Afro-Rican is a popular bi-racial Miami Bass and Hip-Hop group, most famous for their genre shaping 1987 hit Give it All You Got (Doggy Style), as well as their 1995 hit All of Puerto Rico. The group is the brainchild of Derrick Rahming, and the remainder of the lineup has changed over the years. Most fans consider the classic lineip to be Rahming, Juan Arroyo, and M.D. Rock.
From We Down Express to The Afro-Rican Connection
Afro-Rican grew out of the open air mobile DJ crew We Down Express. Like other DJ crews of South Florida during the mid-1980's, their local fame eclipsed that of regional recording artists, and labels made an attempt to cash in. As 'We Down Express', they recorded the song Bass Attack for Pandisc Records in 1986, which failed to make much of a mark (Pandisc PD-017). Later that year, they rechristened themselves The Afro-Rican Connection to highlight their bi-racial makeup, possibly as a way to maximize marketability. As The Afro-Rican Connection, they released the single It's Live b/w Ragina single for Pandisc (Pandisc PD-020) also in 1986, which made a bit more of an impact, but still failed to gain them lasting fame.
Shaping the Genre: Give it All You Got
Come 1987, the Miami Bass scene had begun to realize the potential of uptempo Club-Bass records, so Derrick Rahming began production on his perception of this sound with his brand new E-mu SP1200 drum sampler. Although this sound was not something he preferred, he knew that labels wouldn't continue to fund records that sold in meager quantites, and with 2 Live Crew and Kooley C's uptempo Bass tracks dominating the local clubs, producing a song in this vein was a means to an end. The group shortened their name to Afro-Rican, and the resulting song was their landmark Give it All You Got (Doggy Style). Edward Meriwether snatched up the song for his Suntown Records, putting most other deals on hold during the signing and promotion of this track. The song essentially tied all the elements of the Miami Bass sound together, defining the genre for years to come.
Going Hip-Hop Leads to Lean Years
Now with their foot shoved firmly in the door of Miami's music scene, Afro-Rican began Hip-Rock Records, and commenced production on their album dominated by a more traditional Hip-Hop sound. The trail blazed by their hit single opened more doors than expected, scoring a 'manufacturing and distribution' deal with Luke Skyywalker Records in 1989. However, their fanbase was not ready to hear the group's take on straight-ahead Hip-Hop, and the entire buildup was foiled in one shot. The group failed to move units, and the deal with Skyywalker was squandered.
In 1991, Afro-Rican made a comeback attempt by releasing the album Sex and Fun, tying together their stab at club related Bass music and more takes on traditional Hip-Hop, but the album again failed to find its audience.
Car Audio Bass alias: Power Supply
These became lean years for Derrick Rahiming, recording from his bedroom in an era where bedroom producers were a rarity. However, Techmaster P.E.B.'s success in the new sub-genre of Car Audio Bass created a niche that was still in its infancy circa 1991, and Derrick saw an opportunity. Creating an entire album of Car Audio Bass in his bedroom led to the creation of his Car Audio alias, Power Supply. Figuring out the formula to market this music directly at car shows under his Hip-Rock label proved to be highly successful, and this put Afro-Rican/Hip-Rock Records back on top overnight.
Back on Top
In 1995, a new incarnation of Afro-Rican with Derrick Rahming still at the helm produced their second biggest hit, All of Puerto Rico. Throughout the 1990's, they discovered and employed artists such as 6-1 Dog, and DJ K-Os.
The Elder Statesman Remains Productive
By the time 2000 rolled around, a new generation of Florida Bass music fans began to place the group on a historical pedistal due to the genre-shaping success of Give it All You Got (Doggy Style), and the new-school Electro Bass group Jackal & Hyde remade the song with Rahiming performing a new lead vocal. Afro-Rican also collaborated with Neil Case's Bass Mekanik imprint under the Pandisc Records' umbrella, producing hybrids of Car Audio Bass, Florida breaks, and traditional Hip-Hop textures.
Derrick Rahming continues to live and record in South Florida under the alias of Chameleon.