Sole DXB recently announced that the Morrocan-born and London-raised artist Hassan Hajjaj, often referred to as the Andy Warhol of Marrakech, will relaunch his ‘80s streetwear label R.A.P London at Sole DXB 2016. Following this news, they’ve released a short film documenting b-boy culture—another key element in streetwear history—and its transfer over to the Middle East.

Supported by Lenovo Moto, GRIT. GRACE. GOLD explores the burgeoning b-boy scene in Dubai, offering insight into a less documented side of the Middle East and the eastwards evolution of hip-hop culture. While breakdancing and b-boy culture are far removed from preconceptions surrounding this Emirati city, the dancers reveal a ritualistic need for self-expression, a core value of hip-hop and one shared around the world. “No matter where you’re from, nationality, race or religion, when we step on the floor we’re all one, we’re all connected,” explains Krafty, one of the film’s featured b-boys.

The film’s writer and director Amirah Tajdin wanted to share more of Dubai’s grit and less gold; simultaneously portraying a connection between these two sides of the city through its graceful dancers and cultural heartbeat. “What we found was a community of breakers who have taken an art form that originated amidst the underbelly of New York City decades ago and are re-writing it as a modern tale in the Middle East,” described Amirah. “Dubai’s b-boys and b-girls are pushing cross-cultural boundaries that could never be scripted. What better way to celebrate them than through a cinematic crafting set within the depths of a city that’s draped in neon, gold and spirited hustle.”

Sole DXB 2016 takes place in Dubai on November 18 and 19. Skepta, Little Simz and BJ The Chicago Kid, amongst others, will perform alongside participating brands such as adidas Originals, PUMA Select, New Balance and Nike. More info and full lineup are available via the link below.

You’ve seen the grit, now check out the gold in Sole DXB’s City of Gold.

Words by Aaron Howes
Branded Content Editor
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