Flo Rida.

Flo Rida has taken the hip-hop world by storm thanks to his innovative work featuring elements of house music.

He’ll be stopping by Fantasy Springs on Saturday, Aug. 1.

The genesis of Flo Rida’s career occurred when he was in the ninth-grade. His brother-in-law was affiliated with the legendary Miami bass/hip-hop group 2 Live Crew.

“In ninth grade, my brother-in-law took me to meet Luther Campbell for the first time,” he said during a recent phone interview. “I actually did a rap for him, and Luther told me I had something.

“I continued to pursue my career, and I performed with Fresh Kid Ice in Hawaii, and I toured with him for almost a year or two. That’s the connection I have with 2 Live Crew. When I actually performed with Luther Campbell, I was about 15; with Fresh Kid Ice, I was about 19.”

The name Flo Rida serves as an ode to Florida’s place in hip-hop history.

“I think me growing up in Miami, it’s a bunch of different cultures,” he said. “We had different beats and a different vibe, and I think that’s a plus, and what really inspires me to want to try different things in music and just think outside of the box.”

Hip-hop music has certainly changed over the years; of course, some people think the change has been positive, while others disagree. Flo Rida is part of the former camp: He thinks innovation is driving the genre’s success. 

“I don’t really feel it’s missing anything; I feel it’s very innovative throughout the years, from Run-DMC doing something with Aerosmith, from Nelly doing things with country artists, and myself doing things from the Latin side of things to the Caribbean side of things,” he said. “It’s just being innovative and just growing. I love the fact you don’t have to be stuck in one genre as far as hip-hop goes these days, and I think it’s only going to get better.”

Flo Rida is certainly innovating with his house-music-friendly sound.

“What we’ve done before with mixing sounds and things like that, we just wanted to take it a step further,” he said. “I’m very versatile when it comes to having melodies and things like that. A lot of these records have a lot of takes on them, and when I’m overseas, sometimes I’ll hear a DJ playing some Whitney Houston over house music and things like that. I think it’s just us being versatile.”

Flo Rida said house-music DJs are doing some truly great things for music all around the world.

“The possibilities are definitely endless,” he said. “The one thing about it is we’re so passionate about the music. … A lot of times, you don’t get to hear it unless you go to a certain radio station, but if you go to see any house DJs perform, around the world, you can hear the music you’re passionate about, such as soul music and stuff like that. I love what they’re doing with the music.”

The best collaboration that Flo Rida ever did—and there have been many—was with Timbaland, he said.

“I’ve worked with a lot of people, and I’ve certainly have had those memorable moments,” he said. “… (Timbaland) worked with (hip-hop group) Jodeci during Da Bassment Crew, and I actually worked with DeVante (the person who gave Timbaland his name), and I actually stayed with him out in Los Angeles and lived with him for about five years. Just for me to see him work with DeVante … and here we are collaborating on my single ‘Elevator,’ we had a lot to be thankful for and talk about. We were just excited to get a big record and see the outcome.”

Flo Rida is preparing to drop a new album; in fact, our interview once had to be rescheduled because he’d spent the previous night in the studio working on material for his upcoming album. He also recently released an EP called My House.

“I just want to make sure we have some hits on there,” he said about the upcoming new album. “I’ve been traveling around the world getting inspired, and I didn’t want my fans to wait, which is why I put out the EP. …. I’ve been putting together material just making sure we have a multi-platinum album.”

Flo Rida promised he’d turn in an excellent show at Fantasy Springs.

“I’m a guy who is always inspired by people who are fans of my records, and I’m a fan of my own records,” he said. “When I go onstage, I give a 1000 percent of my energy, and I always do right by my fans. It’s a workout, and you’ll be so tired when we’re finished, because you’ll be jumping up and down. It’s always a plus to see people smiling and families coming out to my show. I might have people come up on stage; I might go out in the crowd. And there’s always a grand finale.”

Flo Rida will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, in Indio. Tickets are $49 to $99. For tickets or more information, call 760-342-5000, or visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...