You may have already seen on our site who won the 2018 Red Bull Culture Clash in Atlanta this past weekend — shoutout to Kranium again by the way — but let us take you inside the competition from the perspective of the power players in the show.
The folks over at RB had the city on lock from Downtown Atlanta all the way to the iconic Patchwerk Studios in West Midtown, where we even got a chance to a sit-in on a few Red Bull Radio LIVE FROM ATLANTA interviews like the Bruh w/ Awful Records segment hosted by Zack Fox featuring Key!, and a special Peak Time episode led by Vivian Host with guest like Sonny Digital, Zaytoven, Fuego, Childish Major and the always hilarious FRKO.
Celebrating the sound clash culture that went down at lit bashments in Jamaica during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, The RBCC: ATL competition this year was jam-packed with dubs, riddims and more than a few surprise guests. Familiar faces such as Pastor Troy, Gorilla Zoe and dancehall icon Mavado were just a pin drop of the amount of friend dem that pulled up.
Even though Kranium and his Frequent Flyers came out as the winners, it wasn’t without some heavy competition from Zaytoven and Zaytown Global, Mija & Kenny Beats headlining Don’t Think and Fuego and his Dominicans from the Fireboy Sound.
We’ve said enough, so check out more photos from the event in addition to some Source Exclusive quotes from the key people in and around the 2018 Red Bull Culture Clash in Atlanta:
“I think [Culture Clash] is dope because a lot of people focus too much on the smaller stuff; this is something that brings cultures together. I’m Dominican, but it’s cool having the Jamaicans there so we have different music, sounds, tempos and things going on in general. It’s all new to me — this is my first time at Red Bill Culture Clash — but we’re organized and got our stuff together. This is all important for the culture.”
— Fuego, contender (representing Fireboy Sound crew)
“I feel like Culture Clash is very important now because, well, primarily I’m a DJ. I feel like the art of DJing — again, in my opinion — has been getting a little watered downed, mainly because the consumption of music is a lot easier for an average person. Nowadays anybody can be a DJ because we all consume the music at the same time. If Drake or Rihanna puts out a song, we all get it the same day — Fridays at midnight.
[Culture Clash] is just sharpening up the skills of the DJs and highlighting DJs in a Caribbean way. Hip-Hop was derived from the Caribbean when Kool Herc brought those beats and drums from Jamaica [to the Bronx]. Having all of that infused together is very good. For me, I’m just happy that it’s all about the DJs this weekend. It shows that DJs still matter.”
— DJ Self, producer (representing Frequent Flyers crew)
“On an international scale, even now that it’s in Atlanta, the clash overall on a Caribbean level is pretty much about introducing the urban side, which is more trap, to the Caribbean through music. With Kranium’s team Frequent Flyers — which is also my team! — all the way to Zaytoven and Fuego’s Fireboy [Sound], that’s four different genres of music all at once. The people will really get introduced to the setting and feel of four different genres, and it’ll spread. There’s great vibes and great energy here, especially with the dubplates. A lot of people might not even know what a dubplate is, but it’s bascially when you take a popular song — reggae or trap — and rewrite the lyrics to diss the other team. It’s going to be great.”
— DJ Polish, mixmaster (representing Frequent Flyers crew)
“I think this is very important for dub culture, and the entire culture of clashing. It’s a Jamaican thing that’s been around for decades, with different people from different countries participating in it. With the World Clash you’d have people from Japan, Canada and the Caribbean islands going up against each other, so it’s an amazing thing to see that’s it’s branching off into the mainstream.
At the end of the day, a lot of rappers that we’d like to see compete verbally over a rap beat probably wouldn’t happen, but you get that element here. it’s fun and competitive, and people like that the same way they like boxing; people just want to see other people go up against each other. Soccer players are making millions to go up against each other because it’s just friendly competition. For Zaytoven — I’m not a fan of him right now. After the competition, maybe I’ll become a fan again. For now, it’s no friendship with none of them right now. Until Saturday morning, fuck them! [Laughs]”
“Yo, Red Bull Culture Clash Atlanta 2018 is progression of and for the city! It’s a form of contemporary art for the youngin’s who’ve never seen something like it — they don’t even know where a sound clash comes from. The early days of our whole culture come from Jamaica and the Caribbean, so to see it in 2018 during a modern time is just great. I appreciate Red Bull for putting it on, and I appreciate it for being so cheap for people to come out [Laughs]. For real though — $20 ain’t shit! That’s coming from FRKO, born and raised here in Atlanta. Word up!”
— FRKO, artist (designed flyer/graphics for RBCC: ATL ad campaigns)
“It’s definitely big for me. This is my first time even coming to a Culture Clash, so to be introduced as one of the guys battling in it first is something major. I’m honored, and I’m definitely bringing the heat out — all my DJs and my whole team that knows the ins and outs [of Jamaican culture] more than I do. I got a strong team, so I’m more excited than anything.”
— Zaytoven, producer/contender (representing Zaytown Global crew)
“Red Bull Culture Clash is important because it’s really bringing together everybody in Atlanta. Last year was crazy because it felt like a blast from the past with all the people we had come out. I really like the mashing up of cultures and everyone getting familiar with each other. That shit was really tight last year.”
— Sonny Digital, producer (ASTROWORLD)
For more information on all things Culture Clash, the hip-hop shows on Red Bull Radio (Earl Sweatshirt; Andrew Noz; True Laurels with Lawrence Burney) and/or to just peep the latest Fireside Chat episode, head over to www.redbullradio.com.