By RUSSELL BAILLIE
There are four elements to the hip-hop arts. Rapping and deejaying might be the ones that have made the big money, but the other two — break-dancing and graffiti art — have been the quiet but colourful constants of the culture which sprang from the streets of New York 25 years ago and quickly went global.
Today, Auckland's inner city will rock — and headspin and hiss — to hip-hop's non-musical elements with the breakdancing contest Raw Stylez and "aerosol art" event Disrupt the System, which are being held as part of the Edge's ongoing Youth Arts Festival.
Billed as "New Zealand's biggest breakdancing event," Raw Stylez (Auckland Town Hall, today, 4 pm) features performances from Californians the Jive Tribe Crew plus the best of our own local talent.
Making their first New Zealand appearance, the Jive Tribe Crew are four b-boys from Los Angeles — Airik, Dynamic Dre, Peter Pan and Z-One. Pan is one of the best-known breakdancers in the United States, while Dre is the world record holder for "windmills" — 50.
As well as dancing, the Americans will also judge the Kiwi crews competing for the first prize of $1000 cash and clothing sponsorship deals.
Twelve hundred people attended last year's inaugural event and organisers are expecting a bigger turn-out today.
Meanwhile, out in Aotea Square, Disrupt the System will have local and overseas aerosol artists spraying up a storm on a specially erected 40m wall.
Among the painters are Australians Tash and Kasino, and Loomit from that unlikely bastion of hip-hop culture, Germany. They'll be collaborating with locals Opto, Smooth Crew and United Styles.
The art starts at 9 am and the music side of hip-hop does get a look-in with performances from DJs P Money (New Zealand turntable champ), CXL, 41.30 and band Motron.