Review: Supernaturalz (@Supernaturalz92) 25th Crew Anniversary

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I was in beau­ti­ful Van­couver, Brit­ish Columbia not only for my good friend bboy Puzzles wed­ding, but also for his crew’s —  ‘Super­nat­ur­alz’ 25th Anniversary which doubled up as a pre-wed­ding party the night before. I was really excited to be able to make this as Super­nat­ur­alz (SNC) are an icon­ic crew who sig­na­ture foot­work and thread styles put them on the map for ori­gin­al­ity as world lead­ers in bboy­ing. Foun­ded in 1992, one of Toronto’s old­est act­ive bboy crews, they have been ded­ic­ated to passing down the dance know­ledge to future gen­er­a­tions, 7 gen­er­a­tions in fact. I’ve seen many crews dis­band over time so for a crew to reach 25 years togeth­er and cel­eb­rate still be able to inspire and even smoke young bboys was a very spe­cial occa­sion.

In the spir­it of cel­eb­ra­tion, Dyzee (Lead of SNC) had, ‘called out’ ‘Now or Nev­er’ (NON) Crew   from Van­couver over social media to a cypher battle. In all hon­estly I knew very little about this crew in advance of the call out but they seemed to be well known by my US and Cana­dian friends I could only ima­gine their level was high if SNC were call­ing them out and I knew this was a pivotal event in his­tory, I knew it was an hon­or to be here and a lot of my friends wanted to see this for them­selves but were unable to make it so I was really look­ing for­ward to it. Now or Nev­er crew formed in 1996 ori­gin­ally known as, ‘No Oth­er Name’ but changed their name to sym­bol­ize re-birth to, ‘Now Or Nev­er’ when new bboys emerged in the crew dur­ing 2002. They had also cel­eb­rated their 15 year anniversary a few days ago. Both crews had longev­ity and now it was time to see them battle each oth­er.

I knew SNC mem­bers now lived in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and even scattered across dif­fer­ent con­tin­ents so they rarely all got togeth­er but it was even more rare to now see them all battle togeth­er, so I knew this was going to be a hype party, even more so it was going to be a fam­ily reunion. I was excited and I knew I was very lucky to be here to wit­ness this first hand, there was going to be a live stream but the battle would not be recor­ded and shared online, which made it even more spe­cial. It was also my first time exper­i­en­cing a bboy event in Canada, hav­ing been to sev­er­al in Europe and Asia I was very inter­ested to feel the dif­fer­ence in vibe. It was a bock party with a BBQ, cyphers and a out­door bar area, in the blaz­ing sun­shine, with live graf­fiti. I really liked the feel of this, all the diverse ele­ments of hip hop being there.

There was a cypher as the music got star­ted with DJ Bles One on the decks play­ing the best hip hop, breaks and party jams it was just the right bal­ance of everything, people just wanted to dance and have a good time, there was a really nice vibe, a young child kept get­ting down with the older bboys and then they saw a girl waack­ing on the side and invited her into the cypher, someone even got down with lock­ing, it was refresh­ing for me, any styles wel­come as long as you were hav­ing a good time, it wasn’t just about bboys.

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Then all of a sud­den, Bridge of SNC came out of nowhere, I haven’t seen him since Hip Op Ses­sion France in 2009 but he was as fresh as ever, he threw down in the cypher and poin­ted to mem­bers of NON, people star­ted to make noise and get hyped, Dyzee announced on the mic the battle had begun and it was on!!! Every­one rushed to form a tight packed circle around the two crews, try­ing to get the best spot to see from, it was a really spon­tan­eous moment. Dyz handed the mic over and joined his crew on the battle line. This wasn’t a com­pet­i­tion, there were no judges, it was a straight up raw cypher battle with no time lim­it and it meant everything, it was bboy­ing in it’s purest form. The atmo­sphere was elec­tric.

NON came out strong, they had a lot of style and flava, but then SNC came out equally as strong if not stronger towards the end, there was so much energy in the battle, every­one was giv­ing it 100% it las­ted a total of 55 minutes but it did not feel like that long at all, I wished it could have gone on longer!! It was like an adren­aline rush to watch.

There were invent­ive go downs, sharp freezes, flips and it would break into up rock battles mid way and of course the most mind bog­gling threads and intric­ate foot­work that was super clean! There was just the right level of aggres­sion between the two crews, for com­pet­it­ive­ness but not in a dis­respect­ful way, it was refresh­ing to see.

NON came out strong, with a crew routine, Dyzee and Puzzles replied with their own routine, I remem­ber being with them at Circle Industry in Aus­tria when they won with this same routine in 2012, it was fresh then and it was still fresh now. Nos­tal­gia hit me hard.

As sud­den as it had star­ted it was all over. After the battle it was all love, hugs were exchanged between both crews and Puzzles graced the mic to make the announce­ment to cla­ri­fy SNC only called out NON because they respec­ted them. To me this was what hip hop is all about.

Luck­ily Doy from Stance was in the build­ing film­ing for a trail­er which I can­not wait to see, it was the kind of battle your mind does not fully com­pre­hend on the first watch.

Dyzee gave his speech about the gen­er­a­tions of SNC crew intro­du­cing each mem­ber, he said some heart­felt words about Puzzles, how they had met and how much they had been through togeth­er, you could instantly feel they had been friends for life, one thing that was very appar­ent to me with both of these crews was that they were real friends. Dyzee has a real way with words, I can’t ima­gine any­one else get­ting away with giv­ing a speech at a bboy event, but when he speaks every­one is encom­passed by his words of wis­dom.

The Crew His­tory went a little some­thing like this:

1st Gen­er­a­tion: the “OG” gen­er­a­tion Lego, Stripes, Curtis, Revere, Pace, (Jedi), Arman­do, Taffy, Short­bread

2nd Gen­er­a­tion: the “Hard­core” gen­er­a­tion Smoke, Lil foot, (Megas), Dyzee, SL Con­quest, Amo, (Heist)

3rd Gen­er­a­tion: the “Skillz 2 Kill” gen­er­a­tion Astro, J-Rebel, Mouse, Trig­ger, Mas­ter Killer, Rankle, Statyk, Midas, Tron­der, Knox, Fade

4th Gen­er­a­tion: the “Expan­sion” gen­er­a­tion Jester, Sole, Trx, Tax, A-B-girl, Prob­lem Child, Spike, (Jess­FX)

5th Gen­er­a­tion: the “Break­through” gen­er­a­tion Puzzles, Kaze, Teddy Rock­spin, Leth­al, Antics, Anig­ma, Rubex Cube

6th Gen­er­a­tion: the “Reviv­al” gen­er­a­tion Bridge, Onton, Mike McNasty, Drops, Sonz, Whip­lash , Cherry D

7th Gen­er­a­tion: Mir­acles, Con Rock

The ciphers star­ted again. I saw someone get­ting down in a white Toron­to Maple Leaves hock­ey shirt, I recog­nized that style, it was of course Antics, I hadn’t seen him for a long time either, the last time was in Korea and he was killing the cyphers. As he stepped out I went to say hel­lo, but I could see he was eager to get back to throw­ing down, it was nice to observe such hun­ger and pas­sion to just get down.

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Next up there was a, ‘Go down battle’ to see who had the best get downs, then the rest of the night was about hav­ing fun. There was a great party / fam­ily vibe, many people includ­ing myself had traveled across the globe to be there so we all just wanted to have fun and enjoy each other’s com­pany. I met a lot of very cool people, we spent hours talk­ing about music and cul­ture from DJing to graf­fiti and the his­tory of New York and its influ­ence all the way to Aus­tralia, I really enjoyed myself among real hip hop heads.

A big con­grat­u­la­tions to both NON and SNC for your crew anniversar­ies and to Savio ‘Puzzles’ Suen and Jen­nifer Nguy­en on your wed­ding!

 

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Break­in’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the con­cept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.