There was a time, in the not so distant past, that you would've turned the radio dial to just about any Latin station, east or left coast, and would have heard DJ Kane's voice. That's because he, along with Frankie J (then Cisco), were the lead vocalists for the group known as Kumbia Kings, which dominated Latin music in the early 2000's. As any R&B fan could tell you, Frankie J went solo in 2003. Though his solo debut didn't break the million mark like Frankie J did, so did DJ Kane, and with success.
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The following is an abridged history of royalty in the land of cumbia.It's hard to keep track, but stay with us. Kumbia Kings carried on, since the masterminds behind the group, Cruz Martinez and Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla remained, replacing the defunct vocalists with Pee Wee Salinas (who has since gone solo, as well). However, in 2006 the production duo responsible for all the Kings' hits parted ways on less than amicable terms, each taking a few key members to carry on the Kumbia King tradition. Somewhere along the way, K1 was formed, but it isn't really that important to the story. Soulja Kingz also budded from this pool a bit later, breaking of from A.B.'s faction. But the real players in this drama are Los Super Reyes, formed by Cruz Martinez, and A.B.'s group, Kumbia All Starz. Years of legal battle over the name Kumbia Kings, rather vocal dislike for one another, and even a few rumored outbreaks of violence in hotels ensued.
What does all this have to do with DJ Kane? Well, seems homeboy got out while the getting was good. The professional relationship with A.B. has been on-again, off-again. In 2008, he even rejoined the All Starz, though rumor held that was a temporary thing. But he just popped up on the new single from A.B.'s latest Kings incarnation, A.B. Quintanilla's All Stars. In any event, he's done well on his own, dropping three solo albums to date, ranking respectably on the Billboard charts and even nabbing Latin Grammy nods in the process. And he'll be performing on his own this Saturday night, at Transit Lounge.