Published Jan 01, 2006Even with 11 years under its belt, the DJ Olympics is still super-fresh and going strong. Teaming with the Pop Explosion, the Olympics stretched over four days and saw competitors from across the Atlantic region battle it out for break dance, beat box, freestyle rap and disc jock supremacy. With qualifying heats done and EMC and Solo sporting medals for the beat box and b-boy categories, peoples packed into the Marquee Club for the final climax: the MC and DJ battles. The clash of rappers was pure hotness, with local drunkard made good Tachichi facing off against underdog Phakt in several rounds of rap intensity. With Skratch Bastid providing the beats, the first heat saw the two bob and weave 'round each other in a match too close to call. In round two the balance skewed Phakt served Tachichi a cold platter of insults, from low jabs at the state of 'Chi's teeth to straight-up taunts. "Don't sleep on Saint John" was Phakt's word to the audience, and when he stepped up to take first place, everyone believed him. In the battle for best house/techno DJ, Rosie and her bouncy good vibes beat out defending champ Justin Time and Todd Hodder, and a super-enthusiastic Cam made his triumphant return as the drum'n'bass/jungle champion, with M. Trouble and Jay Welch taking second and third place. It was late when the turntablists finally took the stage. Forever a crowd pleaser, IV kept things tight, carrying the same high-energy bounce from start to finish. Second place winner Cosmo jumped in next, rocking some vintage Rush, and bronze medallist David Styles echoed his guitar-love by sliding Queen's "We Will Rock You" into his set. Kuttin' Kracker provided the evening's first real dose of experimentation, carrying a tight six-minute set that was as classy as it was abstract. He started off with a slow, disorienting recording of the alphabet, and from there launched right into the hands down bravest show of the night, an old-time piano jazz cut providing the base for a sophisticated scratch composition. When Kracker was done, he let the record play out and walked away, carrying the guarantee of a first place title in his swagger. From intense on-stage battles and crowd-pumping antics from judges Universal Soul, to spontaneous bursts from beat box powerhouse EMC and a spur-of-the-moment dance competition that saw Tachichi jump into the crowd in a wiggling frenzy, the Olympics delivered. As one of the most complete hip-hop events in the country, this summit proved what so many heads have known for years: Halifax knows the score.