McDonald’s B-Boy Royale II

Article by Kevin Young
Photo by Niko

It was an intense night of flair, swag, head-spins, arm thrashes, crotch grabs, flips, creativity, adeptness, sweat, and pizzazz at McDonald’s B-Boy Royale II. This annual B-Boy competition showcased eight crews primarily from the east coast competing to win the grand prize of $5,000. In the words of one of the host MC Jin, “a lot of Mcnuggets.” Although this specific event was pure competition the proceeds benefit various Ronald McDonald House Charities.

This competition which started last year, demonstrates McDonald’s CSR capabilities of using the rich culture of hip-hop, primarily break dancing to help those in need; McDonalds facilitated dance workshops for children in hospitals to learn the foundations of dance from a few of the competitors of the event. This gives these children the unforgettable experience of learning the foundations of dance. This foundation can then propel them on the right path going forward.

Hosted by the duo that enjoys “soggy fries,” Asian-American rapper MC JIN, and MTV VJ Grace Subervi, actively engaged with the audience by answering live twitter questions. The experienced judging panel consisted of Yansen, a Flushing Queens native from the b-boy crew X-Fenz, Queen N.V., a renowned member of Floarx Crew, and Nemesis, a well-respected veteran in the NYC dance community hailing from the boogey-down-Bronx. Music for the battles was provided by DJ EX.

An opening performance from the Pearrie Hammie Crew doing a tribute step routine to hip-hop pioneers, Run DMC’s It’s Tricky, set the convivial and rhythmic tone for the night and foreshadowed what was to come. To signify the start of each round a sultry ring card girl strutted around the stage rocking a McDonald’s B-Boy Royale tee.

In addition to the intense and chaotic feeling of battle, there were four major highlights of the night. MC Jin rapped a heart-felt, vivacious three song medley including a homage to his idol Busta Rhymes and even inviting an energized fan to join him on stage. The other awe moment of the night came in the form of an 11-year-old boy named Kai, being crowned the winner of the audience dance competition from wowing audiences throwing down his own swag-filled b-boy tricks. In a rap competition between 4 contestants, Osyris Antham dominated spitting lines about McDonalds, Bruce Jenner, Kanye West, and 50 Cent.

The most significant highlight was awarding Richard Colon known by his stage name Crazy Legs the newly created McDonald’s B-Boy Royale Lifetime Achievement Award. Crazy Legs, was honored and overwhelmed with emotions tearing as he delivered a sincere inspiring speech elaborating on what hip-hop and dance means to him and how they can be used to foster change. He subtly suggested how being a celebrity or successful doesn’t stop you from being humble and caring about your family, “Yeah I drive a Honda Civic but my son goes to Cornell.”

The lineup.
Round 1: Team Entree v.s. Silverback Young Bloods
Round 2: Titanz v.s. 5 Crew Dynasty
Round 3: Dynamic Rockers v.s. Lionz Of Zion
Round 4: Beast Coast v.s. Supreme Beingz

Throughout these four rounds that lasted four minutes each the competitors were ready for battle with fierce determination and profound routines. Teams came donned in fitted or baggy sweats, branded shirts, headbands, wild hairstyles, fitted caps, and even some were injured going into battle.
Team Entree, the young NYC natives showcased their discipline and synergy syncing with one another to showcase what long hours of practice can do. Veteran crew, 5 Crew Dynasty demonstrated traditional styled b-boy freezes, windmills, jackhammers, and baby spins in addition to one of their member’s inhuman flexibility. Beast Coast impressed the crowd with their immense strength and explosive movements that shook the stage with every executed landing.

Yet from the preliminary rounds, the most ardent round came when both the Dynamic Rockers and Lionz Of Zion graced the stage. The Dynamic Rockers came ready for war with their relentless push of taking most of the limited time of the stage yet using it to demonstrate why dynamic is in their crew’s name. They proved that they could pull off synchronization at its best while still being able to hold the floor down individually. The Rockers performed insane movements that most would think would be impossible. On the other hand, the Lionz Of Zion brought innovative creativity to the floor creating a story as they battled whether individually or together. It was a ludicrous yet extremely entertaining feat to watch this crew perform. Although it sounds like fun and games, this is still a battle as it’s important to note that they took shots at the Rockers from goofy crotch grabbing to emulating phallic symbolism implicating their dominance. Nemesis, described this performance as watching two men give birth on stage. The judges were so conflicted with this battle they decided the two teams should go into a tie-breaker round, where ultimately the Dynamic Rockers claimed victory.

Semifinals:
Dynamic Rockers v.s. Beast Coast
Team Entree v.s. 5 Crew Dynasty
After the protracted preliminary rounds, the remaining crews rested up and prepared to hit the floor again. Beast Coast showed off their god-like strength combining flips, spins, and arm thrashing into a work of masculine flow. While Team Entree, on the other hand took the advice from the judges and showed the crowd that they can hold their own individual stage presence while their teammates cheered them on from the sidelines.

Finals:
Beast Coast v.s. Team Entree
In end Beast Coast endured and out-danced all the other crews to be named the winners of this year’s competition manifesting themselves as true beasts. Overall the diverse crowd was entertained cheering and sharing the love of Hip-hop culture with the dancers for a virtuous cause. Be sure to look out for and support next year’s competition as McDonalds reinforces the idea of bringing b-boy culture back into NYC.

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