It's that time of the year again to break out the sweats, stretch out those limps and dust off your Adidas. That's right, Five Star's semi-annual B-boy Battle is back. It began around three years ago when Five Star was the Wicked Smile.
Resident DJ and one of 4/4 Records' owners, Mixmaster Mooney began to battle to satisfy his hip-hop urge. Turning the time, there was a major lack of b-boy (break boy) battles. North Carolina B-Boy Juan Matta from the Swoon Crew knows this all too well.
"B-boying in the area--there's not many of us--we have to get together and travel to pick stuff up. There is really no one doing it."
Matta is old school. He began back in '84-'85. "It was just huge--I learned from kids in the neighborhood. But it faded out. I just kept up what I knew."
Matta used to dance with well-known DJ Soundmachine, who is known almost as much for his dancing as his DJing. "Juan Matta [has been] a breaker for years now--he does it because he loves it," says Soundmachine. "That's a b-boy. If you don't break dance then you not a true b-boy!"
"When I started B-boying, the year was '84 and the record was 'Breakers Revenge' by Arthur Bakers," remembers Matta. "The move was the no-handed windmill with both hands holding your balls. Battling your opponent was what you practiced for the whole week."
For those who don't know about B-boying, we all suggest that you see the documentary, The Freshest Kids by Israel (that's his name), which actually premiered earlier this year in Durham at the Hip-Hop Film Festival. B-boy is an essential part of hip hop; as Soundmachine would say, "Dancing was the key to hip hop in early years and still today."
And battling is an important part of B-boying. Thanks to dedicated members of the hip-hop community, Raleigh will be hosting B-boys from New York to Florida this Saturday, Dec. 21, making it the biggest to date. Mooney cleverly named each battle from the first N.C. B-Boy to the infamous The Cardboard Classic, and today's Three the Hard Way ("three" for the number of dancers in each group). So far, the battles have only been singles and doubles. Eventually Juan hopes that the battles will grow into crew battles.
Unlike the first battle that had prizes that included medals and trophies, Three the Hard Way's pot will be a whopping $300 (which, if won by Matta, will be saved for building the area's B-boy scene).
Dancers will be getting down to such old-school funk b-boy breaks as "It's Just Began" by Jimmy Castor Bunch and Apache and "The Incredible Bongo Band" played by DJ Merlin and DJ Dick Serious. The evening will be incredibly enjoyable--and I promise and it will be nothing like a dance commercial.