Gangsta Gangsta with DJ Fase , DJ Law and DJ Fathom at Thymeless (355 College), Saturday (September 25). $5 before midnight, free with Raiders gear, rope chains or gold frames. 416-928-0556. Rating: NNNNN
Search this great city of ours, from Mississauga to Scarborough and beyond, and you'll find one thing linking parties together: a gangsta rap song.
Everybody tends to dance when killing-obsessed hiphop songs like Snoop's and Dre's Deep Cover or Ice-T's O.G. hits the stereo. So when Diggy Jansen, who has been putting on parties for the last few years, began Drug Money Promotions with Sakro Jones months ago, his idea for a first party was Gangsta Gangsta, a celebration of the vintage gangsta era and the samples that begat it.
"You'll hear some horrorcore, stuff from Tim Dog to Ganxsta Nip, and stuff like the Ohio Players, things that laid the foundation for albums like The Chronic," says Jansen.
And you'll hear it spun well, courtesy of DJs Fathom, Fase and Law. Fase is well known for his constant work behind the boards around Toronto, whether it's his long-running Tuesdays at Nasa or on CIUT's Stylistic Endeavours program. Law has put in time as the Beat Junkie's resident DJ, and at Project Bounce, the late-night provider of hiphop bangers, also on CIUT. Jansen explains why their skills are essential to the party.
"Fraser's (Fase) crates are so deep. He'll be spinning a lot of that West Coast funk shit, like Zapp and Roger. If anybody's been to his parties, they know he can take anything and make it fun. And Law's got obscure shit - I remember asking him for some E-Rule at the Beat Junkie, and he pulled that out.
"The one thing I miss is that hiphop isn't even offensive any more. When this whole gangsta rap thing started, nobody who took part thought they'd be making money off of it. They were just doing it - that's what made it good. Nowadays when rappers talk about shooting guns, it's to guarantee they sell so many units."
Sakro also has some advice about what vibe to expect at the party.
"We're just trying to attract a light-hearted crowd. Don't fuckin' pull your ball cap over your eyes and hold up the wall. Just come out and have fun and get down with the whole atmosphere. Picking an era that's fun visually and musically, the way the gangsta rap genre is, allows people to cut loose."
Before throwing parties, they were into graffiti, and met because "Diggy wanted to kill me over some graffiti bullshit. I just liked train yards," says Sakro.
Jansen downplays his contribution to the art, saying, "I did graffiti, but I was really bad at it. Mine was more like vandalism."
He also thinks it's important that the party showcase DJs with actual skills.
"I've always gone out and gotten people I know can rock a party. I really respect the indie parties where people go out and do it themselves, but for a party like this that's so specialized, I don't think it would do it justice to just play a bunch of CD-Rs."
"Exactly," adds Jones. "You gotta have crates to do this."
In the end, Jansen knows exactly what would make Gangsta Gangsta the perfect party.
"No gunshots, no big fights and no bottle stabbings."
"And people should show up early, not at the end of the night," adds Jones. "Too many people in this town come to parties too late."