On Saturday, the third day of the celebration, a free outdoor concert held at Manhattan’s Pier 54 drew the anniversary’s largest single crowd. Throngs of heads flocked to the pier to enjoy the sounds of heavyhitters like Dilated Peoples and DJ Babu, The Beatnuts featuring Tony Touch, C-Rayz Walz, and the Arsonists. Old school legends like Busy Bee, GrandWizzard Theodore, along with GrandMaster Caz, Rahiem, and Reggie Reg (all three representing super group The Rat Pack) wrecked the stage, showing young heads the right way to rock. Newcleus also performed, blessing the crowd with a rare performance of “Jam on It” while Skillz dropped the exclusive version of “Ghost Writer” (he called out the names!).
The ITF Western Hemisphere Category DJ Finals were held on Sunday, along with a concert featuring MOP, Black Moon, Gang Starr, Just Ice and Japan’s Kick the Can. Merge of Fader Ballistics took the ITF crown, and will be flown to the ITF World Finals later this year. One of the many highlights of the concert was MOP’s performance, during which Evil D ran from behind the tables to the front of the stage and bellyflopped into the frenzied crowd. Hip-hop stage diving at it’s finest! The room went bananas, a spirit that continued throughout the anniversary’s grand finale, a superbly choreographed performance by the Rock Steady Crew.
Members from all over the world came to get down. Rarely do so many members get to perform together, and during the course of several partner/group routines and solos by the crew, icons like RSC president Crazy Legs, RSC founder Joe-Joe, and popping legend Suga Pop of the Electric Boogalaoos (and recently of Rock Steady) performed, giving spectators a dose of living b-boy history. Crazy Legs also announced his retirement during the show, which only underscored the historical importance if this event.
Being twenty-five years strong is a milestone, especially in hip-hop, and for any serious lover of hip-hop culture, the Rock Steady Crew’s 25th anniversary was not to be missed. But if you did, good thing there’s next year.
Check out www.rocksteadycrew.com for more info on the crew’s ongoing events, and to peep a schedule of classes taught by masters like Crazy Legs and PopMaster Fabel.