Before I met Rudi Goblen and his crew, B-Boy group the Flipside Kings, I had no idea that Miami even had a breakdance scene. I soon learned that it was just one element of the vibrant and bustling hip hop community — one that has been shaping Miami’s culture for decades, from the early days of the 2Live Crew to the 90s-era Pitbull to today’s local stars like Yung Simmie and Denzel Curry.
“The four elements of hip-hop are: breaking, DJing, graffiti art, and emceeing,” Goblen explained. “Then there’s the fifth one, the knowledge of self.”
Growing up in Miami, Goblen and his crew mates used to attend large scale events, that would merge together and celebrate all the elements of hip-hop in one space. He could rattle them off like they were his home address.
There were events like the Bob Marley Festival, also known as the 9 Mile Music festival, which was started in 1993 by Bob Marley’s mother, Cedella Marley Booker. It began as a food drive, and the entry fee was simply two cans of food.
“We’d spend the whole day watching live performances, eating great food, meeting great people, and dope vibes,” Goblen said.
There was also the B-Boy Masters Pro-Am, another called “Who Can Roast The Most?,” which went worldwide and yet another event called Hoodstock, which also was donation-based.
“We grew up in a time in Miami where a lot of these events were around and helped cultivate and nourish the art forms that we practice and have been practicing for 22 years,” he said.
Many of those events have since fizzled out, but the Flipside Kings in collaboration with underground hip-hop group ¡MAYDAY!, are hoping to bring it back.
“We want to keep that vibe going and nourish and cultivate the hip-hop culture, and not only that but also the arts scene in Miami,” Goblen said.
That’s why to celebrate their 22nd anniversary in Miami, Goblen and his crew are hosting Fam Fest, a two-day festival of visual art, dance, film, theatrical performances, workshops, live music, and an international breakdance competition. It kicks off Friday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. and runs through 11 p.m. on Sat. Aug. 13.