Stepping ahead with an attitude
When it comes to trying out something different and innovative, Bangaloreans are the first to step forward. Not surprisingly, at ‘Freeze 2012’, a hip-hop festival which recently took place at St John’s Amphitheatre, a lot of hidden talents in the fields of beatboxing, emceeing and Bboying came to the fore.
The event started off with local artists displaying their graffiti work, which was well-appreciated by the audience. There were a series of short workshops conducted by international artistes like Bboy Thesis (USA), Bboy Parrish (Germany), DJ BlesOne (USA), Beatboxer Julius Mitchell (Sri Lanka) and Emcee Sreesen (Bangladesh), where they showcased their talent and gave tips on stage skills and improving one’s act. They were also the judges for the various competitions held on the day, and gave the participants constructive criticism when needed.
“I like the positive attitude of people here. They are at the beginning of a movement and can do a lot out of it. Bboying is like an approach to yourself, though people use it like an act of rebellion to show that they’re going in a different direction. In India, people are friendly with each other, while in other countries, you won’t earn so many open† hearts this easily,” says Bboy Parrish from Germany.
The main event for the day was the intense rap battle, held between eight contestants and won by MC Sujan. Surprisingly, there was no profanity, despite the angry lyrics of some of the performers. There were also a few daring ones, who rapped in Kannada and Hindi, and took the term ‘experimental’ to a whole new level. Beatboxer Vineeth Vincent notes, “We are trying to bring back the roots to connect and motivate the youth and educating them about real world issues through a commercially attractive package.”
Hosted without sponsors, they stayed true to an underground, community-based movement. The prelims for the beatboxing battle were also held on the same day. “I feel I could have done better. But I got a huge round of applause at the end and that made it worth coming down from Madhya Pradesh for this,” shares beatboxer Jaideep.
The day wrapped up with a round of freestyle Bboying by local and international artistes.† “It was a good attempt for youngsters and was well-organised and entertaining. At present, it’s very amateur talent, but it’s a fresh change to see. I missed seeing women participate though!” says Nayanika, who had come to watch the programme.