Red Bull BC One Gets Down in New York


Red Bull BC OneOn Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, an event was held to acknowledge and champion the progression and style of a culture. In a time when the essence of Hip Hop seemed lost, here, the true innovators pushed the boundaries to commend and keep hold of what’s true-to-the-art form. This is the art of the b-boy, this is the Red Bull BC One.

In the past the event has been held in locations such as Biel, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa & Paris, France. For the 6th installment the event was brought back home to the birthplace of Hip Hop — New York City. The breakdancing series (sponsored by the energy drink Red Bull) is an individual b-boy competition (as opposed to a whole crew) decided by a panel of five judges.

Red Bull BC One

To a sold out crowd of over 1,600 fans from all over the globe, the world’s best breakers set stage to the Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center to win the title of “The One” in today’s premier breakdance competition. Needless to say, whoever got a ticket in the 30 minutes they were available, witnessed the best of the best light the stage on fire with Hip Hop legend KRS-One hosting.

Special Guests included Talib Kweli and Dj Hi-Tek performing before the final round as well as the influential Rocksteady Crew reminding us where it all came from.

Lilou  Cloud

Red Bull BC One New York

Red Bull BC One
All Photos: © Ray Demski

In the final battle, 2005’s champion Lilou (France) battled Cloud (United States) in his first BC One Final after a 4 year tour with Madonna. It all came down to the 5th Judge Ronnie, a 2007 BC One champion to decide. You would think his loss to Lilou in the 2005 semi-final might have sway his decision towards fellow American Cloud, but Ronnie couldn’t help acknowledge the style, attitude and innovative footwork Lilou showed New York that night.

I got a moment to speak with America’s finalist Cloud backstage, here’s what he had to say….

MediaContender: Hey Cloud?

Cloud: How are you doing?

MC: Good, I got a couple questions, if you don’t mind me asking?

C: Oh yeah, no problem.

MC: What is about the Red Bull BC One that makes it different than any other B-Boy competition that you have been in?

C: It is very showcased, very open to the public; that’s how most B-Boy jams are heading now-a-days. I feel It is very open to the public and an audience who are not inside the hip-hop realm, that come in; spectators are able to see, which is a great thing. Because the more public who not aware of it, they will spread the word you know what I mean? You’re home, on youtube, people will be saying ‘Oh my god, I saw this thing you know, check it out, it was on youtube, etc.,’ you know what I mean? It’s really really cool in that state. But I’ll never forget where I come from with this, which was in my bedroom with no furniture, cardboard on the floor, by myself; dancing. For me that’s where I find my most inner spirit with the dance.

MC: How do you feel this competition affects the B-Boy community as a whole?

C: How it affects it? Um, kind of similar to the last one. You know, you never know with this type of thing, it could either carry it on; the name and history of hip-hop, or it can completely evolve into something else, you know? Like it’s what people are witnessing now-a-days. Before, there was a lot of foundation and history behind the dance; the six-steppers, your personal style, your flavor, your footwork, your basic foundation & stuff, and now-a-days people are kind of forgetting that. Which is really cool; the innovation, it’s evolving into something totally crazy. I can’t imagine doing some of the moves that some of the guys were doing out there, it was crazy. But in that sense you should never forget where you came from. You Know, little kids are gonna see this now-a-days and will be thinking, ‘That was break-dancing? The guy, doing a hand-stand, holding his feet in a yoga position?’ Or a little kid could see it and go ‘wow I want to know everything about that’, and look at the history. But in the end, it’s all about inspiring bro, it’s all about spreading your gift. If you have a gift share it, don’t keep it to yourself, it’s definitely not a selfish thing to have, it’s definitely all for the love and expansion.

MC: What do you feel yourself you can work and improve on, if there is anything?

C: I think I’m definitely on the right path; with my style, I found myself. I didn’t grow up watching other people, I don’t watch much video; I don’t really like doing that because I feel it messes with my way of seeing things, and I like to bring me out as much as I can. So I don’t know what to really work on, the only thing I feel I need to work on is getting rid of my inner-demons and fear of everything, that’s why I did this competition in the first place, that’s the only reason why I did it. I hate competitions, I hate 1-on-1 battles, and I hate being judged and I hate judgment; because it’s not about that, it’s about the art. It’s about me judging myself, so that’s who I’m trying to accomplish and defeat, is myself. Like if you look on the back of my sweater; ‘the only person you battle in life is yourself’, so I put that just to remind myself exactly that, you know what I mean?

MC: One more Question? We heard that you’re not going to be in the 2010 Red-Bull Tokyo event; that it was your final chapter in this event? Is there anything in 2010 that we can expect from you?

C: In 2010 I’m moving towards… You know I am a director, I direct short films and stuff like that, I’m leaning more towards film. Because for me? I want to carry on, dance the way Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly did, I want to bring it into film and tell a story with dance. A lot of dance going on right now is ‘you got a crew, I got a crew, let’s battle’; when to me dance is about telling a story with your movement, like West-side Story. That’s my goal, that’s what I want to head towards.

MC: Thank you very much, I appreciate your time.

C: Thank you, thank you very much man.

For more information about this event, visit


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Staticka // Dec 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Those shots are sick! I checked out Ray Demski’s portfolio, too. The man is incredible behind the lens.

  • 2 Tweets that mention Red Bull BC One Gets Down in New York -- // Dec 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Tovar and STEADY, kelly dean. kelly dean said: CHECK IT!!! REDBULL BC ONE REVIEW BY @KellyDean @mediacontender […]

  • 3 James Aunsancao // Dec 2, 2009 at 11:44 am

    BC ONE?? damnnnn! Cloud is so dope, and also from the skillz method crew, b-boy pioneers and winners of this years UK B-Boy world championships, they are so original. Cloud was also on Madonna’s “the confessions tour” for the past three years, is in the new gap commercial, and previously in some Rhianna videos, kinda why he was out of the limelight, but great to see him competing from his roots! Great great coverage guys!

  • 4 Kelly Dean // Dec 2, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Yeah, on the plane ride back to LA i saw him in the gap commercial. Big things from cloud in the future.

  • 5 Nick Mehlert // Dec 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hell yeah…! Best BC ONE to date since Lilou rocked the world in Berlin 2005!!!

  • 6 uberVU - social comments // Dec 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by KellyDean: CHECK IT!!! REDBULL BC ONE REVIEW BY @KellyDean @mediacontender

  • 7 Jay Rendon // Dec 2, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Dope ass video, looks hyphy as shit.. The guy wit the glasses is sik. my bad..

    Anyone know da name of the first song at like 30 sec?

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