By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
In the native tongue of hip-hop heads, the notion of the Four Elements is as familiar as the boom-bap of an 808 drum machine. Allow us this quick primer for those who may be less familiar. Hip-hop culture is composed of four distinct disciplines, or elements, that together make up a rich and diverse culture: Breakdancers (b-boys), DJs, emcees and graffiti artists, and they created a foundation that's held generations of heads afloat since the inception of the genre in 1970s New York City.
These are not only immutable but a source of pride for all practitioners of the art. These elements have galvanized communities and, perhaps more than any other type of music, provided an outlet for the underprivileged. "Hip-hop changed my life" is a chorus heard by anybody close to the movement. It empowers those who live it, those who are told by outsiders that what they do isn't art or isn't worthwhile.
Brought to you by local skateboard shop/record store/street supply depot Rec Shop and hip-hop promotion/multimedia company Poor Vida, The Elements of Hip-Hop celebrates its third year at the Green Elephant. The all-day event is our local underground's answer to the summer festival game and is one of the most ambitious and unique affairs Dallas has to offer. The extravaganza will feature two stages with more than 40 live hip-hop performances (Awkquarius, Playdough, the Mohicans, Brain Gang and DFW Cypher are but a few of the acts), a few live bands, b-boy and b-girl battles, turntable showcases and live graffiti art.
Elements of Hip-Hop 2012
Saturday, July 7, at the Green Elephant. Visit poorvida.com for more.
"One of the things we wanted to emphasize is that this is educational," says Poor Vida's Donny Benavidez, who stresses that one of the goals of Elements is to illuminate the local hip-hop community.
"A big knock on local hip-hop is that people don't work together and that it's hard to build, but we are proof," says fellow Poor Vida promoter Joel Salazar. "We are doing it."
And the event's momentum in its third year is further proof. To go from not being able to pay artists in the first year to pulling major sponsors such as Red Bull and Vitamin Water shows Rec Shop and Poor Vida are getting the attention of some heavy hitters. Houston even spawned an Elements clone, the FlyFest, which took place in May.
While unity is a guiding principle of the festival, one should not forget that each of the elements is highly competitive. A medal will be awarded for each of the four elements, with the prize going to the day's top performer in each discipline. And they're doing a little something special for the b-boys: The winner of that element will also get a trophy, which will be engraved with their name and the year, Stanley Cup-style. Expect some heavy competition for that one.
"We've got a lot of love for Dallas," Salazar says. The sentiment was echoed by Rec Shop's Islam Sesalem: "We want to be able to give everyone a platform, provide a different point of view from the usual stuff you'd find in Dallas."
Every year it gets bigger and better. I cannot wait to see what the Poor Vida crew has in store this year. Hip Hop is alive and well in Dallas TX and glad to see it is getting the respect its been grinding to deserve day in and day out over the last 5 years. Thank you Nic and the Observer this years show should be bigger than ever
Shouts go out to Poor Vida & Rec Shop for including us! Thanks so much for the mention Nic/Dallas Observer!
Much Respect to Poor Vida & Rec Shop... Thanx for all the hard work you guys are doin to put the D F DuB on the scene.. Educating and keeping Real Hip-Hop alive.. And to the Observer for recognizing the talent that we have here.. Cause there is Sooo Much!! Peace and Love yall.. -LaCe
Biggest Annual Hip-Hop festival in the DFW!! Cant Wait To Rock The Stage and Watch The Elements Band Together!! The Scene in Dallas is Alive and Well. Thank You To the Dallas Observer for Starting to Shed Light on The Truth!! Without the SUpport of the Media and Community, We Cannot Reach Our FUll Potential. True Art Lives Hear. Conscious Music, Talented Dancers, Visionary Artist's Gracing the Walls of Downtown with Amazing Peices of Paint and Graff! A True Thriving Culture Exist's Here, Waiting for the Rest of the Metroplex To See, Hear and Become a Part!!
Big up's to Joel, Islam, Donny, Ben & everyone at Poor Vida & Rec Shop for putting this event together & keeping the movement strong! Props to the Observer for shining a bright light on the Dallas hip hop community. Won!