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Hip-hop games 

The city-sponsored Hopscotch Festival promotes “hip-hop in its truest form,” starting with the resurrection of the DJ Olympics.

This year has featured the slow revival of Halifax's historic hip-hop tradition, in a city that has known the likes of Skratch Bastid, Classified, Ghettosocks, Josh Martinez, Sixtoo and Buck 65. The problem is getting big often means leaving, leaving the scene to pick up the pieces.

The DJ Olympics and Hopscotch Festival are going back to the beginning. Starting from scratch. "This is a call out to the best and brightest in our scene," says Sammy Davis, organizer of the DJ Olympics. "We are going to show the world what this city can do."

From the release of the Boom Bap project to Kyle Dooley's grassroots "To The Top" rap battle league, this year has shown that Hali's hip-hop scene can re- create itself over and over. What better way to signal the coming of a new day than the revival of the vaunted DJ Olympics, as part of the Hopscotch Festival? And who better to open the festival than pioneer Pete Rock, with Large Pro and JUJU at the Paragon, September 4.

"Our goal for Hopscotch is to let people experience hip-hop in its truest form, a celebration of self-expression with a touch of respectful competition where people can test themselves," says Drew Moore, chairman of Hopscotch. "From the first moment we proposed a hip-hop festival to HRM, the city was on board, which only makes sense given the strong hip-hop community we have in and around Halifax."

MCs, DJs, rap crews and b-boys will take part in the largest DJ Olympics ever, battling for over $17,000 in cash. Retirements have been lifted and past champions will return. Crews will battle to see who has the best live show. The DJ competition will have a new hip-hop-driven focus, fused with house and crunk, to make a monster competition that will leave the audience cut and scratched like they just experimented with S&M. The Atlantic provinces' first national B-Boy competition, 3 Coast Roast and B-Boy battle will take the city by storm.

The festival begins September 4 and will feature workshops and classes to educate youth about hip-hop culture and its many elements. –

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