DJ Laz Overcame Tragedy and Disability to Conquer Miami's Airwaves. Now He's Going National
For this week's cover story, I profiled Lazaro Mendez, AKA DJ Laz, the booty bass pioneer and FM radio personality who provided the soundtrack to thousands of teenagers growing up in south Florida since the late 1980s, including Banana Republican.
Over the course of two months, I hung out with Laz inside the studios of DJ 106.7 FM, one of the two radio stations where he is now broadcasting his morning show. He's also on L.A. 96.3 FM in the City of Angels.
After 22 years on Power 96 Laz moved over to the Spanish Broadcasting System-owned stations in July. It was a big move for the Pimp With The Limp, who wants to make the leap from South Florida personality to national voice.
It's a risk that could regulate Laz to the radio history bin, but the 41-year-old Cuban American has been overcoming the odds against him since he was a baby, when his doctors told his parents he would never be able to walk.
His impact on Miami's pop culture is undeniable. "It doesn't matter if you graduated high school in 1996, 1999 or 2005," says Nick Corirossi. "If you were at a party, DJ Laz songs are always gonna get played. It is something that is so unique to Miami."
Corirossi is a 25-year-old South Miami native who now lives in Los Angeles, where he makes short films. His latest project, Miami 1996, opens with Laz's hit, "Esa Morena," as a Miami house party is just getting underway. The short will premiere on December 15 during the Borscht Film Festival at the Adrienne Arsht Center For the Performing Arts.
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