UM’s Hip-Hop Club’s Elements Spring Breakdown debuts this weekend with live performances, MC battles, guest speakers and a music video shoot.
Kevin Sharpley, a senior film major at UM, is shooting the video for a song about the Miami Hurricane Football Team. It features The Iconz, Lazy Bone of Bone Thugs N Harmony, former UM football player Nate Brooks, and senior football players Najeh Davenport and Daryl Jones.
The free two-day event begins todayat the UC and is open to the public.
“This is a going to be a great event, even if you’re not in college,” said Lenny Kagan, co-founder of the Hip-Hop Club, which began in 1999.
Kagan, a rapper who graduated from UM in 2000, is overseeing the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. with an open floor for break dancing in the Breezeway of the UC patio. There will be an open mike for freestyle poetry and spoken word.
At 8 p.m. at the Storm Surge CafE, a panel of guest speakers, including Mark Kemp, Eminem’s former manager, will discuss current issues about hip-hop, ranging from the images seen on music videos to how to break into the music business, said Adam Delanoy, president of the Hip-Hop Club.
The event is paid for with special events funds provided by the school.
“I’m definitely excited,” said Delanoy. “This is the first time that something like this has happened at UM, and it makes it better that the school is behind us.”
Chaos, a local dance group, is performing at the concert and Hurricane Productions is helping with a lot of the technical aspects, said Kagan.
Other guests include Afu Ra, a well-known underground MC out of New York; and his DJ, G. Brown, who is a UM alumnus.
Other Miamians participating in the event include: DJ Epps, who spins at a number of local clubs; LA Smooth, host of Video Mix; and DJ EFN.
“A lot of these people are coming out for the love of hip-hop,” Kagan said.
Hip-hop, a mix of rap music and rhythm & blues, offers social and political commentary mixed with beats, entertainment, and fashion.
One of the highlights for today is the first round of the MC battle-an on-the-spot contest where a DJ will play a song or beat and a rapper will give a freestyle performance.
On Saturday “The Breakdown” continues at 1:30 p.m. with more battles hosted by Speedy Legs, a nationally known break-dancer.
The Ground Zero Crew, one of the top break dancing crews in Miami, will perform live and assist in judging.
The break-dancing includes B-Boy 1-on-1, where one person competes against another; Crew, where a team of break-dancers, or b-boys, compete against another team; Poppin’ & Lockin’, a more specialized form of break-dancing that mirrors robotic-type movements; and Head Spin, which speaks for itself.
Also on Saturday: the second round of the MC battle and the DJ battle, where DJs will face-off at their turntables mixing sounds.
The day also features a Black Book Art Show for graffiti writers to showcase their works.
All the winners receive a ticket to the Beyond Superfest 2002 Festival.
The winner of the MC contest will participate in the festival’s MC contest, hosted by Ice-T.
Afterwards, the Elements Spring Breakdown concert will be held on the UC Patio with performances by Afu Ra, White Russian, Il-Literate, Dark Skinned Marksman, The Chaos Dancers, and others.
Saturday will also feature booths like Urban America, an urban culture monthly newspaper that provides onsite voter registration.
Heather Lancen, assistant director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs, brought the idea for the event to the Hip-Hop Club after seeing a similar performance at UF.
“They had graffiti and the poppin’ and lockin,'” Lancen said. “It brought a different culture and crowd, it was great.”