Beats & Breaks Battles, a competitive performance event featuring aspiring hip hop producers from around the country, will be held in Chicago through April and May. The Battles will be sponsored by SAE Institute USA, and will produce winners who will compete in an overall regional contest at the Chicago campus of SAE Institute in July.
“The Beats & Breaks Battles are an intense, high-energy competition that showcases America’s top up-and-coming hip hop production talent going one-on-one against each other with their original beats,” says Scott McKinley, President of SAE Institute USA. “We’re thrilled to support Beats & Breaks and are looking forward to some awesome showdowns throughout the year.”
The Beats & Breaks Battles are the brainchild of Amir James and Arall Charles, and are presented through their company MC WAR Promotions. Over 300 rappers from across the country have competed in the MC WAR rap battles since Charles began the initiative in 1998, and since the company’s YouTube channel has received over 1 million views.
“While our rap battles are established and we’re the leaders in the field, our Beats & Breaks Battles are an entirely new and innovative type of hip hop competition,” says James. “They’ll be decided by a team of judges and the crowd, so to walk away victorious, producers will truly need to bring their best ideas and hottest sounds.”
The Beats & Breaks Battles will allot three minutes for each competing producer to create, compose, and program an instrumental hip hop track live and on the spot. Four to eight producers will be entered in each Battle, and will compete against one another in a tournament style. Producers who wish to compete would need to bring their own gear (laptop, software, sounds, boxes, etc.). The venues will provide a PA, sound engineer, and mixing board.
The Chicago Beats & Breaks Battles will take place on the following dates:
- Monday, 3/17 – Music Garage/8-11PM (345 N.Loomis Street, Chicago)
- Monday, 4/14 – Music Garage/8-11PM (345 N.Loomis Street, Chicago)
- Monday, 5/12 – Sam Ash/6-8PM (1139 S Main St., Lombard, Chicago)
Prizes for winners in these local Battles will be $100 Sam Ash gift cards. Local winners will then compete in regional battles for a $1,000 prize, and the regional winners will compete in the national Beats & Breaks championship, which will be held in Atlanta in December ’14.
“Holding the regional Beats & Breaks Battles at SAE Chicago will be a fantastic opportunity for the students in our 12-week Beat Lab production program,” says McKinley. “Not only will our students discover a new way to one day show off their studio skills, they’ll also have the opportunity to meet fellow aspiring producers and create valuable networking and collaboration opportunities that can help them build their music business careers.”