R16 Korea 2014 World B-Boy Championships, Olympic Hall
B-boy Solo, Locking Solo, Popping Solo, Saturday, July 5, 2014
Olympic Hall was set up with massive SRO space directly in front of the stage; by 6:15 p.m. it was just about full standing room only. ElectRow set up directly behind the row of light and sound techies, and copped some excellent seating – just high enough to be above the heads of the floor standers.
Concert safety announcement was right out of an inflight stewardess playbook, female voice irritatingly gentle. Show kicked off at 6:16 with the incredible Kenny Muhammad, The Human Orchestra, “floats like a butterfly and stings with the beats.” Voice beat dropping, triple and quad bass throat thumping, sick deep synth. If you closed your eyes it was a total electronic orchestra. F’yeah…changing up the rhythms, screaming, pumping the crowd, R16 B-boy REVOLUTION. DJ WRECKX-Korea, DJ KISTAR-Japan, DJ LIGHT- Japan, and DJ BLESONE-USA, on perch above stage left, and WARSAW Band trio-Poland, (1 flute, one sax, and a drum machine/set of congas& bongos) above stage right, laying the tracks at the MC cue. MC GO in a wheelchair and MC Snipa standing by. The R16 Director decided to imitate the Netherlands and add the live band feature – it worked, like fire. Next were the B-boy judge intros – Lil G, Benji, Differ, Storm, and Asia One – each judge did a small intro dance, and DJ Benji took off his shirt and hat for a nice crowd throw. Five categories, each judge assigned to one category: Foundation, Creativity, Difficulty, Execution, and Performance. Two out of three rounds makes a winner.
Right into the solo B-boy battles; BAM! 2-time Champ Issei vs. Tata and Tata won 2-0! So Issei went down in the first round! NOT! And this was just jacked up all the way around, because the scoring clusterfudge was in full effect for the first three battles, and MC Snipa and MC Go were caught trying to un-fudge the resultz to the house, and they did it mostly in Korean, which didn’t help folks like me who were pretty stunned to see Issei return and Tata go down. Anyway…fix this crap before next year.
Epic battle with Lil Zoo of Morocco and Roxy of the UK, one of the best of the night, and house favorite, no doubt. Killer spins from Lil Zoo and some wicked upside down stretch-out’s by Roxy resulted in a tiebreaker. Girlfriend ran out of gas, but gave it everything she had, and Zoo needed his best to beat her. She later confided to me that she was somewhat disappointed with her effort, so she could not feel satisfied that she had done her best. Now, this is a performer who might be just a little hard on herself, considering that she was given a special invitation to these World Championships. On to Quarterfinals.
Next – Locking judge intros – Yuu, Ha, and Suga Pop – nice moves. Locking judges kicked it into high gear, with Ha of Korea bringing down the house with red, flaming-ass red – brim, suspenders, zoot pants, and I swear he was sporting ruby lipstick – even after losing half of his belt before he finished. Locking Quarterfinals ended with three from Japan and one from China. Remember the girl in the orange pants and Wingtips I had a crush on in the Open Eliminations @ Syndrome? She was killer, name Cio, from Japan, and she left bodies in her wake as she met her husband, Masato, in the finals. Too amazing. They have been dancing together for 12 years, and she took him down, but the money and hardware stayed all in the family. Kickin’ ass at 32 years old! Epic, in my book.
The Popping Judges, during their intros, just didn’t seem to be feelin’ it. The Electric Boogaloos did a decent popping showcase, but the crowd flattened out like pancakes too fast off the grill as soon as they were finished. Popping Quarterfinals, and another Open Elimination Qualifier, Kid Boogie of USA, worked his way into the finals. If you didn’t read the Press Conference and Open Elimination article, STOP HERE and go read it. Right – now you are caught up. Kid Boogie took down Sally Sly in the finals, even though his runs were way short of his allotted time, and Sally Sly was taking it to the last second. A tiebreaker decided the battle – dream come true for the last chance Kid from the U.S. of A.
Back to B-boy Semi’s where two Koreans lost; Wing losing to Isse of Japan, and Octopus losing to Lil Zoo of Morocco. The final match was delayed for the PREPIX showcase, which was pretty impressive for an 8-person crew using extreme lighting to dynamite effect. The final battle needed a fourth round tiebreaker. This writer really was impressed by Lil Zoo, who had the flow goin’ in every single battle he hit. He just could not win over the judges in the final round, but he put Issei back up against the wall and the Champ pulled it out for win number 3, in a row, 2012, 2013, 2014!. Sick as hell.
Solid Nature x ElectRow Photos