It’s a cold jungle out there. Instead of the tropical air hanging over Jamaica, stinging winds gust through the streets of Brooklyn. This is the setting that Uninamise brings to mind with “The Jungle,” a track he’s premiering here from his new mixtape, Fate Of The Wolves.
Heavily thudding kicks bang out a dancehall pattern while a melody trickles out, echoing off icy walls, and chopped Bounty Killa samples are caught off the radio waves and trapped in empty streets. The record, like the whole Wolves tape, is a flex tune—a local style of music that came up within Brooklyn’s flexing dance culture. But some of the producers from the scene have recently started eyeing wider audiences beyond the dancers and now use the acronym FDM, short for flex dance music, to represent this new stage.
Despite those larger aims, the dancers are still central to the scene, and this mixtape was timed around the biggest flexing event of the year, Battlefest’s “King of The Streets.” The battle, which will be held this Sunday at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom, is the year’s final competition, pitting the best against each other, chosen from a series of rounds that unfolded over the past 12 months. The eighth annual event is organized by Kareem Baptiste, an OG dancer from East New York.
With all eyes on the battle, it also becomes prime time for the producers. Many of them are dropping their mixtapes to coincide with it, as they do with every Battlefest. HITMAKERCHINX released his Shades And Monsters II tape, which the below track is featured on. And DJ Aaron will premier Zilla Season at the event, and then make it available online afterwards. Both of them have won their own Battlefest awards.
Whether it’s the dancers or the music that catches your interest (or both), you should check out Battlefest.