A Little Look at the Wildcards for GBBB 2018

If you thought last year’s wildcards were insane, this year’s has a whole new batch of insane. With 11 wildcards this year, there are sure to be upsets all throughout GBBB 2018. The wildcard winners for this year are:

  1. Show-Go
  2. Codfish
  3. Bigman
  4. D-Low
  5. Two.H
  6. H-Has
  7. Rythmind
  8. Chris Celiz
  9. Helium
  10. Piratheeban
  11. Ish

There are a lot of big names on this list, some are newcomers for their on the international scene and others are veterans making another appearance to hopefully take the title. Let’s run them down.

SHOW-GO:

This wildcard is definitely the best out of them all, hands down. His biggest strength is how well he uses double voice so it sounds musical. It’s one of the harder sounds to make sound really good musically but Show-go makes it work and it’s beautiful.

CODFISH:

Not enough people give shoutouts in their wildcards and Codfish found a wonderful to do it. Coming up with a new routine, Old Mate Firebender, combining it with his one of his best routines, Sail With Me, this is just one of the best ones I’ve heard. The shoutout is incorporated into the routine itself which is really smart. It’s really structured like a song where he has three verses and a beat that changes over the course of the song. This is definitely my favourite wildcard out of the bunch.

BIGMAN:

This guy is probably the most well-known beatboxer on this list because of his appearance on Ellen. Props to him for that. Coming up with a new routine, “I don’t love you,” I’m starting to sense a pattern here. Falling Love, Get Tired Of My Love, I Don’t Love You. I feel like an album is coming out based on the theme of love. Back to the point, THIS MAN IS A MUSICAL GENIUS. One of the reasons he’s so well-known is because musicality has taken over and if you don’t have musicality in your routines, you don’t make it in. He’s so musical to the point that it becomes technicality when you try to cover his routines. He also has a great singing voice to go along with it. He doesn’t appear to have that killer battle instinct which might hurt him but I would love to see him go all the way.

D-LOW:

D-low’s routines are a work of art. He always brings something new to the table. This really musical wildcard is an example of that. This is unlike anything we’ve seen D-low do before. He’s starting to go more away from liprolls and technicality but makes up for it in other areas and his uniqueness. There’s that sort of perfect style that one looks for over time and he’s slowly reaching it and perfecting it. He has that killer instinct to want to win and I want to see that from him.

TWO.H:

Two.H. GBBB finalist. Whenever Two.H comes out with a new routine or wildcard, he always brings something new to the table. His signature demon bass is something that I’d love to see more of. It’s so unique to him, it defines him and a lot of his routines and has potential to make the crowd go crazy. I want to see the Two.H from 3 years ago come back and go all the way.

H-HAS:

This guy, in my opinion, is like Hiss 2.0. He has that mix of technicality and musicality that works so well. He uses less technicality than Hiss but the drop in this wildcard with the bird sound tells me that he has a lot of potential left. This sort of style works so well because it’s enjoyable to listen to even if it’s put together like a freestyle. I think he’s going to be a sleeper in this competition.

RYTHMIND:

From the get-go of this wildcard, it has a really Reeps One sort of vibe with the different kinds of percussion he uses. This is soon seen to be changed as a cover of GDFR can be heard. It’s put in a really cool way though. There’s one massive flaw with this wildcard and that’s the lack of structure. The drop isn’t very noticeable because he doesn’t really build it. I do understand that Rythmind is more of a looper and a member of Berywam, one of the top beatboxing groups in the world, but this is something he really needs to develop in order to do well in the solos.

CHRIS CELIZ:

Out of all the wildcards submitted, this is probably the one that has received the most hate and I can see why. Even Chris himself said that he was surprised that he even got in. I think the hate really comes from the fact that the other wildcards were more technical and upbeat than this one. Whatever the reason is, Chris got in and he’s thankful for it. In terms of pure musicality, this one takes it as it’s not only a cover but also stays true to the song. By this, I mean that the cover still sounds like the song and not like a remix which can be heard from other beatboxers. Not much technicality can be heard and I don’t expect him to go far given his previous success at GBBB but I do expect his elimination round to be pretty entertaining.

HELIUM:

Helium has gone further and further away from his roots that made him famous, the zipper. He’s still known for using the zipper in ways that no one would expect but he’s starting to use them less and less and this is actually a good thing. This allows Helium to focus on other areas. His routines are more musical and technical. I was really surprised to hear him use double voice but it seems like he keeps up with the trends. I don’t really find him using a lot of prepared routines because he seems to be more of a freestyler which works fine for his style but if he brings a few routines with him, he could go really far.

PIRATHEEBAN:

One of the cleaner beatboxers in the competition, Piratheeban covers everything this routine. I would compare him this routine to Ball-Zee because of how clean and technical he is. He’s also very musical with this routine. I don’t find much wrong with this routine aside from a slight problem in the structure where he doesn’t build the drop *enough* but it’s noticeable and he’s a champion so I think he can get it done.

ISH:

Last time I heard from Ish was his wildcard for GNB earlier this year. He has improved a lot since then and it shows. He has more of that killer mentality where he wants to do well and try hard. I remember he lacked a lot of that confidence from last time and I love seeing that he’s finally got that confidence. He’s also built up the techniques and developed his style a lot more. Another good sleeper pick for GBBB and I’m really glad he got chosen as the people’s pick.

I do want to give a mention to other beatboxers that I thought could have made the list but didn’t. They include the following:

  • B-Art
  • Wing
  • Zekka
  • Elisii
  • FootboxG
  • Cosmin
  • MR MIC
  • Kevin O’Neal
  • MIXFX
  • Neolizer

I probably missed someone where there were so many stacked wildcards this year that I could understand the judges having difficulty choosing. Who do you think can make it all the way? Who do you think got left out? Leave your responses in the comments.

Other than that, thanks for reading.

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Let’s Talk About Uniqueness

Being unique in the beatboxing community is really hard to accomplish. For the most part, beatboxers start by listening to others on Youtube and attempt to copy a beat from their favourite beatboxer. They like that person so much so they basically copy their style. Being exposed to other beatboxers is not a bad thing but it’s bad once you copy someone’s style almost completely as it’s frowned upon in the community. So how do you make your style unique?

Image result for unique

Source: http://unique-group.co.uk/ 

From my experience, I usually freestyle a lot and try and find a beat that is original that I’ve never heard before. I do this from using my arsenal of sounds and trial and error. Focusing on one signature sound is a good way to separate yourself from the crowd. TylaDubya is one of the best examples of this kind of uniqueness with his signature tongue bass that he uses in a lot of his routines like Primal Fear. A few other examples include Gene’s clicks, Dlow’s Dlow scratch, Napom’s liprolls, Ballzee’s bass, inward bass from pretty much every beatboxer out there and much more. Just using a single sound enough is enough to set you apart as people will associate that sound with your style.

Once you finally find a sound that you like and you want to base your style around, find other sounds that work with that sound. When choosing your signature sound, make sure it’s not used too much as it will take away from the appeal and you might just be called a spammer for it.

Finding a good balance and sounds that work well with your signature sound, now all you have to do is find a way to put it together. Routines are a really good way to showcase your style. The drop is typically where your sound is showcased. More on structure basics of a routine can be found in my post on Jigsaw by Gene and why it’s one of the best routines.

Understanding signature sounds, structure and having a variety of sounds that work together is all it takes to be unique. It will take you a while to find your style but stick to it and that’s what people will know you for.

Other than that, thanks for reading.

My 2017 Rising Star Audition at the CNE

Above this line is my audition video for the 2017 Rising Star Competition at the CNE. I’m really satisfied with the outcome of the video mainly because of the initial beat that I start off with. One thing that I should really get that I realised from this video is investing in a pop filter. There’s one part where you can hear the air clearly but the other parts are fine and have little to no air heard.

I am really looking forward to the Rising Star Competition and I wish the best of luck to those who auditioned as well and are wanting to get a spot in the elimination round. Good luck to all.

Other than that, thank for reading.

Why Jigsaw is One of the Best Beatboxing Routines

In 2015, Gene Shinozaki secured his place in the Grand Beatbox Battle 2015 with his wildcard routine called Jigsaw. This not only secured his place in the tournament but he won the whole thing. It’s regarded as one of the best routines to date and many people who I show it to say it’s the best routine they have heard. But why is it so popular not only among beatboxers but also people who don’t beatbox?

Before I start the breakdown of this monster of a routine, we need to understand the structure of a routine.

The parts go in this very rough order:

Buildup: sets the mood for the routine

Verse: acts like a verse in a song where it’s a melody that people remember

Pre-drop: prepares audience for the drop incoming

Drop: an area of the routine that gets people on their feet with something such as a signature sound

Hook: another area similar to the drop but the part is changed up with things like better technicality or musicality

End-off: how the routine ends off

The first part is the buildup. Gene uses a synth sound combined with his humming to set the tone. This is really musical and sets the tone for a good music filled routine. People who are not into beatboxing like this more than something like lip rolls or inward bass because it’s more relatable and likeable for them than the sounds that beatboxers use.

The second part is the verse. Gene likes to use a lot of composer elements in his routines and he shows it off here with his insane musicality during the verse. He also likes to sing in his routines which are nothing new but the lyrics mean a lot and for non-beatboxers, this really catches on for them. The lyrics make a lot of sense. Gene is a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to fit into the puzzle or like a person trying to fit into the world.

The third part is the pre-drop. It’s the area before the drop and lets the audience know that the drop is coming. People like to use lyrics sometimes with some sort of drop joke such as, “drop it” or something like that but Gene, once again, does something different and uses a good buildup through his sounds and musicality. You start to see a trend with the amount of musicality that he uses in this routine which makes it enjoyable to listen to.

The fourth part is the drop, the most memorable part of any routine. Gene is referred to as “The Godfather of Clicks” and it’s easy to see why. This click drop is done of the best drops I have heard combined with the cough snares in between the clicks every third beat. This drop is compared to EDM songs such as Animals by Martin Garrix due to the clicks (Gene has done a cover of Animals as well). The drop is really well executed and sounds really good as well.

The fifth part is the hook. It ties back to the drop and this time, he adds a bunch of pops with the clicks. It sounds really technical. He has the musicality and the technicality to blow anyone away as long as they aren’t a hater of his or a hater of beatboxing. The technicality he adds showcases every part of a good routine but it needs to end well. That’s where the end-off comes in.

And we reach the end-off as the last part. The end-off is a tad bit rough but people don’t really notice it. The end-off touches back on the verse with the same humming he uses in the buildup without the synth. The end-off ties the whole routine together.

Gene does an exceptional job of showcasing all the elements of a good routine. He has structure, flow, musicality, technicality and originality. It’s no wonder why he won the whole tournament. With a great performance like this, who knows what the next great routine will be.

This has been my breakdown of Jigsaw by Gene Shinozaki. Other than that, thank you for reading.