Sir Michael Rocks Gets All "Respect Nature" and "Be Yourself" on Debut Solo Album Banco

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You can't buy an all-over Nascar t-shirt with a picture of Chief Keef talking into a fat stack of Benjamins like it's a cellphone, but you might see one on Sir Michael Rocks as he rolls through Kendall.

The Chicago-bred rapper made the shirt himself, and he did actually sell a few through his apparel site, Exotic Gourmet. Unfortunately, Chief Keef is no longer available, but you can get shirts covered in video game controllers, old Nickelodeon cartoon logos, or one with Ekans and baseball bats.

Some people might find his style a bit odd, but Sir Michael Rocks doesn't care anymore.

See also: Sir Michael Rocks Filmed "F&%k SeaWorld" Music Video at Miami Seaquarium

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Seven Years of Safe Miami: "Leading People Who Trust Us Into the Unknown"

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Miami's underground dance music scene owes many hard-working local promotions visionaries, many of which have come and gone. But one crew that has stood the test of time, while standing out for its bold, forward-thinking musical programming, is SAFE.

Since launching in 2006, these trailblazing tastemakers have introduced Miami to many of electronic dance music's great iconoclastic luminaries, including DJ Sprinkles, Optimo, Ben UFO, Martyn, and Joy Orbison. Put simply, SAFE parties are more than mere dance floor hedonism -- they offer a musical education.

Ahead of the crew's seventh anniversary celebration at Electric Pickle with DJ Sprinkles on Friday, Crossfade caught up with SAFE's Diego Martinelli to chat about SAFE's evolution and seven essential records.

See also: Safe's Diego Martinelli on the State of Dance Music: "This EDM Thing, It's Atrocious"

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Miami's Guitars Over Guns: Teaching Kids Music and Keeping Them Off the Street

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Photo by JP Dodel
Guitars Over Guns co-founder Chad Bernstein.

Cutting music and arts programs from public schools is a sign of the decline of western civilization.

But have no fear, professional musicians are here, and they're putting the instrumentation back into education.

Guitars Over Guns is Miami's answer to the need for leadership training in the form of artistic expression, and the local community outreach organization will be throwing a party at the Fillmore Miami Beach to help raise money for its programs. Here's what co-founder Chad Bernstein of Suénalo and Spam Allstars had to say about juvenile justice, non-profits, and working with Shakira.

See also: Miami's 16 Best Latin Rock Bands of All Time

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Baby Cobra's Thunderdome of Doom Party: "Dress Up and Dance to Dirty Rock 'n' Roll"

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Stephanie Torres will be another year older, and you can cover yourself in blood and jello shots to celebrate!

Elvis died on August 16. And hey, it is Madonna's birthday too.

Even more importantly, Miami's own Stephanie "Baby Cobra" Torres came bouncing into the world on the same date. And without her, we'd be missing a lot of great Poplife events, like Thursday Degeneration and all manner of post-punk, nu-wave, horrorcore vibes.

Because she has wonderful taste and access to Grand Central's The Garret, she's inviting all of the 305's party people to her old-school grindhouse birthday celebration, complete with jello shots, musical chairs, prizes, costumes, and dirty rock 'n' roll.

See also: Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars

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Amber Monique Talks Save RnB: "I Really Feel Like R&B Is Becoming Extinct"

Categories: Local Music, Q&A

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Photo by ArtCrazyPhotography

Lounging inside a coffee shop, singer Amber Monique smiles with a hint of embarrassment as she remembers an awkward childhood moment.

"I was young, dumb. And I went around the wrong side of the pole I was supposed to move to, because I thought I was a rebel, and I ended up falling face-first in the fountain," she recalls. "So I was just laying there, and I didn't want to get out. And some guy finally helped me out while laughing at me."

Over the last year, this shy and self-proclaimed geek has found her way into Miami's local cool crowd with the release of her debut project, Elevate, working with Prez P and fellow female artist E. Banga.

Now, following her latest release, Save RnB, Ms. Monique chatted with Crossfade about early memories, beating anxiety and stage fright, being biracial, and the current state of R&B.

See also: Miami's Top Ten Rappers on the Come-Up

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Miami's Top Ten Jazz Musicians

Categories: Lists, Local Music

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Photo by Manny Iriarte

We've been having some fun lately with these "Best of All Time" lists. But today, we will refrain from saying these jazz musicians were/are the best of all time. No, they are jazz musicians of note who made Miami their home. A best-of-all-time list would be way too long, and to explain that, I will quote myself from 11 years ago:

"For those who think that jazz was a phenomenon restricted to Chicago or New York City, here's a heads up. From the late Sixties through the mid-Eighties, South Florida was the kind of place that awoke goggle-eyed from stiff drinks and glorious, honest performances. Miami had it, and for the players, the money was there. A musician could make a living gigging here three to five nights a week. Of course, a few parameters existed that allowed for such circumstances: crowds, venues, and talent."

South Florida used to be a jazz mecca. These musicians helped ensure that distinction.

See also: Miami's 16 Best Latin Rock Bands of All Time

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What We Learned About DJ Khaled from the "Hold U Down" Video

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Still from DJ Khaled's new video "Hold You Down"
DJ Khaled is going to give this girl a bunch of money, even though she looks totally creeped out by him.
It may be Monday, but it's never too early in the work week for a sex anthem.

DJ Khaled is holdin' u down till the weekend with the premiere of his latest video, "Hold U Down," featuring Chris Brown, Jeremih, Future, and August Alsina -- four of the silkiest voices in the modern R&B scene.

The visual is pretty standard in that it's an over-sexed advertisement for Khaled's copious commercial endorsements, but in case you didn't see his ground-breaking mini-movie for "No New Friends," Khaled is kind of a film entrepreneur. He lets us in to another level of his personal life with this six-minute doozy, and while watching, we learned some strange things that can never be unlearned.


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Miami's Baez Kicks Off Crossfade's New DJ Podcast Series

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We here at Crossfade are proud to introduce our new DJ podcast series today. Each month, we will be showcasing exclusive new mixes by those who call the 305 home -- from local nightclub residents to up-and-coming talent.

The first installment in our series comes courtesy of Miami clubland mainstay Jason Baez, New Times' pick for Best of Miami 2013: Best DJ. His signature deep, slow-burning sets have made him one of the most beloved residents at house and techno hotspots like Electric Pickle and Treehouse, and he's also made waves as a budding producer with releases on labels like Wehppa Music and Fade Records.

Stream Baez's new mix for Crossfade is after the jump. Get to know more about this talented local.


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Basside Rapper Opens Bikram Yoga Studio in South Miami

Categories: Local Music

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Local musician Carolina Villalba is not your average yoga instructor.
They say music tames the savage beast, but in this concrete jungle, it takes more than a little mood music to unwind.

Carolina Villalba, 25, is attacking the nerves of the Miami scene at both ends. Not only does she inspire crowds to let loose as one half of booty bass rap duo Basside, she's also proudly opening her own 1,500-square-foot Bikram studio in South Miami, Bikram Hot Yoga 305.

Villalba will host a soft opening this weekend with free classes from Friday through Sunday, but the grand opening party on Saturday, Aug. 16, is the big celebration, featuring a "dope DJ set" from Chocolate Sunday fave Mr. Maneuvers, live performances from Curls, Basside, and more.

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Amos Larkins II on Miami Bass, "Ghetto Jump," and Who Left Luke's Name Off the Sunnyview Label

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Photo by Anthony Larkins
Amos Larkins II in the Sunnyview Records studio.
Amos Larkins II invented Miami Bass production.

As an in-house artist/producer/engineer for Henry Stone and Morris Levy's Sunnyview Records label, he came up with regional and international hits on a signature style of party rap with sustained 808 kicks that dropped like no others. They became the prototype for a distinct style of music that still reverberates today.

Working under a litany of aliases, he produced hits and underground gems alike. And in the case of "Ghetto Jump," he set in motion a chain of events that led to the foundation of Uncle Luke's empire. Here's what Amos Larkins has to say about all this in his own words.

See also: Miami Bass' Ten Best Producers and Musicians

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