Categorized | Entertainment

‘Ride the Breaks’ festival showcases positive hip hop culture

(Photo courtesy of Donkey Mill Art Center)


The Ride the Breaks Festival is a 4-day long event that includes all the elements of Hip Hop; breaking (breakdancing), graffiti writing, deejaying and emceeing.

Through performances, competitions, live painting, lectures, demonstrations, and workshops, RTB hopes to present all the elements of Hip Hop in various contexts to include various organizations and groups, to appeal to a larger community, and involve artists at all ages and stages of their career.

RTB also brings world renowned dancers and artists from throughout Hawaii, the mainland, and around the world to create a forum for cultural exchange through direct community outreach at a variety of locations.

The festival aims to empower young people to know the possibilities of art and connect with a larger community of artists as well as promote positive Hip Hop culture to the entire community.

The festival kicks off with a lecture at the Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa given by legendary aerosol artist CRAYONE. He will discuss his 25+ year career as a graffiti artist, muralist, graphic and web designer as well as show and discuss film clips, rare footage and images of his unique career.

This is a rare glimpse into the roots of Hip Hop Culture in the Bay Area, Calif.

The presentation is 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 is free and will be coupled with an Ohana Style Potluck. The presentation will be followed by film screenings of Rollin Sevens, a dance Short by VII GEMS ROCK DIVISION (NYC), Bronx to Berlin, a documentary on an emcee educational collaboration from NY to Germany, and Lava 1&2’s Graff Documentary, about the roots of graffiti art in NYC.

On Friday, Aug. 3, there are dance workshops at KTPS Dance Studio in Kealakekua given by legendary dancer Ken Swift.

Swift is one of the greatest influences the dance of Bboying (otherwise known as Breaking or Breakdancing) has known. Considered “The Epitome of a Bboy,” Bboys and BGirls worldwide have emulated his image and style throughout the years.

He is credited with establishing movements critical to the dances’ foundation with his personal style and techniques and starred in many of the early films (such as Wildstyle, Style Wars, and Beat Street) that brought Hip Hop Culture to the world. He’s been awarded multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards for his preservation and dedication to Bboy culture.

Also in 2010, Swift was acknowledged as an “American Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts and received an American Masterpieces in Dance Award to reconstruct his choreography.

Most recently, Swift was voted the Second Most Influential Dancer of the 20th Century by CNN’s Icon Series, he was the only B.Boy to receive this honor amongst mostly ballet dancers.

“The classes are important because it shows the fundamental approach of what breaking is,” Swift said, “to a lot of people around the world they see this dance on television it’s only on it’s most extreme, complex level while the basic approach to the dance and the basic essence the dance is missing. The whole premise behind these workshops is to share the vibe of having fun with music and an exploration of different things you can do with your body.”

Swift will be teaching classes at KTPS along with other guest teachers Jessica “Jdub” Wolf from San Francisco and Lila Metzger, founder or Kauai UnderGroundArtists.

For the more experienced dancers and those of us that like to watch there is a BBOY/BGIRL BATTLE hosted by Florox Sessions at Hale Halawai on Alii Drive from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4.

There will be a 2 VS. 2 — Big Kid & Keiki Battle (one person over 13 and one under) and a 3 VS. 3 — All Ages Battle both judged by Ken Swift and other guest judges with prizes from local businesses. DJ KID SKRAAM all the way from Malmo, Sweden will be providing the music for the battle.

There will also be a DJ Showcase that features local Big Island DJ’s THE REP, GENSS and, even a 14 year old local girl with amazing scratch abilities, DJ LBOOGIE.

There will also be a MC Showcase brought to you by Big Shotz Productions with Tonic Shotz. and live performances from Lady Osofly(NYC), Sleepwalkers(Big Island), & Heroes4Higher(Big Island).

Later that night there will be a “PUT YO MONEY WHERE YO MOUTH IS” MC & Double Elimination DJ Battle hosted by Tonic SHotz @ ROCKSTARZ featuring eight local MC’S and 12 DJ’s along with Live Performances by local acts. Doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m.

And as if that didn’t promise to be a fun filled weekend, Sunday Aug. 5 the festival comes back to the Donkey Mill Art Center for the RIDE THE BREAKS BBQ and Graffiti Writing Live Art Exhibition from 3-8 p.m.

The BBQ will have many DJ’s including DJ MIKE EYE (Big Island) & DJ KID SKRAAM form Sweden brought to you by Fyah Redbeard and LAVAGROUNDSOUND, a lively dance floor, live painting by various artists, a community mural that you, too, can participate in, as well as Blackbook sessions where artists draw in sketchbooks.

There will also be live performances and DJ’s playing breakbeats and classics all evening.

Guest Artists from Hawaii, California, Sweden and New York City will be painting live including the world renowned CRAYONE from San Francisco, Ken Swift (NYC), Jeremiah “KRUSH” Nathan (BIG ISLAND), SUCH (NYC), KID SKRAAM(Sweden), Gerald Lucena (BIG ISLAND), Yarrow “Osofly” Lutz (NYC), QUEST (OAHU) and other artists TBA.

Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a Blackbook Session as well as see artists paint large scale aerosol murals.

Put on your dancing shoes as DJ’s spin some tunes, paint a community mural, and bring a little something for a potluck BBQ as we close out the 4th Annual Ride the Breaks Festival at the Donkey Mill Art Center.

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