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Red Bull Culture Clash 2023

Red Bull Culture Clash 2023 concluded near the top of the month in Atlanta, Ga., and the quartet of battle contestants consisted of DJ crews known for rocking across the “A” and around the world. Rum Brunch Punch emerged as the eventual champions of the clash, using the tried and true method of the Jamaican sound system clash style to wow the frenzied crowd.

Hip-Hop Wired was on hand to witness Red Bull Culture Clash 2023, which made its return to Atlanta after a five-year hiatus. It was our first time covering the event and we certainly hope it won’t be our last.

The energy inside the Gateway Center Arena in College Park was high as the aforementioned Rum Brunch Punch, Bamba Tuesdays, Perreo404, and Mashup Sessions positioned themselves on their respective stages armed with special guests, surprise dubplates, and orchestrated routines.

Much like the Jamaican sound clashes of old where “sounds” or DJ sound systems would go to audio war with another sound, using the roar of the crowd in attendance to determine a winner, the Red Bull affair adopted this approach. Hosted by Paige Shari and Jessie Woo, the energetic hosts oversaw the clash over the course of four rounds with the crews getting eight minutes each to rep their sound.

Andre “Dreggae” Ruddock and Allan “Boom” Williams masterminded their winning set with the assistance of Tony Matterhorn, Troopa Traloopa, Shane Talon, Willy Chin the Remix King, DJ Jabba, Sir DJ Corey, Nasheen Fire, and DJ Prince Charm displayed a unified front as they took the stage dressed in military-style fatigues and unleashing a barrage of haymakers by rolling out dancehall artists Serani, who was listed on the bill, along with Vanessa Bling, Teejay, Aidonia, Govana, and Mr. Lexx. Another highlight of the Rum Brunch Punch set was the crew featuring violinist Mapy.

Red Bull Culture Clash 2023

Respect should be given to Bamba Tuesdays with DJ Kash alongside Afro B providing a game set of tunes and performance while representing the rising amapiano sound while also keeping things true to Atlanta and its diverse community. During an intense third-round set, Wayne Wonder joined the Bamba Tuesdays stage and delighted the unsuspecting crowd.

Red Bull Culture Clash 2023

Mashup Sessions repped the A’s rich Hip-Hop culture although at one point, the crew played a dubplate response record from Beres Hammond, just to keep the vibes as close to a clash as possible. Young Nudy was the listed performer and rocked his “Peaches and Eggplants” hit while TrillVille hit the stage with their “Neva Eva” smash. DJs Unruely and The Canterbury Talez also brought out buzzing Memphis spitter Gloss Up to drop her “Shabooya” in a surprise moment.

Red Bull Culture Clash 2023

Perreo404 put on for the city’s Latin community and rocked a set that bounced around from Hip-Hop, reggaeton, and several sounds in between. DJ EU, who is Atlanta United’s official DJ, had assistance from DJ Luian Johnny Juelz and singer Nino Augustine. The crew also brought out “Roscoe Dash” to drop his verse from “No Hands.”

As it stands, the crowd went up for all their faves but Rum Brunch Punch proved to win the entire arena over with their sets, even with technical difficulties taking away some of their precious moments. It mattered little as the crew improvised like any good sound system might have to do in such times and emerged victorious.

After the clash, we briefly spoke with Willy Chin and Tony Matterhorn, legends of the dancehall and DJ scenes, along with Troopa. With all the confidence that surely was sparked by their exceptional win, the trio saluted their competition but felt like they had too much power.

“I’ve been around the world spinning records and joining clashes and to bring this style of clash to Atlanta was definitely a vibe we were glad to bring,” Willy Chin shared before rushing off and relishing in the wind.

Troopa added, “The way the crowd embraced us and showed love proved that the Carribean influence is strong here in Atlanta and across the world.”

Tony Matterhorn concluded the energy of the night stating, “We knew that when we came in here we were going to win. This was not an accident, we played the part and we got the win.”

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Photo: Red Bull Content Pool