By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
By early 2006, Lunch Money, Daddy Bone, and Bizerk began working with D in the studio. The three young men had penned an original song, "Daddy Like," but all thought something was missing. So D brought local R&B songstress Princess Asia into the studio. "I didn't know that I was auditioning. I thought that I was just going to do a feature on their track," says Asia, who joined the group right after the recording session. And in a nod to the city's musical past, they named the group after a phrase coined by seminal Miami hip-hop MC Mother Superia.
A former back-up dancer for local rapper Jacki-O, the beautiful Asia gives the group its remarkably sweet, melodious vibe. On the breezy "What's da Bizness," she intones the chorus in an alluring range that rests somewhere between Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. In the meantime, the boys take turns at rhyming, while a storm of beeping synthesizers accompanies a cascading piano. The beat switches from Southern hip-hop to Top 40 R&B, giving the track a fresh pop feel -- a Magic City version of the Black Eyed Peas. The unique Miami flavor features a bass-heavy thump, clearly owing to the legacy of Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew.
Though their sound collage comes courtesy of producers like Bigg D and Storch, the group members write their own lyrics. "We have all the creative control," says Lunch Money. "We start with the beat and write the song from there."
Another single, "Miss You," finds the foursome looking at their lives for inspiration. "My two-month son, Amari Cooper, passed away because he was allergic to cow milk," recalls Asia, "so I dedicated the song to him."
As for the Storch-produced "Highs and Lows," BODM can thank Bigg D for making the connection with the superproducer -- they share the same management team.
"Storch is the only other producer that I would let in on the project," says D.
With enough tracks for a full-length album, D hopes to launch Bottom of da Map's debut sometime before the end of the year. In the meantime, the members imagine brighter futures. "I could pay off my mom's crib," Bizerk says. "She wouldn't have to worry about payments."
To hear Princess Asia tell it, they've already succeeded on their home turf. "As soon as our single dropped, people started recognizing me," she says. "I went to Pembroke Lakes Mall and everyone was asking for my picture; it was fun to see people smile."
"It has been a roller coaster ride," says Lunch Money. "We all rely on each other; we motivate ourselves. We want to be the best group in the world. That's why we work so hard."