This years leap year saw bboys from all over leaping to London for the second installment of Floor Rippers. A new fusion of competition, dance, entertainment and live music.
With all these ingredients it was set to be a real treat. The success of the first jam before Christmas led to huge interest in this leap year’s edition. The buzz was in the air as the party goers, music lovers and dancers made their way into the joint. So many crews and heads turned up, some well known crews like Soul Mavericks, Ghetlow Pirates, Negro Tendencies, La Familia and Soul Superior and even more unknown crews were down to battle with the best and test their skills. Even the scenes world famous DJ and founder of the Soul Mavericks, DJ Renegade turned up to support the new jam. The host’s started the night with a big welcome to everyone that turned up and introduced themselves; Amiir the R-Qi-Tek (Soul Mavericks/Broken Jazz/Black Hand) and MC Mr. Klemit, the band lead by the drummer Dumo, the DJ, Dbo from Bboy crew La Familia and the judges, Bboy Mouse (Floor Gangs), Bboy Spin (La Familia) and Zorro (Ghetlow Pirates).
“Let the battles commence!” was the opener and the call to the floor. The band was hyped and that drove the dancer’s energy levels higher and the crowd was stunned. After the elimination battles were out the way, the tougher battles began. The band was acknowledging every move the dancers were doing, the dancers were accenting the bands every beat and the crowd was finally getting into the grove. Lee Roc stood out with his on point footwork, Dr Gabs was a work horse as ever, angry Abdul was trying to come hard and live up to his name, Dark Star had some original style but generally everyone was hitting beats and dancing on a really high level.
After the killer showcases from the judges, the final battle arrived and it was Motion Bang vs the ever fresh, Ben Jammin’ and Ed Spoons from the mighty Ghetlow Pirates crew. It was an exciting battle, they were closely matched with power, style and footwork but there could only be one winner. And on this occasion it was Ghetlow who reigned supreme (see video below)
The organizers, especially Marie Guibergia (CEO of Floor Rippers), Sponsors Stussy and Alife got their props and the winners got their prizes, then the real party began. DJ’s were spinning classic breaks, funk and hip hop, for the rest of the crowd to get down themselves. Bboy’s had their smaller circles, cyphering till the early hours. Surprising for a school night a lot of people stayed right till the end.
All in all it was a tough night to top, fun, entertaining and insightful for the people who rarely get to see the scene first hand and for the dancers an opportunity to break out from the norm and perform with a live band, test themselves and see if they can stand their ground
I think it is safe to say that in 2011 Changubis (formerly known as Vicious Victor) made a massive splash in the bboying ocean. I first saw 17 year old Victor on the footage of the ‘Red Bull BC One: USA Qualifier’ where he fought his way to the final battle against El Nino, taking out several well renowned veterans of the US bboying scene in the process. After this Victor started popping up everywhere and doing really well at some of the biggest events in the world including ‘Battle of the Year’ and ‘The Notorious IBE’ Victor is a breath of fresh air to the scene as he seemed to come up relatively unknown and is now known and respected by dancers all over the world.
Victor came to the UK in March to do a few battles and teach workshops, we caught up with Victor at an iLL Sessions workshop in Cambridge and here is what he had to say
Please introduce yourself:
Victor, a.k.a Bboy Changubis, my new name, family name because I don’t wanna call myself Vicious Victor anymore, there’s a lot of Vicious’
Whereabouts are you from? From Orlando Florida
What first got you into bboying? My Dad, he has a twin and they used to break back in the days in Mexico so he started getting me to break, he taught me like backspins and stuff
What music do you listen to? Whatever, whatever makes me jump and shit
Favourite hiphop artists? A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, lotta people
After a day of competing and cyphering at Cambridge bboying jam iLL Sessions we caught up with one of the special invites, up and coming Irish Bboy HappyFace, to discuss the hiphop scene in Ireland, his travelling experiences and other things
First of all please introduce yourself, where are you from and how long have you been dancing for?
My name’s HappyFace, I’m from Recession Squad, Ireland and I’ve been bboying for about 4 and a half years
What first got you into bboying?
When I was about 9 I went to Spain one time and I actually won some kind of like Mickey Mouse dance contest between all the kids, but I didn’t actually get into it until I was about 15, so since then I basically found like the Golden pages and looked for dance studios in Dublin to teach breaking and we found one luckily enough
What are your views on the UK bboying scene in its current state?
I’ve travelled to the UK a few times since October 2010 and I’ve always kept an eye on it but basically I think over like the last 2 years the scene’s grown a lot, from guys I’ve spoken to they’ve said it’s got better but also there are certain things that have made it a little bit worse, there is a lot of jams going on but they’re not all up to such a high standard, but I think for every bad jam out there you are also going to have good jams and eventually everyone will learn the trade of putting on good jams
What sort of music do you listen to?
I like to listen to some 90′s hiphop, I also like to listen to some chilled DJs like Onra and Ta-Ku they’re like my main chilled beats, also I love DJ Lu Chi-sz he does some really really chilled mixes
Who are you’re favourite hiphop artists?
You know there’s the usual, Biggie, I love Nas, Tupac as well, I’m stuck on people like Arrested Development, like all old hiphop because I cant stand all the commercial shit that’s around today
Have you ever tried or are you interested in graff?
Honestly I’ve never tried graff because I have the fucking drawing capabilities of a 2 year old, but I’ve always respected it, I have a lot of friends that do graff and have told me stories and showed me pieces, the Irish scene’s pretty good for it, there’s always been graffiti around, it’s an element of hiphop as well so you always have to respect it for what it is
Who are the main writers from Dublin?
First off there would be probably the dopest to me which was El Grifto from UEK, he was nasty, he actually went to Australia, I think he’s back but I dunno if that’s like confirmed or whatever, also Cisto, really really nice pieces, just really nice flow and Macer, Macer’s probably been the biggest export for Irish graffiti he’s done some really big stuff and Dusto
Is there a big community of rappers in Ireland and who should we look out for?
I only found out about it like a year and a half, 2 years ago but I know a lot of rap battles are going on, I’ve seen DFI and the UK one Don’t Flop, there’s been some Irish guys coming over, my favourite lyrically is probably Nugget, Nugget’s nasty, lyrically he’s hilarious but he gets his point across, he’s a really good battler, he puts up a good fight
What’s been your most memorable battle and why?
It would probably be this year from an event that I ran with another guy from our bboy society in DIT in Dublin, I got to the finals which kinda looked mad shady considering I like co-organised the event but yeah that was a really memorable battle against Justroc because I learned a lot from it
You’ve travelled to several jams outside of Ireland, can you please tell us which countries you have danced in?
I travelled over to Hong Kong 2 summers ago with some friends and did a battle there at Mind Generation, I did a jam in Las Vegas before that, that was a bit random, I was over there with some people at World Bboy Championships, I battled in Italy for Bboy Games. UK is actually the place where I’ve been to the most battles, I battled in New York as well at the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary, at New York City Breakers 30th Anniversary footwork battle, there’s been a few but I plan a lot more for 2012, like once a month if I can. I feel the scene at home is on a bad slope so I like to travel a lot
I wanna shout out Generation iLL, Wordplay Magazine and Joey Deez, shout out to my crew Recession Squad, shout out to the Wizard, Mariano, Toby and Silent. Shout out to the UK bboying scene, the graff scene is sick, the Irish bboy scene, the Irish graff scene, the mc scene, to everyone reading this interview, I want to thank you for the opportunity to have an interview and say a few words. Shout out to Bad Taste Cru, also to some of the people that taught me along the way that don’t bboy anymore and DIT Society that have always helped with funding and shit like that