It had been a minute since I frequented this hood. To think it had been more than a year since I stepped out of this same subway station that I walked in and out of everyday for a year. Spread out houses, the blaring light of Popeye’s chicken, and refreshingly, a lot of brown people, is something I can honestly say I didn’t know I missed. Mainstreet, it’s been a minute.
Almost jumping into the wrong brown man’s silver four-door, Bigglez finally showed up and scooped me. I can’t recall a moment when this jolly human is never smiling… that, and running his mouth. Lol. Having met Biggz at the start of summer, I had seen this guy around at various jams — Main Ingredient, Andy’s, this, that and rayray. All I remember of him prior to being officially introduced, is that his presence is always made known… probably because he’s guaranteed to make a public announcement of it. ;P
Rolling up to the back parking lot of a brown brick building, Bigglez looked over and said to me smugly, “Welcome to the Chocolate Factory.”
Opening the door, my eyes were instantly stimulated by the array of records on and around a table with it’s own decks. Handlez and Assault, the two handsome bachelors that occupied this abode, made a pretty sweet guy pad out of this joint. Sitting on the couch watching a Boogie Brats tape was Jay and Alex, whom I had never officially met, but most likely had seen in passing. Walls painted a two-toned brown, (probably representing the two different shades of chocolate in which Handlez and Assault embodied), I had entered the infamous hub of inspiration and cyphers belonging to one of the oldest bboy crews in Toronto: MEC.
[Nastic and Assault]
Maximum Efficiency Crew, representin’ the hood, representin’ RBP (Rude Bway Posse), representin’ for the laaaadies, and most importantly, representin’ bboy culture to the fullest. From the very first time I met some of these guys: Nastic, Assault, Handlez, Bigglez, Switch, Troublez, I could tell straight away they were good vibes people, not to mention ridiculously stupid effing crazy amazing dancers.
The boys sitting around the cream colored couch, myself propped up on the pulled out branded RBP linoleum, I took a minute to take in their interactions with one another. Ranging from the oldest being late-20′s/early-30′s, to the youngest being 15, I saw the dynamic of a real brotherhood. Non-stop laughing at and with each other, it was evident that before they are a crew, they identify themselves as fam and friends first.
And the legacy of MEC continues… recruiting and training young, fresh and hungry blood, these guys see potential in the present bboy community here in Toronto, and they feel it as their duty as the OG heads, to make sure these kids understand and respect the culture the way they learned how to. As someone who is huge on community development, to me, this is something I highly, highly respect.
[Stix, Switch B]
MEC is celebrating their 11 year anniversary this coming FRIDAY/SATURDAY, the 26th/27th of this month. For full details, check out the facebook invite HERE. Tonight is the pre-celebration at Andy Poolhall’s, also celebrating the 1 year anniversary of 24 Karat Tuesdays, one of my favorites nights of the week. And Friday’s after party celebration, a party that Lovehard is co-sponsoring, HIP HOP LOVE at the Great Hall is a gwannin’. Reaaaaach!
Stay tuned for the forthcoming video, giving you a little more of what MEC is about, and my time spent at the Chocolate Factory.
I’ve spoken my piece. Peace!