Miami’s hip-hop roots run deep, from the club-jiggling antics of 2 Live Crew and the Poison Clan to late ’90s hitmakers like Trick Daddy, Trina and JT Money. But lately, it seems a new crop of artists has been breathing new life into the city known for sex, sun and cocaine. With “Hustlin’” putting the chokehold on radio playlists nationwide, it looks as if Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam artist Rick Ross is poised to become the ambassador of the M.I.A. XXLMAG.COM asked the bearded wonder why his city was the next to blow, before we broke down some of the major players in Miami’s renaissance.
The Ross Report
“Miami’s been real patient, and we all got our shit together so when we take it to the next level, we can keep it there. Right now we got our own little movement going on. You got the movement of Poe Boy Entertainment and Slip-N-Slide, Pitbull…There’s a lot of things going on, and it wasn’t like that, three, four years ago. It’s gonna be real big. Me and my partner E Class [from Poe Boy] are about to put out this compilation, Live from 305. We just gonna keep the movement going. I’m coming with the classic debut album, Port of Miami, and then I got my group about to come out, Carol City Cartel, and they finna be legendary, too. I wanna give a shout out to Atlanta, but it’s Miami’s turn this year.
“This is M.I.Yayo, you know, the cocaine capital. Eighty percent of the blow in the ’80s and the ’90s came through Miami. Back in the day, Luke was street too. Luke was a real nigga, he used to be on 15th Avenue where the biggest of the hustlers did their thing. He just glorified the dancing and the fun part of it, the girls and all that. Which is still cool, I applaud him for that. But you know, we don’t dance no more. We don’t have girls on stage no more. It’s the ying and yang; it all balances itself. Now we just keep it all the way street and just give it to them raw.”
Hometown: Carol City/Knoxville, TN
Affiliation: Epidemic Music
Claim To Fame: This soulful, gruff voiced MC with the sticky sing-songy flow will be the first artist from Cool & Dre’s Epidemic label.
Discography: Eyes Above The Water (Epidemic/Jive, Coming Soon)
Affiliation: Street Mob/Poe Boy Entertainment
Claim To Fame: After hustling through failed deals and delayed albums, it looks like Brisco will be the next to blow out of Miami’s Poe Boy camp with his nimble flow and hometown love.
Discography: Street Medicine (Poe Boy, Coming Soon)
Hometown: Little Havana
Affiliation: Diaz Brothers/TVT
Claim to Fame: After getting his start with Luke in the late ’90s, Pitbull was taken under the wing of veteran producers the Diaz Brothers, who landed him a deal on TVT. Widely credited for opening the door for Latino bilingual MCs, his music is rich with Miami’s different sounds: bass, crunk, freestyle, reggaeton and straight-up hip-hop.
Discography: M.I.A.M.I. (TVT, 2004), Money Is Still A Major Issue (TVT, 2005), El Mariel (TVT, Coming Soon)
Cool & Dre
Hometown: North Miami
Affiliation: Terror Squad/Epidemic Music/Jive Records
Claim to Fame: Since becoming one of the most sought-after production teams in popular music, they’re set to bring the attention back to their hometown with their new label Epidemic through Jive Records and Dre’s own solo album. Click here for XXLMAG.COM’s interview with Cool & Dre.
Select Production Resume:
Ja Rule feat. Fat Joe and Jadakiss “New York”
The Game feat. 50 Cent “Hate It or Love It”
Terror Squad “Take You Home”
Trick Daddy “Slip-N-Slide”
Ghostface feat. Raekwon & The Notorious B.I.G. “Three Bricks”
Dre’s Trunk Music (Epidemic/Jive, Coming Soon)
Ya Heard? Dre feat. Rick Ross “Chevy Ridin’ High” (2006)
Hometown: Little Haiti
Affiliation: J Records
Claim To Fame: This former ghostwriter for Dr. Dre and Diddy spits emotional street tales with a style reminiscent of Scarface, whom he collaborated with on his upcoming J Records debut.
Discography: Life of a Troubled Child (J Records, Coming Soon)
Hometown: Little Havana
Affiliation: Crazy Hood Productions
Claim To Fame: Known as one of Miami’s hardest working and most lyrical MCs, Garcia has been gaining major radio airplay since partnering with mixtape king DJ EFN.
Discography: Anti-Social (2004)
Hometown: Liberty City
Affiliation: Free Agent
Claim To Fame: Alternating between brash street boasts and in-your-face sexuality, Jacki fell out with her label, Poe Boy Entertainment, after the sales of her “Nookie”-powered debut fizzled. After filing for bankruptcy in late ’05, Jacki has been in the studio while she looks for a new deal.
Discography: Poe Little Rich Girl (TVT, 2005)
Hometown: New Orleans/Orlando
Affiliation: Terror Squad/Big Dawg Pitbulls
Claim to Fame: Though originally from out of town, Khaled has spent the last 10 years locking down Miami clubs and holding down the #1 radio show in the city on WERD 99 Jamz.
Discography: Listennn…The Album (Koch, Coming Soon)
Other Players to Watch For
Wreckonize: Miami’s notorious battle MC is now backed by Southbeat Records and Jim Jonesin, the producer behind Trick Daddy’s “Let’s Go”
C-Ride & Joe Hound: These two underground sensations are next up from Cool & Dre’s Epidemic roster.
T.H.C. Crew: Consisting of U.B., Chief Elicedes, Destinee, Col. Cara’emalo and DJ Mega Mixx, this bi-lingual crew has flooded the streets with their Hispanic Connection mixtapes.
SlyKat: With his Cool & Dre-produced “Just Chillin’” lighting up mixtapes and radio, this talented MC is finding success with his City Kidz Entertainment.
Red Spyda: This elusive Miami producer has laid tracks for hip-hop and R&B heavyweights from around the country.
P.M.: Formally from the group Iconz (“Get Fucked Up”), this Liberty City native has been making noise on his own with his independent Walking Money Label.