Since 1992 and many years to follow, there would be a big empty space in what used to be the fulcrum of New York Latin HipHop. What this means is not that there were no people pumping Freestyle records out of New York, but that no one could serve or obtain the respect and unity that the original 1980’s fulcrum held. In other words, “No one represented the true shit!”. With a flood of new labels invading the scene, as well as many old skool artists abandoning the scene, the Freestyle fulcrum was vanishing as a new Freestyle Alliance had claimed themselves the Freestyle gurus. In time the new order that predominated over the Freestyle scene of the early 90’s focused on the Philadelphia and Canadian scene and not the scenes that needed to be focused. The scenes that originated the Freestyle sound, Miami and New York.
For years the so-called “Gurus” marched into regions and spread the word of Freestyle. However, they would spread their interpretation of the genre and failed to educate the public of the true history and origins of the musical genre. In New York there would be few labels left that did not sell out to big corporations or affiliate themselves with parties who had a different priority with the use of Freestyle.
In the tri-state area, labels would begin to compete with each other and flood each other out with compilations. This was done to see what label put out the most records and got paid the quickest. However, quality was not a priority to these labels. What seemed to be more important was the amount of compilations made in order to satisfy and promote the producer and the label’s pocket books. Producers would become stars in their local social circles and their artist would become puppets lost in the flood of forgotten sea of artist. No one had the respect for the Freestyle scene in New York, so no one received the respect from the masses. The new generations, or those who seemed to be the inheritors of New York’s Freestyle scene, seemed nothing but people who fed on greed and were to high on ego trips. For some time, with the exception of a few, New York was just hype when it came for the representation of Freestyle in the 90’s decade.
Until now. Its been a long time since a independent label has come from so far and is now finally making the proper moves to represent New York’s Latin Freestyle scene. The label that is a basic threat to so many Freestyle labels around the Tri-state area is soaring higher by the day. Many thought that the next generation of New York Freestyle people would branch out of the all ready known camp. It is funny how time has a way of changing things. As of the summer of 1998, Prymetyme / X-ess Records is now to be called the FUTURE OF NEW YORK. This is said only because no other label has made the attempts, not only to bring back quality, but also to promote Freestyle in all media aspects. The music is the labels main priority, not ego trips & bullshit that has been mis- representing the New York area for the past years. If there is any future legends that will come out of the new generation of New York, it will most probably be coming out from this label. If the other New York labels do not recognize now, they will definitely bow down later.
This month from Prymetyme/X-ess, we got “Freestyle A New Dimension In Tyme” . In this compilation (that actually has some value) we get the cutting edge of Freestyle coming out of New York. The structure is a combination of acidic elements that are mostly found in most Electro/ Neo Freestyle records, but are blended in with the structure of Traditional Freestyle. The format is layered over new skool Freestyle beats. The results are nice-n- sweet.
The high lights of this project are Saint’s “Someone”, Larise “Over The Years”, Caridad Torres “Deception” (the lyrics are off the chain “I am a woman with many demands, I need to find me a REAL man…” smooth and aggressive. I am sure it will come in handy for some ladies, just don’t use them on me. No but really, the mami’s who know me know that won’t be necessary.) Next we got Tara’s “Wondering” and Freddy Lopez’s “I Keep On Trying”. Freddy’s “I Keep On Trying” is catchy and can also be found on his “Tu Jugaste Con Mi Amor” album, which features both Spanish and English Freestyle.
The two newest members to the Prymtyme/X-ess family are N.V. and Noel. Noel was previously in Miami promoting himself and his new label. He threw it down at Miami’s Club Deep in South Beach for the Ten-Lion, Detour, and Prymetyme/X-ess records jam. Teaz II Pleaz, Noel, Onnie, and Nandy- what more can you ask for? Oh wait, I almost forgot. The party later crossed over to Coconut Grove’s Club Taj for another party.
It was at the second party that Teaz II Pleaz performed once more next to other artist. They performed the new single “Games Of Love” in front of two crowds in one night. The single is out on 12’ and can also be found on the new album “3rd generation”. Every one treated them good and every one had a good response to the new record. As for the other artist, they were all wonderful. I am sure there will be more shows to come. (Click the Button to view what went on that night. The button says Party Events. ) (I am surprised I even remember what happened on the second half of that night.)
Now giving the West coast some attention. Slammin Sam Maxion (an annoying name to type) has introduced a new artist by the name Angela Martinez . The record is called “My Heart Is Here”, a cut produced by Slammin Sam and written by both Sam and Angela. There are four versions to this record. First up is the Wild Party Mix- a Freestyle/TripHop mix. 2. The universal Latin Mix – the typical Freestyle mix. 3. Global ride mix – Hi-NRG and 4. The Wild Party beats – a dub instrumental of the Wild Party mix.
This song should defiantly go somewhere. NEXT!
Back To the EAST!
” If I had the chance to make love to you again, I’d hold you in my arms and I’d never let it end. If I had the chance just to be with you once more, I’ll give you the kind of love that you never had before”. That basically is the chorus of Cynthia’s new single “If I Had The Chance”. It is a good record that takes it back to the basic style. This record is a good investment. We will focus more on Timber / Tommy Boy next month. In the meantime do look out for Cynthia’s record. It is good and it will indeed make people move. No, but really , this song is better than the crap they play on the radio. The song is fierce and will be the focused on for next month because we have more stuff coming from Timber and it is better to focus on all of it together. That way I do not have to re-type myself.
Ok, people now we get to the good part. We got a lil something from The Cover Girls. We got “The Cover Girls Greatest Hits”. This is a compilation that captures three generations of Cover Girls. Here we find liner notes explaining the history of the Cover Girls, Fever, and how Sal Abbatiello used to own a club that many of rap music’s legends would go through. This supports the fact once more of Freestyle roots to early 80’s HipHop.
This album begins with the first “Show Me” and ends with the current “I Need Your Loving:”. It also contains the HipHop version of “Wishing On A Star”, as were the girls sing over HipHop beats. This album is a must for both new and old generations of Freestylers. This album not only includes “Funk Boutique”, “Inside Outside”, “Because Of You”, “My Heart Skips A Beat” In addition, the album contains two old skool ballads that will take everyone way back to the days when the fellas would tag up the girls folders while the girls put on their make up in the middle of English class. I’m talking about “We Can’t Go Wrong” and “Promise Me”.
This album captures not only the greatest hits, but it is an example of the professional quality that Fever and the Cover Girls were known for. It is the type of album that you hold on to for some time. It reminds us of the days when we had “Real” artist and not just ghetto superstars. Personally, I recommend this album to everyone. You get all the best Cover Girl’s songs and do not have to buy dozens of compilations or go on missions looking for the original albums to get some of this material. You get the HipHop version of “Wishing On A Star” and it will get the heads nodding. It contains the professional type of work that you expect from established artist. And above all, it takes you back like a time capsule and brings you up to date. Even if the latest Cover Girls album “Satisfy” contained more R&B instead of Freestyle, this definitely makes up for it, giving you the feeling that they have not forgotten. At the end it gives you the chance to reflect, look back and have something to be proud of. The main reason we are all in this Freestyle thing, in this Our year of 1998.
Speaking of The Cover Girls, now we can find the original main Cover Girl Louise “Angel” Sabbater on Jellybean’s H.O.L.A records. She started stomping the floors in 98 with “Toro Mata”, which was featured on a Latin House compilation on Fever a while back. Now with her Trip/Pop ” Don’t tell Me Till Tomorrow” resurfacing in Freestyle TripHop mixes, Angel Clivilles is making her way into the era of 2000 as a new artist. Angel was Freestyle up and down and all around. She rocked back in the 80’s and that respect is still strong until this day. Nobody disrespects Angel Clivilles. Understand that this shorty has mad pipes, do not underestimate. This month we can also find this “Cover Girl” on the newest release from Jellybean’s label. (Toro mata alli , toro mata…)
The CD is called “Hola Mi Gente” and contains Latin House tracks remixed by GUNGIE RIVERA (what records was he spinning back in the day? Ok then.) ,DJ Lucho, Armand Van Helden, and others. But check this out, the compilation is a non-stop mix done by none other than JELLYBEAN himself. And the records that he is spinning come from Reign, Dmingo, Angel Clivilles and more. Proyecto Uno also has part in this, but they also have an album full of remixes as well, called “Proyecto Uno: The Remixes”. Like mentioned last month, one of the first remixes promoted was “Quiero Seguir Bailando”; which has various House mixes and an ELECTRO TRIP HOP/Freestyle mix. Latin House or Neo Freestyle remixes, H.O.L.A is definitely hitting in the right spots. We will continue to keep a close watch.
Rockell, “Can’t we try just a lil bit HARDER, cant we try just a lil bit MORE”. “What are you looking at?!!!! Please. It sure as hell isn’t no Barbra Streisand. I was not even going to type about this girl, but I have to put in my two cents about something that was recently and briefly showed to me. In reference to an Interview/ article on Rockell on this months July issue of DMA (Dance Music Authority) Magazine, she states that people compare her to LISA LISA, LISSETE MELENDEZ, and CYNTHIA. First of all, all these ladies are straight up Latinas that professionally sang their own original material and spawned more than one hit record. They did not go around trying to sound like every one else. Last, they stuck with Freestyle for many years. They did not use it as a stepping stone to further their career. To be compared to these legends one must pass many years and actually contribute something. “I Fell In Love” was a break through for Freestyle in the 90’s among others. It will continue to be embraced, unlike the rest of her material. You know what they say “The music lasts forever” unfortunately the artist don’t. Her “What Are You Looking At” album was the disappointment of the year and it is also the prime example why Freestyle artist have such a hard time trying to prove themselves.
Many Years ago radio dropped all Hispanic Freestyle artists from their play list, saying that young Hispanic artist are untalented and untrained. Rockell (who may or may not be Latina, but if she was she would boast it instead of being ashamed) admits that she had no professional vocal instruction. But then why is Cynthia (straight up Boriqua), who has had professional vocal instruction and a much longer list of experience, not found on the radio with her new material? But Rockell is found in all radio formats with her Cheesy remakes of other peoples songs (Including one of Cynthia herself).
Rockell’s material at the moment is not all that to be representing Freestyle, as she is not also in the position to go around comparing herself to our legends or today’s hard working artist. Everyone knows the status of the new Rockell material, but at the end she walks away from the Freestyle scene and it will be harder for Freestyle artist, especially the Hispanic crowd, to prove themselves as established writers, singers, and TALENTED PRODUCERS. It is all industry and radio politics. I mostly said what needed to be said about the Rockell topic in last months Community report (go back if you missed it). I diss the material, not the artist. In this case, Rockell dissed herself. It is the type of material found on Rockell’s album (except “I Fell In Love”, who was produced and written by some one else and not Adam Morano) that makes me ashamed of Freestyle. It makes me want to turn off the radio or leave the club, but not leave the scene. I’ve had been in this scene since the day it began and before Rockell and a new generation jumped into it. I am in the scene today, and I know I speak for the true heads that Rockell’s material does not represent today’s best in Freestyle. It sure as hell does not represent my scene or generation, maybe hers. Maybe that’s why we have a problem. No, but seriously, Rockell and that album got to go, and not just in the trash can. Save your 16.99 for the next thing.
You can save your 16.99 and wait until this next lady comes out with her album.
Already growing in popularity and found in mixes across the country, is what should be Robbins Entertainment’s next priority. Though it has been out for some time Jacqui Cenci’s “Memories” is not fading. Already with the Carlos Berrios mix, the record is used as a bridge between Acid Phunk and Neo Freestyle sets. It holds a classic freestyle synth structure that echoes in a four dimensional airspace. It could be for today what Tina B’s “Honey To A Be” was to the E-Funk and Freestyle scene of that time. Jacqui gives the record’s vocals that “Gringa Flare” that blends in nicely with most Electro Freestyle records, as “Soulfull” Black vocals do also, reminiscent of the early 80’s. She lays her vocals smoothly over the beats, where as the lines end with long vowels.
Some records sound good with open vowels, such as Maga’s “Bi-Pushingt” or Natasha’s “Be Gentle With My Heart” that are mostly Spanish accented. This will not work here. The vocals would be too aggressive. This record has been mentioned many times before on this website and it’ once more being mentioned because it needs to be seen and heard. This record is indeed a good investment. It is classified by DJs and purist as Neo Electro Freestyle. Although the lyrics are bubble gumish, the sound is indeed the “New” style. It is up to the DJs and radio to make this (and other records) into one of the summers hits. If it was up to me, I would.
Besides Jacqui Cenci’s “Memories”, there are other records that need exposure and will also be the floor burners of 98’s summer. Freestyle scorchers like Sequels “There’s More To Love”, “Douby’s “Is It Real”, Nyasia’s “Shake It To The Rhythm”, Mz Toni’s remake of “The Mexican” and Tony Marino’s “Cant You Feel It “, who can all be found on Intersound’s compilation called “Total Ritmo”. The compilation was put together with the talents of Lewis Martinee (Expose, Sequel, Paris By Air, and countless others), Dennis Nieves, and Keith Rosenberg. The compilation is a must for all those who want to keep up to date with what is going on. It is brand new Freestyle for 98, coming from people who put out the “REAL” Freestyle back in the day.
I am talking about Lewis Martinee, who is down to earth and everything. He is working with people like Enrique Iglesias and other International artists, and he has no ego trips whatsoever. He should be a good example of how to be, instead of all these Freestyle producers on ego trips that we have today. Check out an interview I did with him. It is under a button that says THE INTERVIEWS. As for the rest of the “Total Ritmo” CD, it is good. I said most of it in last month’s issue, but once again I highly recommend it.
As we talk about bridging from Freestyle sets to more underground sets using Neo Freestyle and Acid phunk records, we now bridge from the Neo Freestyle to more Underground Acid E-Funk using people. I am referring to Keith Rosenberg. Keith “Bassman” Rosenberg, besides being one of the men responsible for the “Total Ritmo” compilation, is one of the men along with Dan Warren AKA “Syntronix”, who go by the name TRIP THEORY. This month Trip Theory has their CD out now called “Trip On X”.
The album consist of various cuts containing more than just electronic tweaks, breaks, Freebeats, acidic basslines etc. This one is for all those who are down for the underground Phunk. It contains cuts like “Times Up”, “The Space Men Are Coming”, “8 Days A Tweak”, “Jam Nitty Gritty”, “Planetary Warfare” and “Take Me To The Rave”, among others. It is no surprise that this is also on Intersound.
Intersound is one of the nations growing labels and has been one of the major forces embracing and supporting the Neo Freestyle and Electro Acid phunk as for other underground electronic hybrids for some time now. One of their earliest priorities was the distribution of Orlando based Kram records. As for Kram, they are promoting the newest from K5 called “Energy” and “Funky Rhythm”. K5 , as everyone knows, is picked up by Robbins Ent. Even though Robbins promotes and distributes the album and singles, Kram records sees that in the underground tip K5 and all others who are or hailed from their roster get the proper underground promotion.
DJ Icey, the poster boy for the Florida Funky Breaks scene, has his new release called “Generate”. He will tour the state of Florida in the month of July and will be hitting Gainesville on July 9 at 238 West, Tampa on the 16 at Frankie’s Patio, JacksonVille’s Club 5 on the 17, Tallahassee’s The Lourve on the 18, and of course the Flava Capital Miami on the 27 of July at studio 183-that’s Envy Studio 183.
Since we are on events, July 4th Producer/DJ Tony Moran will spin at Miami Beach’s Shadow Lounge (big ups to G.Kelly) and the talk of the town is the event that will occur at the Coconut Grove Convention Center. The Circa 98 rolls in bringing together everybody. Many DJs will spin and hypnotize the masses. Such as Florida’s Duncan from the womb, Lady Minx, Edgar V., Mike Sharpe from Adrenalin, Luis Diaz, and countless others. Special guest DJs and People who have played an important role in our Freestyle/Latin HipHop history Read: Afrika Bambaataa (Planet Rock), George Acosta (Planet Soul). Other guests include people like Grandmaster Flash. This is going to be off the chain. The HipHop people are going to be there, the Rave people are going to be there, the Freestyle people are going to be there, everyone is going to pass by there. There isn’t nothing like a night full of Ambient, trance, Breakbeat/Jungle, straight up Drum n bass, Phunk, Trip Hop, progressive House. It is events like this that people need to see more of to promote unity, love, piece, respect and to show how in reality we are all united.
When it comes in the view of a “Freestyle” person, it is a reflection of our whole history and of our roots. Our roots that go all the way to the early 80’s HipHop and even before that. To the days of the Salsoul and “Trans-Europe Express”. HipHop, which is a culture not one style of music (rap), has expanded through out the world in many different art forms and styles of music. Anyone who examines his or her roots, from Latin Freestyle to Drum n Bass, knows that HipHop is the root element. HipHop is indeed universal. At the end of this millenium we all come together in this universe and represent and respect each other. As Latin HipHop people, we represent the past generations who walked on the front lines of the past decades. We represent our presence as well as for those who were there when this thing began in the early half of the 70’s decade in New York. We represent the big role that the Latino presence played in the development of HipHop, as well as Dance music. We represent the Latino aspect, but we also need NO SEGREGATION from this Universe. We, like many others, share the same past. Now that we stand at the present, we need to share the same future.
Since I am on the Sunshine State, I am going to let people in on another CD. Though it has been out for a while now, I never said anything on it. Since it does contain a cut that I have talked about before, I will shine light on it. The CD is called “The Sunshine State Of Mind”. It is a compilation of many styles of Electronic Music that has Florida roots. Better said Underground Electronic music from Florida. Monk and Neil Harris piled it up.
Ffrr is the label. And the contents include the Neo Phunker “Look To The Future” by Dynimix II, Rabbit In The Moon’s “Floori.D.A” (one of the best breakdowns), Friction n Spice’s “Come Into My Dream”, and a range of material coming from the likes of Pimp Daddy Nash, DJ Icey, Nu Tribe, AK 1200, and various others. To be honest, this is for those who like underground sounds. If your diet includes some funky breaks, Triphop/Acid Phunk, trance, house, drum n bass and experimental, this is for you. If you like Funky Breaks and triphop/Acid Phunk only, you have better luck looking for a CD that contains the three and other phunkers as well. But to sum it up, it is a good CD to have. By the way, the CD contains liner notes explaining a lil bit about the records and scene. To tell the truth, it nearly only talked about 25% of what is going on in the underground. Not to mention things in the Florida underground are changing day by the day.
To wrap it up now, most of the things posted this month are in one way or the other a continuation of last months. Some reflect more on a certain area in the last issue than this issue. Since the last time the report for June was posted (2 weeks ago), not much has happened. In the Freestyle scene many records have been released. Some not worth typing or reading about, others did not meet the dead line. This has kept us short this month, but should make next months a bit more interesting as there will be more to cover (unfortunately for my fingers). For those who may wonder, I only write about records if they are somewhat affiliated to any scene that is affiliated to the Freestyle scene. This means commercial or underground. Especially if records will contribute to our mixes (We as a people). To all those people wondering why it is taking me so long to put this up this month, blame Safire. Indeed the Artist Of The Month Bios are time consuming. Besides that, a lot of things are happening. By this month everyone should be glad to see that Jellybeans picture has been taken down. Without disrespect, I was sick of seeing it also.
You know, I have completely forgotten about the continuation of the Freestyle Force. Last we left off was the current date and how this Freestyle thing came back to life. We still got a lot to cover, so for those of you wondering it will be posted again.
The radio show is on the works and we are getting ready for a whole lot of things. We are getting new writers and our Freestyle music.com family is soon to grow.
I am aware that my readers span from the ages of 12 to at least one that is 63. School kids and working professionals. I do not try to write what pleases them, I write the facts in a way they can both relate to.
I know that some people are not amused with the things I write or say. I know it is the truth and they know it is the truth. They get mad and yet they are the first ones to come see if the new issue is out. You know, ugly people do not look at themselves naked in the mirror. Those who do, get mad. Do not get mad at the mirror, it is not the mirrors fault. It is just the way things are. I am like a mirror, if you don’t like something then cover your eyes. Plain and simple.
This month I am nice about things, but I have been nice for too long. I will definitely let the cat out of the bag, and boy is there a row of cats in bags. I can hear them now. MEEOOW! This industry is something. It’s like a lot of little kids with lots of money. Then they call themselves professionals and do not know how or where to market their records. That is just one problem. But anyway, I am not even going to go there. I just don’t feel like typing about it.
What’s up to all the people who have tried to contact me, especially those few who have received an unexpected phone call. I return all my calls. I love the phone. I speak faster than I can type.
Also, we are always collecting material for reviews or for our future Internet Radio Show, as well as the “Discoteca Del Aire” show.
Florida is burning up! I do not mean that in a physical way. Blessings to all those who lost it all in the fires of north Florida.