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Q&A with Flosstradamus

Chicago-bred trap duo Flosstradamus, known for festival bangers and remixes like Roll Up and Mosh Pit, returns to Fort Lauderdale on July 26 to headline the Mad Decent Block Party. The party has become a much anticipated summer tradition at Revolution Live.

Fort Lauderdale native and prominent DJ/producer, Diplo, and his label (Mad Decent) sponsor the one-day festival touring the country with big names like hip-hop duo Outkast, English DJ/producer and rapper Fat Boy Slim and house DJ/producer Wolfgang Gartner.

Curt Cameruci—also known as Autobot, and 1/2 of Flosstradamus first joined the interview from his home in New York, while part two of Flosstradamus, J2k (Josh Young), got on later from Chicago after helping his wife with their new clothing line.

SouthFlorida.com: How would you describe the "trap" genre?

Cameruci: I would say it’s Southern hip-hop-influenced dance music. We take a lot of the elements of big house music, big club music, and we take a lot of influence from southern hip-hop music, combine those together, give it a little shake, and that’s what it is.

SouthFlorida.com: You guys have played Mad Decent Block Party a few times now. How have you seen it change over the years?

Cameruci: We actually played the first ever Mad Decent Block Party in like 2008 or 2009? ... We're one of the very few acts on the whole MDBP that’s seen it from the beginning. 

But of course, it's grown so much larger than that and then it starting touring. Now this year they’re gonna do it on a boat which is awesome.

SouthFlorida.com: When you guys played here last year, your set was in the pouring rain. What was that like?

Cameruci: Everyone was lined up outside, it was pouring rain and probably 100 kids got in right before we went on. So there were people in front turning up in the rain, getting crazy with us and then outside of the gate there were tons and tons of kids that just couldn't get in yet. ... It's always fun playing in the rain. It's a little risky because we have a ton of electrical equipment around us but, I don't know, it was still a lot of fun.

SouthFlorida.com: Yeah, I was in line during that and people were trying to figure out ways to break in. I was like whoa, it’s mad early for that.

Cameruci: Yooo, for real! And people were ripping holes in the fence and lifting some sort of sheet up and you could see people cutting holes in it so they could see through the fence. So even though they were behind there, it was still a raging party from the inside of the fence and beyond, so it was pretty crazy. Plus, Florida's got nothing but love for us. Every time we get out there, it's crazy. I love southern Florida.

SouthFlorida.com: What sets Fort Lauderdale apart from other cities you play?

Cameruci: This is just a guess, but I think in Southern Florida, club culture you start early. A lot of my friends at least that grew up around there, they were going to clubs since they were younger and you’re kind of just emersed in that culture from the get go ... by the time they're 21, they’ve been doing the club thing for a while. So, I just think it's the younger culture, the kind of doesn't give a [explicit] culture, and it happens more in Florida than anywhere else. The other cities we go to, kids can’t go out when they’re younger, and like, especially in Chicago, you start your club career at 21 and it takes a while to get into it.

Young: It's just like Chicago and house culture and club culture here, it's just part of what you grow up with, I feel. So its a little bit more normal to be in the club at a young age. And to be surrounded by that kind of music.

SouthFlorida.com: Are there any restaurants you can’t resist while you’re down here?

Cameruci: I always go to La Carreta (Miami) or Café Versailles (Miami). We always get Cuban food when we’re out there. And even if we don’t get Cuban food, I have to get a Cuban coffee. That’s like a definite have-to-happen before I leave.

SouthFlorida.com: My mom is like a monster if she doesn’t have her Cuban coffee. (Sorry, Mom—it's true.)

Curt: Yeah? I'm just like her then.

SouthFlorida.com: Okay, now let's get a little political for a moment… It’s no secret you guys are fans of marijuana, and Florida seems to be getting one step closer toward reform. What are your thoughts on the medical marijuana movement?

Young: I think it's a wonderful thing. I think the fact that marijuana is a schedule one drug in this country is insane. Like, it's more criminal than I think methamphetamine in some states, in most cases, so it’s just old, out-dated laws that are backward that need to be turnt around. You know, even though they're taking their time, they're getting it done, so I’m happy about it for sure.

SouthFlorida.com: Speaking of movements, between you and your fans—Hdybyz and Hdygrlz—you guys have started this "PLURNT" revolution. How would you describe the term "PLURNT?"

Young: (laughs) Well, I'd first explain what "PLUR" is, which is peace, love, unity and respect. And that's just sort of the mantra of the rave movement from the 90s all the way up until the present. And then the "URNT" part of it (chuckles)—the "turnt" part of it is more just high energy and just not giving a [explicit] when you go to a show or anything. So basically it's a mix between peace, love, unity and respect, so keeping it positive, keeping good vibes when you’re out with people, looking out for people around you and respecting people and then also, you know, turning up and going crazy, cutting loose and not holding back, not being reserved when you're out and having a good time with your friends.

SouthFlorida.com: Some say trap is dead but I’d argue you guys are perfect examples of constantly evolving the genre. How do you continue to keep things fresh?

Young: We're constantly listening to music. We're music fans first and foremost before anything, and DJs, so we're always coming to the Internet for new stuff and getting stuff from our friends and whatever. For us, we’re always being influenced by whatever’s happening around us and we keep an open mind so it’s really important for us to keep an ear to the ground and also keep an open mind about all the music that comes our direction because it all ends up eventually sort of influencing what we wind up making.

SouthFlorida.com: Over the half decade or so you guys have gone from performing for a small handful of people to hundreds of thousands. What’s next?

Cameruci: We're gonna keep evolving no matter what. Before this incarnation of Floss, we were always combining hip-hop and house music together. That's like what was always done since the original house parties we were playing, we just weren’t producing music. So I feel like we’re gonna keep doing that. We're gonna either be like combining elements of house music or juke music, hip-hop and, I don’t know, just keep pushing sound forward.

SouthFlorida.com: Right on. Any final words you’d like to share?

Cameruci: We love Southern Florida. Every time we go out there, its one of our top spots. I’d put it in the top five of spots that we like to go when we’re on tour, so it’ll be good to get out there for the Mad Decent Block Party. I'm excited for that.

Young: Yeah, the last Mad Decent Block Party we played in Fort Lauderdale, the majority of the crowd was outside of the fences so its going to be nice to come back down there and do it properly this time. We’re really looking forward to make up for last year.

MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY

Flosstradamus is just one of many acts on Fort Lauderdale’s stacked Mad Decent line-up. Others include Flume, What So Not, Dillon Francis, Action Bronson, Zeds Dead, DJ Snake, Remedy and RiffRaff.

When: Saturday, July 26. Doors open at 12 p.m.

Where: Revolution Live Outdoors , 100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: $51

Tickets: ticketmaster.com

Contact: 954-449-1025 or JoinTheRevolution.net

Tjmedina@tribune.com, @medinasmedia

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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