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MC Jin And B-Boy Crews Deliver Head-Spinning Performances At 2nd McDonald's B-Boy Royale In New York City

By Adrienne Stanley | August 27, 2015 05:53 PM EDT

On August 22, the McDonald's B-Boy Royale was held at the Skirball Center in New York City. In its second year, the McDonald's B-Boy Royale provided a family-friendly perspective on breakdancing, a form of dance that emerged from the streets of New York in the 1970s. Over the years, b-boy culture has been embraced by cultures outside of the United States, gaining strong popularity within Korea and Japan. 

The universality of breakdancing was highlighted through the diversity of the contestants, audience and hosts of the B-Boy Royale. Chinese-American rapper MC Jin (née  Jin Au Yeung) hosted the event along with former MTV VJ, Grace Subervi. 

MC Jin rose to prominence in the early aughts as a freestyle rapper on BET's "106 and Park." His success with rap battles on the show led to a contract with Ruff Ryders. He is recognized as one of the first Asian rappers to break into mainstream American hip-hop. MC Jin followed his work with Ruff Ryders with Cantonese hip-hop releases and promotional activities in Hong Kong. 

Grace Subervi is a Latina TV host, actress and musician who has previously interviewed K-pop groups like Big Bang and B.A.P. She recently hosted the red carpet for KCON LA. 

Proceeds from the evening benefitted Ronald McDonald House of the Tri-State area, a charitable organization that offers respite for sick children. 

The event kicked off at 7:30 p.m. with an opening performance from Pearrie Hammie Crew. Led by Thai native Pearrie Hammie, the multicultural dance group warmed up the crowd with stunning acrobatics and smooth moves. 

The B-Boy Royale consisted of four preliminary rounds and two semi-finals, where eight prominent crews battled for dominance. The teams consisted of Silverback Young Bloods, Team Entree, Titanz, 5 Crew Dynasty, Dynamic Rockers, Lionz of Zion, Beast Coast, and Supreme Beingz.

KpopStarz spoke with Dynamic Rockers' members Kid Glyde, Sweet-Lu and Spidey, prior to the competition.

The leader of the crew, Kid Glyde, is a second-generation breakdancer. Founded in 1979, Dynamic Rockers is a prize-winning group whose members have been participants in international competitions like the Chelles Battle Pro in France and Korea's R-16. 

Kid Glyde discussed the differences between events like the B-Boy Royale and the battles that breakdancers normally compete in.

We're used to dancing within a circle, where he have the energy surrounding us," said the leader of Dynamic Rockers. "We believe that b-boys can adapt to anything. The B-Boy Royale is fun, there is a different energy. When the crowd is going crazy, we can feel it no matter where we are." 

As past participants in R-16, Kid Glyde and Sweet-Lu provided their thoughts on the event, which continues draw attention to b-boy culture in Korea.

"At the time that I went [to Korea], the culture was more supportive of the b-boys," said Sweet-Lu.  I saw a lot of establishments, the government, and tv stations supporting b-boys. There were so many more opportunities for the younger generation to attach themselves to the b-boy scene." 

Kid Glyde added his perspective on R-16 and breakdancing in Korea.

"It is where we would like to be in America," mused Kid Glyde. "There it is like skateboarding. You make a living off of b-boy, whether it is on the stage or at home practicing and making YouTube videos. A lot of b-boys are scared of this happening in [the U.S.] because they think it will take away from the realness or rawness. But I think you can have it both ways." 

His sentiments are expressed in the unique nature of the McDonald's B-Boy Royale, which showcases wholesome elements of street dance. 

Participants were evaluated by three judges from the b-boy community. Yansen, Queen N.V., and Nemesis provided their unique perspectives on each team. 

Yansen, a New York native, is a member of the b-boy crew, X-Fenz. He has been featured in music videos and commercials, over the course of his nine-year career in breakdancing.

Queen N.V. served as a strong role model for aspiring female breakdancers. A Stem Cell Biology Ph.D candidate at Massachutes Institute of Technology (MIT), she adopted the name N.V. to represent No Victory for her opponents. 

Nemesis is a member of one of the most notorious crews of the b-boy revival, Breaks Kru. He is a strong competitor who is currently regarded as one of the leading breakers of New York City.

"You know you have truly advanced as a dancer, when you explore what you can bring to the dance floor," said Nemesis, in response to a question regarding the how he differentiates himself from other b-boys. 

Team Entree battled the Silverback Young Bloods, one of the youngest teams in the competition, in the first round. Team Entree entered the next round with votes from Yansen and Queen N.V.

Titan and 5 Crew Dynasty, who were champions at Rock Steady, were the next crews to take the stage. After a fierce showdown, 5 Crew Dynasty was chosen to advance to the semi-finals. 

The Queens-based crew Dynamic Rockers and Lionz of Zion had one of the strongest battles of the B-Boy Royale. After their first battle, the crews had another face-off where the Dynamic Rockers emerged as the victors. 

Beast Coast and Supreme Beingz were the last crews to compete within the preliminary round. Beast Coast beat out Supreme Beingz to advance to the first semi-final round. 

The evening included an emcee battle, where rappers Osyris Antham, Henny Mack, Will Perez and Jadon Woodard engaged in a fierce freestyle competition. Osyris Antham conquered the other contestants with a combination of killer rhymes and biting commentary. 

The emcee battle was followed by a brief intermission which segued into an all-style dance competition which featured participants from the audience. 12-year-old New Jersey native Kai wowed the crowd with his aerial acrobatics and musicality. 

Legendary breakdancer Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon was the recipient of the Ronald McDonald House Charities McDonald's B-Boy Royale Lifetime Achievement Award. Colon was recognized for his charitable efforts and contributions to b-boy culture, which includes his role as the inventor of the classic move, the windmill. 

"Thank you for letting me use hip-hop as a tool to help children stay in school," said Colon.  "I remember Nemesis, Dynamic Rockers and other members of the next generation of b-boy."

Another semi-final round was held, which resulted in the advancement of Beast Coast and Dynamic Rockers to the final battle. Beast Coast emerged victorious, after a member of Dynamic Rockers was injured during the competition.

The action-packed evening was capped off by a thrilling performance from MC Jin, who engaged with the audience.  His four-song stage proved that he is still one of the strongest freestyle emcees. MC Jin was an excellent selection as a hip-hop performer to follow Dumbfoundead, who hosted the B-Boy Royale in 2014.

In an upcoming KpopStarz interview, MC Jin shares his thoughts on the evolution of Asian hip-hop and Korea's "Show Me the Money." 

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramaStars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

Tagged :  Mc Jin, Grace Subervi, McDonald's B-Boy Royale, Dynamic Rockers, Beast Coast

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