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Subtropical Spin

Barrio brothers Tropyco and Bombillo, better-known as the SoFla Kingz, have released an album capitalizing on the current Latin explosion in hip-hop and the rising popularity of reggaeton. The SoFla Kingz previously distributed free mixtapes all over South Florida, 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 like “Lemonheadz,” “Tam Tam,” “No Me Diga,” and “Cojelo Suave” bubble and thump as well.

The group’s comedic approach, in the spirit of D12 and Ludacris, is especially well-developed on tracks like “Whassamatta,” another winning song produced by Drop and featuring Mexican-style guitar licks. Though the several comic skits (five on a 21-cut LP) get tiring after a while, a few are hilarious, especially one reenacting the popular scam of Miami panhandlers who “run out of gas” near gas stations and ask for “gas money.” It’s precisely such attention to detail that proves SoFla Kingz really represent these SoFla streets.

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