The memories of my youth are riddled with days spent at skating rinks, endlessly circling a dark arena dimly lit by neon lights. While my friends and I hooked arms and learned the power of gravity, the DJ boomed bass-heavy tracks with fast beats and lyrics too dirty for our minds to comprehend. They were the happiest times of my life.
I was lucky to grow up in South Florida’s Miami Bass era, able to witness the revolution firsthand. As have I, those songs have only gotten older, yet the genre remains an unstoppable dance riot, a party music watershed to which we’re all indebted.
In the case that you didn’t grow up in the South Florida ‘90s, here’s a list of the 10 best Miami Bass songs I can remember. This list includes only Florida-based groups (because #Miami) though let the record show that New York-grown B-Rock and the Bizz’s “My Baby Daddy” and Georgia-based Duice’s “Dazzey Duks” are unforgettable classics.
10. Gucci Crew, “Sally”
We all know a girl like Sally. She’s the
9. 12 Gauge, “Dunkie Butt”
My dreams are haunted by the cry of “please – ah hey.” That might be one of the most recognizable moments in my Miami Bass memories. Sir-Mix-a-Lot had “Baby Got Back,” but two years later, 12 Gauge made love to the dunk in a way nastier fashion. He’s named after a shotgun, so he’s clearly gangsta, but show him a pair of big
8. MC Luscious, "Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend"
Just because Miami Bass was a dirty, raunchy playground doesn’t mean there weren’t some killer lady MCs. People usually point out L’Trimm and “The Cars That Go Boom,” but today, we honor MC Luscious and her ladies-response to The Boys from the Bottom’s girl-stealing hit. Isn’t it the worst when you bang someone’s man and then he never stops calling? Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that to someone intentionally, but if I did, I’d walk up to my enemy and scream this song in her face.
7. Poison Clan, “Shake What Momma Gave Ya”
Rappers think they write rude songs about strippers today, but no one can come close to this anthem. Literally every lyric is insane, but the beat is so infectious, it legit used to play in front of children. That’s the magic of Miami Bass. Censorship is for bitches and pussies.
6. 69 Boys, “Tootsie Roll”
Miami Bass birthed the whole “jock jams” phenomenon. The combination of that dirty bass with the blare of a referee whistle does something to a person. It makes you wanna run onto a basketball court and rip your enemies to shreds, then
5. Quad City DJs, “Space Jam Theme Song”
Quad City DJs were the jock jam masters. They actually worked with 69 Boys on “Tootsie Roll.” That being said, it made 110 percent sense that the folks behind Space Jam tapped them to write the official theme song. If you were a kid in the ‘90s and Space Jam isn’t one of your favorite movies, you have shitty taste and you probably don’t have any real friends. This anthem brought Miami Bass into the lives of kids around the globe, sharing what made my childhood so special with millions, albeit super cleaned up and PG. Can we nominate this song as greatest theme ever?
4. Splack Pack “Scrub Da Ground”
One of the most ubiquitous hits of the era, “Scrub Da Ground” gets dropped at parties to this day, whether they’re Miami Bass themed or not. The correct response to this at a party is for all patrons to immediately drop their ass so close to the floor, you could mop it. Notice the shout out to Palm Beach County in the lyrics. Yes, Miami Bass is a full, 100 percent Tri-County Area experience.
3. DJ Laz “Esa Morena”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This is Miami’s unofficial theme song. You couldn’t walk two blocks without hearing this jam bumpin’ from someone’s car stereo or the backyard of some house party. DJ Laz ruled the era with his Power 96 Megamixes. His classic mash-up beats and Spanglish lyrics paved the way for Pitbull to do his thing. He’s got a lot of other jams just as great, but this one goes so hard and fast, it reigns supreme.
2. 2LiveCrew “Get It Girl”
It’s not fair to pick one 2LiveCrew song. Miami Bass wouldn’t exist without Uncle Luke, Brother Marquis, Fresh Kid Ice, Amazing Vee, and Mr. Mixx. Everything they ever recorded, released, and performed in their years of glory deserves to top this list, but I’m gonna give shine to “Get It Girl,” because the beat beats the pussy up almost as hard as the lyrics. It’s fun, it’s funky, it’s catchy, and it makes you want to dance like a slut. That’s what Miami Bass is all about, after all. All hail the Kings.
1. Uncle Luke ft. Trick Daddy “Scarred”
I don’t really care what anybody says, this is the greatest Miami Bass song of all time. Uncle Luke stepped away from the Crew and gave the world some of the greatest jams not just in Miami Bass history, but all music in general. This is one of the best beats I’ve ever heard, and it marks the official introduction of Trick Daddy, a true Miami legend. It also provides the listener with ample opportunity to rap in a goofy frog voice. Also, hydraulics!
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.