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.
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
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
"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."