Home grown grime collective Boy Better Know smashed the decibel metre during last night's Red Bull Culture Clash at London's Wembley Arena to be crowned 2012 champion by hosts Tim Westwood and Gemma Cairney. The sound of London's streets was victorious, beating loud and heavy competition from Major Lazer, Annie Mac Presents Magnetic Man and Channel One.
The 12 strong crew including JME, Shorty, Wiley and Skepta brought out special guests Lethal Bizzle and Chip in the final round to see off their competition with specially recorded dubplates and freestyles in front of over 7,000 music fans.
The four competing crews pulled out all the stops last night. Global megastar Usher jumped on a plane as soon as he'd cast his vote in the US presidential election to join genre-defying super-producer Diplo for a once in a lifetime reggae remix of his number one record, Climax. Rita Ora travelled across the city on a motorbike to make a special performance, arriving on stage complete with biker leathers and crash helmet. Unannounced special guests Katy B and Example performed on the Annie Mac and Magnetic Man stage. Channel One spun a full vinyl set of analogue sounds in digital times. Hosts Westwood and Cairney calmed the crews and crowds as the tension rose and the drama stepped up with Major Lazer bringing their unique energy from Round 1, Annie Mac mocking Diplo's Blackberry commercial and Boy Better Know delivering killer speeches to their rivals.
With over 100 artists performing across the night, a host of celebrity fans turned out to watch the battle unfold, including BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw, Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32 and Yasmin.
Last night's Red Bull Culture Clash was the first time Wembley Arena had hosted four stages at one event. 270 speakers, 9 mixing desks, 14 CDJ mixers and 15 miles of cable were brought in to ensure this was the heaviest party ever held within the arena's walls.
Each crew spent months preparing for the bass-driven warfare, carefully selecting their weapons of choice and recording custom-made dubplate specials. The four-round battle saw each soundsystem given a limited time to win over the crowd with heavy hit after heavy hit.
Red Bull Culture Clash was the third event of its kind to take place in the UK, the first forming part of London's Red Bull Music Academy festival in 2010. Earlier events took place at Camden's Roundhouse in March and October 2010 respectively. The event started with a warm-up set at 7pm with the four rounds of the Culture Clash starting from 8pm.
Special Guests: Usher and Rita Ora
ANNIE MAC PRESENTS MAGNETIC MAN
Redlight + Rudimental + Disclosure
Special Guests: Example + Katy B + P Money + Ms Dynamite + Maverick Sabre
BOY BETTER KNOW
JME + Skepta + Frisco + Wiley + Shorty + Jammer + Solo 45 + Maximum
Special Guests: Lethal Bizzle + Chip
Mikey Dread & Ras Kayleb
Special Guests: Luciano, Navigator, Brother Culture and Solo Banton
Support From: DIGITAL SOUNDBOY SYSTEM
Featuring: Shy FX, Breakage, B. Traits, Dismantle, Stamina MC