Saturday, February 25, 2012

Get Cryphy Four Year Anniversary (First Ave, 2/24/12)

I woke up around 8:00am this morning on an undersized couch in the living room of my friend's place, still dressed in the clothes I wore to First Ave for the sold-out Get Cryphy Four Year Anniversary last night. I felt, more or less, like I got beat in my sleep with a two-by-four while chewing a pack of sandy cotton balls. The funny part is, I think my experience was pretty tame compared to others. Needless to say, Get Cryphy got cryphy. Read on for my thoughts on the night, as well as more footage of the performances.

Over the course of 4 years, Get Cryphy has developed a reputation as one of the finest dance nights in the Twin Cities. Fans flock to the First Ave Record Room each month to get loose to DJs Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy2Times, Fundo and Last Word playing songs that range from mainstream rap to local music. Part of the appeal of Get Cryphy is the bias-free song selection that the DJs employ. All that matters when picking which songs to play are a few key characteristics: a danceable uptempo beat, hard-hitting drums, often a catchy hook, and most importantly bass — lots of bass.

With the anniversary party being hosted in the First Ave mainroom, people were clearly excited to experience that bone-rattling bass on a larger scale with a louder sound system. Folks were lined up outside from the moment the doors opened, and the Get Cryphy team were well-prepared for the occasion. The sound booth was removed from the First Ave floor space to accommodate more bodies on the dance floor. A mini stage was installed for emcees to perform sporadically throughout the night, which also allowed fans to party on the First Ave stage. Two huge nets full of white balloons were hanging from the ceiling, waiting to be dropped on the partygoers. Lastly, with a little help from Burlesque, they added 12 additional 18" subwoofers to pump extra bass over First Ave's already stellar sound system. Get Cryphy took every precaution to make sure their party would be memorable.

After a warm-up set from DJQD, the Get Cryphy guys took over. Liquor was flowing in abundance, and the floor quickly swelled with sweaty dancing bodies. From the start, the DJs kept the night moving at rapid pace and never let up, just the way a dance party should go.

This night was unique in that instead of having one host or performer, an entire lineup of rappers were in attendance to deliver quick one-hitter verses throughout the night. This was an excellent touch, for a variety of reasons. The rapid-fire performances — it was easy to miss someone if you weren't paying attention — kept things rolling but didn't ever overshadow the feel of it being a dance night. However, having a rapper quickly grace the stage helped to maintain the focus of everyone in attendance, as well as help the party reach periodic crests in rowdiness.

MaLLy, Truth Be Told and Astronautilis (who flew in from Europe) all appeared multiple times during the night. St. Paul Slim served as the de facto host for much of the night. Lizzo performed her new single "W.E.R.K." Brother Ali and 16-year-old rapper Tomorrow Genius performed their new, Plain Ole Bill-produced single "Let Em Through." Tony Bones and Manny Petty also made appearances. But the rappers who repeatedly got the crowd most excited were Prof and Brother Ali. Prof supplied the wildest performance of the night, when he performed his King Gampo song "President." Ali, meanwhile, brought more of a traditional hip-hop concert feel to his performance, but is just such a commanding figure that all of First Ave went crazy every time he took the stage.

By the end of the night, the entire crowd at First Ave looked exhausted, but surely could have continued partying had First Ave been able to stay open later. What makes Get Cryphy such a ridiculously fun time is that it's inclusive and lacks pretentiousness. The DJs don't attempt to appeal to any certain fan base. Their job is to provide, one night a month, an affordable opportunity to party and relieve stress for anyone who's looking to join. Their Four Year Anniversary was a cause for celebration; it's impressive for a dance night to have thrived for this long, and the Get Cryphy DJs as well as First Ave, the fans and anyone else who helps support the event deserve a big congratulations. The night itself was a resounding success, but enjoying the party was the easy part. It's the inevitable recovery process the next day that hurts to get through, but is still well worth it.

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