The Hottest Albums released by the Home Team in 2019
Happy Last Day of 2019 #WVCC Family. What a year it has been. This year, after a 4 year hiatus we at #ViceCityCypher gave birth to our latest ventures, #WVCC #CyphLyfeRadio, The #CyphLyfeBlog, and with the help of our family at #PropsAndBonds and #CatalystHipHopMiami we have brought back Miami’s longest running MC Showcase and Open Mic, #SaturdayMicLive. Needless to say it has been a busy year. It has also been a year full of great Hip Hop, alot of it coming out of our Own Back Yard. Therefore, this article is dedicated to the Top 15 Albums releases out of South Florida in 2019. If you missed bumping any of these albums when they dropped through out the year, now’s your chance to get familiar with some of Miami, Broward and West Palm Beaches rawest Underground Hip Hop offerings of the past 12 months.
Don’t Hate…Press Play and Participate.
YK HAMILTON – TRICK DADDY KANE
Hands Down my favorite release of the year comes from North Broward / Palm Beach Underground King YK HAMILTON, formerly known as Jabba Jaws. Top Notch Penmanship paired with Excellent Beat Production from Camouflage Don. Boom Bap with just the right mix of Dirty Souf Swag. There aint a low moment on the whole project. Stand Out Tracks: TRICK DADDY KANE, WORN LEATHER, COLD GRAVE, H.Y.D., HEAT. Enjoy.
WHUT DEY DO – SUBSTANCE ABUSE
This album can be classified as one of Miami’s first Super Group Formations. The union of Miami Mic Murderers Orion, Sir Charles, Spaz, and Sweet Jesus aka Infinite has produced one of the most intoxicating Miami Hip Hop albums this decade. Each artist has individually earned their titles as respected Miami MC’s, but together they have practically owned the Local Hip Hop scene all 2019, opening up for such legends as Ras Kass, and KRS ONE, as well as tearing up every Local Artist Showcase available. The whole album was produced by South Florida MPC King, the Late Great NAME BRAND. Along with the digital release of the Substance Abuse album, they also released limited copies of their album on CASSETTE TAPE, professionally manufactured, and plastic wrapped for all those collectors of Vintage Local Hip Hop. This is a must own album and piece of South Florida Hip Hop History.
Stand Out Tracks: SWEET THINGS DEY SAY, VAGINA CODINE (feat Draz), TOO MUCH TO DRINK, ALL THAT, NETHAMPHETIMINE
SIR CHARLES “THOUSAND” – CHRONICLES OF THE 3RD BORN
This album fucking sucks…but Thousand paid me 3 stacks to promote it on the blog. So listen at your own risk…. Just Kidding Yall. One of the dopest Sophomore Projects I’ve heard from any South Florida Spitter, Chronicles of the 3rd Born finds MC Thousand sounding super comfortable on every beat provided by a slew of Miami Beat smiths such as DRAZ of Citation Sounds, BAKED PLICKSKIN of NOD, and NAME BRAND ( RIP). Once known primarily as a Battle Rap animal, Sir Charles has used 2019 to show all critiques that he can hang on Record and on the Stage with the best. Not only did he release this classic of an LP, but he also recorded and released his Abortion Clinic EP, the WHUT DEY DO – SUBSTANCE ABUSE LP with his group mates, and filmed 4 videos for the 3rd Born album. Homie did not sleep in 2019. This album is brutal with the lyrics, Hilariously Sarcastic, and painfully honest, as he uses every beat to bare his soul. Great listen from beginning to end.
Thousand, be on the look out for my Cash App info in your DM. I expect payment before Midnight.
Stand Out Tracks: JOHN LENNON, 3rd BORN, GIVE ME MY FLOWERS, GROVE SIDE, TRAPPED, BIG CHOPPAS, DONT SLEEP, KEEP LIVING
ART MORERA – BUENA GENTE
One of, if not THE Illest “Compilation Project” to come out of the 305 this year has been the BUENA GENTE LP put together by Miami Workaholic ART MORERA. Along with his Media Noche Podcast which shed some much needed light on local artist of South Florida, ART MO also gathered the majority of his guest together to record a great testament to Community Building. BUENA GENTE is chock full of gems from start to finish. Featuring South Florida greats SERUM, CAVEMAN BLESS, CLOUD 9, ORION, THOUSAND, DUB P MOGLY , REV, SAGE THE GHOST and more, all blending excellently with Art Morera as they tell their individual tales of grinding to make their dreams a reality and get their names heard further than just their County Lines.
Stand Out Tracks: PAINT feat Serum, TAKE THE CASH feat Orion, IT’LL HAPPEN feat Thousand, AFTA feat. Caveman Bless, HOW IT GO feat SPAZ, HAAAA feat Cloud 9
DESOUZA – THE REMNANT
It was an honor and surprise to be involved with the creation of this project. Long Time friend and someone I consider crew, KAP K of GRIDLOCK / GRIDLOCK RADIO reached out to me in 2017 and asked me to write a verse for a single he and Gridlock group member INK ( one of my early mentors in the rap game) were getting ready to release. I wrote and recorded my verse for TAKE A PEEK, and while at the studio I found myself dropping a loose verse over another beat ( which would later become LET IT RIDE). A year went by, I had forgotten about the single, and all of a sudden KAP hit me up with 2 more beats. I wrote to these two and months later met up with him to record my verses around the same time I was wrapping up recording the DEBT FREE: SACKCLOTH SWAGGER LP with THE RNF STATUS in 2018. Once again, months went by and I never got to hear the finished product of the verses I had laid down with KAP. Fast Forward to Oct 2019. KAP K hit me up to let me know that he had changed his name to DESOUZA and that there was an email waiting for me in my inbox. I checked the email and was blown away by the album I present to you above. Enjoy THE REMNANT, a banger of a Hip Hop Album produced entirely by DESOUZA, and featuring some great verses from INK, FRANK RIZZO, MANIFESTO, SEEKER, THE RNF STATUS, and yours truly. I did not add this album to the Top 15 list out of pride. I added it because, even though it is a Christian Hip Hop album, there are few albums released this year locally that match the production and lyrics on each song. Listen and judge for yourself.
BIZ LEVIN – THE GROVE
My introduction to BIZ LEVINE came by way of the ART OF WAR: MIAMI BATTLE LEAGUE where RANDOM BIZ, as he is known in the Florida Battle Rap scene, grew in fame as an opponent with a serious pen, and even meaner Freestyle Game. So it was to my huge surprise when he shared his debut release as an artist THE GROVE, that I found out the homie could literally do it all. Not only does he stand toe to toe with Florida’s nicest Battlers, but he can also write a hell of a tune, and sings like its no bodies business. Upon first listen, I thought Anderson Paak had moved to South Florida and changed his name, the album is just that musically advanced. A great listen when you just chilling, enjoying a day out on the road or doing some house work. Women will love this project if they give it a spin. Beat Wise and Melody wise it is able to contend with anything played on the radio, and lyrically it is tight enough to keep even the hardest hip hop head bobbing his noggin. I have never failed you before…trust me and press play.
TRPL Z – BAD THOUGHTS 2019
We recently did a full write up on this project for the #CyphLyfeBLOG. Feel free to search it up in the archives if you want to get our in depth take on this superb piece of work. Aside from dropping this complete LP, the Dreaded Mic Wrecker TRPL-Z has also spent 2019 releasing singles and dropping Videos for new singles such as LA TISA feat Doble9, Raudel Escuadron Choco Valens, and SABROSURA feat Miami Latin Hip Hop Vet MichaelAngelo, along with running a muck in the local scene. If you are not a fan of TRPL Z yet, get familiar now because you will be seeing him everywhere in 2020.
IVAN L – FRANK
Here is another album we reviewed in the early days of #CyphLyfeBlog this year. FRANK, the latest LP by Broward Main Stay IVAN L is a wonderful mix of Boom Bap, Lo Fi Hip Hop and Crunk Trap Rap. Ivan L walks the fine line between the two genres like a master tight rope walker. Never sounding corny on either style, but rather sounding like a pro that leaves you wondering why has this brother not blown up yet. He is definitely working his way up the ladder, opening up for Smoke DZA‘s Florida tour earlier this year. 2019 has not been all roses for I.V. . This year has been full of personal Losses for the founder of BRO LIFE RECORDS, but he has taken them on the chin and has not allowed these stumbling blocks to hinder his progress. Keeping it moving, he has recorded yet another mixtape, LAST TIME I CHECKED I WAS STILL BREATHING which he is aiming at releasing in the first couple of weeks of January. If the past is any indicator, you will be hearing alot more from IVAN L for years to come.
KINGDON KOME – TIME HAS KOME
If I am being honest, I was completely oblivious to the name KINGDOM KOME before 2019. At the beginning of the year our brother Serum was spreading the word about an upcoming project from a local spitter he had dropped a verse for. I never imagined that this mc would be an official member of the Miami Chapter of the LOW LIFE FOUNDATION, the crew made legendary by Underground Don THIRSTEN HOWELL III. One listen to this album it will become evident why the POLORICAN put the homie KINGDOM KOME down with the crew. The dude is a ferocious spitter with diamond sharp bars and pulls no punches on any topic. The album is full of great features including SERUM on CATAGORY 5, JOEY DUZ, LAZARUS CHILD, and Miami Vet C-TRAFFIC on TURKEY SHOOT. If you are out of the loop with this home and the LOW LIFE Movement, consider this your induction. Now do your homework and join us as we grow South Florida’s Hip Hop Scene into the monster it once was.
CHOCO VALENS – THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIGHT
CHOCO VALENS has been making waves in South Florida since the Late 2000’s when he used to go by J.O.K. At that time you could find him terrorizing Cyphers and MC Battles as well as snatching any open mic that was made available to local artist. Always a spitter who stood out in the crowd, Choco had something special about him. Maybe it was his hunger or the relentlessness that was visible when you looked him in his eyes. Some have referred to it as THE “IT” FACTOR. Whatever it is, Choco Valens has it and in large supply. I can think of few artist who are as amped up on stage and who can put forth the same energy and professionalism whether they are rocking for a crowd of 10 or a crowd of 500. This spitters skill level is high enough where he should be acting like a diva, but he always manages to carry himself with humility. That is until he gets in the booth or on the stage. Once that happens, all bets are off. Hide your women and children. This dude is a Killer. His 2019 LP THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIGHT offers some of the most unique flow and cadence to come out of the 305 and will help you reach a new max weight if you play it during your work out. This is Revolution Theme Music, the Score to punch a cop in the face to. Must be played on loud.
KAIRO LAVOE – SAZON BABY
A member of Fountain Blu’s infamous M.I.Animals Crew, KAIRO LAVOE has been putting in work not only in the booth and the stage, but also behind the production boards in 2019. The Colombian native blessed us with a hell of a Latin American infused Hip Hop this year by the name of SAZON BABY where he proudly waves the flag of his Hispanic heritage. Lots of different flavors on this EP that any Hip Hop enthusiast or music lover of Latin Descent will be pleased with.
D.U. IVAN – LIGHT WORK
What doesnt this brother do? Actor, Singer, MC, Comedian…this dude is a wearer of many “Roc Sol Custom” hats, and he rocks them all with swag. D.U. Ivan, formerly of Miami Party Hop Band YOUR MOM’S FAVORITE, has put in 150% effort into 2019 and is reaping the benefits. He started off the year touring the country with Miami Super Group MAYDAY, has been maintaining a weekly freestyle series on YouTube called TOMA TUESDAYS for close to a year where he not only drops a fire freestyle weekly, but also edits the videos on his own. With all that, he still managed to write, record and release his full lenth LP, LIGHT WORK. Fitting title to a project from an artist who just makes everything look easy. This album has everything that a fan of any genre of rap will love. There isnt a style that Ivan cant flip or a beat that he cant ride. He manages to make music that girls can dance to, venues full of drunk college kids can jump around and mosh to, and Hip Hop truest can listen to and nod their heads in agreement. As he says in one of the skits on the album, he comes from the era “Before hip Hop was Hair Dyed and Leaned Up”, but he has learned enough from this new wave to surf it like a pro. Press play and enjoy the vibe.
THE RNF STATUS – UNDA WATER
My DEBT FREE group mate, and bar none the busiest Hip Hop recording artist in Miami, THE RNF STATUS, has dropped multiple releases in 2019. However, one stood out amongst the rest, and ironically it is titled UNDA WATER . Completely produced, written and recorded by RNF himself, UNDA WATER is great 10 track mix of Boom Bap, Abstract Samples and RNF’s classic pocket flow and unique voice. Never one to shy away from sharing his world view with his listeners, RNF weaves tales of Hip Hop, Everyday Living, Faith, Hope and Perseverance through trials and health issues. This brother is none stop and rumor has it he already has 3 albums recorded and ready for release in 2020, so get to know The RNF Status. He is here to stay and intent on shining a light where its needed most.
EVAIZE – THE PROLOGUE
Here’s another project we had the privilege of writing a review for this year. THE PROLOGUE by EVAIZE is a short but powerful EP that reminds me of Killah Priest’s Heavy Mental. Hard Hitting Boom Bap Beats filled with straight up in your face lyrics. EVAIZE makes great use of the 5 songs on THE PROLOGUE to paint a vivid picture of a man disciplining himself daily to master his shortcomings and manifest his destiny. The first part of a 3 EP Project, The PROLOGUE is a great introduction to what promises to be a stellar musical offering from EVAIZE in the year to come.
SOLO-MAN SPECTRUM – POPCORN IN HEAVEN EP (RIP Re-Release)
2019 wasn’t all good times. This year my crew PROFRESH, and the Miami Hip Hop Scene lost one of its Realest Soldiers. In the Fall of this year we lost our beloved brother JAWARA MCPHERSON aka SOLO-MAN SPECTRUM. It was an unforseen blow that left many in the scene shook and broken hearted, but it also brought alot of us together to remember one of our peers. It was during this time of loss that Mechanikal Mistik Group Member SERUM decided to pay honor to his fallen brother and best friend by Re-Releasing SOLO’s first official International Release POPCORN IN HEAVEN. This album was originally released on legendary Miami Underground Label BOTANICA DEL JIBARO, but had never been uploaded to digital streaming sites. Serum took action to make sure people all around the world could hear our brothers words even after his departure from this physical plane, and today I share this Banger of a project with you guys. May your voice and spirit live on forever through your music and the precious memories you left us all with SOLO. Love you brother.
WREKONIZE – WREK WEDNESDAY 2019 (52 Weeks of Fire Freestyles)
The last entry into our TOP 15 of 2019 isnt an Album, Mixtape or EP. Rather it is a collection of Weekly Freestyles by hands Down the hardest working MC, Producer and Performer to come out of South Florida’s Underground. I’m talking about none other than Mayday band member and Strange Music Solo Artist, WREKONIZE. I have seen Wrek grow from a young shy kid with exceptional rhyme skills, to the most feared Battle Rapper in South Florida, to the Winner of MTV’s first Live RAP BATTLE, to a Member of Miami’s dopest Live Hip Hop Band, to one of the most successful Underground Artist to come out of our back yard. There is nothing this brother has attempted that he has not been able to not only accomplish, but master in the process. At the beginning of the year Wrek set out to record a Freestyle a week in hopes of pleasing his growing fan base and to attract new fans in this age of quick blurps and short videos. He just completed Week 52 of his WREK WEDNESDAY YouTube Series, successfully recording and releasing a new full song a week, and as if that wasnt enough, managed to Film and Edit Videos for these releases every week, all while touring the United States, Europe and South Africa. If you haven’t jumped on the Wrekonize Bandwagon yet, stop letting your pride get the best of you and give this brother his Flowers while he can smell them. He has done everything possible to make South Florida look great in the Underground Hip Hop convo and he has done it in Epic Fashion. I for one proudly wave my Wreking Crew Flag and give a huge #WVCC #CyphLyfeRadio Salute to the homie who has provided us with countless gems to play for you ever week. God only knows what he has in store for us in 2020, but I’m sure its going to be much more than we could ever imagine. That’s just Wrek’s steeze.
Well that completes our TOP 15 Local Releases for 2019. Let us know how you feel. Sorry if we didnt get to your album. We look forward to hearing more from the whole scene and building with you all in 2020 to make this scene Stronger, More United, and a Producer of Quality Hip Hop for the rest of the World to enjoy. Be safe out there tonight and enjoy the ones you love. May 2020 bring Prosperity, Health, and Success to us all, and strength to get us through the hard times as we work hard to achieve our dreams and goals. Peace and Love to you all.
Vice City Cypher