By Dongyoon Shin
Long Island Beatbox (LIBBX) is a brand that is trending nationally. Thanks to two successful beatboxing events on Long Island, the area is making a name for itself.
Beatbox is a music genre in which uses one’s speech organs to make musical sounds. The art form originated from the hip-hop community back in the 80s in New York City and it is still thriving in the same place in the present day.
Beatbox battling is by far one of the most popular forms of beatboxing events around the world, in which two beatboxers take turns showcasing their skills to show who’s better.
The recent Long Island Beatbox Battle in January hosted by LIBBX garnered over 100 beatboxers and fans across the country; some people even traveled all the way from Virginia, Florida and Georgia.
Jack Gross, a Long Island native beatboxer who’s in his second year at NYU, founded his ever-growing company LIBBX during his summer break last year via Instagram.
“Long Island Beatbox started as a humble Instagram page,” said Gross. “After creating our logo for our page, I reached out to various beatboxers on Instagram who were looking for exposure and posted their shout-out videos on our LIBBX page.”
Soon enough, the page began to gain recognition, especially from people in the New York City area.
The NYU sophomore, however, had a bigger ambition: hosting his own event. Interning for the American Beatbox Championship prior, he had both the experience and support to organize an event with his brand already.
“The team (American Beatbox Championship) mentored me; that prepared me to start my company,” said Gross. “Early exposure as an organizer was important.”
Jack aims to host at least two beatbox battles a year on Long Island. Additionally, he wants to organize the showcase centered on events that don’t necessarily need to rely on the battles anymore.
“A showcase is one of the most effective ways for beatboxers to change mainstream opinion on our artform because not everyone is aware of our capabilities.”
He also hopes that his brand will continue to thrive as his ambition is to promote Long Island as a cultural hub like New York City.
“When you think about hip-hop, you think about Brooklyn and Manhattan,” said Gross. “I wanted to represent my home and foster the community here. I am happy that I get support from my own neighborhood.”