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Freestyle Evolution

The neighborhood of Carol City is known for producing strong musical talent. Rick Ross and Flo Rida are from there, as are JT Money, Poison Clan, and mega-producer Bigg D. But before those artists grew to national attention, one local group, Freestyle Evolution, gained significant notoriety for combining electro-funk with hip-hop. They were the '80s pioneers of the freestyle genre — so much so that their initial group name was just "Freestyle" — and they worked alongside Debbie Deb, Pretty Tony, Stevie B, and Trinere to help Miami's freestyle sound go national. Their major hits, like "Don't Stop the Rock" and "It's Automatic," turned them into stars of the genre long before other New York Acts like Lil Suzy and K7 were on the scene. The four guys in the group have since changed their name to Freestyle Evolution to show the longevity of their style, and 20 years later, they're still recording new music and touring nationally. Starting this week, they're hosting First Fridays at Passions Nightclub inside the Seminole Hard Rock; they plan to feature big name freestyle acts each month. They're kicking off this month with a performance of their own, naturally, and you can expect plenty of old school jams and enough nostalgia to last all night long.

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Jonathan Cunningham

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