I guess I always felt that hip-hop was a Miami thing since I grew up in Latin America and came here for summer visits with my relatives. Now, that does not mean that my relatives influenced me in some way or educated me in the ways of the genre, but in the 1980's I recall heavy love for local acts.
We've already discussed how I came into 2 Live Crew and there will be many others to explore within these future pages but I've had a nagging suspicion lately that I haven't fully shaken off the retarded machismo a "Latin" upbringing might've imbued within me. So since I pride myself on taking positive steps within my video artwork with my partner Patti Her to explore and present issues of femininity and womanhood, I'll go off on a little limb today with what is usually referred to as a South Florida one-hit wonder.
I'm talking about L'Trimm, baby.
Meeting in high school and attending Kendall's Skylight Express, a teen-oriented dance party, Lady Tigra and Bunny D quickly caught the eye of Hot Production's Paul Klein who used their teenage appeal and cred as dancers on the locally produced TV show Miami Teen Express to put together some danceable tracks with their quirky and saccharine deliveries. It also helped that both ladies had that youthful sex appeal that is eye-candy with glints of green in them.
So we come into the one track that they are best known for, though to their credit, they had already established a local following with their regional sensation "Grab It!" that opens and names this record. But it was "Cars With the Boom" that made them national sensations and offered touring opportunities. This track was originally a 12" single on Time-X Records with "Don't Come to My House" on the flipside. Both tracks appear on this disc alongside other songs that play up the party-like atmosphere of that teenage ode to subwoofers. Songs like "Sexy," "Cuttie Pie" and "He's a Mutt" work to an almost creepy effect towards the sex appeal the producers aimed for.
Keep in mind these girls were almost out of their teens when this album came out in 1988. Exploitation? Perhaps, but these affairs are not to my knowledge, so I'll sidestep that discussion by offering my opinion: I think it was completely exploitive of the girls though I can't ascertain for sure, since scandal and horror stories have never been heard of from their camps. So it's almost like it could've been worse but wasn't, mirroring the tension of the song's sexuality.
It is my understanding that nowadays, Lady Tigra (Rachel de Rougemont) relocated to New York and has kept herself busy within the music industry and even had a solo effort released in 2007, while Bunny D (Elana Cager) has worked as a writer of juvenile fiction.
Listening to "Cars With the Boom" now, over twenty years later, I still get that creepy sensation that the 50" woofer and the "liking" of the boom are far more sexual than casual naïve coyness. But then I think of the crop of nubile female flesh we're subjected to on a daily basis (and I think we all know what I'm talking about here) and find that though the fact stands, there's something almost benign and cute about this affair. Their delivery, and it's all based on their delivery, is fun and childish.
Even the cutting and scratching over tiny bass show off the all-ages fun that truly make the song kinda stand the test of time. Is it going to make me feel better or exercise my macho demons? Probably not, but it's nice to know, even if they were relegated to one-hit wonder status by time and interest, that two girls from Kendall rode a high crest of Miami Bass fame and were lucky to follow up with two more albums.
And yes, we can thank them for all those cars that rode our fair streets whilst shaking and vibrating themselves almost out of their chassis. Oh wait, I guess we can still thank them for that!