With EDM and PLUR on eternal overdrive in Miami, it's easy to forget the city's real musical roots. Before Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, there were big, booty, bitches.
The Magic City boasts its fair share of rap anthems that molded Dade County into a mecca for rump-shaking club hits. And it's OK to praise Will Smith's paragon, "Miami," or applaud Vanilla Ice for his '90s machismo. But we here at Crossfade want to highlight the city's bona fide bangers by a crop of rappers who live and breathe the MIA.
Sorry, Sean Kingston and Flo Rida, you didn't make the cut.
7. DJ Khaled's "I'm So Hood"
I know, if you hear another one of his hackneyed catch phrases you'll abandon radio rap (if you haven't already), but listennn ... Don't act like you didn't bump this day and night in its prime, whether you were raised in Overtown or Pinecrest. It's one of those self-asserting bangers that you can apply to anything in life -- "I'm So Hood" is just about being proud of wherever you come from. Without a doubt, that's some essential Miami shit.
6. Trina's "Pull Over"
Da Baddest Bitch came into her own on this tail-clapper. And because of Trina's seething confidence with "Ain't nann hoe got more booty in the butt," every Miami girl can believe she has the biggest behind when this ladies' jig blares over the club speakers. And that classic Slip-N-Slide swing has made it a 305 gem. Who knew some serious booty meat would make Trina Miami's rap princess?
5. Rick Ross's "Hustlin'"
Ah, our first encounter with Dade County's purported cocaine lord. Although his faux kingpin act is a little less real than we Miami folk like to get, the Bawse has become a spokesman for the fast city life through screechy, deep synths and a guttural bark -- plus he's got the cars, the clothes and the hoes. Though the former correctional officer's debut single was an homage to drug trafficker "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the rapper's cocaine cowboy image stuck. Hey, he did steal someone's name. That's a crime.
4. Pitbull's "Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)"
Pitbull is known to make the chongas go crazy on the floor. Dat Lil Chico orders the chicas (you too, gringas!) to "bend over girl show me what you working with" -- and the demand is obeyed. When a 305 queen hears this chant, she (or he) spreads those legs, arches that back, and takes it downtown as the song's sirens wail, pata sucia style.
3. Uncle Luke's "Scarred"
What's more Miami than Luther Campbell and his illustrious booty bass? After the rapper's tenure as 2 Live Crew's leader and this song's 1996 release, the metropolis would be forever synonymous with buxom, bootylicious women and Campbell's "Cap D comin'!" shriek. An early Trick Daddy dominates the latter half of this track to solidify its rep as Magic City ass-humping gold. Tell us you didn't do the "cry baby" to this at every party?!
2. Trick Daddy's "Shut Up"
Despite the usual stigma of being band geeks, if a high school has a killer marching ensemble, they've bucked the stereotype. In this shirt-twisting club smasher, Trick channels the billowing pulse of a hard-stepping high-school band as he snaps over heavy tubas and trombones -- local Northwestern High's Marching Bulls actually appear in the video. (Six Marching Bulls are featured in Juicy J's stripper-filled tape for "Bandz a Make Her Dance." Told ya they were set!) The jam typifies early '00s rowdy Southern rap, and you definitely weren't cool if you didn't answer every vexing question with, "Ah, hah, OK, wassup? Shut up!"
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. DJ Laz's "Esa Morena"
Every Miamian who loves to shake that ass adores DJ Laz. The Pimp with the Limp scored big with this one -- it's played at every quince, wedding, bar mitzvah, and fifth-grade dance in the Magic City. One minute, you may be swaying to a waltz, but then those familiar whirling horns and thick, Latin bass penetrate your ear canal and ¡Ahora si! The dance floor transforms into a shameful, gyrating crime scene. Un, dos, un, dos, tres!