Thirteen Hours of Hip-Hop
By Jessica Del Curto
All over the city, local hip-hop shined last Saturday.
Starting at 11 a.m. at Los Altos Skate Park, a free concert and barbecue attracted skaters, bikers, and music lovers. Samuel Tobias Bryant, a 28 year old entrepreneur and his partner Nathaniel Carson were responsible for the all-day picnic. The duo opened a BMX shop across the street from the skate park called Burque Bikes, and were looking for a little promotion.
“We want everybody to get off their ass, ride their bikes, enjoy some sun, be happy and be human again,” Carson said.
Word. The music wasn’t all hip-hop, although just about every local emcee was on the list. Dirtheadz, One Foundation, Garbage Pail Kidz, 2bers and reggae/ hip-hop artist Kev Lee got down all day, until everyone had their fill of green chile tortilla burgers.
Sticking out of the crowd was Dwight Carson—relation to Nathanial unknown—a man who had to have been in his late 60s. Chowing down on some food and a soda, he was all smiles. He said he came down to check out the music and get some grub.
“The music is wonderful to see, and I was especially impressed with the hamburger,” he said.
That’s the beauty of hip-hop. It can work its magic on a person of any age.
At 7:30 p.m., we headed to Barelas Community Center, where about 60 b-boy and b-girl crews showed up to compete in a breakdance battle. Part of Funky Foot Rhythm Crew, a young man who goes by Marvel said the winner of the show receives $2,000. But continuing in the tradition of hip-hop—breakers do it for more then the money. Young men and women hit the linoleum with full force, spinning on their heads, backs, and hands in order to gain respect from fellow dancers.
And from this long-time hip-hop fan, respect was gained. Although I must admit, they don’t make breakdancers like they used to. Although there were still old school dancers wearing Adidas with the fat laces, a new style of hip-hop has sprung up. One crew, called Coin Operated, wore tight, rolled up jeans, ripped T-shirts and red and black leggings. Members wore their hair in what looked like a cross between an anime character and Peter Pan.
“What we wear is a reflection of the way we break,” said Minsu, one of the members of Coin Operated.
I thought at first I was just getting old, because I didn’t get it.
But after five minutes of being on the floor, it didn’t matter what Coin Operated was wearing. Homeboys were good, really good. They were limber and graceful, combining ballet with traditional hip-hop. It was like watching acrobatics, and each member was a different character.
The best part of the show was the little boy and girl who were sitting in the sidelines. Barely old enough to talk, all night they were tearing it up with their own version of the robot. Watch out Albuquerque breakers, cause these kids rhythm.
Like I said, hip-hop has no age limit.
Last we hit up Sunshine Theatre, where the DMC battle was going on. Since 1983, this international deejay battle has attracted the best of the best. Albuquerque has pushed to have regionals held here for some time—this year it finally happened. The deejays were incredible, particularly when DJ Abilities hit the stage and schooled the young cats on how to make music with just two turntables. He cut up everything from Old Dirty Bastard to Pink Floyd. My hippie mom would have dug it.
By midnight, I was local hip-hopped-out. Or maybe not. The scene keeps getting better and more impressive. Who knows what these soul-filled brothers and sisters will do next.
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