ABDC Season 7 Week 4 – Drake Challenge

RNG wrecking shit. – Photo by Frank Micelotta.


Week 4: Drake Challenge

Originally posted May 3rd, 2012 on Intersections.

***Spoilers, yo.***

YES! DRAKE WEEK. At least that’s what I thought before I remembered that all of the songs get remixed into more danceable tracks. To put it simply, this week was a game changer. Some crews had the best week yet, while some frontrunners didn’t manage to meet the bar they had set for themselves. Each crew had to tackle the same challenge this week: bring one line of the lyrics to life. To find out how everyone did, read after the jump for links to the official MTV videos of the performances (click on the crew name – song title), summaries, and thoughts.

RNG wrecking shit. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

RNG – “HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) ft. Lil Wayne”

Summary: RNG chose “time for me to revisit the past” as the lyric to bring to life. They started off with a groove that was just grimey enough to fit the feel of the song (0:07-0:10). Overall, RNG’s musicality was definitely one of the best parts of their performance this week. They paid a lot of attention to Drake’s flow while still hitting all of the big sounds and random noises that District 78 mixed in (0:15-0:20). The rewind (starts at 0:33) was ILL, nuff said. RNG ended with perfectly synchronized drops (0:47).

Thoughts: Doooooope. As Nancy of BloggingABDC pointed out in the play-by-play (10:05), this challenge was much more up RNG’s alley. Not that they weren’t going hard this week, but RNG felt a lot more certain of themselves, even from the opening of this routine. I also agree with D-Trix on this performance as RNG’s best on the show so far. What I love about this routine was how RNG’s choreography wasn’t “good considering they’re kids,” but straight up high-level shit. As much as I love 8 Flavahz, their high-energy, hype choreography is definitely characteristic of youth crews. RNG’s advantage over 8 Flavahz is that they are meeting the adult crews on the same playing field not only in terms of basic dancing ability, but also on the level of choreography. 8 Flavahz is a lot more dependent on showcasing their members’ individual talents whereas RNG can also execute top-notch group choreography. However, I will agree with JC Chasez on that RNG might want to work on using more complex formations. On a final note, I love how RNG doesn’t have to show any skin to have a hot routine, I mean the chest isolations and inflations were on POINT (0:07-0:11, 0:39-0:41).

Mos Wanted. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Mos Wanted Crew – “The Motto ft. Lil Wayne”

Ian: “Pass it like a relay”… I sound just like him, don’t I?

Summary: The video package this week was much more realistic, showing the boys butting heads and struggling to come up with choreography. The first part of the routine (0:00-0:12) builds energy in a similar fashion as the past few performances, utilizing simpler grooves to showcase Mos Wanted’s sharp execution and their stage presence. The transition at 0:14 where Bam, Lando, and Jawn spun into the front was sick, kicking up the energy of the routine. As usual the drop at 0:25 was dope, but Mos Wanted has used a similar drop in each of their previous routines. I liked the relay (starts at 0:29) and thought it was well executed, but may have taken just a tad too long to develop.

JC Chasez: I’m riding the pony. I’m riding the pony.

Thoughts: If you’ve been following my previous posts, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Mos Wanted, but I’m going to have to agree with D-Trix this week. This was definitely not their best ABDC performance to date. Part of the problem is that they have set a very high bar for themselves with their previous performances and they’ve only increased my expectations for them week after week. Another issue I have is what District 78 did with the remix. “The Motto” was easily the most danceable song this week, and while I understand there’s not much they could have done to improve it, I was irritated with what they came up with; I just wish they would have just left the song alone. The whole feel of this routine is very chill and confident, much like the original song. Lando actually released a choreo video to this song recently, and this routine had a very similar feel. Unfortunately, it’s not the right angle for surviving on ABDC, especially since chill confidence will probably be interpreted as cockiness. Not a vote getting performance…

Ultimately, the biggest problem with Mos Wanted’s routine this week was that it had a similar framework as the past two performances, starting with basic, well executed grooves and building energy with their incredible stage presence and musicality. However, the wow moment never happened. The relay was clever, but it wasn’t jaw-on-the-floor amazing and the challenge wasn’t well incorporated into the rest of the routine. It was kind of just stuck in the middle of it, whereas in the Flo Rida challenge the boys played around with the concept of air throughout the performance. I did love the fact that Bam and JP both got solos this week (0:19 and 0:35 respectively); I think they both need to be showcased a little more. Overall, I was a bit let down by Mos Wanted’s performance this week, but let’s be honest. If this performance was staged by any other crew, people would have been impressed. It’s just that we’ve come to expect nothing less than genius from these guys.

8 Flavahz takes flight. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

8 Flavahz – “Find Your Love”

Summary: The video package mostly focused on how Angel’s mom has been fighting cancer and her condition has taken a turn for the worse. She actually passed away the other day, according to tweets from the girls and other competitors. Rest in peace. 8F’s routine centered around Angel and how the other girls were supporting her, an onstage manifestation of the rest of the girls were there for Angel when she heard the news about her mother. The line “nothing’s gonna tear us apart” was almost too real; Angel decided to stay in the competition because her mother supported her and would have wanted her to go all the way. The use of the shrugs at 0:13 was really cool visually and super creative. I liked at 0:32 where Angel literally climbed up the backs of the other girls and jumped into Tamara’s arms.

@landowilkins: “The future will one day become the past, only to be followed by the future.” –@landowilkins @moswantedcrew #abdc7 #mdubarmy @FLAVAHZcrew #FlavahNation instagr.am/p/KBG_Z_vq_e/

Thoughts: It’s hard to be objective about this performance when it carries so much emotional weight and meaning. Honestly, it’s tough because I don’t think this was even close to what 8F is capable of, but I commend them on pushing through despite the difficult times. It was just like JC Chasez said, a routine of many moments strung together. I don’t want to be harsh, but I was a bit disappointed because I had really high expectations for these girls, especially coming out of last week’s performance. I included Lando’s tweet above because I thought it was touching and reflects the potential I see in this group. That being said, I completely understand where they are and can only hope they can push past this and keep themselves in the competition. Though, I really doubt that they’ll have trouble acquiring votes this week. Best of luck to the girls.

I don’t care if this photo fucks up my format. This helicopter was dope. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Collizion Crew – “Over”

Summary: Collizion picked “I’m riding through the city with my high beams on” as their lyric. The video package reiterated their car crash story. NOTE: they happened to be named Collizion before they got into that accident. The first series of flips and lifts (0:08-0:11) was pretty dope. I really liked the single-handed tutting that initiated the waving up of the opposite arm (0:19-0:21). That sequence was well executed and cool. The annoying camera angles made it difficult to see what they were doing during their key lyric (0:25), but the high beams were cool and I’m assuming well framed form what I could make out. I’m not a huge fan of the car formation at 0:29 with Mogley at the center. It was a bit too cheesy and obvious for me. Roflcopter (see above) at 0:50.

Thoughts: Why does Mario Lopez have a flashlight?! Solid performance, though I don’t think it was stellar. Again, I didn’t really like the car formation. It took up too much time and just didn’t do a whole lot for me. I LOVE Collizion’s swag and stage personality as a crew. Not a standout performance this week.

RAHHHHHHH. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Elektrolytes – “Headlines”

Summary: The first section (0:00-0:18) showcased Chris to celebrate him being back with the crew. I dig. Not sure I liked their faces during the first floating trick at 0:19; it was just a bit too campy for me. The dubstep section (0:28-0:34) didn’t differ majorly from their other dubstep sections in previous routines. The weird floating head thing at 0:35 flat out didn’t work for me because of this comment that was made during the viewing:

Russell Dinkins ’13: Vagina.

But actually! Go look at it! It looks like a birthing scene!

Thoughts: The performance was okay, but Elektrolytes keeps disappointing me because they haven’t pushed themselves in terms of trying something new. Their style looks a lot like your standard well executed competition set with some dope stunts and good framing. Elektro hasn’t done anything terribly new for themselves or the show. They’re great dancers with solid technique, but it’s not going to cut it this season when there are crews with comparable technique but bigger personalities and more creative sets. It seems to me that their sets are more about demonstrating their technique and abilities rather than creating cool images or drawing from a song’s concepts creatively. I need to see more from these guys before I consider voting for them.

Art. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Fanny Pak – “Make Me Proud ft. Nicki Minaj”

Summary: When Fanny Pak first announced that they picked “running on a treadmill only eatin’ salad” as their lyric to interpret in choreography, I was extremely skeptical, but oh my GOD. The routine started with the set up of an intimate restaurant complete with a violinist, red-checkered tablecloth and menus (0:00-0:10). FP was killing their acting this week and their movements were sharp and coordinated. Once the dancing started, I’m glad the camera didn’t do as much of its trickery this week, allowing me to properly see what was happening onstage. The execution of their challenge was FLAWLESS (0:22). Go watch it. FP does some straight group choreography (0:29), demonstrating that they DO have swag. The Nicki Minaj section exemplifies this (0:34-0:46). The set ends with the formation of poses pictured above (0:49).

Thoughts: FANNY PAK THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANTED FROM YOU. ART. AHHH. Not only did FP get out of their 80s costumes, but they left their safe sassy zone. Fanny Pak proved that they are totally capable of doing raw hip-hop choreography with all of the swag and energy of strictly hip-hop crews. I feel that all the camera nonsense last week lost FP a lot of votes because all we could see was attitude, attitude, attitude and very little dancing. This week’s performance was a perfect combination of Fanny Pak’s artistry, technique, and personality. Flawless. I can only hope that they keep doing things like this instead of going back to where they came from.

Pedobear? – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Stepboys – “Best I Ever Had”

Summary: “Every show she out there repping like a mascot” was the lyric that the Stepboys had to bring to life. They chose to do it through costume choice. In the video package, they showed the boys going to a costume warehouse to pick out which one they would use. I immediately thought about this Text From Last Night that I saw this afternoon when one of them started dancing in a chicken suit:


Ok more importantly someone in a chicken costume just stepped in front of my car and started breakdancing…

Coincidence?! The helicopter toss at 0:12 was awesome. The passing off of the bear chain was cute (0:34-0:36). The actual dance choreography (0:38) was pretty basic, but well done and much more about the dancing than in previous performances.

D-trix: I’m sorry but I wanna see you two do what they did up there.

Lil Mama: First of all, D-Trix, don’t test me.

Thoughts: Unfortunately for the Stepboys, this was their best performance to date, but it was just too late in the competition to finally get it right. This was what they should have been doing from the start. They took way to long to figure how to balance their sense of humor with the dancing. At least these guys went out with a bang.

Eliminated: Stepboys

Final Thoughts:

@d_TRIX: Tonight was one memorable night. My favorite episode of ABDC i’ve witnessed yet! #ABDC S7

While I don’t agree with D-Trix, I think it was definitely an interesting in night. Mos Wanted wasn’t stellar, but a RNG, Fanny Pak, and Stepboys had breakout performances. I expected this week to be HYPE, but it really wasn’t that great overall. The problem is that Drake’s music is very chill and not suited to what ABDC wants to see onstage. Therefore the remixes destroyed some of my favorite songs. It’ll be interesting to see how next week’s rankings will turn out.

And that’s it for this week! Check back next week for the J.Lo recap!


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