First Annual McDonald’s B-Boy Royale

Article by Joy Chiang Ling
Photo credit Niko & Xue Liang

AsianInNY proudly sponsored the First Annual McDonald’s B-Boy Royale, which was held on August 17th at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The event pitted eight award-winning dance crews from across the nation in a breakdancing tournament for the chance to win a grand prize of $3,000. The competition was hosted by Korean American rapper and Youtube star Dumbfoundead, whose charisma and celebrity status attracted many adoring fans to the event. Also present were three judges: Chem (Floor Obsession, Universal Alchemy), Zeshen (Havikoro) and Whorah (Beast Coast), and DJ Fleg.

The eight competing teams included:

The Supreme Clique
Formed in Philadelphia, this crew is on a mission to celebrate and honor true breaking culture. They were winners of last year’s Top Notch and Ruthless 2 competition.

Del Fuego
Originally from Boston, this all-star crew currently holds the title for two of this year’s most prestigious competitions, Cypher King at Circles and Red Bull BC One Philly Cypher

Floor Obsession
One of the premier b-boy crews in New York City, their creativity and distinctive style have won them notable competitions such as Rockers Rumble Colorado (2010) and Kings of New York (2010)

Lions of Zion
Hailing from the Washington D.C. area, this crew was one of the first to develop an unorthodox, abstract style of breaking. They have toured internationally with major artists including The Black Eyed Peas.

Suicide Kings
Based in Los Angeles, this crew comprises of Asian American breakers who combine their cultural pride with their passion for dance. They have won major competitions such as Vegas Shakedown (2014) and the Style Elements Anniversary (2013).

True Aggressions
This crew from New Jersey is known for their complex and explosive combinations. Last year they won top prize at The Freshest of All Time (2013)

United Outkast
Based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, this crew combines fearless flair with form in their versatile dance techniques, which were showcased in the film Step Up 3D and the music video for Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got”

X-Fenz
This New York crew of heavy-hitting breakers were featured in the film Battle of the Year 3D and are known for their legendary members.

Sung Lee

The B-Boy Royale opened up with a beatboxing demonstration by Sung Lee, a Korean-American “human beatbox” who has previously impressed audiences at the Apollo. Then, audiences were shown a video about the history of breakdancing, which highlighted some iconic moves throughout the decades spanning 1940 to 2010. After that, Dumbfoundead introduced himself and presented a Twitter hashtag that audiences could use to ask questions, participate in the event and gain opportunities to win some cash prizes. Right before the battles were due to begin, the judges Chem, Zeshan and Whorah came up on stage and described what qualities they were looking for in a winning B-Boy team. They each valued originality, athleticism, musicality and style.

Here were the outcomes of the first four rounds:
In Round 1, United Outkast won against X-Fenz.
In Round 2, Floor Obsession lost to True Aggressions.
In Round 3, Lionz of Zion lost to Suicide Kings
In Round 4, The Supreme Clique won against Del Fuego.

Izzy

Halfway through the event, Filipino-American rapper and hip-hop artist Izzy took the stage and performed several songs alongside an ensemble of dancers. Izzy, who hails from Flushing, Queens, had previously performed at notable events such as Kollaboration, and has made a name for himself as not only a music artist, but also as a producer, photographer, videographer and businessman.

Following intermission, four audience members who had been chosen to participate in a B-Boy battle came up on stage. The participants include Nobu, Neo, Ramone and Emily. Ramone came out on top, claiming a $200 prize courtesy of McCafe.

Up next came the semi-finals, which included the four winning teams from the previous rounds: United Outkast, True Aggressions, Suicide Kings and The Supreme Clique. United Outkast beat True Aggressions in the first round, solidifying their spot in the finals. Then, in a very close match, The Supreme Clique defeated Suicide Kings.

JT Thompson

Before the finals, Mr. JT Thompson from the Hip Hop Hall of Fame gave a corporate excellence award to McDonalds for helping to promote hip hop culture around the world. Michael Anderer, President of Ronald McDonald’s House Charities NY-TriState area and Jessica Mato, co-chair of the McDonald’s PR Committee, then came up to accept the award and promised to continue to support hip hop and events such as the B-Boy Royale in the future.

Dumbfoundead

Then, Dumbfoundead took the stage to perform his four original songs: “Cool and Calm,” “New Chick” and “Are We There Yet,” much to the excitement of the many young fans in the audience. His songs drew inspiration from romantic relationships, breakups and his ethnic identity. “Are We There Yet?” is a song about his immigrant mother, whose title refers to the question that his sister would ask during their extensive travels and struggles.

Dumbfoundead offers a unique perspective to the rap and hip hop community, which seems to becoming increasingly diverse as media platforms such as Youtube give minority groups more opportunities to showcase their artistic talents. The diversity was also evident in the audience’s demographics the night of the Royale; though it largely comprised Asian youth, it also attracted large groups of people from other ethnicities. Surprisingly, some mothers had brought their children to enjoy the event, and a few elderly people were present as well.

Finally, the event concluded with the long-awaited finale: an eight-minute long breakdancing battle between the two most talented teams in the competition. In yet another close competition, The Supreme Clique triumphed over United Outkast and won the coveted $3,000 prize. Judges cited The Supreme Clique’s superior technical skills, which were “more raw” and “clean.” Though United Outkast were able to get as far as they did with their admirable team dynamic and distinctive style, their moves were just not as refined as the judges hoped they would be. Despite this, one could only hope for the best for all of the participating teams. Each demonstrated considerable skill and passion for breakdancing, which are defining qualities for a true B-Boy.

 

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