30 minutes into Crizzly’s headlining set at Altered Thurzdaze the DJ yelled out to a packed Mousetrap, “We’re just getting started, Indianapolis!” “Really?” I thought to myself, “Then why are my rage glasses already fogged up?”
The set, which began around midnight, kicked off on the tamer end of Crizzly’s signature “crunkstep” genre. Early on there were a lot of couples getting sexy on the dance floor to the grindable, steamy beats. Random spurts of drum’n’bass kept things lively and infused the show with energy at all the right times. The primary helping of Crizzly’s set emerged as bellowing dubstep mixed with familiar lines of call-and-response hip hop samples- those familiar lines from both new and old favorites that are fun to sing along with and absurdly easy to dance to.
Around 12:45, Crizzly dropped one of the most popular tracks on his Soundcloud homepage, “Hard In Da Paint”. According to Crizzly, the “bootleg of a bootleg” track is merely an edited version of DJ Bellizio’s Remix of the Waka Floca original. To poke fun at culture surrounding the term “go hard in the paint” (basketball jargon for a difficult attempt at scoring in the crowded and highly contested area directly under the basket), an ape appeared on stage during the song’s first major drop. A common choice for halftime entertainment at NBA games, this particular ape wore a sweatband and carried a basketball- thus going hard in the paint.
Whether the crowd made the association and got the joke or not, the costume signaled a change in audience dynamic and- suddenly- it was okay to go crazy, to go hard in the paint, and to wyle out. Arms thrusted towards the sky and fists punched the air; bodies jumped and feet stomped. In a matter of seconds, nearly everyone was doubled over in dubstep lunacy that would continue for the next 30 minutes.
As we entered the final phase of Crizzly’s performance, the set shifted again- this time into the neighborhood of electro-remix. In the last 15 minutes, hyped-up and dubbed-up samples varied from “Bass Down Low” by Dev to “Did It On’em” by Nicki Minaj to “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine. The diversity in choice represents precisely what Crizzly’s “crunkstep” stands for- irresistible hip hop beats laid atop a sturdy foundation of bass and dubstep, garnished with universal appeal from classic mainstream music.
All photos by Aaron Lingenfelter.