— RedBullMusicAcademy (@RBMA) July 18, 2017
American fans who’ve felt like they were missing out on Red Bull Culture Clash due to its London location have reason to rejoice, as Red Bull’s popular sound clash series returns to the US in 2017, coming to Atlanta on August 25th.
This year’s lineup includes four crews: Hometown EarDrummers featuring Mike WiLL Made-It, Canadians Enjoylife featuring Wondagurl, Jamaica’s Unruly featuring Popcaan, and Disturbing London featuring Tinie Tempah. Prior Red Bull Culture Clashes have featured UK rave luminaries such as Eskimo Dance, UKG All Stars, and 2016 winners Mixpak, and American stars like ASAP Mob, Major Lazer, and Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang, whose set you can check out below:
For those that read that sentence and could only respond, “Huh?” here’s a helpful primer:
“A sound clash is a musical competition where crew members from opposing sound systems pit their skills against each other. Sound clashes take place in a variety of venues, both indoors and outdoors, and primarily feature reggae, dancehall or jungle music. The object is to beat or ‘kill’ their competitors.”
Culture Clash is not a DJ battle or band competition — it’s about who has the heaviest sound, the best tunes, the most effective MC tactics, and the most entertaining presentation. While the competing sound systems respect each other and the competition is all in good fun, it is indeed a clash, so calling out opponents, mockeries, diss records, counteractions and the like are explicitly encouraged. Four crews compete in four or five rounds of genre-bending musical competition, with the winner decided by volume of crowd response.
Basically, the crews play records to get the crowd amped up, with rarer recordings or exclusives gaining a better reaction. It’s akin to a DJ battle, but with a lot more components going on at the same time, including crew members hyping the records, guest appearances/performances from various artists/celebrities, and more. Watch the trailer above and check out much more on Red Bull Culture Clash Atlanta here. If you’re interested, Mixpak’s winning set from last year is included below.