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Friday, 27 November 2009

Funktrap, Funk off and B-Better present: What’s Happenin’ Popping battle, Friday 20th November

Words: Nicky Short

Four years ago, a man drifted out of Angel tube station carrying a bag of records, turned left and headed round the corner, towards a grubby bar. Some DJs might be put off by a venue whose house wine is Jaegermeister, but not DJ Zulu AKA Disco Z, from another galaxy!

He saw potential in Arc Bar to fulfil his destiny to bring the funk to the people. Funk Off became a monthly mark in the diaries of poppers, lockers and groovy cats from all over town, in search of tunes to get down to and a floor to get down on.

By popular demand, Funk Off has been back in its Friday night slot for the past couple of months and on 20th November it joined forces with Funktrap and B-Better to present What’s Happenin’ 1 on 1 popping battle.

A few big names lent to the proceeding’s indisputable credibility: Mechanikool P bopping in the corner with Plague’s Mukhtar; Funkstylerz’s Chimpchilla took a night off from running the world to enjoy the night; and Pineapple’s own James Painting pec-popped on the sofa through his signature wife beater vest. But the veterans left the battling to the newer blood and even the judging was conceded to Walid, over from France who had been teaching workshops at Urdang.

By 11.30pm Arc was wall to wall with poppers, lockers, bboys, waackers and funk fans. With Zulu on the wheels and B-Better’s Tinacious MC on the mic, the vibe was so hot the windows were sweating.

Billed at London’s realest popping event with no mobile phone or energy drink sponsors, the competition was fierce, brutal, one on one, one round each until the final where Ssik Tingz narrowly beat Rikoshay to the £100 prize money.

Funktrap, Funk Off and B-Better proved a force to be reckoned with in presenting, by all accounts, a funkin’ good night.

Results (for full results, including qualifier rounds click here):
Quarter Finals
ALPA vs Blitz
Dr Shock vs SSIK TINGZ
Sheldon vs RIKOSHAY
Crazy vs UNCLE A


SSIK TINGZ vs Rikoshay

For Funk Off info and Zulu DJ:
Keep up with B-Better, Self expression through Hip Hop:
See what Funktrap have up their sleeves next:

Speech Debelle booed off stage - her response and the other side of the story

Edited on 29/11/09 - latest story development is at the bottom.
Speech Debelle was booed off stage by Take That fans at a charity gig on Wednesday night for their new SingStar kareoke game.

I thought I'd do a little Googling to get behind the story.

Here's the story and how it's developed:

Speech Debelle Booed off stage news story breaks - it's from the BBC - it must be true!

It quotes:
Debelle chose to rap her way through the 1993 hit single Pray, leading to boos from some of the 500-strong crowd.
A bit more research brought up NME's version of the story, who at least aren't scared to use swear words in their reports:
This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize winner was jeered off stage during the London launch of the group's new 'SingStar' game.
"I'm a rapper. I don't do Take Shit," Debelle said to the crowd after they began booing.
Uh oh.
In both reports, both say that James Corden (of Gavin and Stacey) told her that anyone can rap.

From NME:
Her reaction then prompted the host, actor and comedian James Corden, to respond by saying, "That was shit, anyone can rap", before the Gavin And Stacey star launched into his own rap.
Today, or yesterday, depending on the gap between filming and uploading the video, Speech Debelle responded on a video blog:

In her response, Speech retold her side of the story:
"Something happened. I'm not really used to saying that, but I am a little bit to blame," the video starts.

"I think Gary Barlow is one of the greatest songwriters of all time," said Speech. "Now let me give you the story."

Speech admitted she had a few bottles of wine before the event, which she blames for her response to Corden, leading to being booed. Instead of saying "I don't take/do your shit stuff!" to Corden's comments, the words came out as "I don't do take shit stuff!"
The slip of the tongue occurred after she rapped the song rather than singing it.
"I'm not a singer, I'm a rapper, I'm having fun with it," she said. "Liqueur, anger, mixed together makes the wrong things come out. Be careful when you drink alcohol."

Speech continued to recall she had met Corden before in a dressing room before a show and gave him advice before facing an audience at Brixton Academy and expects an apology from him.

The video of the fiasco has appeared on YouTube.

Update: 29/11/09 - Let's forget about it!:
There's a possible happy ending to this blog I've changed several times. Today Speech offered a further apology after seeing the video (above) of the incident and filmed a second apology:

Halfway things got distracted when Pete Doherty walked past and Speech et al and Pete ended up jamming to Hit The Road Jack before kicking a freestyle.
Halfway through the freestyle Speech said: "I'm not allowed sing."

What do you think? We now know Speech slipped up, but was Corden really cool making the audience take sides? Maybe you're a bitter Take That fan? What about the latest Speech Debelle video of the Pete Doherty jam? Feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

DJ IQ's Birthday Bash


Thinking of going? Check out the Facebook event page and mark yourself as attending!

When: Wednesday, 02 December 2009, 7PM - 12PM
Where: Market Place, London W1W 8AH, nearest tube: Oxford Circus


Mr. Thing
Alex Nut
Josey Rebelle

Monday, 23 November 2009

Delicious Vinyl DJ iPhone Game released - scratch up Young MC, Pharcyde, Tone Loc, Eminem

Forget DJ Hero, the golden age of hip hop belongs in your pocket in the form of Delicious Vinyl DJ (DVDJ) for your iPhone and iTouch for $2.99 - click here.

View the trailer...

Rather than the Hero games on your home console, there's no virtual audience to boo you if you're no good - the closest to that happening is rocking a house party with your iPod connected to an amplifier.

It's still a rhythm game, but the difference with DVDJ is if you miss out scratches, your set doesn't sound as fresh.

You have to match multi-coloured notes as they scroll from top to bottom of the screen and trigger scratches on two turntables with a thumb twist or tap a button on the mixer in time with the music to score points. Craft the perfect beat and set a new high score. Just like a real DJ, increased accuracy determines how fresh and tight the mix will sound and gets you more points.

The custom scratches were done by DJ M. Walk, who's scratches were featured on Tone Loc's Wild Thing, which is also featured in the game

Even the menus look on point:

To see DVDJ in action, play the video below:

No doubt I'm excited just watching the video, I only wish I had an iPod to play it on! This is the coolest thing since I heard Young MC's album (whose songs also feature in the game).
Soon as I can get my hands on one I'm looking to do a review and possibly not returning the iPod to its original owner!

Song list:
Young MC - Bust A Move
Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina
Tone Loc - Wild Thing (Peaches RMX)
The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By
Masta Ace - Born To Roll
Mr. Vegas (feat. Pitbull & Lil'Jon) - Pull Up (Club Mix)
Fatlip - What's Up Fatlip? (Breakbot RMX)
Masta Ace - Slaughtahouse (Eminem RMX)
Frank Nitt (feat. DJ Quik & J. Black) - L.O.V.E.
Bobby Evans - Freak-A-Zoid Robotz

Downloaded it? What do you think? You can comment below!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Lilou is Red Bull BC One 2009 winner

Just to clarify, I wasn't there. Shamefully, the only action I saw of the event was from a Twitter ticker! Journalism isn't glamorous! Enjoy your news story.

For more hip hop dance news, visit the main site at

Edit: Now with video footage, see below before it's removed from YouTube.

Pics are from Cros 1's Twitter, follow @IamCROS1 for more of his tweets.

New York City, with its heritage of hip hop, was the place where further hip hop history was made, because last night (UK time) Lilou became the holder of the Red Bull BC One champions belt.

This is the second time Lilou has taken the belt since he won the competition in 2005, having returned in following years to attempt to win the title back.

In the quarter finals, Cloud (US) defeated Neguin (Brazil) and Lilou (France/Algeria) battled Morris (US), the solo champion at the UK B-Boy Championships for a place in the final.

Red Bull's Twitter described it as "the battle of the characters," and in a matter of minutes, what felt like eternal internet hours, the winner emerged as Lilou, 3 votes to 2.

Within minutes there were tweets from people at the event spreading the news, and even Red Bull BC One's Wikipedia page was updated seconds after it was announced.

What remains to be seen is whether the new BC One Champions belt, specially redesigned for 2009, will be returned. As documented in the film Turn It Loose, Lilou has become notorious for not returning his winner's belt, and an educated guess says he won't this time either.

Official Red Bull BC One highlights

The final: Lilou vs Cloud For more BC One amateur mobile phone video action, visit itzbryz's channel.

Red Bull Blacks Out
Tickets for BC One sold out weeks before the event, meaning only a lucky few were able to see it in person. Those that couldn't turned to Twitter to be updated, but a problem with Red Bull's BC One account meant there was an information blackout during the quarter finals, prompting them to re-register another account while their followers waited or followed others at the event. After Lilou was announced as the winner, Red Bull's tweeter apologised for the delays.

Props to Cros1 and BreakerNYC for updating their Twitters so this report was possible!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Win tickets to Kyza's concert TOMORROW NIGHT! (14th) - double your chances with Twitter!

How does winning a pair of tickets to see Kyza at Rhythm Factory sound?
It sounds pretty good to me! With DJ MK (Roots Manuva's DJ) and MTV's own Sarah Love, plus more (click the flyer above to view it full screen) it's going to be a good night for UK hip hop.

Check out Kyza's freestyle on Tim Westwood's show:

So what do you have to do to win these tickets?
Drop an email to with "Kyza" in the subject line, and drop your contact number, and Twitter username if you're on Twitter so we can notify the winner - no contact number, no entry! You have until Friday midnight.

Double you chances of winning with Twitter!
Use the same tracking link - - and we'll track whoever retweets it and double your entry in to the competition. So get retweeting and double your chances of winning! You must include your Twitter username in your entry email or we can't see who is who!

Notice: Only the winner will be notified if they have won a pair (x2) guestlist places, which you can claim on the door. Unsuccessful entrants will be contacted later in the week asking if they would like to be part of our mailing list (and thus be entered for other prize draws), otherwise your details will be removed from our database. For obvious reasons, UK entrants only!

Good luck!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sesame Street is oldschool at 40!

Sesame Street is 40! 
They say life begins at 40, but there's two things wrong with that:
  1. I'm not 40.
  2. I haven't seen Sesame Street on terrestrial TV in year.

Either way, I won't be ashamed that I, as well as scores of others reading this, also used to watch it too.

With a little bit of YouTubing to see what's up with yeeears of Sesame Street I came up with this golden oldie sure to make any oldschooler smile - Mr Wiggles featured in one of their sketches.

I wish more people did this rather than huff about the bus being late...

In case you haven't had a chance to read our article, we spent a week in Mr Wiggle's presence for Breakin' Convention's Pioneers week - read The Mr Wiggle's Pioneers Workshop at Sadler's Wells.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Street Dance 3D movie trailer *updated* with original Street Dance 3D trailer and Flawless version!

The trailer for Street Dance the movie has been released on to the internet (and promptly jacked by others to put it on their YouTube!). 56 seconds of teaser footage show the stars of the film in brief flashes of routines with only a subtle hint to the storyline.

Here's the blurb:
After a group of urban dancers find themselves without rehearsal space in the run-up to a top competition, they are forced to work with Royal Ballet dancers in exchange for studio time.
Artistic temperaments run high as the two worlds collide.
Update: Here's the Flawless trailer (at the end of the video):

What are people's impressions of this? Diversity, Flawless and George Sampson stealing the limelight from the ballet dancers? Too cheesey and commercial (look at how it flashes "eye popping" when there's a popper in the shot!)? Too... American?

I personally think it looks like it was filmed very much in the style of Step Up: same camera tint (?), typical glamorous lead characters, and hinting at a lot of routine scenes / training in the pouring rain.

Updated: You can read our review of Street Dance 3D here!

Any comments from anyone that was an extra in the film?
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