Get Cryphy 4 Year Anniversary at First Avenue, 2/24/12

Brother_Ali_Get_Cryphy_Dave_Eckblad.jpg
Photo by Dave Eckblad
Get Cryphy 4 Year Anniversary
With Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy2Times, Last Word, Fundo, and more.
First Avenue Mainroom,
Friday, February 24, 2012

View a slideshow from the concert here.

The combination of crunk and hyphy hip-hop subgenres serves as a decent shorthand for what the four-man Get Cryphy crew spins, but there's more to it. These are the songs for which you stop everything and turn up the volume. These are the songs that sound perfect at the rollerskating rink. These are the songs you first got twerked to at the high school dance. If it's dirty, crunchy, and the bass shakes you down to your bones, it's cryphy. Every DJ showed their impeccable taste when it comes to what moves a crowd, and they never let the energy drop. 

Conditions were perfectly primed for a giant, crazy party. Gangsta rap, alcohol, attractive people, stage dancing, a packed house and a Friday night; well-timed falling balloons and crowd-surfing stuffed gorillas; booming, monstrous bass at ear-splitting decibels; more than one man in a giant bird suit throwing T-shirts and weed grinders into the audience; lines between ass-shaking, two-stepping and crumping forever being blurred; not to mention it was the show's birthday.

Finding five hours worth of quality club bangers is a pretty impressive feat in and of itself -- not to mention figuring out sequence. There was a good mix of sure-fire hits and left-field "I remember this song!" choices, strung together with a unified vision that kept things seamless. At various points in the night, local rappers would come perform songs in the cryphy vein. All told, we saw appearances from Prof, Brother Ali, Lizzo, St. Paul Slim, MaLLy, Truth Be Told, Tony Bones, Astronautalis, newcomer Tomorrow Genius, and even a surprise song from Doomtree associate Ander Other. The range of styles managed to fit not only with each other but within the context of the night; someone like Brother Ali can sit comfortably next to songs by Clipse or Waka Flocka Flame if done right.

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Photo by Dave Eckblad
Multiple sides of the Twin Cities rap scene were represented, even though most of the spun tracks were from the South or the coasts. St. Paul Slim played host for a while, rapping along to tracks and continually reminding us that there were lots of ladies in the audience. Prof seems to always get crowds eating out of the palm of his hand. It was a great surprise to see Long DOE Records represented with a song from Tony Bones. Though they also played strong individually, MaLLy and Truth Be Told made a powerful duo when they returned to perform their collaboration "Bounce." Houston transplant Lizzo got it in with her banger "WERK" that was perfectly suited to the night.

Brother Ali joined 16-year-old Tomorrow Genius for the new track "Let Me Through" that Plain Ole Bill debuted and produced. Astronautlis got the opportunity to prove his roots as a gangsta rap fanboy, filtering his heady raps through the Cryphy umbrella to great effect. The unique energies of dance parties and rap performances fused to create something bigger than the sum of its parts, and spirits were high up to the very last moment.

The DJ's job is to control the crowd's actions, and at one point Plain Ole Bill had to literally do so by stopping the music and telling people this was not a mosh pit. The night seemed to push everyone to the brink, but the insanity stayed at the edge without falling too far and creating problems. Closer "Pony" was the perfect sex-soaked track to wind the night down, and played into a hilariously souful remix of Lil' Jon's "Get Low" that was crafted specifically for the show. Long story short: It was pretty much perfect. There's an art and a finesse to getting buck wild. Get Cryphy are consummate professionals at bringing that to people, and Friday will likely go down in the record books.

Personal Bias: I'll be the first to admit that reviewers are prone to exaggerate how great the concerts they attend were, but I can honestly say the Get Cryphy 4 Year Anniversary was one of the best parties I've been to in a while. This definitely comes from a place of bias: The four DJs that represent the Cryphy movement spin exactly the type of music I love to dance to.
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Photo by Dave Eckblad
Random Notebook Dump: Looked like quite a mess to clean up afterwards. Confetti, popped balloons, broken bottles and stuffing from the popped gorilla caked the floor.

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