A quick look at the Billboard charts reveals that the rest of America has finally learned something Miami figured out long ago: House music is awesome. Of course, the Magic City wasn't always so hip. Murk — the team of Ralph Falcón and Oscar G. — defined our club music culture starting with their debut in the early '90s. Separately, the Miami natives are superstar DJs with residencies and gigs across the globe. But together, under an ever-growing list of aliases, they've become house production royalty. The duo has scored seven consecutive number one hits on Billboard's club play charts. They have also remixed singles for pop stars as disparate as Madonna and RuPaul. And this past February, Defected Records released a best-of compilation for its elite House Masters series. They haven't quite reached the commercial heights of some of those new kids who are tearing up the pop charts with crossover hits, but that's only because Murk's Miami fans know the definition of real house music.

Whether they're ass-smashing Nachos Supreme with strippers, "Planking on Yo Bitch" all over South Beach, or overdosing on "Kush Smoke & Pussy" in a Miami Shores parking lot, O'Grime's L.Rey and Nikolais Javan are this city's most ridiculously rad rap team. Their YouTube vids routinely get 100,000 views. Their email inboxes are constantly flooded with nudie pics from fans of both sexes. They're even huge in Lithuania, thanks to last year's b-ball anthem, "Valanciunas (Big V Lithuanian Hero)," in honor of seven-foot phenom and fifth-overall NBA draft pick Jonas Valanciunas. But really, it all started in summer 2011 when these barely post-teen hip-hop pranksters debuted with a nine-song eponymous EP chockablock with funny, filthy tracks like "Domework," a drugged-out, dubsteppy cut about getting blowjobs while playing video games. And then it hit peak perversity just a few months ago when L.Rey and Niko finally followed up with a full-length slab — the equally horny, totally superhigh, and oh-so-swaggishly titled Pearl Necklace — whose NSFW cover art features a corseted set of boobies spattered with gobs of semen spelling out O'Grime. So yeah, they're young, wild, crazy, uncensored, and occasionally offensive. But that's how Miami has always liked its bangers — from Uncle Luke and 2 Live Crew to Disco Rick, Trick, and the Baddest Bitch. We just wanna get grimy in the 305.

Bachamambo plays bachata criollo, a form of Dominican roots music that was born in country barrooms of the D.R. The style is a dance based on Dominican blues, with songs about getting drunk, losing your woman, and getting kicked out of the house. It's all set to an infectious beat that Latins call "pegajoso," as in sticky or extremely catchy. It's a guitar-driven style whose heroes are Luis Vargas, Raulín Rodríguez, and Luis Segura. The most popular song might be Luis Santos's "Corazón Culpable" ("Guilty Heart"). Bachamambo pays tribute to these greats with covers performed by the seven-piece band of guitars, bass, keyboard, tambora, timbales, and saxophone. They are six Dominicans and a Nicaraguan. Founder Raffy Quezada started the band in January 2009. You can see them live every Sunday night at Club Típico Dominicano in Allapattah, every Friday at Puerto Marino in Hialeah, and monthly at La Guira in Miami. They are available for booking and have found huge support from Hondurans and Nicaraguans, in addition to Cubans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, and gringos. There was a time when Dominican radio would not play bachata, but in the past decade it has risen to the heights of popular Latin dance alongside salsa and merengue. Every time Bachamambo hits the stage, it keeps the audience drinking and dancing to the classics till the early morning.

This 12-member mini-orchestra is perhaps the most ambitious indie music project in recent South Florida memory. Psychic Mirrors comes complete with choreographed back-up singers, horns, keys, and a unique blend of funk rhythms, electro beats, and Latin flavor that includes decidedly futuristic nods toward the past. This is a band that doesn't follow any predefined archetypes. The brainchild of Cuban-American composer Mickey de Grand IV, it delivers on all of that ambition. Tracks such as "Mystic Hustle" and "We Can Groove" sound like something from a tropical space party. Luckily you don't have to travel into orbit to catch the band live.

Most rap videos are luxurious fantasies layered on top of other wildly luxurious fantasies. We've all seen the video in which a rhyme-spitting protagonist is partying in the VIP section of the hottest club, wearing the finest clothes, drinking top-shelf liquor, and standing amid gyrating ladies — one of whom he'll probably take home later in a fine sports car. It's exciting, but nothing we can relate to. This is what makes DJ Khaled's clip for "I'm on One" stand out. It's a luxurious fantasy layered on top of, well, a pretty mundane downtown Miami lifestyle most of us know well. The song features three of the biggest rappers — Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne — but they're doing some pretty ordinary things. Drinking Four Loko on a balcony after a long night out? Yeah, we've done that. Flirting on the Metromover? Been there. After-partied in a friend's barely furnished downtown loft probably bought out of foreclosure? Check. Swerved across lanes of traffic between high-rises and pulled over by the bay to smoke a blunt? Maybe not in a Rolls like Rick Ross, but yep. Getting caught in the rain? Duh. One day when people ask us what is was like to live in Miami during this era, we'll show them this video. We just won't mention that Khaled and company made it look ten times more glamorous.

Thanks to meat-fashion enthusiast Lady Gaga, pop music is currently parked at the corner of Weird Boulevard and Glamour Drive. Travel down an alley, though, and you'll find Marlon Alarm. In his video for single "Double Diamond," ethereally beautiful, ambiguous, and asexual Alarm emerges from a trash can before pronouncing with a sneer: "Radio, listen up, play my song. I'm talented as motherfuck." In the song's video, he does his best Britney on a budget — but gives off a classic Bowie vibe. It's not quite polished enough to reach double-diamond sales status, as the name suggests, but Alarm is an exciting raw talent with a clear artistic point of view. Sadly, radio may not be playing his song anytime soon, but there's no denying he is as talented as he claims to be.

Grand Central

Miami's hipster concertgoers are pretty lax when it comes to buying tickets. Indie shows rarely sell out here. So a lot of people were left shocked in their skinny jeans when tickets for Cut Copy's September show at the relatively cavernous Grand Central were gone early. That's because it wasn't just hipsters buying tickets. Cut Copy seems to be one of those groups whose popularity cuts across the city's very separate scenes. Apparently the Australian band's dance-friendly electro-rock moves the feet of South Beach house heads, Kendall kiddy ravers, Brickell yuppies, people who wear sunglasses in clubs even when they're sober, your mom, your hairstylist, your mom's hairstylist, that chick you kind of dated but dumped because she had a laugh like Fran Drescher — you know, just about everyone who doesn't get all of their music direction from Y100. So the band added a second show the day before, which is a rarity in Miami. And it was worth it. Opening acts Midnight Magic (disco revivalists with a horn section and last summer's hottest indie club jam) and Washed Out (chillwave OGs) set the tone, but Cut Copy whipped both nights' crowds into an ecstatic frenzy with hits like "Lights & Music" and "Need You Now." The experience left audiences wanting more, and probably ensured that tickets will sell out even faster the next time the band comes through town.

Is she a hippie, a gypsy, a nomad, or a crazy, soulful, lovely, lusty Cuban musical genius? All of the above, and a work of art to boot. And if you heard her earlier this year playing live on Michael Stock's folk and acoustic music show on WLRN (91.3 FM), you know the skill and imagination it takes to make a song about sex and pizza so lyrical you can smell it through the radio. Sol has toured Cuba, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Europe, picking up new life experiences to write about at every opportunity. Her lyrics reflect an infectious passion for life that makes you want to hop a train, swim naked in the rain, and take a plane to Paris. That's the kind of music we like, and she writes it better than anyone else we have ever heard. She just funded her next album through Kickstarter, so we look forward to hearing more soon.

Oi! Die Trying plays street punk — the driving, anthemic, and melodic style of underground rock that encourages gang-vocal sing-alongs from the crowd and revels in the power of a simple and heartfelt delivery. The band features members from Hellhounds, Five Across the Eyes, Unit Six, Vice City Rockers, and Guerrilleros de Nadie — five groups that have helped define the past ten years of Churchill's Pub. You probably missed their first show there earlier this year, but you shouldn't miss their next one. With lyrics about fighting Nazi skinheads, standing up for justice, and sticking by your friends, Die Trying delivers inspirational hardcore that will give you something to think about while you rock out.

On April 1, 1991, the future capo of the intergalactic Raider Klan Mafia was born in Miami. His name was SpaceGhostPurrp. Well, legally, the infant's birth certificate read, "Muney Jordan." But that was just the earthly label forced upon an extraterrestrial creature who crash-landed in Carol City with a mission to get high, hypnotize humanity, make money, and elevate his Klan to another level. Now aged 21 in earth years, he proffers syrupy raps and staticky beats (i.e., "Mystikal Maze" and "Tha Black God") that sound like secret, swaggy messages from some undiscovered planet with a massive surplus of essential resources like cars, cash, hos, gangsta grills, and Purrp-brand promethazine drank. Last year, the Ghost grabbed mad Internet buzz for mixtapes like NASA: The Mixtape; collab'ed with swag superstars Smoke DZA and A$AP Rocky; scored a spot on Miami New Times' Best Albums of 2011 list with Blvcklvnd Rvdix 66.6; and even earned a name-drop in Spin's recent rap issue. But now he's about to blast out his debut studio slab, titled Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp. And then, he says, "The prophecy shall be fulfilled."

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®