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Miami bass

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Miami bass

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Miami bass (also known as booty music, a term that may also include other genres) is a type of hip hop music that became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, known for applying the Roland TR-808 sustained kick drum, slightly higher dance tempos, and occasionally sexually explicit lyrical content. Music author Richie Unterberger has characterized Miami bass as using rhythms with a "stop start flavor" and "hissy" cymbals with lyrics that "reflected the language of the streets, particularly black Miami ghettos such as Liberty City" [1]. Miami bass has never had consistent mainstream acceptance, but has had a profound impact on the development of drum'n'bass and Southern rap.

Unterberger has called Maggotron (James McCauley, also known as DXJ, Maggozulu 2, Planet Detroit and Bass Master Khan) the "father of Miami bass". He created the Miami bass sounds with vocoders and what Maggotron referred to as the "thrombic boomulator" to produce the distinctive low-pitched and distorted vocals [2]. In the 80s, the focus of Miami bass was on the DJs and record producers rather than the performers. Record labels like Pandisc were also well-known. "Bass Rock Express" by MC ADE is often credited as the first Miami bass record ever.

Luther 'Luke Skyywalker' Campbell, of the crew 2 Live Crew, did the most to popularize Miami bass in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, released in 1986, became controversial for sexually explicit and profane lyrics. The 1989 As Nasty As They Wanna Be, and its hit single "Me So Horny", was even more controversial and led to legal troubles for 2 Live Crew and retailers; all charges were eventually overturned on appeal.

Miami Bass is closely related to the modern Ghettotech genre of techno, that combines Chicago house/electro with the Miami bass sound. Ghettotech follows the same sexually-orientated lyrics, hip-hop basslines and streetwise attitude but with harder, uptempo Roland TR-909 techno-style kick beats.

Music sample

  • Me So Horny (sample)
    • Short sample of Me So Horny, by 2 Live Crew; this is simultaneously one of the controversial and well-known songs from the Miami bass movement.


  • Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide, 144-145, The Rough Guides. ISBN 185828421X.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.