Gurp Fest 2010 Presents the (For Now) Underground Musical Collective & Movement Known as Gurp City

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2010 05:58pm | Post a Comment

In honor of tonight's big Gurp Fest 2010 at Club Six in San Francisco, the Amoeblog offers an overview of the San Francisco based hip-hop movement / collective known as Gurp City. What follows is a general history and a guide to some of the unique slang used by its members, plus a listing of the many talented artists (and the many more who are loosely affiliated) involved in this party-driven, homegrown underground hip-hop movement. Though based in San Francisco, it but has members beyond, all the way down to the Gurpy South.

Gurp City South will be well represented at tonight's Gurp Fest with (NJ by way of NC) emcee Foulmouth Jerk, Fist Fam, and Bay transplant & orchestrator of tonight's event TopR, who took the word of Gurp City with him when he moved to Asheville, NC. This article includes TopR's description of the Gurp City movement.

Other performers tonight include such key Gurp City members as Z-Man, Eddie K & Brandon K's Trunk Drank, Grand Invincible (Luke Sick from Sacred Hoop + DJ Eons), DJ Quest, Cutty Bang (aka Dick Nasty), Rec League, BOAC, DJ Cue and DJ 2 Fresh.

And given that the term to gurp means to party hard, a belief tha all of Gurp City's members hold close to their heart, tonight's Gurp Fest should be quite the party!

Z-Man "Gurp With Me" (2004)

Although centered in “The City in a Bottle” (San Francisco), the origins oTopRf Gurp City are in two other locations at the end of the nineties: the city of Chico, CA and the long gone, beloved record/hip-hop store in Daly City, Cue's Hip Hop Shop. It was run by DJ Cue of the legendary Bay Area DJ groups Bulletproof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelers and was a gathering point for hip-hop minds and talents. The shop may be gone but DJ Cue is still going strong and will be at tonight's event. It's been organized by TopR (aka Topper Holiday), once a very familiar face at Amoeba San Francisco, where he used to hang out years ago and in 2008 did an instore performance. Additionally, back in 2005 TopR appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. 5 with a song that mentioned Amoeba in its lyrics.

TopR and most others agree that Gurp City's roots owe a lot to Chico, CA. Around the end of the 90's into the early 2000's many Frisco/Bay artists (all familiar figures at Cue's Hip-Hop Shop) used to perform up in the California college town about four hours' drive away from the Bay. These artists included Z-Man (who released the anthem "Gurp Wit Me" above), Eddie K, Six Feet Deep (comprised of Thuggy Fresh, G-Pek, & Fay Dog), Game Tight Electro (Brandon B and Mr. Rawng), Sacred Hoop (Luke Sick's legendary under the radar hip-hop act), & DJ Quest, along with such Chico locals as Serial Gawkers, DJ Facials, DJ Matt Loomis, and the "Mayor of Gurp City," Anthony Anderson. Not long after these formative days, both TopR and another very talented emcee, Conceit, joined the fold. In terms of crediting one person as an originator of Gurp, many surveyed for this article point to Thuggy Fresh as the originator or the first to officially coin the phrase because he started the blog-site. Mr Rawng is also credited as coining the term "Gurp City."

Naturally, when members of a movement are regularly getting their gurp on, exact dates, locations, and proper credits will vary -- so the information in this article is subject to debate. Feel free to add your input in the Amoeblog comments below. As far as the fashion or dress code of those in Gurp City goes, with some exceptions (EG Z-Man or Eddie K) the style is bummy or inexpensive threads, often with Giants baseball hats, tall Ts, all stars, and p-coats, or a Gurp City logo shirt. And as far as lifestyle philosophy, as one Gurp City member confided to me, "Basically you have to be a hardcore hip-hopper who ain't a pussy, likes to drink/smoke/snort/get-basically altered, and can back everything up with skills, real hip hop skills, and not just bullshit talky talky."

Yesterday I caught up with the main force behind tonight's Gurp Fest 2010, TopR, to ask him about Gurp City: its origins, its meaning, and what it takes to become a part of the Gurp City fam. "The term Gurp is an old school San Francisco Bay Area slang term for getting fucked up. To be honest, I have no idea where it originates from. It came out of common usage when I was a kid, but dudes like Z-Man, Eddie K and Luke Sick kinda kept it alive," noted TopR. "The term Gurp City comes from a song by that name from Game Tight Electro from Phoenix, AZ. A bunch of the fans of that whole Sacred Hoop scenes music from Chico adopted it as a term for Chico, and it stuck. All the dudes who would go up there and play kind of started using it as a blanket name for our movement, which is underground rap that's about partying and having fun as opposed to some emo rap self help seminar on wax. But Gurp City is not only a name for the groups that rap together. It's a name for the fans that enjoy it, so if you want to be down, down a bottle of Cisco, pay the cover and check your ego and tough guy act at the door. This is a party, not a fashion show for cool kids."

Gurp Fest 2010 starts at 9pm and runs til 2am closing tonight at Club Six, located at 60 Sixth St. between Market and Mission, San Francisco. 415.863.1221 $10 21+ Below is a Gurp City slang guide and overview listing of the Gurp City members and those affiliated with the movement.

Gurp City South

Foulmouth Jerk "Back Up On The Scene (feat. Artifacts)" (2010)

Grand Invincible "The Way We Revolt" (2010)

Z-Man "Cupcakin'" (2010)

TopR  "Siren Song" - Produced by Dick Nasty (2009)

Gurp City Slang Guide:
As with any street slang, Gurp City slang is ever-evolving and shape-shifting, drawing inspiration from other street slang of the present and past, both national and localized (IE, the E40 and Mac Dre schools of Yay Area street slanguage). Also the spellings may vary of these words depending on whom you talk to in Gurp City. However, most agree that the two individuals who deserve most of the credit for creating the Gurp City slang are Z-Man and Eddie K but, according to sources within the Gurp camp, it was Brandon B's homeboy Mr. Rwang from Phoenix, AZ who actually coined the term "Gurp City." Of course, the slang word gurp, as in getting one's swerve on, dates back many years in Bay slang. SF crew UDI rapped about getting their "gurp on" on their mid-nineties dank anthem "All I Think About" on their DogDay album Under Tha Influence. The Gurp City slang guide below appears in random non-alphabetical order and does not, by any means, include all words and terms used.

Gurp = wasted, faded, twisted, smashed, hammered, drunk, high, or drunk + high

Gurp City
= San Francisco

The City In A Bottle
= Gurp City = San Francisco. The phrase "city in a bottle" appeared first in the song "Gurp City" by Game Tight Electro from Phoenix, AZ

Word billy
= Word

or Rellie = friend who is like a relative, like in cuz or bro.

Erray, Orreee, Eeeerieeeee, or Errrrray = greeting like hello. Example: "Orreee, that's my rellie, rolling in the Chevy with his homegirl Becky," from Z-Man's song "Buckle Up."

Errr--rite = extension of Erray uttered when totally gurped. Phrase coined by DJ Toph One when he was too on gurp to say anything else

J-Cat, cat-Dog = buster

Camouflage = alcohol disguised as apple juice

Young skin = youngster

Cupcakin = spendin hella time with yer girl and neglectin the grind and gurp

Blee, chirp = dank

Dean = used in greetings like, "What's up, Dean?" One can also be caught deanin', see George Dointoomuch

Larry Dog or Larry = loser

Lurked, lurkers only, lurky lurky -- Rec League and Chuck Duece hold down the term "Lurked" and their definition for it is the same as Webster's Dictionary.

Ledge = as in legend and used by TopR who says people are "ledge"

Whatever with your church = Whatever. This popular phrase within Gurp circles was coined by Brandon B from Trunk Drank.

Yole  = yay

Trunk drank = Mobile wet bar

Mainey = amazing or shocking or somehow attention grabbing
Gurp City Roll Call:

Because Gurp City is such a loose knit collective, and one where the line between being an artist and a fan is blurred, it is difficult to determine who exactly is a part or member of Gurp City and who is not. Everyone I asked had a different answer but all agree that it is a sort of brotherhood (very few women in its ranks) that shares a love of non-pretentious underground hip-hop and an unapologetic love of partying, and/or support of the musical collective. As one member of the collective once explained to me, Gurp City isn't like a motorcycle club where you have to get jumped in or even told you're down (hence, some of the members in the list below -- including myself -- may not even know that they are already considered members) but rather, it's more like a scene of like-minded souls who share a love of a certain type of music and attitude. Many are folks who have been friends and/or musical collaborators forever in the local hip-hop scene and all do it for the love, not for profit or fame. So take this following list with a grain of salt and feel free to add (in the comments of the Amoeblog) any names omitted.

Key Gurp City members include: TopR (aka Topper Holiday), Z-Man, Grand Invincible, Conceit (currently on hiatus), Trunk Drank (featuring Eddie K & Brandon B), BOAC, DJ Marz, Fist Fam, DJ Quest, Foulmouth Jerk, Rec League, Cutty Bang, DJ 2 Fresh, DJ Cue, and DJ Bootleg.
DJ Quest, Gurp City
Other Bay Area and beyond groups/artists who are part of the extended scene include (in no specific order): Third Sight, The Roughneck Jihad (Santa Clara), DJ D-Styles, MC Dopestyle, Dregs One, Live Human, Mista B, Eddie Def, BPSH, Space Travelers, DJ Oaty Love, Dawgish, El Stew, Gas Mask Colony, Scojourners, Ville Boyz (from NC), Sacred Hoop (AZ), DJ B-Cause, DJ Toph One, DJ Raw B, DJ Steph, SergDun @, DJ Bloomillions, Matt Loomis, AyeJay (the Chico based creator of the Gangsta Rap coloring book that used to be sold at Amoeba), Heathakilla (Chico), La Femme Deadly Venoms, Fay Dog, producer Optik, MC Oroville, Bas-1, Motel Crew, Yole Boys (producer of the booty bass Fatees, Vacaville), Kegs One at San Mateo Zoo, Six Feet Deep. G-Pek, Thuggy Fresh, Bored Stiff, Equipto, Solidarity Crew, Agentstriknine, FDog, Alexander Spit, Melina Jones, JernEye, DNAE, The Factor (Redwood City), Joe Dub, Raggedy Andy, Insomniac, Tom C3, Megabusive (San Jose), Matt Gamin, Tapemasta Steph, Thunder Hut (San Jose), Delinquent Monastery, Fat Hed (LA), Dave Dub and the Sutter Cain Gang (San Jose), Shedwellaz (West Bay), Sequenced Mindset (Concord), Eric Isley, Pacoe the Illiterate (San Jose), all Rec League affiliated crews, Spareorgan, Japanic (Frequency Jam KZSU), Ms. Tiza (KFJC), Ken "Spiderman" Hamilton (RIP), Travelodge Tray-lock, Wordsmith, Young Rush, William Bomberry, Strangeface, Maleko, Deeskee, Real Talk aka Since Da Prince, TMC, UM 86, DJ Pause, DJ L.O.C., Isolated Wax, Billy Jam (Hip Hop Slam / Amoeba / WFMU), Opio (Hieroglyphics), Kevvy Kev & The Drum (KZSU), and DJ Flare. Graffiti crews: LORDS SF, TFL, PCF, GTB, HTK, AS. Graffiti writers: Quake, Pastime, Saytr, Bisr, Defie, Anti, Alex Pardee, Diet, Jenks, Sibl, DWA, 625, WC.

Relevant Tags

Topr (3), Interview (341), Gurp City (11), Luke Sick (5)