex Kenji], and a lot of the older producers from Subliminal, they're coming back with the proper house sound that we lacked in 2012. I can't keep listening to these same melodies that the Dutch and the Swiss are doing.

Out of the Juicy Beach lineup this year, who are you most excited to make music with?
I'm really excited about tonight because I've never played with Manufactured Superstars. I'm playing in Cleveland with a new artist from Juicy, his name is Mac J. He's been doing pretty well on the West Coast so I'm also real excited about that.

Any predictions for the EDM Grammy's? Who would you nominate for an outstanding year, who has really made a huge name for themselves?
They should create a Lifetime Achievement Award for EDM artists because there are A LOT out there that should get an award. I like that Skrillex track last year. He's one of the few that had the balls to do something really "out there."

Valentine's Day is coming up soon, how are you going to make this year extra special?
The week before Valentine's Day is our [Robbie Rivera and his wife, Monica Olabarrieta] 15-year-anniversary, so I have to plan something very special. I actually just made a note today in my iPhone.

What big plans do you have for yourself in 2013?
I really want to refresh my sound, which I believe I've started to do already. Making more house music, more tribal music. I want to show the new generation that you have to open your ears and listen to other people. I think the new generation, the kids, listen to a lot of the same people. You've got to have patience to find good music.

What's your favorite place to grab a cocktail in your hometown?
I like to go to the SLS Hotel in South Beach. I go there a lot. It's a beautiful hotel and it's got a really great restaurant called Katsuya. Good sushi and Japanese food.

In a time crunch, what's your most likely fast food choice?
Well usually that happens at the airport, and I wind up in McDonald's. I try to eat the best thing I can get there, a grilled chicken sandwich. I try to keep off the fries, but it's hard though.

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Famous Dex had his legion of fans concerned when he abruptly knocked out during a live stream with fans. After concerns of drug use sprouted from social media, the rapper has spoken out about the incident.

Getting back on Instagram Live Tuesday (Dec. 18), the rapper blamed his work ethic–not opioids or lean–as to why he dozed off. "First [off], I'm a human being," he said. "I work my a** off and once you put in overtime overnight and come in at 4am in the morning and go live, then hey. I'm not going to lie, I was tired and high at the same time."

In the wake of the deaths of Mac Miller and Lil' Peep as well as the recent rehab stint of Soundcloud rapper Lil' Xan, drug abuse in hip-hop is becoming a hot-button topic.

"Don't let the world trick you and be fooled," Dex said to the camera.

Dex has not held his tongue when it comes to admitting that he used several drugs in the past including lean which led to him being hospitalized.

Famous Dex falls asleep during his Instagram Live broadcast. ☹️

— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 18, 2018

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Eve Says Her Record Label Had Trepidation About 2001 Gwen Stefani Collaboration

In 2001, Philly rapper Eve finally earned her breakthrough hit on the pop charts with "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," a bouncy hip-hop collaboration with No Doubt's lead vocalist Gwen Stefani. However, E-V-E revealed on CBS' The Talk that her record label at the time had doubts regarding Stefani's feature.

On Monday (Dec. 17), Stefani appeared on the show. Sharon Osbourne asked co-host Eve what she remembers from their first musical encounter 17 years ago to which Eve said, "I just loved Gwen. I was a huge fan, and I was like this is gonna work. Although, the label didn't think it would work."

Stefani responded, "Really? I thought it was the opposite. I thought they said, 'You need to have her on the record.' " Eve continued stating that she had to "fight" for Stefani and was "happy it happened."


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So fun being on @thetalkcbs @therealeve @sherylunderwood @sharonosbourne @carrieanninaba & @carnie68! #YouMakeItFeelLikeChristmas #thetalk #everybodytalks

A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on Dec 17, 2018 at 6:03pm PST

In 2002, just a month after the Dr. Dre-produced song took home the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Eve knew the duet was meant to be, telling VIBE, "Gwen and I had an instant connection both artistically and spiritually. We could have been sisters in another life."

"Let Me Blow Ya Mind" became one of many songs to enter the music industry stratosphere in the 2000s where black R&B/hip-hop stars worked with white pop/rock acts that would eventually expand each other's demographic.

Despite the song's success, it wouldn't be the last time the two artists worked together. Eve was featured on Stefani's top 10 hit "Rich Girl" in 2004 off her debut multi-platinum-selling solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., and served as her opening act on Stefani's This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour 12 years later.

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XXXTentacion's Posthumous Album 'Skins' Tops The Billboard 200

XXXTentacion's posthumous album Skins has topped the Billboard 200 albums chart, which marks the second time this year the late-20-year-old has held the number one spot. XXXTentacion was killed in Florida in June.

"The set, which was released on Dec. 7 via Bad Vibes Forever/EMPIRE, is XXXTentacion’s second No. 1, and it earned 132,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 13, according to Nielsen Music," reports Billboard of the news. "Of that sum, 52,000 were in album sales."

Skins is the first posthumous number one album since Prince's The Very Best of Prince, which catapulted to the top of the charts after his death in April 2016. XXX's album ? went No. 1 back in March 2018, and his first studio album 17 debuted at No. 2 in 2017.

The album featured one guest collaboration by Kanye West, who provided a controversial bar on the track "One Minute." He spits “Now your name is tainted, by the claims they paintin'/The defendant is guilty, no one blames the plaintiff.” A representative for West states that he was not defending XXXTentacion "or anyone in particular" on the song. At the time of his death, the young man. was awaiting trial for several domestic violence allegations against his then-pregnant girlfriend.

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