Its April! “Some one to hold in the middle of the night….” No, not that April…the month of April. Already the fourth month in the year of 1988 and although there really is no bad news, there is a lot to tell, so lets begin.
Before we begin there is some serious news that we will focus on.
Recently everyone has heard of rumors about a situation that occurred at South Beach’s Amnesia, but don’t know specifically what happened. A couple of days ago someone called Club Amnesia during the club’s normal function and according to the person who received the call, the caller stated “Amnesia Boom!”. This call was taken as a serious bomb threat and within minutes the club was evacuated around one- O clock in the morning. After the bomb squad was called in , they indeed found that someone had planted a pipe bomb right outside of the club. Although authorities took care of the situation, the motive for the planted pipe bomb is not yet known. Authorities are continuing to investigate as another bomb scare followed days later at another popular South Beach Club, Salvation. Luckily the Salvation situation was just a bomb scare, but the Amnesia incident was not and people are keeping a look out. Fortunately no one was hurt. Authorities and media call this an isolated incident, but according to club goers its things like this they rather the media not keep quite. Hopefully this won’t turn into a trend on South Beach or any other club strips anywhere. People go out to have fun and escape their every day lives, but not to lose them.
Amnesia was one of many clubs that hosted events during the Winter Music Conference. One major Freestyle event the club hosted was a event on Monday the 9th of March, were Tony Moran, Shannon, TKA, and Todd Terry shared the light. Definitely one of the high lights of the Winter Music week.
By now it will be four months and some since Matthew was born. Who’s Matthew? Cynthia’s first boy who was born last November 21 of 1997. Matthew should be exited since joining the club of kids who can now say ” My folks can rock a house up”. As for Cynthia, she can now comfortably join the “Look at my Kids Picture” Club along side others such as George Lamond, Nayobe, Andy Panda, Nyasia, and many others who take on the responsibilities of not only raising their families, but to pump out some records at the same time. Well guess what? She’s having another Baby! NO, not a child! Another record. “If I Only Had A Chance” should be out around mid April. Hopefully it won’t get dissed like her last release. Jocelyn Enriquez ‘s “Get Into The Rhythm” followed by “Even If ” should also start making its way through the radio and clubs as for her previous work. “Get Into The Rhythm” is another Acosta styled project containing more vocoders and Ambient influences merged with the Funk. “Even If” is a ballad that also comes from her album entitled “Jocelyn”. Jocelyn, who still resides in the West Coast, has found a home at Timber Records. After the expiration of a contract between Timber records and Classified records, Enriquez no longer finds herself signed to the label ( Classified) who introduced her to the world with “I’ve Been Thinking About You” and “Make It Last Forever” . Since the material she will continue to release from her current album is under the joint contract , the logos of both parties will appear on all releases from that project.
It seems that Timber Records has big plans with Jocelyn. Joey Gardner, the man who for seven years stood and delivered TKA, then continued with K7 , Cynthia and George Lamond , now wants to continue to bring back the quality of “REAL” artist who could obtain albums that can contain the professional image, respect, and longevity that Freestyle artist of the past have achieved. This could also mean a bit more variety of different styles of Dance music along with the Freestyle (Jocelyn’s current album for example). Cynthia’s “Like A Star” could also be an example, although many would disagree because there was no traditional version. The one and only Freestyle version of “Like A Star” is the Cibola mix, because that is today’s 1998 Freestyle version ( love it or leave it). But definitely, “Like A Star’s Cibola mix” could have been a lot more creative with the beats and given a four dimensional feel with the synths. If it would of also contained some Spanglish lyrics, more underground influences, and a slamming video , it would have been the shit. Not to mention that it could of had been a bridge between the Nu style mix and the Estrella mix and other Trip/House mix sets.
Meanwhile , label mate George Lamond will not be releasing his material just yet. It seems that Mr. Garcia himself was not content with the finished product and decided to do it over. Although the release will be delayed, Timber has other plans in other areas. As Tommy Boy continues to broaden their spectrum in Dance Music , now delivering a branch entitled “Tommy Boy Silver” which would service underground Dance records to DJ’s and clubs. Timber records by June of 98 will be releasing their second compilation set after “Freestyles Greatest Beats Vol. 1-10”. The new compilation entitled “The Perfect Beat” ( which we are still LOOKING FOR) , will consist of a four volume set packed with the early eighties Electro Funk and Freestyle jams. This would make Timber the first Freestyle company to actually have a early 80’s Freestyle and Funk compilation. Adding to the fact that besides the people having roots to the Movement and Tommy Boy records being the label who released “Planet Rock” as for Timber now holding Jocelyn Enriques as a figure of today’s Neo Funk and Freestyle era, as Shannon was to the early 80’s era , symbolically is a good example of how history is somewhat repeating similar patterns.
Mean while , The Dominican New Yorker and “Queen of New Skool Freestyle” should be making her way up with her new single “Make The Way” . This one is already blowing up in some joints at the same time her previous “Time Passes By” is still not done dominating Dance floors. “Time Passes By’ is still conquering the underground scene with the “Warp” mix and tearing up the traditional sets with the original mix. It was the record that bridged Lissete from her “New skool” sound to today’s “Neo” sound. But wait, “Miss Thang” isn’t done yet. We saw it first with Mark Anthony, then with India, Safire, George Lamond, Louis Damon, Brenda K Star, and now Lissete Melendez. Yes she did, Miss “Together Forever” has a brand new Spanish album out now entitled “Un Poco De Mi” on Sergio George’s Label. Sergio George (for you all who don’t know) is a famous Salsa producer in New York who is responsible for many of the “Freestyler’s go Salsa” movement that has been taking place lately. As a Salsa producer Sergio George has been one of a few to invest in the new generation of Latin artist to take on the traditions that people in the Spanish music world have been keeping alive for many decades now. He also believes that American influences of HipHop culture will be more present in Salsa in the future. So what better way to do it than investing in Latin HipHopers, as he believes that the singers would someday give a little of themselves to the world of Salsa and Spanish music.
Sir George already began this trend with DLG (Dark Latin Groove), who made their debut with “No Morira” which in reality was “No Matter What”. “No Matter What” was a duet sung by George Lamond and Brenda K. Star that hit big in the Spanish speaking market with both the English and Spanish versions , but was later supped up for DLG with a tad of Salsa and Reggae and became a International Hit.
It is obvious that the new generation and generations to come , not only have to keep English music alive, but Spanish as well. Hopefully as the year progresses the sounds of Latin HipHop and its movement will be one of the major forces to enhance this phenomenon, as it is presently in the traditional Freestyle, Latin House, and TripHop (funk/frstyl) forms. Which is the only true link between Spanish and English (American) music after Classic Disco and Latin Jazz.
Jumping over to the West Coast, Velocity Records is coming up in the world with Buffy’s “2 Find You”. This record is soaring. Though it is not a bombing record , it definitely surpasses a lot of the other material that can be found in the market at this time. Buffy seems to have the characteristics as an artist to some day reach respected levels. Hopefully her album “First Love” will help her gain the exposure and experience she needs. “2 Find You Trip Radio edit is the only version that is slamming. Unlike the other predictable and tired mixes, the trip radio mix contains a unique vibe that includes unpredictable lyrics and harmonies layered over a bed of Funky breaks and beats, which would be perfect to mix with other verbal or non-verbal Funk and Freestyle wax.
Another West Coast rooted record comes from DJ Juanito, who first presented us with Lina Santiago some years back, and is now presenting us with Alexis. Alexis (NOT Alexia Phillips or Alexia the Euro dance singer who are two different people) delivers to us “Feel My Love”. The preferable mixes here are the FX Boys Wildstyle mix and the Freestyle Doggystyle mix. They are the mixes that are distinct opposed to the other mixes that bite the played out Angelina/ Planet soul synth and beat format .
Speaking of Angelina, she is still making noise with “The Tide Is High” and “Without Your Love” . “The Tide Is High” is a cover originally done by Blondie back in the 70’s. Lyrically it stands like the original, the only difference is that its layered over funky breaks, has more ravish influences, and holds Spanglish lyrics towards the bridge. Meanwhile “Reach Out and Touch Me” is soaring in other areas as “Mambo” is somewhat conquering some ground. “Mambo” is not all that. It is more like a cheesy attempt to conquer the Latin House scene, in the process came out looking like one of those meaningless Latin House records that people are quick to forget. It could have been better. Other Upstairs News is that Spanish Fly is still promoting ” One Last Try” and that Tampa, Florida’s very own Mon-a Q , who originally did “Stay In Love” on Matrix, is now signed to Upstairs records and “Stay In Love” has been redone.
Jumping on now to the Sunshine State. On the underground news tip, Intersound records who earlier distributed Albert Cabrera’s “Trip Dance 2000” compilation, now has another compilation. This compilation is entitled “The Underground Kingdom- Best Of Kram” and contains material from the Orlando Based Kram records. Kram records originally put out K5’s “Passion” and “Red Alert” before K5 got picked up by BMG through Robbins Entertainment.
The compilation also includes other underground Phunk and Freestyle jams that we have been jamming to for some time now, but are now being introduced to the rest of the mainstream, and Freestyle and Dance community as well as to the public. This is definitely a collectors item for the true underground purist that will take Freestyle to the next level.
In the shocking news, especially to Miami’s underground Dance community is that Street Beat Records, a division of Pandisc who helped launch and support the Miami and Florida Trip Hop( Phunk and Freestyle) Movement (George Acosta, Beat Dominator, Nadine Renee..Etc) along with George Alvarado’s Nite Beat Records among many other Indie Labels whom brought on the movement, now has Adam Morano ( Viper 7/ Metropolitan) remixing and releasing material on Street Beat. Morano who has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Trip Hop ( AcidPhunk and NEOFreestyle) movement nor hails from Miami, instead holds a strong “Planet Rock Beat” reputation as for a main advocate for the “Italian Only” invasion of the early and mid 90’s, is now producing and remixing Dance versions for records released on Street Beat. Morano is not alone, right behind him he has the back up of Tazmania record’s Gurus and their Polygon studios ( who in the public eye have been popular for cheap sound a likes) . To many it would seem that Street Beat records, who always recognized and supported Freestyles New form, went to help out the top contributors of the Freestyle scene, jumping over the overlooked “Real” contributors and giving opportunities to those who claimed to be.
Now before my fellow underground DJs and purist ( who have been hard at work out on the fields and waiting to get their chance) start a riot and wonder “How the hell he got up there”, they have to know certain things. Adam Morano has been known to remix some good High-NRG versions of many peoples material. It is understandable that in the Industry he makes good connections. In the eyes of the record industry he is qualified. In the eyes of the underground he is not. You must remember that in this industry it is not how well your skills are, but who it is that you know. Unfortunately Freestyle paid the price in the past and it seems that their is a challenge now. What is unfortunate is that now when Freestyle has a new face representing a new generation as well as an old one, as for trying to prove to the world of its true art form while trying to escape negative stereotypes, now the same forces that all fingers point to for flooding the market with Planet Rock beats and cheap sound a likes, now make it a tad more difficult for Freestyle to escape the “Planet Rock” syndromes. Will this be a step down for Street Beat? Or will this be the step Adam will use to re-invent himself and prove himself to a ocean of new underground Phunk and Freestyle DJs? This would be interesting to see, as in the coming years its the new blood that will run things. Club children are our future! In the meantime, as Freestyle gets recognized by both underground and industry levels, you can find Adams work on Street Beat records with a COVER ( what a surprise!) of Jewel’s “Foolish Games” but with an artist called Jem (Jewel, Jem, who’s next Rubie?) . The other project is a Dance version of Mona Lisa’s (Not the Italian Painting) “Staying In Love”. What stands out is that the names can be a bit deceiving, MONA Lisa “STAYing IN LOVE” compared to MON-A q “STAY IN LOVE”. Any way we will hear from Adam more in the future as he is said to work with Rockell ( we wonder why) on Robbins /BMG who is still popular with her COVER of Jossete’s ” In A Dream”.
While we are on the subject of Rockell, her album should be out soon if it is not already. More importantly is that Robbins has a new face. She goes by the name of Jacqui Cenci. Produced by Michael Angelo, Jacqui’s ” Memories” ( who absolutely has no ties to Suzy’s “Memories”) has some High NRG Versions, but the true versions are the Carlos Berrios Freestyle Mix which contains more of a classic Freestyle synth work mixed with a dash of Ambient which gives the piece a Electronic sound. Although Jacqui , like Rockell, holds that Gringa flare in her vocals making the vowels in her singing sound softer, she looks like she will have a promising career. So far she looks good (Alisa Milano Good) and like Angelina ,could evolve into a full blown woman who holds sophistication unlike the Lil Girls we have had singing over Planet Rock Beats for to long , misrepresenting the scene. It looks like Jacqui is definitely here to stay.
In other news. Vibe the late night talk show hosted by Sinbad, has been hosting Latin Night every Thursday. Although after Thursday the 12 of March, Latin Night along with all the other special nights have been canceled and merged into the variety through out the rotation of the normal show.
Vibe the late night talk show has been one of many sources who has been focusing on the Latino presence and contribution to Americas culture (our culture). They have invited many young urban rooted Hispanic actors, comedians, artist, and singers to the show and will continue to shine light on them. It would be nice to see someone like Lissete Melendez, Angelina, or Judy Torres up there. But of course do the record companies know about opportunities like this to promote Freestyle to the masses? Will they jump on this , or just let it slip away then wonder why Freestyle is not’t out there?
Another source who has recently been focusing on the Latino presence is The Source Magazine. In the March 98 issue it focused on the large Salsa reemergence and the Latino presence in HipHop Culture. In the process even recognized and mentioned Latin HipHop/Freestyle Dance Music. Even though Freestyle received one small paragraph in a five page report, it and urban Latinos were recognized by a magazine that once upon a time only catered to one specific market and overlooked a lot of other peoples contributions.
Mark Anthony , after rising out of the Latin HipHop movement of the 80’s, and later creating a path to the Salsa world that many other Freestyle singers would follow in the years to come , is now taking on Broadway. Paul Simon , once member of 70’s group Simon and Garfunkle and is a legend in the music world, is now a Broadway producer. He had a musical entitled “The Capeman”. based on a Nuyorican thyme. He picked out Mark Anthony and Panamanian Salsa legend and American Actor Ruben Blades (“Pedro Navaja”) as well as Spanish singer Ednita Nazario for leading roles. Lately Mark Anthony has been interviewed for many Spanish and English magazines and television shows. One thing he is flaunting proudly is his Freestyle background with no regrets what so ever. He should be an inspiration for others to take pride in their achievements. Presently there is a re-release of an old record he did with Lil Louie Vega called “Ride On The Rhythm”.
Ojani Noa and actress Jennifer Lopez have opened The Conga Room.. The L.A. based night club is said to be a combination of what the 70’s Studio 54 and today’s Planet Hollywood created , a joint to pack today’s most vibrant Television, Movie and Music personalities but with a Latin twist. It is said that the Conga Room is the place to be. Jennifer Lopez , who played Selena and delivered a slammin performance with Ice Cube in Anaconda (no the snake was not real) , is now recording a project under Miami’s very own Emilio Estefan. What the material could be is not known at this time. What is interesting is that Tony Moran now has full blown access to work and remix with any project Emilio has under his wings. So could there be a possibility that Jennifer Lopez meets Tony Moran and later decides to come out with a Freestyle record? Lets see… a second Generation Nuyorican , ex-In Living Color Fly Girl, Actress Turned Singer……..Hmmmm? (Tony, do you see what I see?) . Now for the question everybody has been asking . Is Gloria Estefan going to sing Freestyle or have a Freestyle version of her material. The answer to that is …….stay tuned. This is the step Tony Moran needs to further his career in the Industry . Who knows in the future he might even operate his own label like JellyBean and H.O.L.A recordings (Proyecto uno, Veronica, Hurricane G) or like Emilio and Crescent Moon (Glorita, Albita).
While on the subject of Tony Moran , The Latin Rascals are back and dominating the airwaves in New York. The show hosted by Judy Torres can be heard for three hours and airs once a week (for now) through KTU. We will have further coverage from the newest member of the Freestyle Music. Com click, Mike Romanello. In the mean time its cool to see that people are going back to their roots.
Speaking about Freestyle roots and people going back to them or groups reviving (TKA, Teaz II Pleaz, Trinere, Judy Torres etc.). After performing various shows through out the country and performing at New York’s KTU’s Beat Stock ,the new Company B has made their presence officially known. Funk E. Frank , who with JORGE A. OJEDA , Eddie mix, Seth the Edit, Mickie C, and various others dominated the airwaves of Miami through Rhythm 98 back in the early 80’s breaking the earliest Electrofunk and Freestyle and “old Miami” Bass. Frank has gone back to his roots . Now no longer program director of Power 96 ( and has not been for a while) , we find Frank near were he started. He is one of the main men behind the nu Company B. Although the Nu Company B does not walk around with blue padded leather outfits and white wigs like the old Company B, they do have something in common and his name is Ish (Their creator). Another person who is behind them is (my friends cuzin) Lewis Martinee, who single handedly put Miami on the map in the mid 80’s with various projects , among them EXPOSE`.
If this is a sign that Miami people are getting in gear, I hope they show a new generation the unity it took between many different labels, DJs, artist and various organizations including clubs, radio, and promotional companies to actually put Miami on the map. Talking about unity and how all DJs and people that are some what affiliated with Freestyle, need to unite. Despite the fact that Miami’s Power 96 at times disses Freestyle and at the same time plays it (a lot lately) to compete against Micro Radio Stations ( who will hopefully soon get licenses from the FCC). To show that not all at Power diss Freestyle and actually somewhat support the movement , I wanted to get an opinion and interview from DJ Laz. Lazaro Mendez ,who years back produced the Miami HipHop Bass mix for Nyasia’s ” Now And Forever” and occasionally plays Freestyle mixes, seemed not interested in Freestyle Music.Com.
After several phone calls, voice mail, and receptionists Mr. Mendez never got back to us. Maybe a site that only gets one thousand hits per day is not’t big enough for him. Maybe if we were a magazine like The Source or Billboard who had several accounts from big sponsors but instead had a Freestyle twist and was set to blow up around later on in the year, and included a International website who by June 98 should have up the Global Web Radio shows transmitting everything from Trance, Drum n Bass, House, but predominantly everything in the realm of Latin HipHop in both English and Spanish. ( Dam I hope I did not say to much. Thank goodness I did not even mention that FREESTYLE MUSIC.COM has T-Shirts) Maybe if we had all that, we could of all have been blessed with his presence, oh well. This is a good example of how when you have had a respect for someone and you don’t know them, when it comes down to it they are really not what they seem to be. Something that is seen a lot in the Freestyle and music world. Guess what? We don’t have time nor room for ego trips and bullshit. To replace Mr. Mendez’s interview we will have a special surprise interview. In the mean time while we grow, I hope we do not forget about DJ Laz or any one in that level, or like Power 96 who forgot about all those Miami based Indie record labels, producers and artists who helped put that station on the map, but were later dissed. Power and other stations are to blame for the suppression all Miami producers and Indie labels except for those with big money, who were of convenience, or worked for the station. All love lost ,always gets implanted into a new generation.
On to bigger people, in this case Mickey Garcia (who always calls me). Mickey Garcia , one of the MicMac gurus who along with Elvin Molina produced many projects for M.G.E.M productions ( C-Bank, Judy Torres, etc.) and later conquered the world with MicMac records , which in the late 80’s and early 90’s had its own era by pumping out material from Cynthia, Johnny O, Exo, Body & Style, Rios, Nyasia, Eilean Flores, Laura Enea, David, and many others.
Like noted last month, the “True” legendary producer will no longer produce Freestyle Records. Instead now resides at his new label 21st Century records. It seems that Mickey is into real-estate as he will be selling House. He will be selling House, Ambient, Trance, and ( how coincidental) Trip Hop. This month Mickey has released two compilations (talk about not wasting time).
The first compilation is a soulful House (Garage) compilation, that features Ultra Nate & Colonel Abram, Michel Ayers, and Antoinette Roberson among others. It was compiled by another familiar name, Ellis Pacheco ( who Produced Chrissy I-eece among others on Brewster).
The other compilation is more like a treat, entitled “Adrenaline Rush”, it is a Bartko/Kopas ( Acid Factor “You Are My Fantasy”) production containing various levels of Trip Hop and Electronic hybrids. The question is, “Where’s the Funk ? ” The answer is ..Right here.
For all the crowds who soak up the Neo Freestyle and Acid Phunk, this one is for you. Although it does not contain melodic and verbal tracks as the new Freestyle (Jocelyn, Nadine Renee), it does contain Nu Funk ( A.K.A. Acid Phunk, Neo Funk….Funk IS FUNK!) at the Acosta and DJ Icey level.
To enhance your Neo Freestyle and Funk mixes (you CD DJs), you can mix in ATMO “Numb Beats”, Clip ” Uptown Breakdown”, Ampere “Gonna Cut It”, Low Line “Beat Box Boom” , Prolapse ” Twilight O Zone” and Eleven & Seven “3 A.M . Massive”. These cuts will definitely catch the attention of all body rockers. May I also suggest a lil Jason Nivens vs. Run DMC “Its Like That” ( like it used to be…dale webo).
Marvin Schlachter will now run MicMac records. MicMac will continue to release compilations of MicMac and other companies material. Marvin used to run a label by the name Prelude ,who used to be France Joli’s (“Come To Me”) label back in the 70’s. Prelude was a recognized label as others as Casablanca and Salsoul were responsible for the delivery of the Disco sound.
Back to Mickey, with these two compilations he has wiped his hands of the MicMac stains and stereotypes that others have been trying to get rid of. In fact this is proof of a prosperous future for 21st Century records. What did seem interesting is that he put out material from Robert and Ivan with a Trip Hop compilation. Right there you are not really far from were Freestyle has resurrected itself. Also coming from someone who said he will consider coming back to the Freestyle scene when the time is right.
OK, OK people I am almost done here, but before I go we got some Latin House to cover.
We will start with Fullanito. Dam this shit is slaaaaming. “Guallando ” is fierce. Its funny that last time I wrote something on Latin House, I mentioned Dominicans and Panamanians rushing to the floor . Talking about Meren-House, this record has deep, deep, deep Dominican roots. It contains an accordion used in Dominican music and it could also be found in the Vallenato of Colombia and Pindin of Panama. The sounds of the accordion are addicting. Not to mention the style of rap with this record who like 2 In A Room , gives it masculinity. What is more surprising is that this record is on the same label as 2 In A Room… Cutting.
When you thought things were calming down, here comes El Presidente, who dropped “Cafe Con Leche” a couple of months back, and is now back into full swing with “La Gattita” .
The 12″ delivers several mixes but its the House mixes that stand out most.
To keep the party going, Tito Puente Jr. has also dropped some Material. “Azucar” has several mixes, but one is very slammin but unfortunately I forgot the name of this Specific mix ( I do not have the record in front of me, its in the other house). So I will have to give it to you when I pin up his review. I know he is probably wondering why the hell it is taking me so dam long.
These Latin House records should be enough to scorch your dance floor or living room, till the next time. They would be perfect to mix in with those “No Le Pege A La Negra” remixes or Celia Cruz’s “Bemba Colorada”. It is only here at Freestyle Music. Com that you will hear everything from Rockell to Celia Cruz and still be on the same boat.
That’s it for now; or do you all want me to continue? Just kidding, I know I have to take it easy on the eyes. I know this newsletter has not been informative enough, but I hope to pack it in with more details. I also need to hear more from so many labels out there. Especially those artist out there who pin up there releases on this site , but then don’t find themselves on the newsletter or their picture up on the photo gallery wall. Joee Desimone , Jessica, and several others. People what’s up with you all, E-Mail us or call us. Don’t stay outside looking in. We are here to help everyone whether you come from Miami, New York, Canada, even Egypt but you have to call. Get on my good side now and it will pay off later. If you feel that your label is not promoting you enough and you find yourself doing the work of others, call us.
Now for everybody who has wrote me , a big shout out to Andre Bownes, Evelyn from Puerto Rico , Nema and her brother John (what ever happened to him?), and every one else.
To all our supporters who have been here since day one- Thank you.
To all the industry people who have called and gave their welcome and offered their help.
To every one I met at the Winter Music Conference.
Mike Romanello- Thank you for your dedication and going out of your way.
Mike Hernandez at Escape.. … Ok, I mentioned your name. Take Care.
T.P JR, thank you for being cool about everything, and the Calliente show, I still haven’t seen you. Say what’s up to Peter. So when are you coming out with a Nu Freestyle Record? T.L.R. ..What’s up?
I rather see you get up on the mic and see you bust out like India……. “Con Ese Ritmo LatinO-O-O-O”- Peace.
Every one else, as we get into the year we will get deeper into this thing we call Latin HipHop, before you know it, you will already know the true meaning of Freestyle. What may seem confusing to you all now will make sense to you all later. You will have a deeper respect for Freestyle and understand why it is still so strong. Years from now you can all say you were all up in here in 1998 and that you were part of this. In the future , everything you learn hear or anywhere else, it is up to you to pass down the knowledge and pass down that love that has kept us together and the soul of this thing called Freestyle, alive. Reality teaches us that not all of us will be here tomorrow to continue the struggle, that is why we now depend on a new generation to keep moving forward into the future without forgetting the past. Along our way , we will lose some but also gain some. Individuals that we have looked down upon might be our respected legends tomorrow and those respected legends of yesteryears, might not wind up so legendary. Old crowds might fade out, but new crowds will always fade in.
1998 . Things look good so far. People are opening their minds to experimentation’s. We have artist and labels once again on Major Labels. Radio is playing Freestyle whether its new or old. The underground is constantly changing. More and more people are leaning towards electronic Genres and opting for Phunk. As Freestyle rose out of the Phunk of the early 80’s, it has also risen out of the Phunk of the late 90’s. As the global rebirth of Universal HipHop continues, Latin HipHop will continue its struggle as it has for three decades now, but musically flourished in 1983.
1988 – was a very good year. Patterns repeat themselves at the same time the universe is full of flip sides (Freestyle/House – House- House/Freestyle). 1985 – Latin Hip Hop Movement . 1995- Latinos over old foundations turned new (Planet Soul). 1982- “Planet Rock”- our world began. 8+2 = 10. Since it began the second year of that decade and the universe as one has2 sides , a positive and negative, you need two 10s. 10 multiplied by 10 = 1000. A millennium – what we are marching towards. Kraftwerk- “Trans-Europe Express”( 1978). Our world 1998. If you have no idea what was just stated, don’t worry about it, its for the Philosophers. Those who use Music, theories, knowledge and history, mathematics, geography, all religions, science, and art to define our world. Its time to wake up.
For now, get out of this computer and go live your life. You won’t find Freestyle in the computer you can only find it within yourself, look in the mirror. That is Freestyle. Now what you do with yourself is important, if the movement will leave its mark in history as it did 16 years ago.
Before I go there is just 2 more things. Mad props to Peter McCormick. You all have to check out www.phatmix.com. There you will find something nice n sweet. In the near future we will have a list of all, ALL Freestyle related sites and links to them.
Also , the Freestyle Music . Com Web radio is up and running on its first days. Within a month more will be added. Send all material A.S.A.P . That’s all I can tell you about that. Also we have Freestyle Music. Com T- shirts. Do you want to know how to get one? Call Us or E- mail Us.
You can also wait until next month when I announce the specifics as well as introduce the newest members of Freestyle Music. Com and WMIR (World Music Internet Radio) . The address for the radio shows is www.freestylemusic.com/WMIR
Freestyle Music.Com is an independent organization based in Miami. Its sole propose is to educate and to lead Freestyle Music and Latin HipHop culture into the coming Millennium as well as keep our history alive. Financially founded by old Miami Radio DJ/ Producer Pioneer Jorge A. Ojeda (Destune records) and old Miami Producer Vic Ten (Ten Lion Records), the true foundations were layered out when the two united forces with an unknown. Although not much is known about this person that just walked in off the streets, no one can question about the mad love he had for the music as well as for the movement. After watching Jonpito (that’s me) put his heart his dedication and life . The owners of Ten Lion records have sold Ten-Lion records for $$$$ , in order to also concentrate on full dedication on this website.
Freestyle Music.Com Is Jorge A. Ojeda , Jonpito and Vic-Ten. And as we grow, the list of names will grow as well. You know them, but the scary part is that you all don’t know me (Pito), worst what I am capable of. If you thought the Freestyle sound resurfaced from the Underground, you haven’t seen nothing yet. The movement has resurfaced as well.
Because it was Spring Break, I took a break to enjoy the Breaks. By the time this is posted, all should be back at work or back at school. So after you get home or you are on a coffee break or whatever, you can read this patiently because I waited for you all to get back.
Last, because last months newsletter was written in February for March and this one in March For April, the next thing I am going to say is referring to something that took place in February but I decided to hold on to it until this newsletter because I did not want to ruin the Carnival groove.
February of some years ago something happened that hit close to home and affected my family and family friends. We lost one of ours. We lost a friend , a wife lost a husband, a mother lost her son and a daughter lost her father. A couple of years ago , three small planes belonging to an organization called Brothers To The Rescue, who fly over the ocean looking to help out stranded Cuban rafters and other refugees, were out doing their normal flights. Because some brainwashed asshole decided to be a Dick, they (Cuban Government)sent out Cuban war planes and disintegrated as many defenseless twin engine planes as they could shoot over International water. Armando Alejandre Jr. was on one of those planes. We never saw him again.
When this story hit the Media, to many this was just another story and the fallen victims were just another name. Others believed that they should have never been up in the air to begin with. First off, they were not just another name. They were every day people who had more in their hearts than others could handle. Its one thing when you read about them, its another thing when you actually know these people. They like many others in Miami, were Cuban. Cuban physically or Cuban in heart, they like so many Miami residence faced that same pain and experience that the Cuban population faced. The same struggle to keep memories and traditions alive. When Miami had its Disco Boom in the seventies as well as its Freestyle Boom in the 80’s and Dance music’s of the 90’s , it was predominantly second generation Cubans who have put the City on the Map. It was people like Armando Alejandre Jr. , who were the older generations who taught the younger generations about were they came from as well as hoping that one day the second generated Cubans and descendants could one day see the land of their ancestors.
America, all came from somewhere else , excluding the Native Americans, and could return to their homeland. Cuba, its not a matter of choice. You can,t go back. If you could go back, you go back physically but not to the Cuba that once was. That Cuba is long gone now and only exist in memories. Cuba today is a country that society sees it normal for young 13 year old boys and girls, teachers and professionals to sexually prostitute their body’s to phatcat European tourist (Predominantly German, French and Italians) as other youngsters in art circles (Rockers, musicians, painters , etc.) inject themselves with HIV rather than to continue to live in a country that prohibits them from self expression and lied to its society by making false promises of some revolution that failed.
Growing up in Miami I personally learned as much about Cuba as much as other second generation Cuban youth or others who grew up with them did. I learned and understood their struggle and why it is important for them to fight for their identity. Identity is all they have left (Freestyle also recognizes and represents that I.D) . It would not be complete to go into the month of April without giving my respect and recognition to certain people who deserve it.
I want to dedicate this months newsletter to Armando Alejandre Jr. and the other fallen Brothers To The Rescue Pilots, Mario De La Pena, Carlos Costa, and Pablo Morales. I also want to dedicate this to their families and their friends. To go with the dedication I also want to dedicate this months newsletter to all the Cubans. To all the Cubans weather your straight up Cuban, Cuban American, rich or poor, black or white and everything in between. To that generation that grew in up Miami in the seventies with K.C. and The Sunshine Band and that generation of the eighties that grew up with Expose. Its all about Black Beans and Rice along with your Cafecito. To all Cubanaso y Cubanasa of today’s present and to all the Cubanaso and Cubanasas of the past. La Rumba ya empesao, This ones for you.
One love always to all.