First hosted in London in 2010, the Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash has gradually become a staple on the international sound clash scene. With previous contestants likeMajor Lazer, Soul II Soul, and SMOG, as well as special surprise guests including Pusha T, the legendary Johnny Osbourne and Usher (doing a counter-action version of “Climax” on the everlasting “Stalag” riddim), Culture Clash is more than just one of the fiercest musical battles around. It’s a celebration of sound system culture and its ongoing influence on hip hop, dancehall and dance music. It’s a rare get-together of different genres and generations. And it’s probably the most entertainment one could cram into a three-hour show.
For this first New York edition, four of the city’s leading crews in reggae, electronic, hip hop and tropical bass face off at the venerable Roseland Ballroom. Max Glazer (the man behind New York’s heaviest bashment sessions and the brilliant Federation Sound podcast) with Kenny Meez; Fool’s Gold, the genre-defying Brooklyn label headed up by A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs; Young Guru and Just Blaze, the architects of Roc-A-Fella’s classic NYC hip hop sound and countless hits from Jay-Z to Rihanna; and Que Bajo?!, a collective known for starting full-on riots with their unique blend of cumbia, moombahton and Latin-fuelled rave sounds. And you alone decide who will take the crown.