The year was 2001 and an abandoned airplane hangar in Seattle, WA had been repurposed to host the first major sponsored bboy event in the US. Courtesy of Red Bull and Bob the Balance from Seattle’s own Circle of Fire, the venue was transformed to a fully functioning dance floor with complete DJ booth and spectator stands where hundreds of dancers witnessed their favourite dynamic duos battle it out for the prestigious title of Lords of the Floor.
The event featured both an open bracket where everyone could enter, along with a specially invited line-up appropriately named the Great 8. Qualifications included past wins and trophies, but also underground street rep on the battle scene. Stylelements (Battle of the Year 97 Champions, Clash of the Titans 2000 Winners), Skill Methodz (Out for Fame Eastcoast/Midwest Champs and Out for Fame National Finalists), Circle of Fire (Battle of the Year 2000 US Representatives, Out for Fame National Finalists), HaviKoro (Freestyle Session 5 2nd Place, Out for Fame National Champions), LA Breakers (Freestyle Session 6 Winners) , Boogie Brats (longstanding underground reputation), Massive Monkees (Bboy Summit 2000 Champions, Freestyle Session 6 2nd Place), and Rythm Bugz (Battle of the Year 98 Champions, Out for Fame National Finalists) were all chosen as the teams to beat in the Great 8.
Battle highlights saw legendary Bay Area veterans Remind and Crumbs take out Lil John and Moy from HaviKoro in a tiebreaker. Moy and John did their thing, but the combined strengths of Remind and Crumbs, considered by many to be the best bboy duo in the history of the dance, proved too much in the end.
Massive Monkees’ Juse Boogie and Jeromeskee eliminated Iron Monkey and EJ from Rythm Bugz in the first round, and their crew mates Twixx and Lil Lazy got the W over Abstrak and Cloud from Skill Methodz in a debated decision from the judges of the day (Ken Swift, Ivan and Chuco). LA Breakers’ Caveman and Ronnie Ruen defeated Circle of Fire’s Free and Seth, and Boogie Brats (Kmel and Megus) took out both Orb (Circle of Fire) & Midus (Originality Stands Alone/West Coast Rockers) and Stuntman (Stylelements/Originality Stands Alone)/Rawbzilla (Originality Stands Alone/Sore Feet).
The semifinals pitted LA Breakers against Twixx and Lil Lazy, and Stylelements vs Boogie Brats, with LA Breakers and Boogie Brats advancing to the finals. Battle for 3rd was Stylelements to win in a landslide, frustrated after being defeated by their Bboy Summit cypher rivals, Boogie Brats.
The finals featured some great blow-ups and power moves from Ruen and Caveman (with Ruen pulling out his hopping airflares and insane 90s, and Cavemen his shoulder mills), and some of the best intricate footwork and flow from Megus mixed with Kmel’s flips and hollowbacks. In the end, the judges gave the trophy to LA Breakers, becoming the first Red Bull Bboy Champions in history.
Today, the world is fortunate to have a number of major events. But before there was Red Bull BC One, R16 and UDEF, there was only one – the infamous Lords of the Floor.