Music tells a story. It tells the listener where the artist is from, why the artist made the music, when the music was made, the culture behind the music and the style the artist associates it with. Through a song, we can identify who the artist is, or at least make a good guess to his/her upbringing.
What I find most interesting about music is it's cultural aspect. Culture is defined as "the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society." Through music, we can identify someone's culture, meaning where and what they grew up around.
UMAMI's playlist, which we release every other Monday, is the definition of associating music with culture. Our goal is to identify the best artists in a certain community/city and put their music in a playlist. This playlist is found on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud, in which the links are posted under the "Playlist" tab.
Why is this important? We want to share Miami through music. By listening to music from each city in Miami Dade-County, we not only realize the amazing artists that either grew up or live/lived there, we understand that cities culture. With over 30 cities in Dade-County (36 if you wanna be exact), there's a hell of a lot of culture to understand (and make playlists for).
To give you an example, we started our playlist idea with a place that has "talent that rivals any other neighborhood in the world", Carol City. Carol City is a neighborhood in Miami Gardens, known for importing crime and drugs to all of Dade-County. What we found, besides the obvious Carol City High School that brought together notable rappers such as Denzel Curry, Twelve'len and just about everyone, is the huge amount of rap "all stars" that came from this infamous drug community. I'm talking real all stars, not no TMZ bullshit. I'll put these guys up there with Eminem, Dr.Dre, Tupac and Biggie type deal. Rick Ross, Gunplay and SmokeGhostPurrp. If you haven't heard of these guys you need to crawl out of that rock you're living under and check out Carol City X UMAMI!
Digging just a little deeper, we wanted to know why this violent community made such great rappers. Listening to the rappers, their lyrics revolve around the crime they're associated with. Why did they start rapping? They were making money, doing what most to everyone does in poverty, sell drugs and just about anything else for money. Why would you go to making music, which has no guarantee for making money or success?
Bingo! I know why. Remember Carol City High School? Good. It's where all these amazing artists went to. Living in Carol City, the environment or the "hood" as Denzel Curry says it, makes amazing musicians. Since I haven't lived in Carol City, let me let the expert, Denzel Curry, take a swing at the question:
What is it about the neighborhood that's led to so many musical artists?
I just think it's the environment. All of us went to Carol City High. Even Flo Rida went there. I think just by the programs that were there and the activities, and the outside activities, the hoods and everything—it just really made the people what they are today. - Vice.
Through music, we can understand so much about a city that we don't even have to visit it (even though we highly encourage it!). Go check out our playlist Carol City x UMAMI and let us know what you think, what we could/should change and if you feel you now understand one of the biggest melting pots in our county.
*If you're interested in learning more about Carol City and it's rappers, Twelve'len recently released a great video with Red Bull entitled "Definition of a Florida Boy". Enjoy!*