Alchemist and DJ Muggs Toss A Dash of Hip-Hop On WMC Week

Winter Music Conference is known for one type of music in

particular. Whether you call it house, or call it electronic music, ­there's no

denying its prevalence in Miami every late March. This is the week of the DJ.

On Thursday, the genre of music that first put two

turntables together with a mixer took center stage at the soft opening of Asia

inside Bayside's Off The Hookah. The venue, a separate room that connects to

the already expansive main room, will be a fully functioning Japanese

restaurant when the grand opening takes place in April.

Performing in

front a packed crowd were hip-hop DJ legends DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill fame and

The Alchemist, mostly known for his use of blaring horns and symphonic sirens.

"Nothing against house music," said club promoter Tony

Inacio. "But its refreshing to have a change of pace when it sounds like we've

been listening to one long song all week. Especially Muggs and Alchemist, we

grew up listening to them."

Alchemist first found fame in the late 90's working with

Mobb Deep and Dilated Peoples. Similar to the sound of Gangstarr's legendary DJ

Premier, It would be apparent who you're listening to the second Alchemist's

first horn blares from the bass line. The signature horns were alive and well

Thursday as Alchemist took the booth around midnight.

"The opportunity to bring these two DJ's presented itself

and we had to take advantage," said OTH owner Ehab Atalla, who put the event together

in association with Ultra's parent company UMG.

After about an hour-long set, highlighted by a series of

late-'90s hits that got the crowd in teeters, Cypress Hill's own DJ Muggs took

the stage.

Much like Alchemist, Muggs has managed to gain moderate

commercial success despite maintaining a certain aesthetic appeal appreciated

by hip-hop backpackers everywhere. Mugg's Soul Assassins' projects reached as

high as 86 on the Billboard 200 while featuring who Muggs' dubs as the Soul

Assassins, a roster of close to 100 artists who include the Alchemist himself,

Xzibit, Goodie Mob and several members of the Wu-Tang.

Muggs started the set with a fierce rendition of Cypress

Hill's early work. By the time "How I Could Just Kill A Man" ended, fans were

beside themselves.

"South Florida is always the tip of the map when it comes

to true hip-hop like we're hearing today," said one fan. "You better enjoy it,

because there won't be much more of it this week."

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Kareem Shaker
Contact: Kareem Shaker