By Rebecca Bulnes
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In a city where mainstream hip-hop culture rules the airways, the guys in Dangerflow are striving to create a different type of vibe. This new local six-piece specializes in fashioning soulful, dance-oriented hip-hop grooves mixed with a dash of old-school Seventies free funk. Think of them as the Roots meet Ozomatli.
In less than a year, the group has built a loyal local following, and the hard work has paid off: Monday marks the beginning of their new weekly residency at Jazid. At the same time, the band is in the midst of recording its first EP and expanding its live appearances in Broward County. Their early success must be due, at least in part, to their relentless work ethic. The members meet for practice three nights a week at bohemian hangout Basil Restaurant in Coconut Grove.
The band, like many other local favorites, boasts a multicultural lineup. At the front are vocalists Eric Stinnett and MC Angel Ocean; the other four members are bassist Nate Stanford, guitarist Kevin Callol, percussionist Mauricio Estrada, and drummer Jermaine D. Dukes. Still, the group knows it is going against the city's grain.
"We do recognize the fact that South Beach and downtown use DJs so much, that fans have been trained to hear the same songs they hear on the radio," Ocean says. "But that is also a plus for us, because we are here to give people something from a different perspective than the hip-hop on the radio. We think Miami would be proud of its homegrown talent if it was more aware of what's out there."
Although the live jamming style of the band is similar to local stalwarts such as the Spam Allstars and Locos por Juana, Dangerflow doesn't see these groups as direct competition. "Spam's music is mostly [about] Latin culture," Callol says. "We are more mainstream because we incorporate hip-hop ... and we also have a singer playing hooks."
Now with the Jazid residency, the guys are hoping to boost their profile and book even more gigs. "We all want to quit our day jobs," Ocean says. "We like this to be not just a career but a way of life."