MegaDap is back, bringing you more San Diego flavor than a late-night pit stop at Roberto's. As CityBeat's log of all that is fly, fresh, bangin' or just plain dope in local hip-hop culture, we wear holes in our Adidas tracking down your area representatives of the Hip-Hop Nation.
For this installment, I polished my kicks and headed downtown to The Armory Hip-Hop Store to speak with owner and event promoter Chris Wright (aka Cros1) and breakdancer Dennis Shea (aka Manson).
Manson is part of San Diego's Rhythm Bugz, a crew of six breakers internationally known for winning several national-level battles. Both Cros1 and Manson have organized the North County vs. South County break dancing battle called "The Bug Out," set to go down on June 5.
Inside The Armory-located at 630 9th Ave. downtown-graffiti covers the walls like urban camouflage and the shelves are loaded with rare hip-hop records, mix tapes from local DJs and breakdancing videos. Local hip-hop mercenaries like DJs Steven Flex, Unique and rapper King D provide battle-hardened knowledge to all would-be hip-hop soldiers.
I met up with Cros1 and Manson to talk "Bug Out" in what seems The Armory's war room, a back office loaded with computers, flyers, DVDs and CDs ready to ship to an army of hip-hop heads worldwide.
"It's called "The Bug Out' because we're going to have dope DJs and dope music for people to bug out to," Cros1 explains. "And the North County vs. South County thing is just something that a lot if people talk about. It's not a big rivalry-it's just something that a lot of people say would be cool to see. "
Originally, Cros1 and Manson handpicked 10 breakers to represent the North and the South, but so many kids wanted to participate, they decided to open it up to all comers. Preliminary battles to determine the crews were held in Oceanside (North County) and Chula Vista (South County).
"I'm not going to say the 10 cats who won are really the best, because [break-dancing] is just like football, on any given Sunday... on that day you have to be the best," he says.
The battle's not just for b-boys-b-girls throw down, too, with two females beating out males for the South County crew.
In you case you missed the old breaking movies like Beat Street, or you slept through hip-hop documentaries like Wildstyle, Cros1 explains what to expect from a break-dancing battle.
"B-boying [or breaking] is just dancing in the circle," he says. "It's 10 on one side and 10 on the other. All the people that we pick are basically a crew. Whoever [wants to], goes into the circle, whenever. If somebody from the other side goes in with super-fast windmills, and you're from the other crew and you have [someone with] fast windmills, well, that's your guy, and you go in next."
"We just let it go, free-flow," Manson adds. "There's no set number of turns. We don't want to take away the spontaneous-ness of it."
Cros1 points out that even if people aren't interested in the North County vs. South Country aspect, there will be a lot of famous breakers there, bugging out along with the locals. But, really, what's most important is the sense of community that comes from these events.
"Hopefully people will come down and see why we do this-the pureness of it," he says. "You'll see a lot of people all getting down, having fun. You'll see little kids there, you'll see all ethnicities under one roof. Everybody there will be peace, you know what I mean?"
The Rhythm Bugz and Armory Hip-Hip Store present "Bug Out" at Culture Shock Dance Center (2110 Hancock St. in Old Town), 7 p.m. on June 5. $10. 619-299-2110.
Open mic and open tables every Wednesday night at House of Rep at Recognize. 619-284-8802.
The Cypher features an open mic, open floor, plus performances from Ellis Bancroft & The Gabe with DJ Kechup, L.A.'s Kool Mix Champ and S.D.'s own DJ Virus at the Hot Monkey Love Café on June 4. 619-582-5908.
BustaGroove 2004 features performances by Culture Shock, Future Shock and $1,000-cash prize competition between local hip-hop dance troupes Kaba, DVS, Formality, 220, Team Millenia and more at Escondido Center for the Arts on June 6. 800-988-4253.
The Get Down features breaking, popping and MC battles for cash prizes at The Epicentre on June 12. 858-271-4000.
ReUp Magazine, San Diego's hip-hop and downtempo publication, celebrates its fourth issue with a release party featuring Bigga Bush, The Parallel Mechanics, and DJ Unite at the Pirate's Den on June 10. 619-574-6833.
Hey, turntablists-CSL is taking signups for the San Diego DMC Championship, June 20. The winner reps S.D. in the U.S. Finals on Aug. 7. 858-277-8188. ©