In 1972, a man known as D.B. Cooper hijacked an airplane, stole the 2018 equivalent of $1.2 million, and parachuted out midflight. In present-day Miami, DB Cooper is a Miami booty bass- and Florida breaks-influenced DJ. What they have in common, today's Cooper explains, is their notoriety can be experienced and explained only by those who have witnessed their performances. Today's Cooper, whose real name is Jared Molina, moved to Miami more than a year ago from Naples, Florida. A native of the South Bronx, Molina knows what it is to be involved in a music scene. His time in Naples was characterized by frequent trips to Miami for shows, Art Basel, and networking with local DJs. He says he wants to "help carry the scene and make it as iconic as it’s known for.”
The notoriety Molina is referring to is Miami’s history of booty bass and breaks music. As a resident of Allapattah, he recognizes that 30 years ago, the neighborhood was the sacred ground for block parties pumping out the sounds of Uncle Luke and the like. “I got involved in dance music in a time when the internet was kind of like the catalyst for the spread of dance music,” he explains. Miami bass was an obvious draw for him back then because of its hip-hop quality and local roots, and Florida breaks had a similar pull due to its origins in '90s raves and its hip-hop-influenced beats. Those commonalities made for a natural melding of the two genres.
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The use of samples and the culture of remixes draw plenty of parallels to street art, Molina says. The art of reusing someone else’s content in a new or interesting way is an integral part of his aesthetic in both his mixes and produced tracks. As DB Cooper, Molina strives to blend older and newer sounds. Seeing him perform is an experience ranging from grooving to Missy Elliott’s “Work It” to realizing you kind of like dance music. Though they're dance tracks on the surface, his releases are heavily influenced by Miami bass or breaks. It's evident in the heavy bass sprinkled with phrases by Miami bass rappers or drum patterns that hark back to nights spent skating at Hot Wheels.
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Rather than move here to cater to the local crowd, Molina came to Miami because it's the only place that makes sense for him to be doing what he does musically and because he fell in love with the city.
Breaks Yo! 8 p.m. Saturday, September 8, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 305-672-1707; sub-culture.org/kill-your-idol. Admission is free.