There is something about Miami that captures the soul of an artist.
Maybe it’s colorful neighborhoods awash in tropical colors and scents? Maybe it’s the sultry beaches and nightlife of Miami Beach? Maybe it’s the eclectic nature of the people who inhabit this stretch of land between the Florida Everglades and the mighty Atlantic Ocean?
Or, it could be a combination of the three?
Whatever the case, the Magic City and its environs have long captured the hearts of music artists in every genre, and for this AXS Top five list, let's look at the top five songs that perfectly portrayed life in South Florida.
There was a time when no one could get this 2008 single out of their minds. LMFAO, the group responsible for helping push electropop into the mainstream, perfectly captured the spirit of Miami on this hype track. It was sultry, it was sexy, and it was a dance hit, peaking just outside the Top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100 (#51), and continuing to spread the word about how special the Magic City truly is.
Before “Miami Vice” hit the airwaves, Miami was known for being the home base of “Scarface Nation” and the waiting room of the elderly living out their golden years. Then, “Vice” hit the airwaves and made Miami the place-to-be, revitalizing Miami Beach and providing the perfect night time cruising track with “Crockett’s Theme.” Created by the show’s composer, Jan Hammer, “Crockett’s Theme” carries that Miami swagger that was, and still does define Miami to this very day.
Miami is a tropical paradise that is home to its own genre, tropical music. No artists define the tropical sound quite like Enrique Iglesias, and Miami’s greatest hometown booster, Pitbull. Though it’s only a few months old, “Move To Miami” should already be considered one of the best singles ever made about the Magic City. The tropical, sultry Latin vibes perfectly capture what this city is all about, and it's highly recommended in any Miami-centric playlist.
In 1998, Miami, which was already in an image renaissance, got an added boost in profile thanks to Will Smith. “Miami,” which used the beat from The Whispers 1979 hit “And The Beat Goes On,” sung all of the praises about this tropical metropolis, and it turned into a huge hit for Smith, who was beginning to wind down his recording career to focus full-time on acting. The video for “Miami” is an iconic piece of music art, and it won Smith an MTV VMA for “Best Male Video.”
There have been a lot of great songs created espousing the joys of Miami, but ask anyone and they will say that “Only In Miami” is the quintessential Miami song. The Latin percussions, Bette Midler’s legendary voice, and the overall vibe of the song just make one feel like packing up the bags and catching a one-way flight to the 305. Commercial-wise, it wasn’t a hit (it was never released as a single), but when it was used in the pilot episode of “Miami Vice,” it caught everyone by surprise and made everyone feel proud about being from Miami.