Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash

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 like Major 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 four-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; Trouble & Bass, the genre-defying, subwoofer-smashing Brooklyn label headed up by Drop The LimeYoung 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.

The night will be hosted by noted hip-hop scribe, blogger and radio personality, Miss Info, of Hot 97 and BET.


Crews play whatever floats their boats. No winner in this round.


Crews are judged on tune selection and presentation.


Crews twist it up and play an opponent's style of music.


Dubplate specials and exclusive live performances only. Attention: this round counts double.


Host Miss Info calls for the crowd to decide the winner. Make some noise!!!


The 2013 Culture Clash champion closes out the night with one final set.

Photo Gallery

Federation Sound

Selectahs! Founded in 1999 by Max Glazer, Kenny Meez, and Cipha Sounds, Federation Sound has become a worldwide force in reggae music. Kenny and Max are the main forces behind Federation nowadays, but that hasn’t slowed them down much. They still carry around a wicked arsenal of dubplate specials and exclusive remixes, all in the name of creating vibes you’ve never experienced before. Despite living in New York, they’ve shown their reggae bona fides by traveling down to Jamaica to experience the culture there firsthand, and by spending considerable amounts of money to ensure that they have the freshest and finest tunes before anyone else. Expect them to be more than ready when they step up to the decks at this year’s Culture Clash.

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Trouble & Bass

Trouble & Bass was born in the dirty streets of Brooklyn, fulfilling Drop The Lime’s vision of a futuristic mob of DJ/producers playing hard-hitting warehouse beats with no rules but plenty of trouble. The crew is known for mashing up the sounds of UK bass culture-jungle, dubstep, grime, bassline house—with American regional sounds (Miami bass, Baltimore club, Southern rap) and pure Brooklyn attitude, creating a trademark style called “heavy bass.” Founding DJ/producers Drop the Lime and Star Eyes-alongside AC Slater, Strange VIP, and affiliates worldwide (Starkey, Plastician, Distal, Flinch, etc)-have built Trouble & Bass into a record label, merchandise line and party crew whose logo and dark, edgy aesthetic are instantly recognizable around the world. Along the way, these vamp champs have worked with everyone from Moby to Ninjasonik, from Spankrock to Baauer. Seven years and 100 releases later they remain true to their DIY roots while living up to their motto “We Never Sleep.”

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Just Blaze

Justin Smith first came up as a DJ in Paterson, New Jersey, before going on to become a producer with one of the most envied discographies in the business. He first hit the charts in 1999 with Harlem World, Ma$e, and Kelly Price, but became renowned for his craft as a key collaborator for Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records. Since then, he’s been working steadily with everyone who’s anyone, making beats for the likes of Dipset, Rick Ross, Eminem, Kanye West, Diddy, T.I., Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and more—all while maintaining an impeccable sense of taste and a scientific interest in all things new and fresh.

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Young Guru

Artists need their people. Gimel ‘Young Guru’ Keaton is Jay-Z’s people. Whenever the rap-conquering MC and world-conquering mogul steps into the booth (as he continues to do, despite all the hollow retirement threats given after his Black Album milestone), Young Guru is outside, at the board, making sure Hova sounds good. Ever since Jigga caught up with Guru at the lab recording Roc-A-Fella’s Memphis Bleek this is how it’s done. Along the way, Guru has recorded pretty much every other A-list rapper, always showcasing his enormous talents for adding a bit of crisp to chart-topping hit singles and some polish to gritty underground tracks. Some say he has the Midas touch, and they might actually have a point.

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Que Bajo?!

Uproot Andy and Geko Jones have been digging up the roots of Caribbean and Latin music for years, investigating the exchange of rhythms across the Atlantic and the many mutations of exotic dance flavors. The pair met at Geko Jones’ club night New York Tropical, before landing a regular slot at the sizzling Santos Party House. The like-minded enthusiasts have dedicated no mean percentage of their lives researching and excavating the global tropical bass underground, finding the newest twists of traditional rhythms and combining them to cause carnival chaos. It’s not surprising that Que Bajo?! is one of New York’s most popular parties, given the rich Latin heritage that underpins so much life in the city. Meanwhile Que Bajo?! has become a global platform not just for homegrown Latin sub-sonics, but also for international guests too, putting them at the forefront of the Latin underground.

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