For many within the Twin Cities, the second Friday of each month has become an annual holiday at Honey Nightclub with the extended residency of the legendary Turnt Up Crew. Comprised of DJs Gabe Garcia, Noam the Drummer and Willie Shu along with the WAG WZRD Franz Diego holding down the hosting duties, the Turnt Up Crew has brought their own brand of bass heavy bangers to the Northeast basement while leaving partying patrons dripping with sweat and delight every night. Along with the current title of longest running DJ rap dance night in the Twin Cities (second longest of all time behind Get Cryphy before they ended their residency after seven years), the crew is continuing their winning streak by celebrating their sixth anniversary this Friday night. Looking back to 2010, the scene was in a different place as the boom bap beats still echoed throughout the Cities.
“When we started,” said Franz Diego, “Hip Hop was already a full blown thing in the cities with parties and shows all the time, but one of the things that always agitated me and my friends was that people would just stand and bob their head and not dance. Playlists were still very boom-bappy and there wasn’t really MCs hosting/toasting like there is now. This was also starting at the time when the wag movement in the city was building and there was a big energy to push out of the emo, boom bap, shrill bass, bob your head stuff, and more get into turning up, bass music, twerking and just plain having fun.”
At the time, Noam The Drummer and Franz Diego were hosting their award winning radio show, The Beat Box, on Radio K. While they enjoyed their time on the air, the duo felt the disconnect from providing their dance ready mixes from inside the sterilized studio. To help close the gap between the music and the audience, they decided to broadcast a live party. Although the intentions were in the right place, the plan did not go as well as thought.
“Our first attempt went bad, so we went to scout new venues in other parts of the city and just happened to stumble into Honey Lounge within the first couple months of its opening. We saw the space and were blown away, we asked them if we could book a monthly party there and they were very supportive. Gabe (Garcia) had already been joining us on the radio show so it was a natural progression and we brought Willie (Shu) in a little later to round us all out style-wise, we have all known each other for years before all this. I think it was just the perfect storm of talent, venue, staffing and culture.”
After uniting the crew, word spread of the wagged out parties at Honey. With the booming backdrop to help party goers live up to the crew’s namesake, many would say it helped diversify the scene away from the head bobbing into getting the dance floor popping with more dancehall and electronic elements. While Noam The Drummer moved to New York, the trifecta has seen the progress they have instilled over the past six years.
“I think we have really refined ourselves as a crew and really built a great synergy together, we can play anywhere and read the crowd and figure out where we need to go and where we need to take them. We barely talk to each other on stage anymore, its just all about trusting ourselves and the vibe.”
Although they are excited to continue on with the now historic run, the Turnt Up Crew is still rightfully surprised by their longevity, but not their legacy as being on the front lines of helping bring different vibes to the dance floor.
“No matter when we finally stop, I am happy with it all, its been a dream.”
Be sure to see for yourself the wagged out celebrations tonight,, June 10th at Honey Nightclub at 10pm and see what insanity the Crew has up their sleeve. Until then, check out their special six year anniversary mix above on their Soundcloud.