Behind the Booth: The Hottest DJs in Las Vegas on Lit Parties and Getting Laced Up

DJ Clark Kent.
DJ Clark Kent
Courtesy of DJ Clark Kent

It wouldn’t be Sin City without the DJs whose club mixes keep the crowds going. FN talked to four Vegas vets, who shared insight on shoes and sounds.

DJ Chase B Chase B Courtesy of Chase B

Chase Benjamin, Chase B

Favorite Las Vegas Club to DJ: “Hakkasan is my favorite probably because it’s like the biggest, and it’s a totally different type of club. 1 Oak I’ve DJed at during the week when it’s a lot of locals.”

Go-to tracks: “Probably some Drake. ‘The Next Episode’ by Dr. Dre is always a huge song in Vegas. In Vegas, I always do a pretty extensive West Coast set.”

DJ style: “My whole thing is to be the anti. My whole thing is to walk in there looking like some straight kid in like a Supreme tee and sagging my jeans extra hard to prove a point that kids like me can have residency in Vegas. As for shoes, I try to switch it up as much as I can, but obviously I don’t want some drunk girl spilling stuff on them. I wear Jordan 4s a lot. Tom Sachs Nikes are what I’ve been wearing a lot right now, the Mars space [shoe]. I wear them every day. They are the best shoes ever, super-comfortable. Or I’ll go with Air Max 1s — something with some type of give or cushion.”

Wildest Vegas DJ experience: “Definitely 1 Oak with Scott Disick. It was my second time DJing there. I had met him a few years ago, but I didn’t think he remembered me. When I pulled up to the club, he was like, ‘It’s time to go!’ and had like 30 [girls]. Bottles started going as soon as he came in and the party was just going from then on out. That’s the kind of time I like to have. It was extraordinary.”

Why he loves sneakers: “Sneakers are kind of like music in a way. You know the blueprint of a sneaker just like with music. There has to be a beat, there has to be a songwriter, there has to be vocals, and same with sneakers. There has to be a sole, a mid, laces — you can change them however you want, whether it’s the color or whatever. There’s always something you can add or change to make it everlasting.”

Dream DJ gig: “If I could do a dream gig, it would probably be a Rockets championship ring celebration party — for when the Rockets win the championship.”

DJ Rashida, Prince's DJ DJ Rashida Courtesy of DJ Rashida

Rashida Gonzalez Robinson, DJ Rashida 

Favorite Vegas club to DJ: “Marquis, Tao, XS, Ghostbar, Drai’s, Rain, HOB Foundation Room, Encore.”

Dream DJ gig: “A dream gig would be playing with Bjork. She’s my all-time fave. But the truth is, I’ve definitely already had my dream job and gig. Playing with Prince for 10 years was a life-changer on every level. I will forever be in gratitude for all of the beauty he brought into my life. He was and continues to be a blessing in my life.”

DJ style: “When I started out, it was all sneakers, mostly high-tops, tomboy style. Then I met Prince and it was all heels and dresses. Now that I’ve had a child, it’s pretty much back to flats and sneakers unless I’m feeling fancy.”

Wildest Vegas DJ experience: “The 3121 residency at Rio with Prince in 2006. I was the opener for the main shows, as well as the DJ for the after-parties in the jazz club and the after-after-parties in his room that lasted until the sun came up. He asked me to edit original videos and imagery that played on the big screens surrounding the room during the show, which was dope. I had my own poster at the entrance and was also included on a huge mural with [Prince] and the band. I had never, ever experienced anything like that before. I was so honored to be a part of it. There were so many wild nights. But the two that stand out to me the most were the night Michael Jackson came to the show and the night [Prince] dedicated ‘Purple Rain’ to my mother, who was in the audience and was often asked to come out to join us on the road.”

Why she loves sneakers: “I’m an OG B-girl, so it just came with the territory. I used to collect high-tops back in the day, Nike and Adidas mostly.”

DJ Clark Kent DJ Clark Kent Jonathan Mannion

Rodolfo Franklin, DJ Clark Kent 

Favorite Vegas Club to DJ: “Tao — they get right no matter where they have it.”

Go-to tracks: “My answer is going to seem a lot different than everybody else’s, but the answer is [none] because if you’re a good DJ, you don’t have to have a go-to track. You have a go-to feeling. It’s about the way you play. If you have a go-to track, you’re cheating. It’s about creating a vibe and killing the party, and I can kill a party without playing any new record.”

DJ style: “I wear a brand-new pair of shoes every day, so all I’m trying to do is make sure that they look good. Do my sneakers look good? Does my outfit complement the sneakers? And I dress from the shoes up. It’s simple to make a white T-shirt look cool if your sneakers are dope.”

Wildest Vegas DJ experience: “I did a party for Nike for the 25th anniversary of Air Force Ones during All Star Weekend a while ago. And it was just so turnt, like it was complete debauchery. It was bananas. People were going crazy all night.”

Why he loves sneakers: “When you grow up in the hood, you have guys that you look at [as] leaders. You realize that they get all the girls, they’re fresher than everybody else — something has to be special about them. The common denominator back in the day was that they always had the best sneakers. So when you’re a kid and you’re 9, you’re looking up to these guys, all you do is focus on the shoes. You started buying shoes that they bought. And then it just turned into the craziness cause all you wanted to do was to be fresh, and the fresh way was to get the shoes they had.”

On his shoe collection: “It’s up there. It’s a lot. It’s not cool. I can say it’s not cool. It’s somewhat of a slight addiction. I would say right now after I’ve given away so much I probably have about 3,000 pairs. But I’ve given away more than I own
right now.”

Shoes that cost a jackpot: “I probably have about five pairs of shoes that can get $30,000 each. About three weeks ago I got a new pair of shoes in the mail, given to me that I can get $18,000 for right now. People are legitimately offering me upwards of $16,000 for these shoes already. If I was a seller, it’d be crazy.”

DJ Franzen at drai's nightclub DJ Franzen Tony Tran Photography

Franzen Wong, DJ Franzen

Favorite Las Vegas club to DJ: “Where I’ve been DJing for the last three years, and that’s Drai’s nightclub because it’s a special venue. I’m the DJ that brought hip-hop back to the strip. For a long time, it was nothing but EDM music.”

Go-to tracks: “I’m more of an old-school DJ. I play all the hits, but I like to go into my ’90s set, and I like to play for the ladies. One song I can definitely say that I will drop no matter what time of night it is — primetime, early, late when everybody is drunk  — and get the reaction I know I’ll always get is ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC.”

DJ style: “I try to dress as comfortable as possible, of course, standing up for a few hours. I’m not the type to wear a lot of flashy stuff. I wear a lot of black. I do like designer stuff, but I keep it simple. Sometimes you’ll find me in Balmain jeans, sometimes you’ll find me in Zara or H&M jeans or a pair of Levi’s. Shoes are very important to me. My favorite shoe to wear is probably the Jordan 1, the OGs with the Nike Air. I’ll wear some of the Jumpman Jordan 1s, but my favorite is probably the Breds, then the royals, the satins, the fragments. I love wearing the Air Max 97s. All the boost stuff is very, very comfortable, so I own a nice amount of Yeezys.”

Wildest Vegas DJ experience: “Too many to name. I’ve done parties for Jay-Z, Drake, Justin Bieber. We used to throw parties at the Palms called suite parties. Good vibes, good energy. I had everybody come through from Drake to Chris Brown, Fabolous, Rick Ross. But my wildest DJ experience I would probably say was DJing the Bad Boy Reunion Tour recently. I got to play Chaka Khan, Sade and a lot of the older, genuine music that a lot of the artists from the ’90s, 2000s even, sample.”

Why he loves sneakers: “My first pair of Jordans were when the Jordan 1s came out — a year after that. I’ll never forget, we went to a spot called Copeland’s in San Francisco, and my dad bought me two pairs for 45 bucks.”

Go-to Vegas shops: “CRSVR, Shoe Palace, Feature.”

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