Book Offers A Glimpse Into The History Of Miami Hip-Hop

“The Cipher: A History of Hip Hop in Miami (1995-1999),” is a collection of the best of The Cipher, an independent newspaper published from 1998 to 2000.
It is also a memoir by author John Cordero, who arrived in Miami in 1995 and immersed himself in the underground Hip Hop scene at the time.
Chronicling the rise and fall of the publication, the book is a story of Hip Hop in Miami in the words of its artists and creators, taken from interviews and told as a narrative of unfiltered recollections and anecdotes.
Featuring never-before seen photos and memorabilia, it is a personal journey that stresses overcoming all odds alongside the trials and tribulations of Miami youngsters making sense of and reporting on the multi-million dollar rap industry developing around them in the mid-to-late ’90’s.
Featuring interviews with stars such as DJ Crazeas he began to dominate the competition, DJ Khaled from an underground radio station, and many more MC’s, DJ’s, Aerosol Artists and B-Boys and B-Girls, “The Cipher” is a testament and historical record of the creativity and talent that rose from the streets of Miami to rule the charts and ultimately reign atop pop culture.

John Cordero
Courtesy of Tools of War/Christie Z-Pabon

John Cordero was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977 and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1989.
After stints in Denver, Colorado and Orlando, Florida, the family relocated and settled in Miami, Florida in 1995.
From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Cordero aka Omen co-founded, edited, and published “The Cipher: Miami’s Hip Hop Newspaper” an independent monthly publication that chronicled the emerging Hip Hop scene in South Florida.
Featuring interviews, music reviews, articles, photographs, and poetry, Mr. Cordero assembled a dedicated staff of like-minded Hip Hop fans that quickly became the go-to source for all things Hip Hop related in Miami.
Mr. Cordero received a B.A. in International Relations from Florida International University.
He is also a US Navy veteran, deployed twice to the Persian Gulf as part of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.