A massive weekend for Sydney Hip Hop has just concluded and I was thrilled to once again play a roll in its success. Starting from humble roots, Destructive Steps has become the biggest Hip Hop dance event in Sydney in recent years - and this year marked its tenth anniversary. I've been fortunate enough to be involved with the last three years.
This year the dancers were in fine form attracting a mixed crowd of all ages and entrants from all over the world. Big shout outs to my good DJ friends Benny Hinn, Adverse, Naiki, Nick Toth, and Singapore's DJ Bolo. We all spent considerable time on the turntables throughout the three day event. As a DJ, these events hold a special place in my heart. Where else can a DJ string together a set of classic funk breakbeats, cut them up with double copies and watch people spin on their backs!
These events always require much musical preparation before hand: selecting the right kinds of break-beats, marking up the cue-points and arranging the breaks in some kind of cohesive order. A special mention must go out to Jo One for his long service orchestrating the event. This year sadly marks his departure as he moves on to new projects. His speech on the day was heartfelt and emotional, bringing a tear to the eye of many in the room. His comments on growing up with mixed heritage and how Hip Hop allowed him to be accepted for his true inner identity resonated with many in the room.
Later on that evening we all headed around the block to the 2018 NSW DMC heats. Benny Hinn, Cool Hand Luke, Total Eclipse and myself were on the musical duties throughout the night - Providing a sound bed around this years entrants who all did terrific sets. I'm glad my battling days are over, as the level of skill required to compete in the DMCs now days is ridiculously high. It's a real credit to the deejays who practice all year to deliver truly mind bending routines packed into six minutes.
Congratulations to DMC veteran COST for once again taking out the NSW crown - But special mentions must go to DJs Squat, Beats J, and Zah for their incredible routines. I'm so proud of everyone who had the guts to get up and do their thing. I know first hand how incredibly hard competing is. My own attempts in the DMC's over the years have been some of the most nerve racking DJ sets of my career - so I can totally empathise with all who give it a shot but don't take out the top position despite all the hard work and dedication they put in all year.
So big ups Sydney. You guys certainly came through and made this weekend a memorable one. It's amazing that considering how long we have all been doing this thing, the local Hip Hop scene is still active and thriving. No matter what difficulties this sometimes frustrating city can occasionally throw at us - We overcome! The various splinter scenes in Sydney Hip Hop tend to co-exist independent of one another, so it was amazing to see so much crossover over this weekend, and I honestly hope to see more moving forward. We're all in the same gang! Shout out to the hard working organisers of both events: Jo, Alice, Randy and Raine Supreme - Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
Before I end this post, I need to mention the mixtape a few of us put together in anticipation of this weekend. DSX DMC (the mixptape) is a collaborative effort between Benny Hinn, Cool Hand Luke, Adverse, and myself. I told the fellas to create a set of fifteen minutes in length that captures the energy of both events. The result is truly amazing and is a definite well spent hour of your time. Benny Hinn also created this amazing artwork for the project.
Also - A quick shoutout to my buddies Benny Hinn and Adverse whose photography and video I have used in this post.