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The Night I Went to a Breakdancing Battle and It Escalated into a Violent Brawl

In this week's Clubbing Horror Stories, Ape Drums shares his story of a dance-off gone haywire.
June 19, 2016, 6:50pm
Photo courtesy of Ape Drums

Houston-native Ape Drums dropped the double-single EP "Go Crazy"/"The Way We Do This" on Mad Decent in May and "LFUTP" on Fool's Gold this past Friday. Incorporating hip-hop and electronic beats with dancehall elements, the beat-driven production is another smart step for the producer who first made his name in 2014 with the release of "Basement," his debut single on Slow Roast Records. The producer is currently on tour in support of the new singles and will appear next at the Garden in El Paso on June 23rd and Primary in Chicago on July 1st.

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In the latest installment of our clubbing horror stories column, the producer shares what happened when a breakdancing battle went wrong.


When I was 19, I went to a popular nightclub in Houston with some friends. At the time we were all dancers, breakdancers to be exact, and we loved going out and battling other dancers in the crowd.

That night, we were doing our thing and had our own little circle going on in the back of the club, until one drunk/drugged man in a suit bumped into us and started mocking us. We obviously didn't care that much, but we started mocking him back, jokingly.

Then out of nowhere I feel a kick in my back, pushing me towards my friends. I turn around, scan the situation, and realize another man has jumped from the upper level of the dance floor, about four steps high. He had kicked me in the back, away from his friend that was mocking us. There were five of them and four of us. One of the guys punches my friend in the face, and then we all just started swinging at each other.

So much is going on at this moment: I punched one guy in the face. My friend punches me in my neck by accident, knocking my contact lens out. I grab my contact from hanging off my eye and hold it in one hand, while I go to pick up another guy from the top of my other friend and throw him down. The guy gets up, smiles, looks at me and swings as I duck and miss his punch. When I get up and look around, I realize I'm all alone, looking at five men with matching neck tattoos. I run through the crowd and into the restroom to put my contact back on.

My friend calls me and tells me to meet him outside. As soon as I step outside the club, we all look at each other and start laughing as we walk back to our car. Most of us had cuts, bruises, and ripped clothing, but we all agreed it was fun. We had all noticed the matching neck tattoos, and one of my friends that I used to break dance with recognized the logo. I can't confirm it, but the next day he said he thought they were part of a triad.