Best Local Solo Musician - 2008
Jose El Rey
Exactly how much of the mysterious, greasy fellow known as José El Rey is a put-on? We don't know or care — and neither, apparently, does his rapidly growing legion of fans. His lo-fi renditions of tinkling freestyle and booming Miami bass, coupled with his flashy Miami Vice-era stage wear and rico suave sexual banter, cause unanimous commotion among the wildly mixed-up cross section of people in his audience. Old-school bros, roller rink queens, Wynwood hipsters — they all worship at the altar of this ladies'-man shaman. Seriously — so many girls jump onstage to shake their shit that El Rey's trusty security sidekick, El Tigre, often has to lay the smack down, for real. The king has scored shout-outs from Perez Hilton and a recent full-page interview in Maxim en Español, as well as an appearance (as part of the Miami Bass Warriors group) at the holy grail of local Latin culture: the Calle Ocho Festival. José El Rey loves Miami, and Miami loves him right back.