Miami is the undisputed world heavyweight champion of bass, and the globe's leading progenitor of trunk rattle, rear-view shake, and total body thump.
The genre is a direct descendent of Pretty Tony's freestyle productions, and Henry Stone's earlier indie R&B Pop. It's the single hardest electronic boom in the universe, and proud of it.
Joe Stone, son of kingpin Henry, helped bring that hard-knock Miami bass baby into the world. And alongside a talented bevvy of behind-the-scenes players from Orlando to the MIA, he was there turning knobs and flipping switches to drop the first extended 808 kick that set it all off.
Joe Stone says, "Thing about me, I'm not a historian with bass. I was just fuckin' there making it. Dig? With bass, freestyle, techno, the x-rated Fly Boys stuff, I was participating, creating, manufacturing, distributing, marketing, and promoting it.
"I can't tell you all the names of everybody involved. We'll leave that to PappaWheelie and his Miami Bass History project.
"I don't even own most of the records I produced and wrote. That doesn't get me going. What got me going was being a part of creating the music and making opportunities available to other artists, producers, engineers, and musicians.
"And for a time, I was one of those guys in it. I'm creative, but I always make opportunities available for others. So that's where I'm at.
"Back then, me and Steven J Grey were the only white guys at the Pac Jam. I would take my x-rated Fly Boys records, hand 'em to Disco Ricky to throw on the turntables, and then when everybody left, I had the trunk of my car open selling 'em for three bucks a pop.
"It was fun as shit. It was crazy. Here are some of the other people I remember."
10 and 9. Billy Hines and Frank Cornelius
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"He was involved with 4 Sight Records with MC ADE, who was also his son, Adrian Hines. They did 'Bass Rock Express.' Billy was a really nice guy. We distributed his records, and we made records with him. Just a cool, down-to-earth guy. He was with Frank Cornelius and those guys. Frank Cornelius was involved in engineering a lot of those early bass records too. I knew Billy well, and he would do stuff with me at a couple of the studios we had, but he did a lot of his own things also. He had his own record shop and his label up there in Fort Lauderdale."
8. Eric Griffin
"He had a couple real good records. He was a good guy. Dynamix II was the group he had with Norberto Morales. Their label was Bass Station Records. And they did 'Give The DJ a Break.' He also worked a lot with Dimples Tee. He died unfortunately. I think he got shot up in Atlanta in the middle 1990s."
7. James McCauley
"He went by Maggotron. He started with us in the '90s. He was an interesting white guy. Loved that bass music. He was good. I used to use a lot of pseudonyms on all my projects. He posted something recently on Facebook calling me Joe _____ ... You can fill in the blank. Funny guy."
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6. Danny D
"He had that song 'Boom I Got Your Girlfriend.' I did a few albums with Danny. Little white kid also. His group was Boys From the Bottom. I shot that album cover. I did the art design. I did the art for most of those early covers and labels and I produced and engineered 'em under different names like A Hott, or FM Funk, or JM Jack. I did that because, as the label guy, I was also working these records at the clubs and on radio. I didn't wanna walk in and hype it and they look at the label and see my name. So I used fake names. That was one of my ploys."
4 & 5. Bruce Greenspan and Mark Boccaccio
"Bruce was a Jewish kid from South Florida, a UM engineer, real talented. And Mark was a musician and keyboardist from Syracuse who moved to Miami and was in a few different bands. It was those guys and Tim Devine. They were the musicians and engineers, and then I myself started engineering and drum programming. They were on a lot of those early Luke Skyywalker records."
3. Tim Devine
"Tim was a guy down here in Miami, an English guy who knew how to operate the E-MU emulator and the SP-1200. We started with the 808, and then went first to the DBX 160 to compress it and extend the note, but the 808 created the bass sound. Then with the SP-1200 you were able to tune and play the bass drum to do melodic parts and create these very cool sounds instead of just the straight drop of these short or longer beats. You could make it ring, but you couldn't change the notes, so the SP-1200 took it to the next level, and so did the Alesis, and Tim Devine knew how to do all that. He was a seasoned keyboard player. I would bring in seasoned musicians for a lot of those bass records. These guys knew music and knew their music theory and where to put the musical essence on a lot of these things.
"A lot of this stuff was in the beginning of the digital era. We were just coming out of everything being analog and we still recorded everything to tape, but we had a few pieces of digital equipment that were starting to come into the music production community."
2. Clay D
"He ended up going with Steve Alaimo and Ron and Howard Albert over at Audio Vision. But first, he was with me and Amos in the studio. He used to say, "Imma put my nine up your ass," and he was talking about his shoe, his size-nine shoe. It was a simpler, more peaceful time when bass ruled, and not fuckin' bullets. He produced a bunch of stuff, but I don't know how much credit he got. I liked him and his energy a lot."
1. Amos Larkins
"Amos was a young bass player and a producer that was involved with and started hanging around Henry Stone's TK Records studios right toward the end of that era. And he was there right when Henry started up F.H.L. Productions in the same warehouse right there in Hialeah at 495 SE 10th Court.
"He was a co-writer on Connie's 'Funky Little Beat.' He did some stuff with Luke that we were involved with. Luke used to bring guys to the studio to record, and we manufactured some records for him. But one time, Amos left Luke's name off a record, and I don't know how he got the number to the house phone, but he called and I picked up and he started saying, 'You motherfuckers, left off my motherfuckin'....' and I said 'Go fuck yourself!' and I hung up.
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"He called right back all pissed off and I said, 'Don't call here talkin' shit to me. If you've got a problem, let's work it out and we ended up talkin' like gentlemen and I said that if the record sells well and we go to repress it I would make sure personally that it had his name on it. And I made sure his name got on there.
"So that was Amos Larkins."
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