Cover photo courtesy of DJ DBO
Each week, we present the best #BCONE Instagram shot of the week. Check out this snap from @osminojik, featuring Red Bull BC One All Stars Ronnie and Hong 10 in Russia.
Follow 2013 Red Bull BC One World Champion Hong 10 @BboyHong1o
It was the twenty-fifth year of BOTY and my eleventh time in attendance, and I have to say it was my favorite one! It was just perfect, from the Cyphers outside and inside the Volkswagen Halle, to all the action onstage. Battle of the Year, like The Notorious IBE is a family affair. You meet everybody from the breaking world. This was the 25th Aniversary BOTY and it needed to be celebrated in style.
The evening started with a video clip, a journey into 25 years of Battle of the Year, a new trophy, presented by BOTY creator Thomas Hergenröther, and a shout-out to MC Trix, who had retired from his job as BOTY host and had been replaced by MC D-Stroy from the USA. Trix, you were missed! In honor of the 25th anniversary, Spax and D-Stroy changed costumes several times that night showcasing different dress styles of Hip Hop history.
This year, many people agreed, each and every one of the 16 shows was really exciting—there was never a dull moment! Also, the side acts during the breaks were celebrated this year. First a Bonny and Clyde exhibition battle between first and second place winners of the one-on-one battle, Alcolil and Kleju, teamed up with the B-Girl battle winners, Shie-Chan and Nagi. The vote of the judges went unanimously to Kleju and Nagi. The second showcase was performed by the world-famous Jabbawockeez, from Las Vegas, and the audience went wild!
The six crews that made it into the battles this year were: S.I.N.E crew from Vietnam—it was the first time Vietnam made it into the battles and they were super excited to be able to show their battle skills. The Ruggeds (The Netherlands), Body Carnival (Japan), Infamous (France), Fusion MC (South Korea) and Predatorz (Russia). Fusion MC and Predatorz, who had made first and second place with their showcases, met in the final battle and the Russians– who seemed unstoppable– took the title. What a night! Definitely one to remember. Check out the photos fromt the evening.
Predatorz fly to victory!
South Korea's Fusion MC performance won "Best Show."
Jabbawockeez performed at BOTY for the first time and were blown away by the scene event.
While 10 years ago, many crews had B-Girls, this year, only two did: Body Carnival had two B-Girls and Soul Mavericks showed up with famous B-Girls Eddy and Terra.
Predatorz were the stars of the night!
The festive atmosphere in the sold-out Volkswagen Halle Braunschweig. Lil Kim sang "put your lighters up" in 2005, but now it's "put your smart phones up!"
South Korea's Fusion MC, winner of "Best Show" and runners-up at the final.
Battle of the Year Champions 2014: Predatorz, from Russia, pose for a photo with the judges.
Photos by Nika Kramer
Martha Cooper and I first asked Thomas Hergenröther if we could organize a We B*Girlz B-Girl battle at the Battle of the Year in 2006, and the format has become a BOTY tradition ever since. What is a B-Girl Battle? It’s when 16 girls dance and Japan wins. All jokes aside, the B-Girl line-up was impressive during this year's 25th edition, but just as in the last few years, the Japanese reigned supreme on the dancefloor. Shie-Chan and Nagi won the final round versus Pauline and Rose, from Holland.
Eight years of the battle later, many of the girls have told me that they would love for us to organize another festival, like the legendary We B*Girlz Festival in Berlin in 2008 that went on for four weeks. It was the world’s biggest festival for women in Hip Hop at the time, and I believe that one day we will do it again!
On Saturday on the big stage at Volkswagenhalle, Shie-Chan and Nagi mixed up with Alcolil and Kleju for a Bonnie & Clyde show battle during the battle break. Check out the photos from the battle!
Holland's Rose as we know her– cool and calm.
apanese B-Girl Shie-Chan and Nagi of (Qweenz of Qweenz) hype each other before the final battle by slapping each other on the back - hard!
Japanese B-Girl Shie-Chan of legendary B-Girl crew Qweenz of Qweenz
Bulgarian power legend Queen Mary teamed up with Greece's Maggoosh, but the Dutch team shut them out in the first round.
Sixteen girls dance and Japan wins...
Unanimous decision: judges and audience vote for Japan.
All photos by Nika Kramer
Battle of the Year history is being made this weekend, befitting of is 25th anniversary edition! The new judging system, which is used to judge every round instantly and goes for the best of three rounds, was tried out for the one-on-one and it worked really well for both the judges and B-Boys. The line-up included top-level, international B-Boys but in the end, Russia’s Alcolil– who went back to his original name after a phase of calling himself B-Boy Exact– beat Polish B-Boy Kleju in the final round, taking the next ticket to the Undisputed masters event in London on December 14.
Alcolil beamed with joy post-victory and said, “I knew I could take this. I’ve been practicing exceptionally hard.” Red Bull BC One All Star RoxRite sat on the judges panel and added that, “Alcolil had an extreme arsenal of moves, and he’s really tight in many different areas, with very advanced threads and backdrops, the whole package. It’s really hard to beat somebody who has such a wide variety of moves and executes them with such precision.” Check the battle photos.
Hip Hop folk and bypassers alike lined up to watch the battles, as MC Mario Bee announced the next round between Alcolil and Gravity.
The Undisputed judging system: each dancer gets a color, and the judges push a button for the winner. Here, Trock won his second round against Noé. Taking two out of three rounds gave him the automatic win.
After Benny (South Africa) won the Red Bull BC One Middle East Africa Final in Algeria, some thought he would take this battle too. He ended up losing to Kleju in the semi-finals.
We all wondered how Kleju managed to keep his sunglasses on during the whole battle!
Fifteen-year-old Dutch wunderkind Kid Colombia flies into battle.
Red Bull BC One All Star Judge RoxRite does his showcase.
Alcolil battles his way to the top.
Winner Alcolil Russia poses for a winner shot with the gang of judges.
All photos by Nika Kramer
Last year’s beats in Seoul were legendary, and we’re thrilled to announce the return of Lean Rock, the ultimate B-Boy DJ, to the Red Bull BC One France World Final 2014 in Paris. Looking forward to November, Lean has been hard at work to bring more than 90 percent original music to the tables. Can he top his incredible set list from Seoul? We’re sure he will. We caught up with the Hip Hop icon to discuss what it was like to set the stage for the tenth anniversary World Final, and what he’s got in store for us this year.
Tune in November 29 right here at 20:30 CET to watch the Red Bull BC One France World Final 2014 live, as Lean Rock drops the beats that determine the new Red Bull BC One World Champion.
How did it feel to DJ the 10th anniversary of Red Bull BC One in Seoul?
I would have to say it was one of the most amazing experiences for me. It was probably one of the more memorable Red Bull BC One World Finals to date, since half the line up was made up of past World Champions. We also have to consider that it was the tenth anniversary of the competition. The energy in the arena was legendary. The crowd was really into it, and the dancers were super hungry. It was just the perfect vibe.
There was an overwhelming positive reaction to the set list you spun in Seoul. How did you put together the beats?
It was actually really stressful when I got to Seoul. I found out I didn’t have enough tracks for the whole night. I stayed up for two days trying to get the final set list together. I emailed artists, record labels, managers and producers to make sure we had the right amount of tracks to clear. It took a lot of Red Bulls and no sleep! It all worked out in the end though, thank God. It was a yearlong process to get everything together since I’m so picky about what I play and I wanted to bring something new to the table. It was also a difficult process, because much of the music I wanted to originally play didn’t end up getting cleared. It all worked out thanks to some producer friends… thank God again!
"I wish B-Boys knew much hard work and time goes into the music… It’s really hard to find quality music for B-Boying, considering most of the music we dance to wasn’t made for B-Boying."
What have been your favorite tracks to break to this year?
It’s hard to say… there are too many to name. It’s all about how I feel at the moment. Sometimes I would rather break to slower, mid-tempo tracks. Sometimes I like to break to faster tracks.
What has been the most iconic Red Bull BC One tracks for you over the years?
My boys Funky Bijou have had a few tracks that were pretty iconic. DJ Renegade played a pretty nice set in 2011 too. Hopefully this year everything will work out.
What’s the one thing you wish B-Boys understood about your job?
I wish B-Boys knew much hard work and time goes into the music. I’m not over here trying to bring them slack. I’m always trying my best to bring them something new and fresh. It’s really hard to make quality music and it’s really hard to find quality music for B-Boying, considering most of the music we dance to wasnt made for breaking. You don’t really get quality overnight.
"It’s so important to do your homework in our culture. In order to grow you need your foundation."
What forgotten artists in Hip Hop history should everyone know about?
It’s so important to do your homework in our culture. In order to grow you need your foundation. There are plenty of OG DJs that deserve the recognition. Off the top of my head, I can say Whiz Kid, Louie Loo, Breakbeat Lou, and Rockin’ Rob are the original DJs that have had a huge influence on me. I wouldn’t say they are forgotten, but I feel like they should get more recognition in our culture. There are also many DJs in the UK that have inspired me on the break tip as well, like Just 1, Leacy, P Brothers, Rob Life, Timber, Skamrock, Nucleus, Renegade and Skye.
What are you looking forward to in Paris this year?
I’m looking forward to dropping this music that we’ve been working on for months, and I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction to it. The whole set is probably about 90 percent original music made exclusively for Red Bull BC One this year!
Photos courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool
The Ruggeds vs The Last Samurai at Foundation 12th Anniversary by FlavaJapanTV
Watch The Ruggeds battle The Last Samurai at the Foundation 12th Anniversary, and check out the freeze at 13:10!
#Freezeoftheday feat. RJ Puno, presented by Stance
Follow Jabbawockeez/ Super Cr3w's RJ in slow motion.
The Legits present the first installation of The Life Perspective, featuring Orlando's B-Boy Keebz.
The Life Perspective #1 feat. B-Boy Keebz by The Legits
Fresh from a new title as Champion of the Silverback Open Championships, Tuscon’s B-Boy Thesis showed the world why he earned a coveted Wild Card spot at the Red Bull BC One France World Final 2014. Representing several crews, Fresh 2son Descendants, TheM Team, Knuckleheads Cali and Massive Monkees, Thesis is known for his creativity, freestyle and using the music throughout his dance. We sat down with Thesis and caught up with him post-victory, and learned about his history as a dancer, his Native American roots and how he’s preparing for his third Red Bull BC One World Final.
How did it feel to win one of the biggest events of the year in the USA, and how does Silverback help the American scene?
It was a great experience! Respect to Silverback for giving the scenes in USA opportunity to go for something that big. The USA is surely not used to championship battles like these, for all to compete, so that's definitely something to appreciate. I trained hard, more for myself improve, than the actual competition itself. The beauty of it is, it’s really just a battle. Just like BOTY, Red Bull BC One, or even underground jams that no one has even heard of.
The truth is that the reason I felt so comfortable is because I knew that, and through experience I pushed right through. It sure wasn't easy, but it was fun challenging myself and seeing everyone bring the best out of each other. When it comes to being professional, I do believe it has opened people’s minds to become more professional, but it also gave the option to loosen up and enjoy. Professional or not, the essence of Hip Hop will remain, and that’s the most important thing... at least in my opinion.
Your last time on the BC One Stage was in 2010. Are you looking forward to your return?
Oh for sure! I participated in New York City, in 2009, and Tokyo, in 2010, and I loved the experience. There really isn't anything like it. I feel like I earned the spot through patience and persistence, and to me that's the most honorable way. Anyone can be chosen, and I am grateful to be chosen. Humbly, I feel like I deserve it.
What have you been up to lately?
Man, the truth is I have been up to what just any human being has been up to (laughing). I’m just trying to survive in this crazy world! I have been training, of course, spending time with my family, traveling to visit friends and family, raising my dog and enjoying life as much as I can in my early twenties. I also hand-craft necklaces based off of my Native tribe (Yaqui) as a spiritual uplift and to spread culture throughout the people. That's what I'm about.
Tell us more about the necklaces, and the “Ojo de Venado.”
The Ojo De Venado are the necklaces I make. It translates to the “Eye Of The Deer.” It's based from Yaqui tradition. The sea bead represents the Ojo, which keeps you aware and safe. It represents your third eye. There are many different styles of making it. I plan on continuing making them to spread a positive vibe to the culture in hand.
How has your style been developing since you started?
My style develops everyday! I am inspired by my elders. The amount of respect they give me makes me grow, not only as just a B-Boy but a person as well. My style developed straight from honor and code. It's the Last Samurai state of mind. Not everyone can claim that, and I appreciate the time I have been brought into this world and into this dance, from my SourPatch days all the way up to now.
I learned styles in my younger years, from breaking, rocking, house and capoeira to expressing the individual soul. Of course Circle Of Fire/SoulShifters and Massive Monkees have been a huge influence on that due to the fact of living in Seattle for the past eight years. I had my teachers along the way as a kid, with PA, Nate The Killa Robot and Erik and I get to meet crews all over the USA as well as abroad. My style developed on building relationships and friendships and the respect that goes both ways.
How are you preparing for the World Final?
Like every B-Boy there is a preparation into getting ready for a event. Sure, I have my training methods, but it's a little bit more mental and heartfelt for me. I’m not trying to take that away from anyone else, because I've met people with the same mentality, but just so it's clear. I don't like to think too much about it. The more I do, the less likely I will succeed, and even if I did it wouldn't be the way I wanted. I like to have fun and they're isn't anything that will kill my fun when I'm in the zone. I have many years of experience with training and conditioning myself to the point where I can feel comfortable with my performance without having to train so hard before a specific event.
Photos courtesy of Kien Quan Photography and by Dean Treml/ Red Bull Content Pool
Once a year, an obscure German town turns into B-Boy world capital. When Battle of the Year comes to Braunschweig, the whole city gets B-Boy fever. More than 10,000 people come to the Volkswagenhalle to watch the event live each year.
Over the years, the B-Boy crew battle turned into a festival that offers much more than just the big show on Saturday. The event’s kick-off is now the Theater Night, on Thursday. Thomas Hergenröther, organizer of BOTY for a quarter of a century, welcomed the audience last night at Staatstheater Braunschweig, where B-Boys, as well as the regular theater visitors, had the chance to watch three amazing shows.
Thomas explained how 25 years ago, they had the vision of starting a show competition to encourage dancers to choreograph performances– instead of just battling– in the hopes that one day they would be able to perform in theaters and earn a living, doing what they loved.
BOTY'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY THEATER NIGHT
B-Boy Ben-J of Senegal's Crazy Elements Crew,cyphering with his crew mates in the theater lobby
Photos by Nika Kramer
Abdallah, who just battled at Red Bull BC One Middle East Africa Finals in Algeria, throws down
Photos by Nika Kramer