You’re not getting laid if you go to a live-music gig in Vancouver on a Wednesday. Christ, scan whatever grimy venue you’re at and the people will barely look like they’re having fun. It’s not like that everywhere in the city, though. Brave a trip to L.E.D. Bar in the Granville Entertainment District and you’ll be greeted by a weekly happening that unites scenesters and bridge-and-tunnelers alike for three reasons: getting messed up, listening to rap music, and fucking each other’s brains out. Welcome to REUPTRIPPYSHIT.
For nearly two years, DJs Genie (aka Erik Devro) and Rico Uno (aka Rico Cunanan) have been lovingly playing awesomely ignorant party music at the intimate club—bucking the stigma that Granville Street is a godforsaken shithole populated exclusively by the worst people in the city.
“People are tired of going to dirt bars. Granville Street is going to be the new dirt bar,” proclaims Devro as he talks with the Straight while enjoying a beer flight at the Brassneck Brewery. “People hide behind their costumes. No, we’re all chongos who want to wild out. People really do let go. Mornings after RUTS people either thank us or apologize.”
Since elementary school, the duo has wanted to make you reek of cheap tequila every Thursday morning. Self-professed record nerds, both were raised on CiTR hip-hop programs like Krispy Biscuit and The Show. Years later, the two met and became friends while working at Beat Street Records, and now they hold down weekend residencies at cool-kid nights at Fortune Sound Club and the Biltmore Cabaret. RUTS, where party monsters don their most ratchet outfits to hear testosterone-heavy club rap, started as something of a novelty night, but has since grown far past that.
“It seemed when we were starting it was a fad, but I loved the music and I wanted to present it in a nonironic kinda way and actually get people to have a genuine time with music,” Cunanan explains. “It quickly became a destination and people know to take Thursday off. By looking at a girl now, you can tell if she needs the Thursday off.”
Planning ahead is a wise idea, as calling in sick won’t help you when photos of you screaming “Versace, Versace” with a member of the B.C. Lions surface on Facebook. The party pics, which are some of the best in the city, frequently capture crazy clubgoers committing indecent acts that inspire either fomo or a sense of dread that there is no hope for the future of humanity.
“The photos capture this insane mix of people who are actually having fun,” says Devro. “People from out of town tell me the only thing they see about Vancouver on Facebook is RUTS.”
Photos of you committing the online equivalent of a walk of shame aren’t the only thing about REUPTRIPPYSHIT that has an international rep. Earlier this year, the duo did a mix for Diplo that made it onto the global tastemaker’s popular BBC Radio show Diplo and Friends. “I was looking at the guests the month before us and Tiësto did a two-part show and I was like, ‘We’re doing this?’ ” Cunanan recalls.
While Tiësto won’t be popping by RUTS anytime soon, a fair share of notables have turned up to get turnt up. There’s Ryan Kesler, who was spotted doing the Cat Daddy; M. Night Shyamalan, who was (hopefully) drinking his sorrows away because he can’t find work; and Pamela Anderson, who flashed her tits to someone.
“She is perfect and she is what REUPTRIPPYSHIT is. She’s glamorous, but here she is truly what ratchet is. When you see someone who’s beautiful but they’re doing something raunchy, that contrast is ratchet,” explains Devro, local Ebonics expert.
The night frequently boasts interesting scheduled guests as well. The ATL Twins—grill-sporting clones with a much-publicized penchant for rap music and tag-teaming women—hosted a night shortly after they appeared in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. And on Wednesday (April 16), as part of Seasons Festival 2014, RUTS will feature a special mystery guest. (Earlier in the evening, Rico Uno and Genie are opening for Trinidad James, so figure it out.)
A weekday club night with good music that’s open late, where an eclectic crowd can be seen having a good time, sounds suspiciously like something that only happens in other cities. So go on, book next Thursday off work and embrace your inner chongo—the worst-case scenario is you’re issuing a few morning-after apology texts and copping a one-time dose of antibiotics. However, if getting blackout drunk and committing unspeakable acts on a school night isn’t your thing, at least you’ll be able to look at those photos on Facebook of other people having fun.