We've named every SoFla emcee hailed from the golf courses of Coral Springs to the thong bikinis of South Beach. But who's in our top five, you ask?
There's only one way to find out.
Check the cut for the five best South Florida rappers of all time.
See more: Miami's Ten Best Hip-Hop Clubs
5. Rick Ross
Hometown: Carol City
Style: Schizo-synthed, bass-heavy orchestral rap, with the occasional, hoarse grunt
Rick Ross may be a former boy in blue, but the rapper's done a damn good job of blurring his correctional officer past with lavish imagery as Miami's uncontested Bawse. Ricky Rozay is surrounded by fast women and fast cars in an even faster city. The bearded-bear's lionized chart-toppers "Hustlin," "The Boss," and "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" have cemented him as "the biggest boss that you seen thus far," with "the biggest cars, Spanish broads, no bra."
4. Trick Daddy
Hometown: Liberty City
Style: Rowdy, horn-heavy street bangers
Trick will ride or die for his city. Dude's been known to have supposedly flicked a lit cigarette at a Weasel fool for talking smack about the MIA.
The Liberty City vet paved the way for Miami thug life imagery on the marching band-backed "Shut Up," and 305 hooligans surely can't forget cruising to Trick's velvety verses on "I'm a Thug." When "E'rybody wanna motherfuckin know why" Trick dresses "so fly," he simply answers, "Bitch, I do it for the hood." Trick Daddy Dollars isn't ashamed of where he's from, and that's essential for repping Dade.
3. Poison Clan
Style: Clubby, pre-Dirty South bass
As one of Luther Campbell's protégés, Poison Clan joined the ranks of Miami's burgeoning bass scene in the early '90s. But JT Money, Debonaire, Uzi, Madball, and Big Ram blended bouncy, early Dirty South impressions with Miami bass' hissing cymbals and kick drums; they basically set the precedent for Houston-based Southern rap. The group's leader, JT Money, eventually went solo (remember "Who Dat"?), but the Clan will always be known for making the club "Shake What Ya Mama Gave Ya."
Style: Pornographic soul
Blowfly is considered by many to be the first dirty rapper thanks to his 1980 single "Rapp Dirty." His span of albums include Porno Freak, 2001: A Sex Odyssey, and Live At the Platypussery. But as Clarence Henry Reid, the musical mastermind is an R&B-soul aficionado who got his start at TK Records. He wrote and produced for big names like Sam & Dave, Betty Wright, and KC & the Sunshine Band.
But there's no denying the great allure of Reid's futuristic supervillain-costume clad alter ego, Blowfly. In sequins, he's famous for parodying popular songs, making them entirely perverted. When only a lad, he turned "Do The Twist" to "Suck My Dick." Genius!
In 2011, The Weird World of Blowfly documentary explored the man's music, financial woes, oddly conservative persona, and attempt to regain his footing in the spotlight. He just performed at the Gathering and made Spin's list of "The 40 Best Things We Saw at Gathering of the Juggalos 2013." We consider that a big score for Miami and our flashy, filthy first local rapper.
1. 2 Live Crew
Style: Horny booty bass
These booty bass gods put Miami on the porn rap map, and after 1989's As Nasty As They Wanna Be, 2 Live Crew valiantly flipped a giant middle finger to Florida conservatism. U.S. district court judge Jorge Gonzalez ruled the album obscene and illegal to sell (the ruling was later reversed) and Crew members were arrested for performing their explicit, sex-ridden ditties in public. But the horndogs overcame the hate, and on their subsequent and aptly titled Banned in the U.S.A., the boys proudly whooped, "FACE DOWN ASS UP! THAT'S THE WAY WE LIKE TO FUCK!" Now that kind of moxie, kiddies, is what makes for the best rap in South Florida.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.