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Band Latin Hip Hop


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"The Language of The Streets"

Wearing a black bowler hat and baggy pants, Latin hip-hop MC Platano steps inside Hoy Como Ayer and struts through the crowd. He settles near the back of the club, where he anxiously awaits the stage while watching the SoFla Kings finish their set. The Kings (consisting of MCs Bombillo and TropyCo) rhyme in rattling Spanglish over bone-crushing crunk beats. With long and pointy dreadlocks and loose-fitting hip-hop jerseys, the Latin hip-hop duo looks and sounds like three different cultures jammed into a blender.

Jonathan Postal


Bombillo (left) and TropyCo of the SoFla Kings

Hoy Como Ayer, 2212 SW 8th St, Miami.
perform every Tuesday night. Cover is $10, and doors open at 10:00 p.m. For more information, call 305-541-2631.
Subject(s): Platano and the SoFla Kings
The clubgoers at Hoy Como Ayer clearly love the dynamic. They sing along to each song and heave toward the stage as the beats crescendo. At the end of their set, the SoFla Kings send an effusive shout-out to Miami's Latin hip-hop movement. It might sound hokey — particularly in a city like Miami — but the scene at Hoy Como Ayer seems infused with a genuine sense of momentum, purpose, and unity.

"All of us [in Miami] got different styles," comments Bombillo after the show. "But we all support each other because we all are on the same boat, you know, the Miami sound. We are all in it together."

For those who don't know, SoFla Kings and Platano are among the crme de la crme of the local Latin hip-hop/reggaeton community. They sell thousands of copies of their underground mixtapes on Miami's streets, have a weekly Tuesday-night gig at Hoy Como Ayer, and when reggaeton superstars such as Tego Calderon and Zion y Lennox come to town, they regularly open the show for them.

Though to an extent they may be leapfrogging from the success of that genre's superstars — and are regularly dubbed reggaeton by those outside the scene — SoFla Kings and Platano have very little to do with the genre aesthetically.

"None of us are really reggaeton. We are Latin hip-hop artists. In the past we have worked with the reggaetoneros, and we don't hate on them. We feel good about their successes. For them it has been a long time coming and they deserve it. But what we do in Miami is Latin hip-hop," comments TropyCo.

That may be true, but the temptation for acts such as Platano and the SoFla Kings to conflate the very different genres of Latin hip-hop and reggaeton is both great and persistent. There's a pervasive mainstream interest in reggaeton, and major labels are scouring every square inch of Miami in search of the next Daddy Yankee. It's doubtful the A&R agents will squabble over what are, in their minds at least, meaningless genre definitions. As with Seattle's grunge explosion in the Nineties or crunk's ascent in the first half of this decade, if the sound is even in the ballpark (and, in this case, if your skin is the right tint), then fans, labels, and even some of the bands themselves will happily overlook differences in semantics.

However, the SoFla Kings make no such compromises. "I'm always thankful for the doors that people like Daddy Yankee have opened for us in Miami, but I want the people that haven't heard of us yet to understand that [our style] is not new. Platano, Sito, Pitbull, and us, we have been doing this mix for years," explains TropyCo.

The SoFla Kings began flirting seriously with music around 1998. They were soon approached by Warner Bros., but the talks fell through because of the group's unwillingness to retreat on one major issue. "[Labels] wanted us to choose between English and Spanish. But to us it didn't feel right," TropyCo says.

Meanwhile Platano's star began to rise when he hooked up with Miami hip-hop artist Don Dinero a couple of years ago. "[Don Dinero] took me under his wing. People like Don Dinero and Pitbull are really the cabecillas [headhunters] of the Miami scene. Don Dinero was one of the first ones to commercialize it in Miami, and he was the first Miami artist to get radio airplay on the salsa stations."

As with the SoFla Kings, the temptation for Platano to jump on the reggaeton bandwagon is great. "[The popularity of] reggaeton has helped me a lot," Platano comments. "For people to see me, a Miami artist, opening a concert for a Tego Calderon, it's great because it validates your work. And major labels see that and we get a shot."

But the differences between the Miami's Latin hip-hop faction and artists like Tego Calderon are striking. The SoFla Kings and Platano generally don't employ the Dembow riddim, the basis for all Puerto Rican reggaeton, but instead draw more heavily upon Southern hip-hop influences.

"We are not out to imitate anyone. We just take the sounds that are around the city. We mix Miami's 2 Live Crew with Puerto Rican legends like Vico C and Eddie Dee and then add our crunk beats to it," remarks Platano.

The final deal-breaker is - Miami New Times


Album: Quien Soy/Who am I?
Release Date: Feb. 19th, 2008
Air Play: "Helicoptero", "Come on Wit It", "Pa Ti - Pa Mi"
Record Label: Heavy Records (INDIE)



Platano is a Dominican native from New York City’s Spanish Harlem, who now proudly calls Miami home. His heritage, creative passion and bilingual ability is the common thread, allowing him to weave Latin Hip-Hop, Reggaeton and tropical flavors into his music, delivering a colorfully unique sound.
He continually finds new ways to intoxicate his fans musically, as well as through his accomplishments acting in nationally televised commercials. The highly acclaimed Toyota Scion campaign was successful in no small part due to Platano’s on screen contribution. Heavy Records, in partnership with Sony Music, is set to unleash his highly anticipated debut album, winter of 2007, to the delight of his fans worldwide.
His fan base and notoriety has risen steadily since his MTV3 video release, Helicoptero was put into heavy rotation. Platano also makes his presence felt throughout the Americas by performing in venues in Toronto, Nicaragua, New York, California and more. He has positioned himself as a highly sought out collaboration partner for projects by Don Dinero, the world renowned group Fulanito, and the European based Music Hit Factory.
Platano is at the precipice of a leap into superstardom, his advice to all of us is; “Don’t dream, set goals”. -Platano

For bookings contact: Tricks 305-228-2599