By Maya Bakshani
The Celestine Prophesy, a 1993 novel by James Redfield, describes nine spiritual insights found on an ancient Peruvian text.
"It’s this place people go to fill up their energy," MC Ivan Anomolie said. For Anomolie, a break dancing jam, or a battle, is his place of rejuvenation.
Anomolie was the lead MC at the 10th Annual Christmas Jam hosted by the Illstyle Rockers. The event was hosted by B-Boy (break-dancer) Dre "Live" Borders on Dec. 16, in Akron, Ohio. The Illstyle Rocker spent the evening entertaining dancers in the break-cipher, ranging from ages 15-25, who screamed his name every time he stepped out. Borders explained that today things are a little different than in his day, which is why he hosts the annual Christmas Jam.
"For the Christmas Jam, it’s going back to that time, it’s not a contest, not a rap show, you don’t have to watch the breaking, you don’t have to watch the MC’s or the DJ’s," Live explained. "[It’s] the one jam that we have where it’s structured [so that] the main focus is the music and whatever spontaneity with the music will transcend the spirit of the place."
"You don’t play the popular breaks, you dig into the crates," he continued, explaining that the Christmas Jam was a time to use old-school beats, while setting up a venue to host different elements of hip-hop.
Live sees a huge disparity between old school hip-hop and today’s generation.
"[There’s] no comparison. The B-Boys are more about making the crowd go ‘Ohh!’ A lot of the producers are about making it real catchy. For the B-Boys it’s all about making these few moves, [but] I’m more about the top-rock. For the most part this is nothing. Mindless. Meaningless."
UC Santa Cruz B-Boy Greg Lee, a second-year Merrill student, noted that the difference between hip-hop generations is not necessarily a bad thing.
"There’s a lot of people nowadays that seem really impressed with blow-ups and flips and stuff," Lee said. "I think it’s going away from a lot of musicality and beat, but a totally new style is developing."
Whichever style is perferred by the hip-hop aficionado, Lee feels as if break dancing is still representative of one’s self.
"It’s the way you choose to dance, and the style you choose, and the moves you decide to do," Lee explained. "It’s self-expression."
Anomolie has been MC-ing for ten years and like B-Boys Lee and Live, he sees hip-hop as a very personal form of self-expression.
"I fell in love with hop [at my] first battle," Anomolie said. "I dissed them and they dissed me. That was really the first time that I let some shit off my chest."
Allowing listeners to hear his message is most important to Anomolie.
"I’m going to come at y’all from a whole other direction," he explained. "You’re not gonna know it, you’re gonna feel it. They’re not gonna know that they’ve been educated about something.
"Each one, teach one. Respect, reason," Anomolie rhymed, and explained that kids get the messages they hear in hip-hop music, even if they don’t know it.
"Subconsciously they hear it," he said. "Like in a dream. That part of the brain is what it touches. Until boom, one day they hear it."