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Get Cryphy Celebrates 4 Years

29 Feb

Get Cryphy’s 4-Year Anniversary at First Avenue – February 24, 2012
by: Pat O’Brien

After four years there isn’t a lot about Get Cryphy that hasn’t already been said. Maybe it’s by design – or perhaps by accident – that it’s talked about often but takes place in First Avenue’s tiny Record Room, thus giving it that eternal underground feel. Before Friday I had only been to Cryphy maybe five times. It seems like it’s something for the kids—the backpack-toting, headphone-sporting hip-hop kids with overgrown hair and black on black Twins caps you see roving around Uptown in droves or hanging in the back of the bus, furiously texting with Atmosphere pummeling their eardrums so loudly you can hear the lyrics from three seats away. And maybe that is what it’s all about. I didn’t have a place like Cryphy to go when I was younger, no place where I could feel cool, no place that felt like a secret. If Friday proved nothing else, it was that Get Cryphy is no longer a secret—not that it really was to begin with.

Plain Ole Bill started the night with a stellar mix of songs both old and new, bringing the crowd to an early boil with Dr. Dre’s classic “Dre Day”. Soon the crowd was sweaty and First Ave was packed almost literally to the rafters. As time progressed, those that could drink did, and did so to excess—also a long-standing tradition at Get Cryphy; make sure you brought cab money or arrange for some poor soul in your group to stay sober! Guest rappers took the stage in a round-robin-type arrangement all night, something special for this Cryphy installment. They weren’t second tier in the least – Brother Ali, Astronautalis, Prof and a few others hit the stage for minisets every hour or so to turn the insanity up to “just below riot” status each and every time… especially when Big Bird made an appearance  (yeah, I’m not sure, either). I was at a table upstairs out of harm’s way for the majority of the night and it was stunning to watch the crowd turn that extra gear when the live portions started. It was no less breathtaking to witness the last time than the first. None of the rappers treated it like a check to collect, either. They all brought their A-game and, really, an actual riot might have been the highest compliment they could have received.

Eventually, though, I became a bit bored and it occurred to me later why that happened: I didn’t participate. I most often attend indie rock shows where everyone tries to be cool, but in a different way by trying not to show off and be cool. Is the band playing a favorite song of the guy next you? Maybe, but you never know if they are since he’s had the same glower on his face since he got here. It’s what indie dudes do: show up to a show and then act like they’re bored the entire time. It’s like they’re watching paint dry. This isn’t so at Get  Cryphy. While overall it’s not my scene, the insistence of everyone there making sure everyone else knows they’re having the time of their life is beyond refreshing – you’d never see this at a Dawes concert. That may likely be described “fine” in the minds of most people, but is also inarguably “less fun” and definitely the reason my interest waned—I was watching everyone have fun while not actually getting involved – it was like sitting next to a swimming pool with a cast on your leg.

Get Cryphy is nothing more than it is, and by design cannot be dressed up with words into anything better. It’s hip-hop played at high volume to induce dancing and give everyone what is likely the best part of their week. Friday was just that on a larger scale, which made it obvious why it takes place in the Record Room: if this happened in the Mainroom there’d be a pile of rubble on the corner of 1st Avenue and 7th Street within mere weeks.

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