Las Vegas/Anchorage/California’s Rock Force reigned supreme at New York City’s largest annual breakdance tournament as they battled some of the best dance crews from the U.S. and Canada to be named the 2017 McDonald’s B-Boy Royale Grand Champion. The three-person team comprised of Vegas’ Kareem ‘Kareem’ Gwinn, 30, Anchorage’s Jeremy “Icey Ives” Ives Viray, 21, and Los Angeles’ Morris ‘Morris’ Isby, 33, bested Pennsylvania/Toronto’s ION in front of a sell-out crowd at the NYU Skirball Center to win $5,000 and an invitation to defend their title at B-Boy Royale 5 in 2018.
In addition to Rock Force, B-Boy Royale 4 featured seven other award-winning crews vying for this year’s championship title: ION (Pennsylvania/Toronto), Culturas Unidas (Texas), Fraggle Rock Felons (Washington/Toronto), Knucklehead Zoo (Utah/Nevada), MKD (New York/Connecticut/New Jersey), The New Chapter (Texas/New York), and Retro Gnomes (Pennsylvania/Maryland).
“Our crew is made up of different age groups– 3rd generation [Kareem], newest member [Ives], and I’m a newer member, but the chemistry’s there,” said Rock Force’s Morris “Morris” Isby. “I really believe we were able to pull through the competition despite our age differences because we always make sure we’re on the same thought process.”
Hosted by HOT 97 Laura Stylez and DJ Kast One, the event also featured musical guest Tre Da Kid and honored legendary DJ and producer GrandMixer DXT for his historic contributions to hip-hop as the world’s first ‘turntablist.’ GrandMixer DXT was presented with the McDonald’s B-Boy Royale Lifetime Achievement Award by Crazy Legs, the equally iconic hip-hop pioneer and recipient of the award from McDonald’s B-Boy Royale 2.
Serving as a fundraising event for Ronald McDonald Charities of the New York Tri-State Area, McDonald’s B-Boy Royale raised over $8,000 in ticket proceeds for the non-profit organization, which creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.