Last Word was on the road with Prof and couldn't be there. Plain Ole Bill just got back from a Brother Ali gig in Duluth. Jimmy 2 Times and Fundo led the Bomp dance party at a packed Varsity Theater a night earlier. And when the three of them met up at the Triple Rock last Saturday for Dre Day, Bill and Fundo had to cut out early for a gig at Honey.

Who says DJs aren't rock stars?

Thanks in large part to their monthly Get Cryphy dance night -- which moves into First Avenue's Mainroom on Friday for its fourth anniversary -- these turntablists have become four of the most in-demand performers in town. They've been spinning up big crowds at local dance parties while keeping up appearances behind some of the scene's best-known rappers. But they're humble enough to credit their success to two other factors besides their own talent: the lack of competing dance nights and a shortage of aspiring local DJs.

"All the kids coming up in hip-hop either want to be rappers or producers, and none of them seem to want to be DJs," Bill Hebl (Plain Ole Bill) said.

Widely recognized as P.O.S.'s DJ (and now sometimes Ali's), Hebl got into a little braggadocious spat with his Get Cryphy co-founder Dan Marcoulis (Jimmy 2 Times) over what they planned to play for Dre Day. When Hebl mentioned a mix he had, centered around Dr. Dre's "Let's Get High," Marcoulis cracked in his upstate New Yorker accent, "That's cool. I've been doing that for three years now, but whatever. You can steal my act."

One thing that sets Get Cryphy apart is how fresh and current its playlists are. Some of the titles in the latest Get Cryphy mixtape -- available for free at -- include new cuts by Drake, Rick Ross, Shawty Lo and Tyga and mashed up with the likes of Prof and P.O.S.

Another great trait is how the dance parties bridge the mainstream and indie hip-hop worlds in ways rarely seen in this town. Said Marcoulis, "Because our indie-rap scene is so strong, a lot of people are leery of anything mainstream. There was a lot of, 'Is this OK?' at first. Us as DJs, we never discriminated. If it was an awesome track, it's an awesome track."

Hebl and Marcoulis started Get Cryphy (pronounced "cry-fee") after losing a gig at Foundation when that club closed. They jokingly named it after two of the trendy hip-hop sub-genres at that moment, crunk and hyphy, but they were serious about maintaining the hyper, nonstop energy found in those styles. There are no slow jams here.

Held the first Friday of every month in First Ave's upstairs Record Room, the parties are "probably the favorite thing we all have to do," said Marcoulis. But their busy schedules guarantee they can't always make the show. Which is where Drew Erickson (Last Word) and Christopher Young (Fundo) come in. Those two -- who often share DJ duties for Prof, M.anifest, MaLLy and Desdamona -- officially became Get Cryphy members a year into the party but were always a part of it.

"We went through some growing pains where we had different guests come in who were all great, but a lot of them just didn't fit the vibe," Marcoulis said. "These two fit perfect. They really helped solidify the vision of it being the four of us, because all four of us had the same exact vision for it."

A big part of the Get Cryphy "show" is four-turntable sets, with two DJs manning two record players apiece. Hebl and Marcoulis started doing that before DJ-ing became more of a digital/laptop profession. They do it for the musical benefits of classic turntabling, but they also believe it adds to the entertainment value. "There's a strong visual element to turntabling, and it can be more of 'a performance,'" Hebl said. "A lot of kids will come up and just stare at what we're doing."

That might be their future competition staring at them. The shortage of DJs might soon be a thing of the past.