Miami has rightfully earned its reputation as a must-visit mecca for electronic dance music fans. Its annual Ultra Music Festival, one of EDM’s crown jewel festivals attended by 200K+ revelers, is to millennials what Woodstock was to Baby Boomers: a music-infused experiential touchstone that defines an entire generation. Additionally, the city’s aerial, social, and economic proximity to Latin America – where EDM has surged in popularity over the last 5+ years – has strongly influenced the owners of Miami’s upscale entertainment venues to cater to the tastes of these visiting wealthy pleasure and business travelers.
All that said, Miami is certainly no slouch when it comes to hip-hop. Long a hotbed for partying, beautiful people, and debaucherous decadence, Miami is the hometown of many influential hip-hop stars, beginning in the early ’90s with the 305’s unofficial mayor Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke) and the 2 Live Crew. This royal local lineage has since extended through household names Trick Daddy, Trina, Flo Rida, Pitbull (yes, he was rap before pop!), Rick Ross, and DJ Khaled to up-and-comers like Ski Mask Tha Slump God and Denzel Curry. Along the way, Miami’s Latin & Caribbean vibes and laid-back urban culture have inspired hundreds of other non-local hip-hop artists around the world, none more notable than transplanted Toronto snowbird and adopted son Drake (who early on implored fans to “tell Uncle Luke I’m in Miami too” and later memorably showcased his love for Magic City in his “God’s Plan” music video).
While Miami’s scene certainly has work to do to catch up to hip-hop’s cultural epicenters of NYC, LA, Atlanta, or Houston, the city continues to break the mold for creativity within hip-hop/rap music. As result, there is no shortage of marquee nightlife venues around the Magic City that showcase local and international hip-hop DJs and artists. You can discover everything Miami has to offer by checking clubs, events and pricing in the Discotech Mobile App. Here is our curated list of hip-hop top spots nestled along the crystal-blue shores of the Biscayne.
Arguably the best nightlife venue in the city and indisputably one of the best in the world, MMG Nightlife’s LIV is definitely a place any serious nightlife aficionado needs to visit at least once in his/her life. While some nights do feature top talent spinning EDM or Top 40, Wednesdays and Sundays at LIV are usually reserved for hip-hop (Humpdays focus on Latin/reggaeton, Church days on urban trap). A lavishly decorated 18,000 square foot venue with state-of-the-art sound systems and lighting, LIV promises all visitors a night to remember. As an added bonus, the venue completed a multi-million dollar renovation in 2018, with multiple aesthetic improvements and technology advancements to enhance customers’ experience. Check out future events and book bottle service at Liv here!
E11even is a one-of-a-kind 24/7 show and nightlife venue featuring alluring, pulsating performances with stunning live entertainers. During the day, E11even operates as a multi-level bar and lounge serving top-quality food and strong cocktails. On weekend evenings, exotic acts, spectacular theatrics, and big-name music artists of both the hip-hop and EDM variety – it’s about half and half among the genres, so check the schedule before you plan the trek! – take the multiple stages to whip the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd into a frenzy. You might have already guessed, but E11even is a nightclub/strip club hybrid, a novel concept that has to be seen in person for its greatness to be fully understood and appreciated. Hip-hop and nightlife lovers around the world, you do not want to miss out on E11even on your next Miami vacation; Discotech offers a free guestlist on certain nights, in addition to the VIP experience. Click here for tickets, guestlist, and bottle service at E11even.
While LIV’s sister property Story plays EDM on most nights, they sometimes feature some top tier hip-hop talent. OT Genasis, Ne-Yo, Jim Jones, and Bryson Tiller are just some of the names that have graced the stage of this coveted venue. A longstanding favorite for locals and tourists alike, Story offers a high-end experience and premium bottle service along with aerial dancers and a great sound system to set the perfect tone for you to have a great night out. If you’re in town and looking for special events with big names, be sure to check this venue out. However, just make sure to double-check on the artist or DJ in our app before you go, to make 100% sure hip-hop is on deck.
A staple in the South Beach nightlife scene, Mr. Jones has emerged as an “it spot” for hip-hop celebrities from the A-listers all the way down to the faux Insta-famous. The DJs spinning on normal nights are mostly trap-heavy Miami locals that have made a name for themselves in the hip-hop world. However, in the past year the venue has lined up a handful of major artists like Rae Sremmurd, 50 Cent, Moneybagg Yo, and Torey Lanez to take over the helm and rock the late-arriving crowd (the place often doesn’t start popping until 1am). A state-of-art sound system and LED lighting sets the perfect vibe for partygoers to dance the night away, and rest assured you’ll have a great time regardless of whether your aim is to be seen like a Mr. Bigshot or just to be as unpretentious and anonymous as…. a Mr. Jones.
Founded by experienced restaurant and nightlife maven Chris Paciello, Rockwell aims to bring a unique entertainment experience to its audience. According to Paciello, “Rockwell is bringing something different. We are not another megaclub. We are not DJ driven, we are focusing on the experience.” From a mixed musical format that leans toward hip-hop to a variety of live performances, this intimate Miami Beach club – its capacity is only 450 – has always tried to focus on bringing great experiences to a smaller, selective crowd. Where quantity lacks, Rockwell’s quality surely makes up for it. One of the best hip-hop clubs in town, Rockwell will give you a great night to remember. Get bottle service at Rockwell for guaranteed entry!
Wall at the W
Located inside of the luxurious W Hotel, WALL is a smaller and more intimate spot unlike most of its South Beach neighbors. It is an elder statesman among a recent influx of newer Miami venues, yet it is aging quite gracefully with a rich, dark, elegant interior that is the embodiment of sophistication, luxury, and style. Throughout the week the music at WALL is eclectic, but Thursdays are the standing nights for hip-hop and the scene there is an electric one. Expect an upscale yet casually (but fashionably!) dressed crowd, and expect skin to be in and sweat to be dripping especially during the warm South Florida summer months.
Blue Martini Brickell
Want to see how the Miami locals play? Leave the tourist trap of South Beach and cross over to the other side of the causeway, and in 10 minutes you’ll arrive in the ritzy downtown neighborhood of Brickell – home to global financial institution headquarters, luxury high-rise hotels and condos, and of course American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat and touring mega music acts play. It’s an upscale, modern area that merits upscale, modern dining and entertainment options… and so Blue Martini fits right in. Open five nights a week, the venue offers a beautiful indoor and outdoor atmosphere packed with beautiful party people, as well as resident DJs and live acts that infuse the party with a spicy Latin hip-hop flavor. Locals secret: you’ll also find a VIP bottle service experience on par with the South Beach scenes, but at half the cost! It’s a no-brainer to swing by, and there’s only one question left for you to answer: Do you like your martinis shaken or stirred?
Located in the historic Cameo Theater constructed in 1936 and designed by legendary interior designer Cal Fortis, this iconic nightclub at the intersection of Espanola Way and Washington Ave has been rocking in the heart of Miami Beach for nearly two decades (prior to 2007 it was called Crobar). Nowadays, Cameo is an urban hip-hop mecca that was (once more) recently renovated, and its new management lines up weekly performances from known hip-hop artists and DJs in addition to frequent celebrity guest appearances. The two-story venue boasts two dance floors, four bars, state-of-the-art lighting, a raised stage for artist shows, and over 18,000 square foot of dancing space, and spacious balcony and dance floor VIP sections.
With a capacity of only 220, Mokai is definitely one of the smaller clubs in town, but that sure doesn’t stop it from being a world-class hip-hop spot. While the venue is essentially a bar/lounge lacking a true open-space dance floor, your crew will still find plenty of room to dance and have a great time. Mokai is one Miami’s flagship hip-hop nightclubs that recently rose to notoriety via some memorable rap artist performances and a handful crazy marketing stunts, including a wayward VIP bottle presentation involving a live horse. If you feel too sober to party early on, get to the grand showcase and they will set you up with an array of custom cocktails to loosen up. The line gets pretty long Fridays and even longer on Mondays – their signature weeknight – so make sure you arrive early or get a table to avoid long waiting times.
Nestled in the heart of the hippest neighborhood in Miami – the up-and-coming Wynwood Arts District – Centro Wynwood is another of the most talked-about “locals” nightlife experiences in South Florida. The airy, colorful venue has been described by patrons as a raging house party within a beautiful art gallery: its indoor ceilings are adorned with cloud motifs and hazy lighting reminiscent of an intoxicating dream state. Centro actually opens in the early afternoon on weekends, and happy hour on the sun-drenched patio is typically relaxed but every so often can approach a day party vibe as it gets later into the twilight. In the evening though, nightly drink specials mix with heart-pounding hip-hop and reggaeton music to create a sure-fire high-energy atmosphere that attracts Miami’s finest ladies and gents to revel, either as a Wynwood barhop stop or as an all-night special occasion celebration.