One of the nicer surprises in Las Vegas nightlife is the “sister” club, the smaller room you don’t realize is even there until you start to wonder where all the pretty people in the main room went.
When you poke your head inside and find them, you get a “Why didn’t somebody tell me this is where the party’s at?” look on your face, knowing full well that you’re going to keep the secret to yourself.
On Cinco de Mayo, Hakkasan Nightclub lifts the curtain on its best-kept secret, the Ling Ling Club, as it launches “Saturday Night Skam,” a tribute to the OG hip-hop clubs, headlined by a Skam Artist DJ.
The Skam roster is loaded with talent familiar to Las Vegas clubgoers, including DJ Five, DJ Turbulence, Deux Twins, Justin Credible, CAPTN20 and DJ Crooked.
For the artists, the hip-hop-themed “Saturday Night Skam” creates some separation from the EDM-heavy vibes of the main club, which counts Tiësto, Matoma and Calvin Harris among its headliners.
For guests, “Saturday Night Skam” means two parties for the price of one at Hakkasan.
As the new party readies to launch, six of the resident Skam artists got together for a Q&A with Vegas Seven.
What’s your earliest memory behind the decks?
DJ Crooked: DJing my first high school dance and getting in trouble for playing Onyx’s “Slam” because I was warned not to play any music that would evoke the kids to start slam dancing. Apparently a girl got hit in the head, but she knew it was for the culture. We both did!
CAPTN20: Trying to mix trance records at car shows and failing miserably. [Laughs.]
DJ Turbulence: Coming home from the record store and practicing all day and night.
DJ FIVE: I was 15 years old with one belt-drive turntable and a Gemini mixer, scratching on KRS-One’s “Outta Here” for a year before I got another turntable and more records.
DJ Turbulence: I loved learning how to scratch and mix.
Deux Twins: “In 2012 was when we first were introduced to DJ’ing. We were taught in a studio that a producer would have house parties at every night.”
Justin Credible: Making noise in my bedroom and my parents telling me to turn it the f–k down.
When you were coming up, was there a record you wouldn’t leave home without?
Justin Credible: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G. and Dr. Dre’s “Next Episode.”
CAPTN20: The Chronic! And Afro Medusa’s “Pasilda.” I was big into Latin house and ’90s hip-hop. Those were my go-tos when I wanted to switch between genres.
DJ Turbulence: [Mine] would probably be an Invisbl Skratch Piklz break record because it had plenty of samples that I could scratch.
DJ Five: [I got] Q-Bert’s Bionic Booger Breaks to scratch with when I went to my friend’s house to practice.
DJ Crooked: This bootleg vinyl of Prince’s greatest hits. It had “Kiss,” “Pop Life,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and more. Having a vinyl compilation of all these hits from several albums was rare and priceless ’cause it meant you didn’t have to carry all of Prince’s LPs. It lightened the load, and being limited to only one or two Prince songs is blasphemy.
Do you have a go-to old-school track?
Justin Credible: ”California Love” always gets the place lit.
Deux Twins: “[Anything] Biggie, Snoop, Lauryn Hill, 2Pac, or Ice Cube.”
DJ Turbulence: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air [theme song]. It was my favorite TV show growing up, and everyone knows the lyrics when you drop it.
DJ Crooked: It depends what you call old-school and how young the crowd is and what they determine as old-school.
CAPTN20: It depends on the age of the crowd, really. It could be Otis Day and the Knights’ “Shout,” Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” or Naughty By Nature “Hip Hop Hooray.”
DJ Crooked: Ja Rule and Ashanti have been the new old-school requests. But Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It” seems to be the all-around favorite.
DJ Five: “This Is How We Do It” works every time!
DJ Crooked: All ages, races, religions and sexual orientations can’t help but sing “It’s Friday night” in unison.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen in the Ling Ling Club?
CAPTN20: I mean … what happens in Ling Ling …
Justin Credible: A well-known hip-hop artist making out with two girls at the same time.
DJ Crooked: Jennifer Lopez dancing behind me on one of the banquettes, wilding out to a ’90s set I was playing of Biggie and Junior Mafia. As soon as I played “All About the Benjamins” with Diddy, she stopped dancing and left. [Laughs.]
DJ Turbulence: Me and my friends dressed up as cholo Ninja Turtles for Halloween, so I ordered a huge pizza during my set and passed out slices to the crowd while I was DJing! [Laughs.]
You’ve got a night off to hang at Ling Ling Club. What’s your No. 1 request?
DJ Crooked: Anything that’s not a trap remix.
Justin Credible: My No. 1 song request would be “Nice for What” by Drake, and my No. 1 alcohol request would be a big bottle of Peach Ciroc.
DJ Turbulence: A bottle of Don Julio 1942 tequila!
CAPT20: Nineties hip-hop and lots of 1942!
DJ Five: Pharcyde’s “Passing Me By.”
Deux Twins: “Probably Cardi B’s ‘I Like It.’ Although we wouldn’t need to be requesting it since it’s everyone’s favorite track right now (laughing).”
Where would we find you?
Justin Credible: Standing on a couch with a bottle in my hand and hopefully two girls right by my side, just like that celebrity I mentioned earlier!
Deux Twins: “Standing up, dancing on a couch. Together.”
DJ Crooked: At the bar with the common folk, taking shots with other DJs as we critique the music, study the crowds’ reactions and steal the DJ’s mixes. [Laughs.] Nothing brings me more joy.
DJ Turbulence: Dancing on the floor.
DJ Five: At the bar, for sure, and then on the floor.
CAPTN20: Causing trouble at all of the above!
Saturday Night Skam takes over Hakkasan’s Ling Ling Club beginning with Eric D-Lux on May 5. Tickets can be purchased via the Hakkasan Group website.