On New Mixtape, Niko Javan Puts Miami Anthems in a Blender to Make a Very Turnt Smoothie

“I don't want to turn up anymore.”

That's what the headline said on Vice's Thump. The picture running across the top of the screen showed Niko Javan, Miami's king of hyphy psychedelia, posing devilishly before a gang of dancing Flaming Hot Cheetos bags, but below the turnt up imagery sat an article espousing Javan's slow and soulful side.

Javan was going through a kind of identity crisis. He'd always been the yop-god, the emperor of lit, his majesty of malt beverage behavior. Yet, here he was, talking about turning down, and for what?

“You could hear and see in my energy and stuff,” he remembers. “I felt like my swag decreased. I kind of went into hiding.”

That was a year and one month ago, but today, Javan is proud to say his swag is back and bullier than ever. He just had to take some time to get back to his roots, his 305 mami-shaking, churro smoking, thrift shop raiding ways. He had to give himself room to get weird. He had to get reacquainted with bass. He had to remix DJ Laz.

“Usually a song like 'Esa Morena' — I wouldn't even know how to touch that,” he says. “It's a classic. I couldn't make it any better, but recently, I feel like my overall confidence and energy has been up... I said, fuck it. I can make it at least weirder, if I can't make it better.”

One video-game style intro, some screeching parrot calls, and cascading synth lines later, and that's exactly what he's done. He also poured his acid-wash all over Trick Daddy's “I'm a Thug" and "Naan,” Pitbull's “Dammit Man,” Rick Ross' “I'm a Boss,” and three more Miami fucking anthems.

The remixtape, so to speak, is called The Prince of Miami, and it drops today. All its seven tracks play on songs any DJ would drop on a SoBe crowd or during a Wynwood gathering. These are songs that get a big response from anyone born and raised in the County of Dade. They're all still bangerlicious and instantly recognizable, but have now been fed through Javan's colorful, kaleidoscopic, hallucinogenic mind.

Trick Daddy squeaks with the force of a million helium balloons and Pitbull traps like he never left Opa-Locka. Uncle Luke drops "Doo Doo Brown" over a sea of future house waves, and Trina shows all the bad bitches how to really chop and screw.

“Not everything is that serious,” Javan says. “My attitude for doing this was not to be too critical of myself — just try some new shit and have fun. I really want to get to work on an EP, and I thought this would be a great way to shake up everything I've been doing and get a ton of fresh ideas before I start something that's a bit more personal.”

To that effect, it worked beautifully. The producer says he's got a dozen starter points locked and loaded for his next release, which he's already dutifully getting down to. It shouldn't be long before Javan unleashes a host of pure originals just as boss-level bonkers as these.

In the meantime, those lookin' to get weird and wild to some remixed Miami classics should head over to Bardot Thursday, June 30, to catch his opening set for Troyboi, or Churchill's Monday, June 27, when Javan takes over his new favorite party, Dubday Mondays. It's gonna be a sweaty, salty, swagged-out affair celebrating the coronation of Javan as Miami's crowned Prince. Cover is free. You have to bring the Flamin' Hot Cheetos yourself.
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Kat Bein is a freelance writer and has been described as this publication’s "senior millennial correspondent." She has an impressive, if unhealthy, knowledge of all things pop culture.