Hail, Fire, and Brimstone

MC, community activist, and Kendall native, Brimstone is serious about the history of Miami's hip-hop culture

"You got to remember, back then Miami was all about bass and freestyle. There was hardly anywhere to go to hear hip-hop music," recounts Brim. "You look at South Beach now and there's hip-hop clubs everywhere. But when I was growing up, there were only two spots that played hip-hop music, the Junkyard and Fifth Street. Then the Zoo came along."

A venture Brim began with a cousin, the Zoo packed the house every Saturday night. Each week more than 200 of Miami's biggest hip-hop lovers would go to hear local DJs like Coupe de Ville and DJ Kris. One night a freshly plucked thirteen-year-old got on the decks. His name was Aristh Delgado, and it was his first DJ gig in front of a live audience.

"When I see DJ Craze now, we laugh about that gig," Brim says. "He could barely see over the turntables and he had to stand on milk crates!"

Brimstone is the thoughtful type
Brimstone is the thoughtful type

Brimstone is famous for these stories. Deeply rooted in the local hip-hop community since, well, the beginning, he has no qualms about saying, "I was a part of that," when describing Miami's momentous hip-hop occasions.

His latest endeavor has been to gather traces of all of these historical moments and house them under one roof. "I'm in the works of starting a hip-hop museum down here," Brim says. "People from the Miami hip-hop community have been giving me all these mementos that are truly Miami hip-hop artifacts, like old-school flyers and demo tapes. It's just been this amazing journey that needs to be documented."

But with the amount of blood, sweat, and tears he has given, the Billboard success of other local acts has eluded him. He remains serene about it.

"It's out of my hands," he says calmly. "I tried as hard as I can, and I have pursued those avenues of trying to make a hit record, but nothing ever comes up." He pauses solemnly and then continues.

"People measure success as money, but I measure it as a dream. And you know what? My dreams have already come true. I mean, I've always dreamed of working with KRS; now he's a personal friend of mine. I always dreamed of working with De La Soul, and I've been in the studio with Maseo. I can stop right now and say that I have had an extremely successful music career. In that sense, who cares about that major-label deal. I literally made it."

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