NOOR NOORUDDIN REFLECTS ON THE BREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP’S LOCAL TIMELINE IN ANTICIPATION OF ITS RETURN FOR THE SIXTH EDITION, TAKING PLACE THIS MONTH…

With the sixth edition of the Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher right around the corner, set to take place on July 14, it’s important to look back and reflect on the growth that Bahrain’s b-boying scene, and urban scene in general, has witnessed in the last six years. But first, let’s take it back to basics real quick. Red Bull BC One is one of the biggest international B-Boy competitions that takes place annually, with the world final held in a different country every year. Its reputation stems from the fact that it’s the only major breaking championship that focuses purely on individual B-Boys and one-on-one battles (as opposed to crew battles).The first Red Bull BC One took place in Biel, Switzerland, back in 2004, and the focus on one-on- one battles over crew showcases provided a completely new platform to the B-Boy community. While the competition grew year after year, it wasn’t until 2011 when Red Bull BC One shifted to elevate the competition to new global heights by changing the competition format entirely; 28 cypher battles were held around the world and the winners proceeded to six regional qualifiers before the world final in Moscow. This is where Bahrain comes in.

In May 2012, Red Bull Bahrain launched the BC One fever in Bahrain by hosting the country’s very first local qualifying cypher. Like any first-time event, planning is met with both apprehension and excitement; is Bahrain’s B-Boy scene strong enough to compete, and will they accept the introduction of a new platform? e reluctance quickly evaporated as soon as the MC picked up the microphone to announce the inaugural launch of the Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher to a full house at the Batelco Staff Centre in Hamala, which was transformed overnight into a breaking arena, housing B-Boy Cico, B-Boy Lamine, and B-Boy Lil G as internationally renowned judges kicking o the Kingdom’s first cypher. B- Boy Zilla marked himself as the first Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher champion, and set himself apart as an icon of the local breaking scene.

Now that the momentum’s been set, the Bahraini B-Boys were dead set on bringing their A-game to the second edition of the Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher in 2013. ere’s always the fear that a movement can stagnate after a huge milestone, but the Kingdom’s second cypher turned out to be even more electrifying than the first! With last year’s debts to settle, B-Boy Huey Flava came into the competition at the Isa Bin Salman Cultural Hall ( e Alumni Club) with his eyes on the championship. In the battle of a lifetime, he faced o against B-Boy Zilla for the final 1v1 battle that cinched him the championship, and marking the rise of B- Boy Huey Flava in Bahrain’s breaking history.

The next year saw a complete shift in gears, with many leading B-Boys stepping out and many newcomers stepping in. The third Bahrain Cypher took place without its first champion, B-Boy Zilla and without the reigning champion, B-Boy Huey Flava. With the winner’s slot open for the taking, the country’s B-Boys took The Alumni Club stage with everything they had, and boy did we see some funky moves! In a heated and polarising final battle, B-Boy Twist defeated fan-favorite, B-Boy Triple X, to become the Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher 2014 champion!

But champions are never gone for too long, and both B-Boy Zilla and B-Boy Huey Flava made an explosive return during Bahrain’s fourth cypher to challenge B-Boy Twist for the title, not to mention, B-Boy Triple X, who came so close just the year before.

With a fire under their bellies, the country’s best B-Boys took on the Malja Bahrain stage with an outdoor set-up packed with supporters to throw it down again. B-Boy Triple X got his chance at redemption during the semi-final battle, but it was B-Boy Huey Flava who knocked the crown off B-Boy Twist’s head during an intense finale, marking B-Boy Huey Flava the returning champion of Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher 2015.

Last year, Red Bull BC One added a new change to the competition format: there will no longer be any regional qualifiers, and all cypher winners will head straight to the Red Bull BC One World Final in Nagoya, Japan. The competition reverted back to its roots, using an invitation- only format to create the World Final top 15 line-up, while the local cypher winners battle it out at the Last Chance Cypher for the last open spot in Nagoya, two days before the World Final. The chance to head straight to Japan was not taken lightly, and Bahrain’s B-Boys were ready to throw down once again. Despite the increased calibre of the local B-Boy scene, B-Boy Huey Flava battled his way through newcomers and past champions to become the three-time winner and longest-running Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher champion.

With the sixth cypher coming up in July, tensions are running high in the B-Boy scene and with the fans; is it going to be another notch on the belt of B-Boy Huey, will B-Boy Zilla or B-Boy Twist fight back to regain the crown, or will we witness the rise of an entirely new champion like B-Boy Triple X? Whoever comes out on top knows that it’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely going to be explosive. ✤

GO: This year’s Red Bull BC One Bahrain Cypher will take place centre stage at The Galleria in City Centre Bahrain with some exciting appearances and activities, on July 14. Keep up with Red Bull events on Facebook: www.facebook.com/redbull.