From all the way back in the day when street-level party music label Nervous Records was founded in 1991, the master plan was always straight-up support for the deepest and grittiest parts of the house and hip-hop subcultures.
"The true underground is the guy who sleeps until 1 in the morning. And then he gets up and goes out at 2," explains Nervous label boss Mike Weiss. "Obviously, that crowd is always a little bit small. But I feel that's the essence of the label — repping the people who are in it strictly for the love of the game." He audibly shrugs, continuing, "You know, they're not in it because they're ultimately thinking they're going to play Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 people."
With Oscar G, Peter Rauhofer, Junior Sanchez, Superchumbo, Ralph Falcon, and others. 11 a.m. Sunday, March 27. Clevelander Hotel, 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-532-4006; clevelander.com. Tickets cost $30 via wantickets.com. As part of Ultra Music Festival, with a performance Sunday, March 27. Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at noon Sunday. Tickets are sold out; ultramusicfestival.com.
It's true that Nervous has always been about the real shit. Built on the backs of classic house heads like Roger S., Kenny Dope, and Todd Terry, Nervous has been home to several generations of East Coast club music, from dance diva Sandy B to rap legend Funkmaster Flex to Miami's own dark-beat mastermind Oscar G. And now after 20 years, the label's commitment to repping the streets, the parties, and the music has become an undeniable way of life that influences every aspect of Nervous operations. Even bacon, eggs, and hotcakes.
"At WMC, we used to do a breakfast party at Denny's from 4 to 6 a.m., and it was just crazy," Weiss laughs. "That's the true underground."