To close out the 2013 calendar year, Philadelphia celebrated three of its local bboys as they journey onward in their adult lives. The “Going Away Jam” was created to honor bboys Juan, Knuckles, and Lem as they embark to the United States Army. Each individual has provided major contributions to the scene, such as representing Philadelphia at the North American Red Bull BC One Championships, organizing staple events for Philadelphia and its surrounding scenes, and mentoring the younger generations of bboys and bgirls in the region. It was great to see these three off in an environment where they thrive most, the biggest bboy jam to hit Philadelphia in 2013!
Sponsored by Silverback Bboy Events and sanctioned by the Pro Breaking Tour (www.UDEFtour.org), the “Going Away Jam” offered a prize pool energizing the breaking community. The intentions were to elevate the quality of the event and fashion an environment paying tribute to the three honorees. The bboy community certainly responded with powerhouse names such as Kamel (Boogie Brats), El Nino (Floor Lordz), Gravity (5 Crew Dynasty), Ynot (Rock Steady Crew), and Fenix (Joyeux Loufoux), among many others coming out to catch wreck in the competition and cyphers. There were legends, past and present, in the building and all recognized they were a part of something very special. The air in the room was electric and that energy lit up the cyphers with excitement.
Recap by Ewok Nation – Edited by Mantiis (Repstyles Crew)
With such high stakes, every dancer brought their “A” game. Preliminary throw downs from competitors Toyz (Lionz of Zion), Pete Nasty (Repstyles), and Kid Glyde (Dynamic Rockers) established they had their eyes set on glory. The energy created a lasting vibe as the competition progressed with first round knockouts shocking the audience. In the first battle of the “Top 32,” Bgirl Macca (360 Flava) took out Bboy El Nino (Floor Lordz)! It was a great exchange but Macca’s flava prevailed in the eyes of the judges. This battle set the bar for what would ensue throughout the rest of the brackets.
The turnout was far beyond anyone’s expectations, with 100 competitors from the U.S., Europe, and Asia seeking a piece of the $7,080 prize pool. Everyone who qualified for the “Top 32” in the 1-vs.-1 battle received prize money! Even the four “bubble” competitors and ten best cypher dancers walked away with winnings. Over forty bboys and bgirls earned prize money, with the champion receiving $1,050 in cash and an $850 Movado Bold luxury watch.
The competition narrowed to its final two competitors, Bboy Gravity (5 Crew Dynasty) and Bboy Atlas (True Aggressions). It was a matchup between one of the most recognized bboys worldwide and a long-time veteran with eyes on an upset. The competitors went back and forth for three rounds, with each building in intensity. The judges made decisions after every exchange, with Atlas and Gravity even past the first round. Atlas then took a slight lead through their second exchange bringing the entire room to their feet. The anticipation grew as Gravity came out hard for his final throw down. Atlas responded with an immense burst of energy and a sequence of moves no one had seen from him before! His efforts proved victorious as the judges named Bboy Atlas the champion of the “Going Away Jam.”
The energy throughout the entire event was unprecedented. The community unified under one roof and showered Juan, Knuckles, and Lem with all their respects and thanks. The event was a huge success for a multitude of reasons, most importantly it paying homage to our own. The “Going Away Jam” set the tone for what will follow throughout 2014, and everyone who attended knows it is time to hit the lab. With the $250,000 Pro Breaking Tour on the horizon, they understand 2014 presents a big step for the community where the bboys and bgirls can create hiphop history!
Recap by Clutchvision