The Unity Project

THE UNITY PROJECT

Inspiring our communities with HipHop arts.

Last year saw 5th Element NI achieve a huge milestone for the charity when we were awarded our first major funding, giving us a boost and enabling us to carry out a visionary project focused around cultural identity and the benefits of using HipHop arts to uplift and inspire our people.

This award, known as T:BUC (Together Building a United Community/Central Good Relations Funding Program CGRF) was granted to us by the Executive Office. In receiving this, we were able to expand our team, resources and capabilities for reaching more people in our community.

Through this funding we were able to succeed in our aim of delivering a sense of Unity – an urban cultural program to local people from different communities with focus on building community relations through Hip-hop music, dance and art. This led to a wide and diverse range of people, ages and personalities coming through our doors and getting to experience what 5th Element NI and wider hip-hop culture is all about. 

Our team and participants showed great resilience in adapting and performing against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver workshops based around the 4 elements of Hip-Hop; MCing, DJing, Breakin’, and Graffiti. Despite the restrictions on numbers a real sense of unity evolved as those involved in the project appreciated the chance to become creative, and explorative with new people and new ideas.

The current situation meant we were not able to get as many people involved as we would have liked due the restrictions. Despite this our volunteers went above and beyond to facilitate over 60 workshop sessions for 48 participants in socially distanced or often one on one scenarios.

Written & recorded over the course of the Unity Project at 5th Element NI
Written & recorded over the course of the Unity Project at 5th Element NI
Written & recorded over the course the Unity Project at 5th Element NI

Throughout the project, people were able to express themselves through the hip-hop art forms, and our feedback indicates that this has been a great help to many in what has been particularly trying times to improve both their mental and physical well-being.

Whether it has been finishing a piece of art, learning a new breakin’ move, recording their first song or getting to DJ on 5th Element NI’s resident radio station SkankFM, we were able to give those involved an experience to remember at our HQ. 

Everyone at 5th Element NI would like to extend our thanks to the Executive Office, not only for funding Unity but also for the tremendous support and advice they have been on-hand with throughout our project and Covid-19.

We’d also like to extend our gratitude to all who take part in our sessions, our facilitators, and those who donated their time and energy to make it work. All participants are always welcome at 5th Element NI and we look forward to being a part of the next stage of their personal development.


Please keep an eye on our social media platforms to keep up to date with all things 5th Element NI. We look forward to once again operating at full capacity when restrictions have lifted.


Interviewing Smurf - The Spin Theory, MZK, Boogie Brats

Meet Smurf

If ever one bboy personified the rawness of hip hop culture, it is bboy Smurf! He has held it down for years as a bboy, popper, and graff writer, and more recently as your favourite hip hop host on The Spin Theory on YouTube. Smurf’s style is undeniable and his presence in the cypher is unmistakeable. Los Angeles street culture is embedded in his breaking and in his lifestyle.

His breaking and his approach to hip hop in general is clear, direct, and brutally honest. Smurf’s contributions to hip hop, through various mediums, have made him a West Coast pioneer.

CHECK OUT:

https://www.instagram.com/thespintheory

https://www.youtube.com/c/bboynews


Interviewing DJ Timber - Bad Taste Crew, MZK

Meet Timber

Born and bred in Belfast, Timber is without doubt one of the most accomplished DJs in the world of bboying. Working his way up from humble beginnings within the city’s local hip hop scene, Timber’s resume includes some of the most high profile competitions in the world, including Radikal Forze Jam in Singapore, Redbull BC One, and of course, Just Jam Intl in Newcastle. Timber’s commitment to his craft and attention to detail when it comes to music have earned him the respect of the most accomplished and dedicated bboys.

An official member of Ireland’s own Bad Taste Crew, he has represented Irish hip hop to the fullest on an international scale, perhaps more than anyone else from the island. His journey within hip hop has taken him far and wide, enriching his understanding of the culture and furthering the evolution of his musical approach.

Support your artists! For the price of a beer you can experience an hour of unadulterated, cosmic space funk! Get DJ Timber’s Space Funk mixtape here: https://djtimber.bandcamp.com/album/s…


Interviewing Focus - Flow Mo Crew

Meet FOCUS

Here’s our interview with the legendary Bboy Focus from Flow Mo Crew, Finland. Catching wreck in cyphers and in battles across the world for over 20 years, Focus is one of the most respected and accomplished bboys of recent times. As well rounded as they come, he is a true student of the game and a cornerstone of bboying in the modern era.

In this interview he talks about the origins of the Finnish scene, the rise of Flow Mo, the ways in which modern approaches to bboying differ to those of previous eras, and the importance of paying dues.

For up and coming Bboys & Bgirls we encourage you to check out Focus’ online Breakin’ school The Bboy/Bgirl Dojo


Interviewing YNot - Rock Steady Crew

Meet YNOT

BBoy YNot, real name Anthony Denaro, is a bboy and multidisciplinary artist from the New Jersey,
United States. His journey in hip hop has taken him all around the world, earning him the position of
Senior Vice-President within the legendary Rock Steady Crew.

YNot’s approach to hip hop is multifaceted, working in design, music, architecture, and of course,
dance. Within bboying, his style is often imitated, but never duplicated. This is particularly true in
regards to toprocking, within which he is considered a pioneer. His musicality and attention to
detail, as well as incorporation of different styles of dance up top, have made him one of the most
influential bboys of his generation.

In 2020, YNot is still active in breaking and the wider hip hop scene. He is located in Arizona, where he
continues to teach and pursue his wider artistic and academic interests.


Interviewing Que Rock - Ready To Rock Crew

B-boy Que Rock

Meet Que Rock

Q Rock or Que Rock is an Anishinaabe b-boy, rapper, and graffiti artist from Nipissing First Nation, currently based in Toronto, Ontario. He and his siblings were raised with traditional Anishnaabe and Odawa teachings by a single mother who travelled quite frequently across North America working with families in crisis. His spirit name is Manitou Nemeen, which translates to Spirit Dancer, and was given to him by his Grandmother.

From a young age Que Rock danced at Pow Wows (a social gathering held by many different Native American communities) learning the traditions of Grass Dancing, transitioning into b-boying at the age of 12. He began educating himself on Hip Hop culture and at 17 was learning Hip Hop culture from the original Ready To Rock Crew.

From his reserve, Nipissing First Nation, Que Rock travelled between The Bronx and Toronto with his mother, a social worker. During this time he honed his skills as  b-boy, rapper and writer. In 1997 Que Rock became a member of Ready To Rock Crew and in 2000 he earned his status as a loyal member of the Mighty Zulu Kingz of the Universal Zulu Nation.

His first album “Smoke Signals” was released in 2012 followed by the video “Ghost Dance”, which was filmed on his homeland at their annual Traditional Pow Wow festival, earning him the “Friendship Award for Community” at the 6th Annual Taino Awards held at the Bronx Museum of arts. 


BREAKING CLASSES

FOUNDATIONS CLASS
Weekly / Thursdays / 6pm-7pm

Our foundation class is open to anyone interested in learning the basics of breaking. Taught in a simple manner, we bring you through foundation moves, educating you on rhythm, flow, and technique. This class is challenging* yet accessible, with our tutors ensuring every participant enjoys each lesson.

Pay-as-you-go: £5
Book an 8 week slot for £30


SIGN UP

 

*Breaking is renowned for its high intensity movement. A basic level of fitness is required, however strength and stamina will both increase as a result of taking this class.


BEAT IT // Mental Health X HipHop

HIPHOP X MENTAL HEALTH
SAT 1st FEB

BEAT IT

1-4pm – THE ELEMENTS WORKSHOPS (Free for all ages)
Free taster workshops in Breaking, DJing, MCing, and Graffiti.

6-10PM – ‘HOW HIP HOP HEALS’ (18+. Suggested donation of £5 is welcomed.)
A panel discussion around mental health and HipHop, with special guest performances showcasing creative HipHop culture.

DETAILS

The afternoon workshops will be free however we are asking for a small donation of £5 for the evenings ‘How Hip-Hop Heals’ session. These donations will go a long way to help us maintain our space at 5th Element NI but we will also be sharing 50% of what is received with the fantastic #33tilinfinity campaign which aims to raise £33k in memory of Michael Cullen for Community Rescue Service, Inspire and TAMHI; organisations which are involved in suicide prevention and intervention within our communities.

Cull was an exceptionally talented beat-boxer and friend and collaborator with those at 5th Element NI so we are delighted to be able to do something to help the campaigns cause with an event theme that is close to their own.

Mental health issues are having a staggering effect throughout the whole of Ireland currently and are undoubtedly being felt in every community. Let’s come together on Saturday 1st February, under the banner of peace, love, unity and having fun.

The 5th Element NI Team

WHAT’S GOING DOWN?

DAYTIME 1pm – 4pm – FREE FOR ALL

THE ELEMENTS WORKSHOP
Taster workshops in Breaking, MCing, DJing, & Graffiti 

  • White WallLocal DJs in rotation
    Express your creativity by adorning our walls with sketches, doodle, art pieces
  • Street Art Gallery
    Check out the stellar pieces donated by local artists
  • Live DJs all day
    DJs and vinyl in rotation all day.

EVENING 6pm – 10pm

SPECIAL EVENT: ‘HOW HIPHOP HEALS’
Minimum donation of £5

  • Panel discussion
    Surrounding mental health and HipHop as an emotional outlet
  • Interviews
    with local HipHop enthusiasts and those who have been afflicted with mental health issues. Conducted by Remi
  • Live Performances
    from Northern Soles Crew, Skeet, Swall Monkey, Voodoo Chiefs, North West HipHop and more!
  • Live Music & DJs
    Performances throughout
  • Honesty Booth
    Stand up, speak out. Share your thoughts and feelings.

WHO IS INVOLVED?

5th Element NI is organised by local HipHop enthusiasts, and active participants in the culture. The following outfits support our vision, volunteering their time and effort to help nurture HipHop culture and our local communities.

  • Team Elixir
    The minds and artists behind the Elixir HipHop music events
    – Check them out
  • Northern Soles Crew
    Belfast Bboy crew, who battle, perform, and teach workshops.
    –  Check them out
  • Daz of SkankFM
    Local radio presenter, HipHop artist, and producer
    – Tune in!
  • MoonDoggy Clothing Company
    Run by HipHop enthusiast and videographer Mark Brittain
    – Get fresh!

  • Local HipHop musicians, dancers, and artists.
  • Local volunteers
  • Media Representatives
  • And finally…You, the public. Come and learn with us!


5th Element NI Launch Event.

“A HIPHOP HOUSE PARTY”

> View Facebook Event Page

5th Element NI has officially opened a HipHop Social Hub in Belfast. To celebrate the launch we are throwing a HipHop House Party on November 16th. A day dedicated to HipHop culture, music, dance and art, with live music, DJs, MCs, and dancers expressing their talents throughout.  For full details, read below.

This is a free, all ages event.

Donations to the 5th Element NI charity are welcome. 100% of proceeds go towards creative projects for our local communities.

WHAT’S GOING DOWN?

  • Street Art Gallery
    Showcasing the immense talent of our Belfast street artists
  • Live art by local Street Artists and Graffiti Writers.
    Grab a can or graf pen and help us decorate our walls!
  • Live music by the Utropics & Guests
    Coming with that Brazilian Funk vibe as they freestyle with other elements on the day
  • Local DJs in rotation
    Spinning an endless array of HipHop, Funk, and Soul.
  • Local Bboys, Bgirls & HipHop dancers
    Live performances and workshops
  • MC Cyphers
    Catch the word play of local and national MCs as they pass the mic during freestyle sets. Open mic spots available.
  • Vinyl Record Stalls
    Dig records? Then get to record digging. Buy, sell and exchange music.
  • Workshops! Get involved!
    To be announced.
  • The HipHop cinema
    A room dedicated to HipHop cinema showing documentaries, movies and more.

WHO IS INVOLVED?

5th Element NI is organised by local HipHop enthusiasts, and active participants in the culture. The following outfits support our vision, volunteering their time and effort to help nurture HipHop culture and our local communities.

  • Team Elixir
    The minds and artists behind the Elixir HipHop music events
    – Check them out
  • Northern Soles Crew
    Belfast Bboy crew, who battle, perform, and teach workshops.
    –  Check them out
  • Daz of SkankFM
    Local radio presenter, HipHop artist, and producer
    – Tune in!
  • MoonDoggy Clothing Company
    Run by HipHop enthusiast and videographer Mark Brittain
    – Get fresh!

  • Local HipHop musicians, dancers, and artists.
  • Local Record Stores
  • Local volunteers who support our charity
  • Media Representatives
  • Local MLAs
  • And finally…You, the public. Come and jam with us!


ELIXIR 8! Mc Hughs Cellar, Belfast - Friday 16th Nov

Eixir 8! Friday 16th November.

Firstly thanks to everyone who made it to Elixir #7, which featured another batch of stellar performances alongside a tightly contested open mic comp to win a slot at Elixir #8! Photoset by Roskobiwan is live now on our facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/ElixirBelfast/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1235077729987656

 

 

For the 8th instalment of Elixir (and also the last of 2018) we are taking over at one of Belfast's most famous pubs and it's oldest building, McHugh's Bar and Restaurant, located at 29-31 Queen's Square, Belfast, BT1 3FG
http://www.mchughsbar.com

We have a heavy lineup for this one closing off 2018 in our usual style!


♫ ♪ Sebi C
A truly unique talent in the current sea of Irish MCs, Sebi C is in a class of his own. The lowkey individual & the voice behind classic duo Flying Buttresses with Naïve Ted who’s 2012 project The Orson Wells EP would be in the argument of many for the island's best hip-hop releases returned to the rhyming this year with the release of All Uselessness with Jimmy Penguin.

♫ ♪ Jimmy Penguin
Jimmy is one of the co-founders of Galway's Community Skratch collective. One of Ireland's foremost electronic musicians and skratch DJs, this original gangster has been cutting and innovating for many years. Running Alkalinear Recordings, Jimmy meshes many different styles including IDM, Electro, HipHop, Scratch Music and Techno. His unrelentless passion for making music and promoting scratch music in Ireland has marked him out as a unique and extremely driven talent.

 

♫ ♪ Danny Diatribe w/ DJ Cutterz & Ryan Mason
Danny Diatribe is Irish rapper Danny Lynch from Derry City in the North of Ireland, based in Manchester UK. Danny joins us on the night fresh of the release of his new album Tales From the Down & Outs. The project is a conceptual journey exploring the lives of down on their luck characters and the struggles they face. The album’s producer, DJ Cutterz, will be joining Danny for his set along with live drummer Ryan Mason.

♫ ♪ Leo Miyagee
Belfast based & London raised, Leo was the winner of a tightly contested open mic session last time out, no doubt earning his spot on the lineup for the night. In October of last year Leo Miyagee released his EP ‘Trust God, Love Yours, Do Bits In Life’ via Dublin based District recordings which was followed up with an August release of his new album Bluebird.

♫ ♪ Skeet
Belfast MC & producer Skeet is a face that may be familiar to past Elixir attendees for a strong showing alongside Durty Devz in the past. It’s a pleasure to have him on our lineup just in time to coincide with the release of his forthcoming debut album Chapter One.

We are blessed to have Irish scene veteran ERA2 from Derry popping up with a special appearance to be on host duties for the night, our always craic filled open mic will be going down & debuting DJ Boatsie is joining Militant Vinylist to kick the night off right.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ElixirBelfast/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1235077729987656

For the 8th installment of Elixir (and also the last of 2018) we are taking over at one of Belfast's most famous pubs and it's oldest building, McHugh's Bar and Restaurant, located at 29-31 Queen's Square, Belfast, BT1 3FG
http://www.mchughsbar.com