I grew up in south Florida. Started off in Miami and then made my way to Broward county. It didn’t matter where, specifically, you lived as the sounds that were coming out of Miami resonated throughout all of south Florida. There was not a party or club that you could go to and not hear the distinctive sound that Florida artists were putting out. While not always the most lyrically engaging, the beats were hard to ignore. One thing that sound could do was make people dance. You couldn’t go anywhere and not have a booty contest spontaneously happen. It was if, as soon as 2 Live Crew came on, everything stopped. Bartenders stopped pouring drinks, cars stopped driving on I-95, and dance contests would immediately start happening.
While other areas of the country were spittin’ rhymes about living life on the rugged city streets, we were seeing who could Tootsee Roll or Butterfly the best. Think you went low? Here comes someone else who could get lower and scrub the ground. Ah, what a great time to be a young guy. One thing that the Miami sound had that most other hip hop songs at that time didn’t was danceability (no idea if that’s a real word but I’m going to use it). There are a TON of songs that I like. Would they get someone moving? Not so much. Songs that are lyrically off the charts good. Are they good in the club? Eh. That Miami sound though? Always a hit if you wanted to get out there and groove with someone.
Growing up, we had all ages clubs. I remember going to dance clubs with friends and girlfriends and everyone having a great time. You’d hear the DJ put on a song from Mobb Deep, for example. Everyone knows the words but the dance floor clears like someone was having a party and their parents just pulled into the driveway. That’s usually when everyone went to rehydrate. Now, I’m a huge fan of Mobb Deep. Great songs…not so much for dancing though. DJ’s noticed this and it wouldn’t be long until here comes a 69 Boyz song. Everyone would throw their drinks in the air and run to the dance floor. It was a fun time to be alive, that’s for sure. As I got older, knees got worse, so that meant less and less of that for me. While my taste in hip hop music has shifted more towards needing content and not just beats, I’ll still always have a place in my heart for those incredible years where an amazing bassline ruled the sounds of Miami.