All words: Briana Younger
Chicago natives Josh “J2K” Young and Curt “Autobot” Cameruci comprise Flosstradamus, the DJ duo that just sold U Street Music Hall two nights in a row; the DJ duo that also happens to be acclaimed in and out of EDM circles. But for me, they are the people I hold responsible for this supposed new breed of southern trap (Trap) music that is known, also, as…trap (“trap”). I am no EDM aficionado, but I do know a thing or two about Trap music. So going into U Street Music Hall Tuesday night, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was walking into, but I was curious.
Spinning from the DJ booth, the show’s opener was Hoodrich affiliate DJ Spinz, who started the night fittingly with an hour long mix of Trap music including tracks from Yo Gotti, Waka Flocka Flame, Juicy J, 2 Chainz and Future adding in an occasional dubstep drop. Though I was more excited for songs like “Itchin” and “I Got Dat Sack,” it was when he dropped Katie Got Bandz that the crowd moved most, turning U Hall into a party scene early. If you’re from the south or simply love southern music, his set would’ve certainly been one of the highlights of the night. After all, Spinz has had a hand in three of the last five mixtapes released by the Trap God himself, Gucci Mane, as well as releases from the likes of Flocka, Travis Porter, Ca$h Out and Rich Kidz.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the room Flosstradamus was setting up on the mainstage. Shrouded in a purple haze of spotlight (and smell) and wearing their hallmark hoodies, the duo appeared just after 11:30pm. The crowd was frenzied in a way that you don’t see a typical hip hop show, with energy that, as noted by J2K, can only be compared to the greatest of college house parties. Shoulder to shoulder, everyone bounced energy (and themselves) off one another. At some points, they crowed seemed to move in sync when fan-favorites like Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” and their own “Underground Anthem” blared over the speakers, but that could’ve also been due to the blinding white strobe lights. There was something very ironic about such a bombastic lightshow, fitting of the Verizon Center, taking place in such a small venue, effectively turning the house party into an all-out rave for brief moments.
Everything aligned leading up to the track that started it all: Flosstradamus’ remix of Major Lazer’s “Original Don.” Despite the song being “old” by internet standards, some things always pack a power punch no matter how many times you’ve heard them. As the crowd built with the beat becoming anxious for the drop, Flosstradamus, fully aware of the anticipation…left the stage. It was so deliberate and perfect. They were only gone for about 30 seconds — just long enough for the silence to become awkward and a chant for an encore to begin. “We wouldn’t leave y’all like that, but it was fun to do,” they said as they returned to the stage to end the night with a mosh pit.
Despite my anticipated disapproval, I thoroughly enjoyed the set. Flosstradamus spun a dizzying mix of “trap” and Trap, blending songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle,” Ace Hood’s “Bugatti” and Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy” with EDM beats in ways that could almost convince you that this was how the song was meant to be played. With nods to DMVers Gent and Jawns, as well as Major Lazer, Diplo, RL Grimes and Darude, they took full advantage of the U Hall bass that vibrates the walls and makes you feel like you’re standing in the speakers. It wasn’t until about 1am that the’ set finally ended, and I understood what the fuss was about. Flosstradamus puts on a show that could convert even the the most doubtful. But as for me, though this sequel is not better than the original, it’s still a sequel that is well worth watching…er listening.