Miami Bass music is directly derived from early '80s Electro-Funk music, which is a derivative of Hip-Hop. The beat structure of most Miami Bass music is primarily the drum pattern of songs like Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock" and Planet Patrol's "Play At Your Own Risk."
Many bass songs contain vocal snippets and samples of both songs. Like "Planet Rock," the Roland TR 808 drum machine with its thunderous kick drum and infectious cowbell is the primary instrument used to create bass music. Scratching was prevalent and very well done on some of the first Miami bass records due to DJs like Mr. Mixx of the 2 Live Crew and DJ Man. The subject matter of some of the earliest bass music was incredibly raunchy and misogynistic, but later branched out into various subjects. Vocally, many Miami Bass songs contained call-and-response, chants and/or rhymes.
Here we present five pivotal Miami Bass songs.
Although many credit 1986's "Bass Rock Express" by MC A.D.E. as the first Miami Bass record, "Throw The D" by 2 Live Crew was the first to break out to several regions beyond the state of Florida. The first record released on Luther Campbell's Luke Skyywalker Records, "Throw The D" wasn't the first 2 Live Crew record, but it was the first dirty one, prompting a change in subject matter that would rock the world of music a short time later. With raunchy lyrics about a "dance," a dope beat and incredible scratching by Mr. Mixx, the 2 Live Crew set off a firestorm in 1986.
Anquette, another Luke Skyywalker artist, released an answer record to the 2 Live Crew titled "Throw The P." Much like Roxanne Shantè did with UTFO two years prior, Anquette flipped the 2 Live Crew's lyrics over the same music, creating an anthem for the women. Mr. Mixx effectively cuts up several X-rated comedy records just as he did on "Throw The D," mostly by LaWanda Page who portrayed Aunt Esther on television's Sanford & Son. "Throw That P" was extremely important, as it was the start of X-rated Miami Bass Records by women, opening the door for artists like MC Luscious.
"Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend" flipped the tables on the misogyny in Miami Bass. Boasting about her ability to take another woman's man, Luscious prompted a remake "Boom I Got Your Girlfriend" by The Boys From The Bottom and later "I Got Your Boyfriend" by Jacki-O.
"Cars With The Boom" is one of few commercially successful Miami Bass styled songs. Tygra and Bunny D known as L'Trimm created an ode to cars with boomin' systems. Their "valley girl" delivery and look by way of the popular music video caused the Coconut Grove, Floridians single to reach number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 and landed them a recording contract with Atlantic Records. In 2020 "Cars With The Boom" went viral on Tik Tok, introducing Tigra and Bunny to a new generation.
New York is the state least likely to create a Miami Bass song, but Stetsasonic's "Miami Bass" is not a regular Miami Bass record— it plays more like a literal lesson on just what Miami Bass is, proving that the music had received attention beyond the region where it was created. Stet's uptempo 808 beat and usage of "The Champ" by the Mohawks actually made for a pretty dope Miami Bass track. The song, from their 1988 album In Full Gear, actually received a pretty dope remix as well.