All day hip hop event
Red hot chilli poppers
Natalie Woolman finds out about a one-day celebration of hip hop, street art and b-boy battling, as she talks to Emma Hamilton, aka b-girl Remady
Banksy’s subversive street art sells for millions, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre are basically musical royalty and films such as Step Up 2 continue to popularise break-dancing and battling. Hip hop and street culture couldn’t be having more of a moment. Funny, then, that there’s no agency representing this artistic sub-culture in Britain. Or rather that no such agency has existed until now.
The Ever Ready Agency will be launched on Sunday 3 August, in an all-day hip hop extravaganza hosted by Glasgow b-boy crew the Flyin Jalapenos (pictured). Formed in 2002, and with members from as far afield as Poland, the Flyin Jalapenos are planning almost 12 hours’ worth of battling b-boys, live graffiti and stand-alone performances for the eclectic, electric event, in association with Emma Hamilton, the founder of Ever Ready.
Hamilton, alias b-girl Remady, learned to dance aged 17 at Edinburgh University. After a whirlwind decade battling her way across the globe, she has set up the Ever Ready Agency in a bid to draw together and represent hip hop factions from across the country. ‘I just realised that there isn’t anyone in this country who represents hip hop at the level that we want hip hop to be represented,’ she says.
Choosing an atmospheric space to advertise her wares and put on the launch event was important for Hamilton. ‘It had to be somewhere where hip hop actually happens,’ she says. Her eventual choice was Studio Warehouse in Glasgow, which, as well as hosting studio space for various local musicians and artists, is usually the home of the Flyin Jalapenos training sessions. ‘They rent a space there that they can go to wherever they want, just to practice and train and teach classes. It’s their space, and we’re putting on this jam in conjunction with everyone else in the warehouse.’
Hip hop artists are coming from across the country to dance for four hours on the spot in Sunday’s b-boy jam, including Hamilton herself. ‘Yeah, I’ll be in the circle – I’m also going to be performing Altitude, a ten minute show with [hugely popular Edinburgh hip hop dance, graffiti art and DJing duo] Etch N Sketch.’
The climax of the night happens at 10pm, with an exhibition of the weekend labours of the 20-strong gathering of graffiti artists. Hamilton felt it was important to include street art alongside the music and dance showcases. ‘We want the day to represent all aspects of hip hop. The graffiti artists don’t just do their own thing - everything’s mixed together. It’s a culture.’
Studio Warehouse, Glasgow, Sun 3 Aug. See www.everreadyagency.com