Music News

Jose El Rey

What do, El Cerro Market no. 7, Máxim en Español, botánicas, Mary's Coin Laundry, and your heart have in common? Those are places where Jose El Rey resides. Let's face it: The kingdom of Hialeah was up for grabs, and this man rose to the challenge. Living in the greener pastures of Miami proper, Jose El Rey is on a digital mission to conquer you and the Materva secret recipe. Known for a live performance that blurs the lines between spazz-o-matic punk rock and ghetto booty bass, El Rey's tunes are replete with energy, chutzpah, innuendo, and heartfelt self-deprecation. You either get it or you don't. The formula is simple: metallic beats over crinkly keys, synths, and Casio tones all helping to guide his vocals, which range from crooning "Cubanaso" to rock 'n' roll falsetto. Think Wesley Willis meets Taylor Dane via Ben Weasel. However, as contrived as that may seem, El Rey's racket has caught on. Receiving envious national attention, press magnets all over the country are trying to get a piece of the king. The biggest reason is that El Rey capitalizes on culture shock to great effect. Songs like "Offended by My Sex?" and "Night Time Ladies of the Night" are sexy crowd faves that further accentuate the good humor behind tracks like "Let's Go Steady (Until You Cry)" and "U + Me = Sex." Not that he can't get down and dirty like a real Miami MC. Songs like "We Are the Playerz," "Ñoooooo Que Barato," and "Gonna Infect U" have the requisite local commentary as well as sing-along choruses that'll make Grandma blush. Plus, the music is all danceable, and it makes you want to get hot and heavy with a large-assed broad. And this is just the beginning. A seven-inch record will be released by summertime, and his local appearances are getting more frequent and higher in profile. El Rey suffers for his loyal subjects, and he delivers the goods. If you understood 2 Live Crew, you'll understand Jose El Rey.

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Abel Folgar