South Florida culture is comparable to a sancocho when it comes to music. There are so many past and present influences that you can find any flavor to satisfy your audio pallet. With such an endless amount of music pumping through the streets I wonder how one can get lost within a genre and just stay there. Whether it’s the electronic elite with their drug-laced tunes or the Weezy/Drake autotune takeover of the radio; it just gets boring to me after a while. Luckily that wasn’t the case with the South Florida local scene. It was never stale or played out. Always changing it’s tuning and always pushing the envelope. So much new talent rose while veterans of the scene also got their recognition in pioneering the hip hop culture in these parts. I’ve listened to a variety of new beats, mixtapes, and albums in the last year, but this list represents the ones that are still in heavy rotation within my music library. It’s not to say that these are the best local albums but these are the ones that bring me the most joy.
If there is one thing I learned after hearing this album is that you DON’T want to step to this man and challenge him on the mic. I know that this album dropped in 2010 but I was asked to review it last year and I’m still bumpin’ it. This is a hip hop heads creme’ de la creme’. Beats, lyrics, and an album that is all killer with no filler. Each tune carries weight and leaves the listener floored with the combination of great production and 3rd eye subject matter. You listen to this when you want to raise your IQ points. At the forefront of local conscious music, Serum is a general.
This was such a breath of fresh air amongst all this commercial fog. These dudes were the first group I ever peeped from the FW4S camp. A label that has shown that it is for the music and for the artist. The album title lead me to believe that it was going to be heavily influenced by the East Coast style of hip hop. I was correct. This did NOT sound like a “South Florida” hip hop group. Nothing but boom bap beats, thought provoking lyrics, and DJ cutting and scratching. What more do you want? This album is a teleport to the times where hip hop was in the street’s pavement as opposed to the club’s dance floor.
Now, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about these talented individuals? If you haven’t heard of these guys then you definitely don’t listen to local acts. AO, a staple in the South Florida music scene, continue creating music that erases genre lines and boundaries.Their live shows are amazing and always bring a good crowd. They continue to push themselves musically and you can hear that in this album. The cuts are polished and precise. Both emcees showcase their lyrical ability while the live band demonstrates musical magic. As a whole they have mastered their art and are icons in the South Florida hip hop movement. In my opinion they are to Miami as to what “The Roots” are to Philadelphia.
If you haven’t heard of Epidemic by now, you are missing out! This mixtape is his second time around and no stone is left unturned. He is one of those emcees that forces you to hit the replay button because so much verbal stimuli is coming your way in each verse. The mixtape has both original production from Miami talent as well as the classic “jacking for beats” methods of jumping on an already famous commercial track. Whether it’s freestyle or written down, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference because his lyrics are THAT deep. It’s a mixtape that both the hardcore hip hop head and the commercial rap enthusiast can enjoy. Lyrical legend in the making, so be on the look out!
Miami’s best kept secret. Don’t know what he looks like and it doesn’t really matter. His anonymity only adds fire to the flame. A skilled producer, Stereo Phyler dropped his EP last year and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. It doesn’t sound like your typical Miami music. It’s a full on crash course into his mind and his taste in production. It is filled with amazing samples, great loops, and very enjoyable rhythms. There are so many artists that i would love for him to work with because of his raw sound and approach. He was quiet for the remainder of 2011 but I hope that the reason for it was that he was in the studio cooking up some more marvelous sounds for us to enjoy. Keep your hears open because the name Stereo Phyler will be spoken of!