Tourist Trap: We Sent Flosstradamus to the Venice Boardwalk to Ask People How They Turn Up

The trap originators found ravers, hippies, rappers, juggalos. But most importantly, they found themselves.

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Mar 12 2015, 6:45pm

From their game-changing "Original Don" remix to the recent "TTU" with Waka Flocka Flame, rap-in-dance originators Flosstradamus have been the marquee act in bringing hip hop to the rave.

Although they're undisputed top dogs now, the duo slogged it out in the underground for the better part of a decade before they hit it big. That's why when we decided to send them into the melting pot of humanity that is the Venice Beach Boardwalk to ask people how they turn up, Flossy were more than happy to mix it up amongst the weird and wonderful folk that populate the world-famous tourist destination.

Shit got real pretty quick:

Hippie Frank

What's your favorite kind of music to dance to?
I would say electronic music like Shpongle, that whole kinda Infected Mushroom vibe.

What does the acronym 'EDM' stand for?
Electronic dance music.

What should it stand for?
Ecstasy dance music!

Drop the mic. Interview's done! Are you familiar with the genre of trap?
No

Can you guess what it'd sound like?
I'd say they probably drop the bass really low and then trap you down there.

Have you been to a rave before?
Yeah. There's a few different ones. There are ones inside these clubs and arenas that are dark and there's a bunch of little kids and they're all suckin' on lollipops and sittin' in the corner and some people are jumpin' around. Then there are the ones that are out in the desert, where nobody ever goes, everybody's on mushrooms dancing under the full moon – Those are unbelievable!

Those are the ones to go to?
Yeah! Are you kidding me?! Awooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Those are the good ones, man. But the most amazing of the festivals of all is Burning Man. Let's dance, baby!


Ezequiel and Jovanna

What's your favorite type of music to dance to?
Jovanna: Raging music! I love to jump.

What does trap sound like?
Ezequiel: I'm from Argentina, and back in the hood, over there, you can listen to normal music, tango and stuff, and just feel whatever. But when you listen to that hood shit, you're pumped as fuck and you just wanna break everything, you feel me?

How do you turn up?
Jovanna: When I turn up, honestly, I get lost. I jump up and down and just lose myself and go crazy.

What's the different between turnt and plurnt?
Ezequiel: I would say plurnt is a little more of that happiness, that emotion of being there and being able to see the artists you love around the people who make you feel love. It makes you feel the PLUR. And then turnt is more like, with your boys, you're just turning the fuck up drinking. Tryna feel some type of way.

What's the most turnt you ever got?
Jovanna: Let's say we're never mixing Henessey and Patron again.

What does EDM stand for?
Jovanna: A whole culture. I don't think it should have that one name, but for reals it's not all electronic. Or like when they call it techno and people are like 'no it's not techno!' I don't like that.

Ezequiel: I've been listening to EDM since I was, like, 15, but I'm a trap head, dawg. All I listen to is trap and dubstep. I was born a little rocker, and I love that hard stuff and I'm a hip hop head, you feel me? I feel like trap is a combination of heavy, raging metal, with still hood, hip hop culture.


QUASIMODO, JOSIE, AND LUKE

What's your favorite type of music to dance to?
Josie: Any kind with a good beat. Anything that is interesting and makes me wanna move. Drum circles are probably my favorite kind of music to dance to.

What does trap music sound like to you?
Josie:Too loud. A bunch of noises trying to scream over each other vaguely in rhythm. I feel like I'm trapped listening to it.

Do you know what it means to turn up?
Quasimodo: Yeah dude. When I was at Electric Forest last year, our camp was called Heady as Fuck, I was holding a sign that shows an Amish lady churning butter and it said "Churn down for what?"

What's the most turnt that you ever got?
Quasimodo:I played poi in front of like 300 people on Bicycle Day. And i've never done poi before and I didn't hit myself in the nuts or hit myself in the face. I was just in it. It was the scariest Bicycle Day moment I ever experienced. It's all about balance and momentum. I've never done it with flames, though.

We love Electric Forest
Quasimodo: It's great. The cops aren't even allowed near the front gates. Everyone can go, listen to music, trip, and experience it together. Last year, we went into the Sherwood side of it and it was just trees there and I ended up doing too much ketamine and all these hammocks started sprouting up in front of me, like out of the trees.

That sounds turnt.
Quasimodo: I didn't know what was going on. Somebody gave me a candy bar and I ate and and I suddenly got up. It was sweet.Josie: I don't know the word turnt, Quasi, but it sounds like your life is always turnt.

SHAKESPEARE THE WORDSMITH

What does trap music sound like to you?
Trap is a feel. It's street, it's that pow-pow, bob your head uncontrollably. If you have locks, you're shakin' em. It's hard!

How do you turn up?
To be honest, I haven't turnt up in a minute. I'm forever trying to live in my zone, that's what I'm trying to get to, that's where I've been at for a little bit. I wanna prolong that for as long as possible. Staying in the flow , staying in the zone. Chakra balancing, y'know what I'm sayin', holistic.

You meditate?
Yeah, different binaries. I take about an hour every day, videos on YouTube. There's one really good one that breaks down what frequencies are doing to different chakra zones.

Open your pineal gland and shit?
Yeah! Exactly.

I do that shit all the time. I listen to podcasts, it's the same shit. What's the craziest thing that happened to you at a rave?
This one time, this girl, we're dancing. She licks my chest, bro. From like, here to here. And this a rave, I'm sweating! There's freak nasty shit going on in the cuts. What I like about raves is that you can make it what you want.

What's the difference between trap in hip hop and in dance music?
I wouldn't call trap hip hop. I don't like division, but hip hop's more conscious, more socially conscious. I'm aware of what I'm saying and how it's gonna be perceived. Trap is just real raw. Trap at it's best, like Jeezy, the real trappers, is still soulful, but it's like more the product of pain, of plight. In dance music, it's more bass heavy, more staccato, more pulsating.


J.R.

What's your favorite type of music to dance to?
Hip hop and R&B. [Shows off his juggalo tattoo] I'm down with the clown and I wear it proudly.

Oh shit! That's fucking awesome. We're actually playing The Gathering.
I'm there every year! I'm actually friends with Shaggy [2 Dope, of Insane Clown Posse]. I don't wear it here because I don't want it to get screwed up, but I have an official pendant. This is an original, from the very first Gathering.

Daaaaaaaaaaamn
I'm a carnie. I work in the carnival industry. I knew them from when they first started shows. They were in for five and a half years on Conklin [Carnivals] doing rides and I was on Conklin for the last three years and we became really good friends. We're all potheads.

Everyone is!
I wish I had some.

Are you familiar with a genre called trap?
Yeah. It's a type of electric music. It's got an electric beat to it but it's got hip hop and R&B thrown into it.

Yeah man that's it
I'm homeless, not stupid!

Do you know what it means to get turnt?
No. I'm 51 years old, so I don't know all your lingo.

Getting turnt up is when you take what you do and turn it up a little bit. How do you do that when you party?
Now? Nothing. Back in the day: Ecstacy, acid, mostly. But I've been clean twenty years. I smoke weed now. That's it.

Have you ever been to a rave?
Tons of 'em. Detroit, been to about six of 'em. All over Ohio, they have them there every weekend.

What do people do there?
It's pretty self-explanatory. They get high, they drink, they party, they have fun, and get laid a lot.

Find Flosstradamus on Facebook // SoundCloud // Twitter

Jemayel Khawaja is Managing Editor of THUMP - @JemayelK
All photos by Justin Staple

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