Sofla Kingz

Barrio brothers Tropyco and Bombillo, better known as the Sofla Kingz, have released a CD just in time to capitalize on the current Latin explosion in hip-hop and the rising popularity of reggaeton. The Sofla Kingz have previously distributed their mixtapes all over South Florida for free, but this is their first CD of original songs available for sale.

They've got some good beats, too. The best bangers are "Tirate," produced by Gorilla Tek, and "Pa La Calle," which features Miami MCs Virus and Laria and production by DJ Mingo. The song moves seamlessly from a reggaeton rhythm to a live salsa piano sequence to a "from the bottom to the top, the top to the bottom" NYC hip-hop groove. Self-produced cuts such as "Lemonheadz," "Tam Tam," "No Me Diga," and "Cojelo Suave" are bubbling, too.

The group's comedic narrative approach, in the spirit of D12 and Ludacris, is especially well developed in cuts such as "Whassamatta," another winning song produced by Drop that features Mexican-style guitar licks. Though the several comic skits (5 in a 21-cut LP) get tiring after a while, 3 of them are hilarious, especially one re-enacting that popular scam of Miami panhandlers who "run out of gas" near gas stations and ask for "gas" money. It's precisely this attention to detail that enables Sofla Kingz to represent these streets.

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Makkada Selah