By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
By Kat Bein
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
In the Miami of the early Nineties, the hip-hop scene that existed apart from bass music and Uncle Luke wasn't large, but it did encompass a young, earnest, and close-knit community. Many artists were either too young or didn't have enough clout to land shows at local venues, but there was one spot where aspiring MCs could go without laminating fake IDs or worrying about the dress code. That was the Zoo, an erstwhile club in Coconut Grove.
The Zoo served as a breeding ground for the MIA's up-and-coming talent and was just the place to be, period. "Anybody who was hip-hop from Cutler Ridge to North Miami used to come to the Zoo," explains MC Brimstone127. "And I remember all the faces. Crazy Hood, before they were the Hoods, would be lined up at the Zoo. A lot of people came out of that."
Brimstone127 and his then-fifteen-to-eighteen-year-old crew Plan-Be actually orchestrated the night, from making their own flyers to hiring security. "Many 'heads from that time have taken off and made careers out of hip-hop, from Garcia to DJ Craze, while others still come out and support," Brimstone127 recalls.
More than a decade later, Seth Schere, who is Brimstone127 the individual, is now 32 and has found himself in a similar position: He is one of the forces behind the monthly Come Correct jam held at the 21st Street Recreation Center (2100 Washington Ave.) in Miami Beach. Along with Mex and Richard "Speedy Legs" Fernandez (two of Miami's original b-boys), Mista Long (half of the legendary duo Black Sheep), and local artist KRAVE (who will be painting on the And 1 basketball tour this summer), the group is doing its own service to contribute positively to the youth coming up today. "We're trying to build up the community again, not through competition but through unity," voices Brimstone127. "Working with people like KRS-1 [on the upcoming Lectures on Wax album/movie] and learning how we need to be involved with hip-hop in the community, I'm inspired when I come in here and see just five people."
Bringing in representatives from the Zulu Nation to speak about hip-hop culture, and hosting battles where b-boy crews come from around the country to compete in dance and rap contests staged in a fashion similar to a poetry slam, the monthly Come Correct party is equipped with a large dance floor, open mike, graffiti writers demonstrating their art, and classic breaks and funk from DJs the Brass King & TMS, Brimstone127, and others.
In addition to his involvement with Come Correct, the Kendall-born-and-bred Brimstone127 continues to cultivate local hip-hop with his performance and production collaborators, including vocalist Mariposah plus rotating turntablists and beatbox operators Jase and Name Brand under the group name Brimstone127. They are readying a second full-length album, Elevator Music, set for release this fall and featuring the production skills of Dug Infinite (of Chi-town/Common fame), KRS-1, and Chief Rocka Busy Bee.