The Austin Chronicle

Phases and Stages


Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, January 20, 2006, Music

B-Boy City 12

With hip-hop now catering to the "same old two-step" instead of truly creative dance moves, Romeo Navarro's B-Boy City events are nothing short of a godsend. A dozen summits into its eight-year existence, this Austin-based phenomenon and its documentation couldn't get any more up close and personal. Taking viewers right into the cipher as dancers battle their way to respect and notoriety, B-Boy City 12 captures every up-rock, windmill, and head-spin in a state of constant flux. Warming up with the Young City, Poppin', and Mickey & Mallory competitions, the most heated standoffs come in the form of the one-on-one and crew-vs.-crew pairings. With DJs including Baby G, Element, and Bles One providing uptempo break beats and rap classics, Marlon's energetic precision overtakes Paranoid Android in the individual climax. As club time runs out on the final match between Havikoro and Masterz of Mayhem, police sirens accent the crowd's clapped beat as the two squads settle things on the sidewalk in front of Paradox. Then there's South Austin's Zeale 32 securing the MC battle for himself and his sidekick Ray-C by referring to their opponents as "a brokeass Mario and a brokeass Luigi." B-Boy City preserves the rhythmic intent of hip-hop apart from the hiccups of commercialism and race politics, and in this particular forum, it's skill that makes one stand out from the suckas.

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