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  • ShakaLu - Editor in Chief

The Mystic Artz of Hip Hop

Turntablist Tribe vs. Lyricist Tribe

Today I was fortunate. I and members of my clan were audience to a grand battle of Masters and Grand Masters of various styles of battle from different Breaker clans. To be a witness of a Breaker battle is an honor. To witness this extravaganza of Breaking styles, passed down and cultivated by generations was epic.

During the era of Classic Rootz there was a common fusion of the elements and Artz of Hip Hop. Some couplings were more natural than others. Members of Lyricists Tribes, for instance were nearly synonymous with tribes from the Turntablists Tribes. There are many lost Mystery Artz of Hip Hop that were prevalent and prominent from past eras. There was a time when mastery coupling of MCs from Lyricist Tribes and DJs from Turntablist Tribes meant a Grand Mastering of Hip Hop. The right pairing would allow both MC and DJ to achieve a mastering of the elements and the title of Grand Master. One of the most renowned in the land during the Classic Rootz era was Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. What might be unknown to many novice of the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop is the fact that the alpha of this group of Grand Masters was a member of the Turntablist Tribe, the Grand Master Flash, himself.

Taggers, or what is commonly known as the Graffiti Artists, were much more individualistic, with much of the expressions being created in stealth. Much of this is attributed to laws brought about and staunchly enforced more so during the Rootz era. Scribes took to their craft like ninjas, moving under the cover of the night’s moon and shades. Their canvas was the geography of the lands of New York. A Master Tagger could come across a landscape and within a day have wonderful and expressive art work displayed for all in the land to see. A Grand Master Tagger, though, could grace any landscape with colors and pageantry that would articulate the very voice and essence of the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop. Some Grand Masters to come to mind are Phase 2, Blade, Zephyr and Lady Pink but there were many others.

Like Taggers, the Breakers were a bit more insulated amongst their clans. But, what might have been forgotten along the timeline of the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop is that without the music of the Turntablist some, if not most, Breakers could not reach the pique ability of their skills. A Breaker could actually have his or her skills diminished without the proper music or the wrong Turntablist to orchestrate the music. For a Breaker to reach pique battle ability their Spinner must be fiercely effective at mixing, scratching and blending. It’s almost on par with a super hero having the wrong theme music. Could you image Shaft, diddy bopping down the streets of Harlem putting hands and feet on villains while listening to the Beatles? Music that transcends time and culture but probably is not the most effective when shutting down a drug operation in a hood in the Bronx. Practitioners of the any of the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop are taught early to use our music to amplify our skills. And that was certainly the case of today’s battle. The combatants were Grand Masters but only one would live on past today.

Today's Battle was one for the ages. You see, the uninitiated do not have the ability to witness the magic that is the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop. The Mystics are no exaggeration. It is magic. This magic exists within and for only those who truly embrace the heritage of Hip Hop. Many fight for the title of Grand Master. Few ever truly attain it. The price to keep it could mean your essence itself. Like anything you stand for, you’ll give your life for it.

The Final Battle will be recorded for the ages by we the Scribes. The combatants both started with elementary, defense first moves. B-Boy stances and contortions were more a strategy to identify weaknesses in the stances of their opponents. Eventually one of the combatants struck first. He did this move with his wrist that allowed his hands to glow but then amplified the energy force in his hand by moving it through his chest and into his other hand then shot a lightning bolt from his hand that stunned his opponent. The bolt hit the second combatant and left his track suit singed. But the second combatant was very skilled. A Master of the Breaking Artz of East New York, he absorbed much of the bolt in his chest, and somehow was able to direct that kinetic energy to his own extremities. The power, although not optimum, was still intense. The second combatant did a sought of a sling shot move, compressing the energy that was shot at him and redirecting it, amplified. It was a magnificent move. It struck the first combatant and stumbled him but he recovered.

The first combatant did a sequence of steps with with his feet that made the entire battle ground freeze over and be covered in ice. A chilling move. Anyone caught in that maneuver would have their ankles encapsulated in ice and broken. The second combatant leaped into the air and landed with with his own sequence of steps of his own melting the ice into water and vapor. An excellent counter move. From then on it was move, counter move. Strike, defend, counter strike. The training and dedication to their craft was on full display. These were true Grand Master of the Breaking Artz. The first combatant positioned himself to gather momentum to perform a backspin to create a tornado. The backspin is one of the more classic Breaker battle moves. Only the most skilled and seasoned of Breakers are proficient enough to produce the Battle Winds of the Backspin which are violent gusts of wind which if hit by one could surely cause a concussion in most cases. Someone hit with a strong Battle Wind could easily be disoriented and left vulnerable for annihilation. But only a Grand Master has the skill to use the Backspin to produce a tornado. Legend has it that many generations ago a Grand Master Breaker produced a tornado so strong that it caused the earth’s rotation stall which lead to every song playing at the time to skip a beat. The first combatant built a great momentum and broke into a backspin. The winds began to gather beneath him picking up more momentum. With a booming sound of thunder a tornado roared. A death stroke. Or so you would think. You see, the second combatant was no slouch. Most veteran combatants know that there is only one way to neutralize a tornado; another tornado. The second combatant pivoted once, twice and then a third time. It was a defensive move, a way to assess his adversary’s weakest attack point. He discovered his point of attack and struck. He seamlessly spun into a right footed backspin which is the kind of back spin that is commonly known in all the land of Hip Hop. The second combatant spun and spun, generating a great force. The wind on the battle ground intensified further allowing the second combatant to produce his own tornado. It was something to witness. Yet, in one fluid motion the second combatant changed the game. Still spinning he rose from his back and stopped on a dime and with what seemed like no loss of momentum, fully reversed his polarity and broke into a left footed backspin producing a second and more powerful tornado. The audience was awed, myself include. This is a move only known by the scholars of the Ancient and Mystical Artz of Breaking. Few knew it to be anything more than legend, nostalgic talk amongst Breaker tribes. Only a rare breed of Grand Master Breakers could produce the Ying Yang Tornados. The first combatant had no defense that could quell these winds. The first tornado completely neutralized the first combatant, the second ripped him to shreds. A collective moan was heard from his tribe. His wife wept but not in grief. Breakers believe their is honor in dying on the dance floor and there is a belief that only the truest Breakers who meet their end on the dance floor are reincarnated. Let them and their beliefs live on forever. This battle was over. The second combatant came to a stop and showed honor and respect to his adversary and his tribe. His legacy would carry on for this day. There would be more battles to come.

My clan, the Scribes, our band of Brothers and Sisters, Masters of Artz and Sciences of Recording the History of the Mystic Artz of Hip Hop, are off to witness and record the next battle. Let Hip Hop Live on Forever.


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