After a four-year hiatus, Culture Clash packed out the city’s Gateway Center. The party boasted four stages full of DJs, artists and dancers representing hip-hop, reggaeton, dancehall and more.
Culture Clash is a unique experience where the crowd’s reaction is the ultimate judge of each crew’s efforts. Nothing like your typical DJ battle or band competition, this event celebrated Atlanta’s unique musical and cultural offerings.
The arena was dotted with flags representing various countries, color-coded foam fingers and noise-makers signifying fans’ chosen performance crew.
Led by DJ Kash, Bamba Tuesdays showcased the best in Afrobeats and Ampiano. Known for their weekly events, the crew brought the party to the stage with a combination of classics and new hits representing the diaspora. Their high-energy show featured an appearance by Atlanta’s own Fast Life Yungstaz performing the party staple “Swag Surfin” and Nigeran artist singer-songwriter Afro B. Bamba Tuesdays closed out their stage with Wayne Wonder performing 2002’s “No Letting Go.”
Stationed opposite Bamba Tuesdays was the Rum Punch Brunch stage. The fatigued-clad crew created pandemonium with their fusion of Reggae and Dancehall.
They showcased the essence of the culture with legendary MC and DJ Tony Matterhorn on the mic running the show between sets. He even jumped into a freestyle when the crew had technical difficulty with their sound system. The massive crowd broke into a frenzy when Jamaican artist Aidonia performed “Yeah Yeah” and followed every command of dancehall sensation and producer Serani.
Bringing in the Latin flair was Perreo404. The stage moved the crowd with an eclectic mix of Reggaeton, Perreo, Latin House and more. The crew brought out the big guns with Latin Grammy-nominated DJ and producer DJ Luian and tip-toed into Southern culture with an appearance from Roscoe Dash.
Mashup Sessions were there to represent the sound of Atlanta and did not disappoint. DJs Unruely and The Canterbury Tales brought the vibes of their weekly events and “put on for the city.” Special guests included Travis Porter and rap star Young Nudy, who performed his viral “Peaches & Eggplants” hit.
Cultural influence was emphasized with a performance from the legendary hip-hop group Crime Mob. The Atlanta natives voiced feelings about their music still impacting and transcending generations.
“We have younger people that are 10 to 15 years younger than us sampling our songs,” said group member Lil’Jay. He added he “appreciated” the acknowledgment from the countless viral TikToks and tracks their music has been sampled in.
While the group was a main highlight of the night, group member Princess admitted at one time that they were viewed as “one-hit wonders” or the “younger kids that had to prove themselves.”
The idea of Crime Mob being “one-hit wonders” was quickly dismissed as the veterans performed their iconic trifecta of “Stilettos,” “Rock Yo Hips” and “Knuck If You Buck.
Once Crime Mob left the stage, the competing teams continued giving their all to the crowd in the head-to-head battle. After four rounds of surprise performances, DJ scratch sessions and dance breaks, the eardrum-busting roars declared Rum Punch Bunch as Red Bull’s Culture Clash winner.
DJ Tony Matterhorn attributed their win to a similar strategy of an NBA team where everyone was equipped to play multiple positions. Mentioned as a “point guard,” DJ Willy Chin was one of the many “selectors” on the winning team and stated that taking home the trophy was “important for the dancehall culture and how it’s spread around the world.”