It Rained in east London the other week. Maybe you heard about it, maybe you saw it streaming live on Facebook, or maybe you were there, but we all know that it only ever really counts if you were there. I'm talking about the Autumn edition of the RAIN CREW jam. If you don't know, let me get you to know...
Journey down to Stratford east London and either make your way through the Mall and walk 10 minutes, or hop the overground two stops, or jump a 69 or 257 bus, going further east, and you'll find yourself in Maryland Where, just passed the Tesco's, on the corner before Maryland studio, you'll find the 'Centre Stage' dance studio. Home to east London's Rain crew, and where they bring hip hop to life at their annual Rain Jams.
Bboys and bgirls from all over London, UK, and aboard, went head to head in a 2on2 breaking battles.
Hip hop dancers, poppers, contemporary dancers, and more, exchanged in the 2on2 open styles battle.
And kids young enough to still believe in Santa Claus took their moment to shine on the floor in the 4on4 kids battle.
On a lino placed in the lobby, where breakers were getting down all night, a spontaneous, but unserious, air chair battle broke out, as Paper work went down in the office, and the warm air of multi cyphers filled the studio whenever there was a break between battles.
It Rained on the Mic, it Rained on the DJ decks, it Rained on the judge's couch, in the battles, on the door, behind the live stream and organisation desk, as Rain as a crew ran their whole event.
Bboy Chilly hosted on the Mic, also offering to host if any of the competitors wanted to continue
their battles in the cyphers later, 'Lets go! Lets go!'
P-Star joined the two invited judges (Echo and Kid Kelvin) as the third decision maker for the night, in the breaking battles.
Clint took charge of the sign up and battle organisation.
Sylver collected the entry money, and ticked off tickets on the door.
Jetlag worked the live stream.
Warren G and Hakim were in the house supporting, helping and taking over Mic duties at some points.
And Rain's Kofi (bboy, Hip hop dancer and DJ), span and mixed the beat for the battles.
Like at all their Jams, Rain crew were in full effect, and it's good to see it Rain!
With Udef giving new life to the scene by pumping large sums of prize money into breaking, as well things like the Undisputed league, Redbull and Monster pushing breaking even more to larger heights, I think we might forget how important it is that it Rains on a regular basest.
We need those Jams where the young dancers, still learning the craft of the many dance styles in our hip hop culture, can go and cypher and battle and grow. We need those Jams that are straight up Raw and feel more like home, where kids can run around because most everyone knows whose kid that is.
We need those jams where you can walk a few feet down the road and come back to the jam with a pizza, and no security is going to stop you and tell you, 'no food allowed in the venue.'
Where there are sofas to lounge on, and they give out oranges to anyone wanting some vitamin C! Yup, I said oranges!
Where even when the music cuts out you stay on that Rhythm and continue to dance because that music is going to come back in, and when it does you got to still be on beat!
Where, when it's over, peeps can be found outside drinking a beer, chatting and continuing that vibe.
Where it's not just a venue hired out for the night, but if you come during the week you'll find it Raining breaking classes for all levels. And where the guys putting on the jam live down the road, in the endz. Not to say that in the endz is the only place that it'll stay. I can definitely foresee it Raining a lot more, in bigger and better ways, in East London and other places, as the Rain crew jam continues to grows.
So if you don't know, take a journey down to Stratford east London and either make your way through the Mall and walk 10 minutes, or hop the overground two stops, or jump a 69 or 257 bus going further east, until you hit Maryland. Where, just passed the Tesco's, and on the corner before Maryland Studio, you'll find the 'Centre Stage dance studio,' home to east London's Rain crew, and where they bring 'that vibe,' and hip hop to life, at their annual Rain crew jams.
Shout out to Rain crew for putting on a jam that vibes with that that east London energy.
May it continue to Rain!
Photos by: Daniel Jules and Lupul Mai Prietenos.
Bboy Manny (Soul Mavericks Crew)