There's a new cartel gunning to take over Midtown—and while they're not setting up the latest designer-drug ring, they are trafficking bass-laden beats into the Lavender Heights district through Badlands with its weekly Wednesday-night Trapacana party. The leader of the syndicate, electronic-dance music “capo,” 30-year-old Tyler Miller, project manager of Faux Krass Productions, was inspired by the New York trap-music scene—a mix of moombah, bass and EDM genres. Here in Sacramento, he's assembled a formidable crew of lieutenants, hit men and falcons to infiltrate the dance scene on the grid. Miller took a break from his commanding duties long enough to discuss bass smuggling, Fight Club and how to keep Sacramento “krassy.”
What’s the “bass cartel” all about?
That whole theme is coming from smuggling bass into the Lavender district—smuggling the proper bass music into the district by way of Trapacana, but there’s a light Latin theme to it, because we play moombah, which is Puerto Rican or Latin-inspired. It’s based on a documentary I watched on the Vice channel about Mexican narco cinema, and I was like, “How can we make this into a party?” I saw all these other Latin parties called “tropicana,” and I was like, what’s up with Trapacana? Although we open with moombah and EDM and electro, we always close out with trap, just because it’s that new shit.
What is “trap”?
Trap refers to a trap house or a trap life—in a trap house, there are drugs and prostitution. The genre [based on hip-hop] was birthed primarily in the South, although it kind of bled out into the [Bay Area], … but then it kind of died out for a while, and then British dubstep producers started reinventing trap as an EDM kind of a thing, because they realized, if we can glitch this out a little bit and add some of the same elements of dubstep, then we’re going to have something hot. Then it became extremely hot in the U.K., and then it came over [to the United States]. And now, like in New York, all of the parties are trap. Nobody’s fucking with dubstep anymore. The first official trap party in Sacramento was my party Pitfall, which started at [the TownHouse Lounge], kind of on the coattails of Grimey, to Dan Whores’ credit, but we did something different.
What is Faux Krass, and how does one keep it “krassy”?
You keep it krassy by not taking yourself too seriously. We’re Midtown, we’re janky, so we keep it krassy. We wear cutoff jeans and we ride beat-up bikes, and that’s just how we live. Faux Krass is a production company; it’s an umbrella. Under that umbrella, our mission statement is that no matter where we go, we will create a renaissance.
Explain this cultural renaissance?
We induce a cultural renaissance in any environment that we are in. Under the Faux Krass umbrella, there’s so much talent—we have professional graphic designers who do all of our graphic design, [and now] we are also moving into fashion. Now that I have a couple of venues [Badlands and Midtown BarFly] where I can just grind our own merch, I feel pretty confident that you can look forward to a Faux Krass fashion show soon. We also do catered dinner parties. Faux Krass is basically art, music, fashion, culinary and nightlife.
Who are some of the local deejays that roll with the Faux Krass crew?
We have mostly local talent, but we also bring some out-of-Sacramento talent. You can look forward to, of course, [my lieutenant] Kenny Hawkins, IMF.Dred, DJ Epik, MC Skurge … Tha Fruitbat, Game Genie—who is out of Reno.
What’s with your alter ego, T.L. Durden?
When I was 18, I was crazier—if that’s possible—than I am now. I was getting in fights, I was dressing hella flashy and wearing leather coats and polyester shirts. So, some of my homeys started calling me Tyler Durden [from the movie Fight Club], but I could never embrace it, until Bru Lei from Tribe of Levi told me to embrace Durden. Durden really comes out when I’m partying, it’s the Dr. Miller-Mr. Durden kind of a thing.
So, is the community feeling what you’re doing?
What we’re finding in the lesbian, gay, transgender and straight community is that they are superexcited about what we are doing at Badlands. We started Trapacana because my gay homeys, my lesbian homeys, my straight homeys that fuck with the Lavender district got at me and said, “You’re throwing all of these parties. What’s up with doing something in the Lavender?” So, I got at my boy [Hawkins], and we started doing parties. We’re right across the street from Faces, and for no cover, we’re doing something so progressive. … That’s where we’re getting the positive feedback from the community. It’s just chill. It’s just all love.