Freestyle music got its name from a Miami group called Freestyle Express. Someone left out half the name on the group's most popular record, and when "Don't Stop the Rock" became a national hit, the label just read "Freestyle" and that word came to define the sound.
Miami Freestyle is also the music that built Power96. The station fully embraced local artists and helped launch them into national record deals with labels like Atlantic.
Freestyle superfan Marlin Alvarez remembers: "On the radio, all you heard was freestyle. They would play it between Madonna and Michael Jackson. So to me, the acts were superstars, except I got to see them everywhere, not just big arenas."
FIU radio DJ Mamey Disco is still playing those songs. Here's what both guys call the 13 best Miami Freestyle acts.