photo by Terence Price

DJ Sam Sneak gives us “Here We Go”, which is in the same vein of other Miami DJs like DJ Uncle Al, and DJ Chipman, and The Buckwheat Boyz who made dance songs by yelling over records. Sneak has been making these type of songs for a while. Mind you he’s a top DJ on MMG and commonly touted as Rick Ross’s official DJ.

This is a jam. It is also very Miami. The beat is beyond fun, and the drum cadence is an nod to the city’s high school marching band culture and the drumlines you’d hear throughout any Fall weekday in the city (see Trick Daddy’s “Shut-Up” video). The Haitian creole in the verse at the end would only be commonplace in Miami where the Caribbean influence touches everything including local rapThe sound is new but the craftsmanship is 100% Dade County.

Ice Berg exploded in popularity in Florida through dance-based party songs. There’s a comfort level there because it’s naturally a part of Miami, as well as “Let’s Go Get ‘Em”. Berg has stepped up his flow and content in the past few years but there is something in his tone in the second verse that demands you to listen. That probably comes from the nature of this song.

  

Eskimo - “Trap Hard” (2014)

I don’t know much about Eskimo other than he’s out of Jacksonville. But this is cool.

  

LouiVee - 9 11 Volume 2 (2013)

This one has been in the queue for a while forgive me for just getting around to posting it. Loui Vee’s 9 11 Volume 2 is definitely the most consistent tape I’ve heard out of Florida in a while. Track after track is jam in its own way. There’s a lot of depth in the sound as the beats remind me of both Atlanta hype/swag rap and dark trap rap sounds. 

The intensity of the beat in the song above, “C Notes”, sounds cool to me. Loui Vee makes rhyming words through his teeth sound cooler than it should be.

"NuNu" is a solid up-tempo Florida club joint about alcohol and strippers (a la "Bust It Wide Open"), which is sort of new space for LouiVee. Most rappers from the area start out making tracks targeted for the local strip clubs and build a base through that avenue. LouiVee has approached his tracks with a good idea of catchy, gripping hooks that work as hype up jams like "You Haters Broke”. ”You Haters Broke” was highly slept on and should have gained more traction (it’s never too late!)

What might work against LouiVee is his similarity to others who are on the bubble. He reminds me a lot of Fat Trel, mainly visually and somewhat vocally but with less vulgar content and better enunciation. Young Chop’s artist Johnny May Cash also has a similar sound except with a lot more singing and even more Autotune.  

I’ve previously mentioned that North Miami has been the heart of all rap music in Miami for the past couple of years. North Miami like Jimmy Dade, Vulcha Smooth, and LouiVee definitely seem to be more willing to collaborate with others. LouiVee seems to do his best when he’s on tracks with his comrades like on “Beside Me,” a hype jam with Hood Rich, and “At the Same Time” with Spook. Both featured artists have great bars in their own right but the collabs allow for the rappers to feed off each other.

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Rap Songs of 2013 from Miami That You Should Hear

1. Denzel Curry - “Threatz" (Feat. Yung Simmie & Robb Bank$) (Nostalgic 64)

This song or the Nostalgic 64 tape it’s off of will be scattered across end of year lists for 2013. I don’t know if people expected much out of the rest of the Raider Klan outside of SpaceGhostPurrp. Denzel Curry and Yung Simmie are putting out music that combines the 90s screwed style SpaceGhostPurrp influences with actual scenes and vernacular of uptown Miami.

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2. Vandam BodySlam - “Ratonto" (Billionare Ambitions)

Vandam has been one of the most consistent independent rappers out of Florida over the past couple of years. He’s the clear standout in the Palm Beach-based PCC group, who focus on energy for what they lack in rapping skills. 

| Download | Mixtape |

3. Gunplay - “Bible on The Dash" (Acquitted)

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4.  Loui Vee - “Beside Me” (Feat. Hood Rich) (9 11 Vol 2)

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Loui Vee had a great track “You Haters Broke" a few years ago that went under the radar but resurfaced late this year with a strong follow up mixtape 9 11 Vol 2. Loui Vee used a lot of catchy rap-sung melodies for the 9 11 Vol 2. North Miami’s influence on rap in Miami has continued to grow, mainly from efforts of rappers of Haitian descent.

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5. Ice Berg “Hella Plays in Motion

 "Hella Plays in Motion" wasn’t on Rise to Power for some reason but a lot of other great songs were (including one of Gunplays best verses this year). Berg is at his best when he’s talking about the street life he came up in. There’s a twingy-twangy thing going one Berg does on the hook for this which kind of works but shows more of an acknowledgment in his need to differentiate himself.

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6. Young A.C. - “Linguin" (Barchetta 166)

Part-“Guaponese” part-“Haiti-Slang” still dope from Young A.C. out of Lauderdale.

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Here’s a YouTube playlist of these songs and some others you should check out. Normally a rappity-rap back packer track would be on my list but Vurn, J NiCS, QuEST and the like were very quiet this year.


Vandam Bodyslam - “Local” (2013)

More music videos should be shot around Spanish moss and away from the beach.

"Local” is off Vandam’s November mixtape Billionaire Ambitions. Although I’m not sure how accurate his claims of truly not being local anymore are, other than Ice Berg, Vandam and the PCC crew are probably doing the most travelling for shows

You hear alot of the same influences in Vandam as you do in other Florida rappers: 2Pac, Trick Daddy, Pastor Troy, etc. There’s not much excess in his rhymes, he’s a very likable “I got pain, but I got my folks” type rapper.  

This is another dope offering to lead a mixtape just like the hyperactive “Ratonto” from My MohTuhVayShun before it. SpaceGhostPurrp and Ice Berg are both on Billionaire Ambitions.

Young A.C. - Barchetta 166 (2013)

The solo offering from Goons United by the New School's (yep, G.U.N.S.) Young A.C., Barchetta 166, is a concise and diverse effort. There are a couple of features from Ace Hood and Tampa’s finest Tom G that help the tape and The Architeks and Fee Sosa handle much of the production. 

The Lauderdale, FL rapper makes the tape entertaining by rap-singing with a touch of auto-tune and catchy, garbled hooks like on “Still Do It” and “Don’t Even”. The best use of his voice is on the part-“Ha” part-“Haiti Slang” track “Lingun”.

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Billy Blue - “Bitch You Gon Make It” (2013)

Good to know Billy Blue is still around and saying things like “all this money I spunt”. Song is from last year’s mixtape RN24.

Y.D. - “Money Trees” (feat. Yo Gotti & Rick Ross) (2013)

This song has cool names attached. Honestly I can’t figure out if the clips of Ross are from another video or not.

Y.D. previously stood out to me with some honest and open raps that had a distinct Miami feel. The Real Y.D. mixtape dropped earlier this week and the rest of it is very similar to “Money Trees”, moving away from a local focus to a mainstream sound. Tracks like “Trees & Air Planes” and “Projects” show that Y.D. can make some joints. His voice is interesting to produce more dope songs that don’t fall into the standard trap-rap trap though.  There’s also a 1st-team All-Florida posse cut “My Niggaz” with Tampa’s Tom G, Billy Blue, Young Breed, Ice Berg, and Gunplay. Gunplay, unsurprisingly, probably has the most entertaining verse on the track. 

Y.D. is from Overtown, which is one of the traditionally Black and notoriously poor areas of Miami, despite being just 2 miles away from thing like American Airlines Arena and Bayside. Y.D. reps Overtown hard just like Desloc of Piccalo did before him. In the local rap scene Overtown has been overshadowed in the past 5 years or so by youth in Little Haiti and national attention towards Carol City. 

EDIT: Mixtape link! I’m so thoughtful.

Not Quite by Peter Vidani
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