Top 5 Songs About Miami

Miami, a city that has inspired numerous crime-driven TV shows, plenty of bad movies and countless rap videos. And why wouldn't it? It's sunny city laced with danger -- and plenty of coke. So it goes without saying, plenty of songs have been written about our fair city. I've narrowed down the choices to the top 5 songs that use Miami as its muse. The formula was something to the effect:

[(# of expensive cars mention + # of coke references) x # the word Latina(s) is said] / the vivid portrayal of Miami by the artist(s)

So feel free to argue, but the numbers don't lie:


5. Against Me! "Miami"

Album: Search for a Former Clarity

Choice Quote: "The talent is trite and exaggerated/The food is turning and the water's fucking poison/And it's rotting your teeth right out of your head/sight and hearing are quickly faded [...] Just like Miami!/Miami!/Fucking Miami!/Miami!"

Verdict: Naples via Gainesville band Against Me! has written the prefect song for those of us who have that love/hate relationship with the city. Then again, if I grew up in Naples, I'd be a little jealous about not living in Miami too.


4. U2 "Miami"

Album: Pop

Choice Quote: "Weather 'round here chopping and changing/Surgery in the air/Print shirts and southern accents/Cigars and big hair."

Verdict: Often consider the worse U2 song ever written, it's hard to disagree. I give them points though for an good portrayal of South Beach circa mid-'90s. The song is as vapid and void of emotion yet oddly cool and glamorous like the South Beach we used to know and love. Also, seeing how this is a better portrayal of South Beach, the song should have been titled South Beach or at the very least Miami Beach. Because an accurate portrayal of Miami proper mid-'90s is urban wasteland filled with crackwhores and the homeless -- er, I guess that's still kind of true today.


3. Sander Kleinenberg "This Is Miami"

Album: This Is Ibiza/This Is Miami

Choice Quote: "This is not (insert city know for its nightlife)/This is Miami."

Verdict: Kleinenberg takes us through a world tour by naming countless cities like Paris, Cologne, New York, LA, Ibiza and London before proclaiming "This is Miami." Oddly enough he starts the song by stating "This is NOT Miami." Don't worry Kleinenberg, after partying until 9 a.m., I sometimes forget I'm in Miami too. This is one of the songs that was made for Space's terrace. Imagine a shitload of 'roided douchebags going ape shit when the song finally reaches its climax by saying "This is Miami!" They are like "Bro, that's the city we live in!" (I wish you could have see how far back I rolled my eyes as I typed that.)


2. Bonde Do Role "Miami Beach"

Album: Marina Gasolina EP

Choice Quote: "Down the Ave I'm strollin'/Like Tony Montana high rollin'/Tequila shots at the Delano/Boogie on down at the Cameo/The house is rockin' oye que calor/Go mamacita shake it on the dancefloor/Sippin' on some margaritas/Time to bang some señoritas."

Verdict: I swear, the above quote, however stupid it might be, is 100 percent real. Let's see: Scarface reference, hotel and club name drop, and a quest to bang a Latina girl before the night is over. This coming from those lovable kids from Brazil.


1. Will Smith "Miami"

Album: Big Willie Style

Choice Quote: "Water so clear, you can see to the bottom/Hundred-thousand dollar cars, er'body got em/Ain't no surprise in the club to see Sly, Stallone/Miami, my second home."

Verdict: I checked the Blue Book and my '96 Honda Civic isn't worth $100,000. And the last time Stallone was spotted in Miami, he had yet to disfigure his face with one-too-many face lifts and Botox. Although I give him props for acknowledging Miami's Hispanic influence by getting some dumb slut to sing "Beinvenidos a Miami" like she's about to jump on your bones right after the verse. ¡Ay Papi!

Stay tuned for the top 5 music videos filmed in Miami.

- Jose D. Duran

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Jose D. Duran has been the associate web editor of Miami New Times since 2008. He's the voice and strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's music, entertainment, and cultural scenes since 2006, previously through sites such as and He earned his BS in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Florida. He's a South Florida native and will be a Miami resident as long as climate change permits and the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees.
Contact: Jose D. Duran