To celebrate the release of their new compilation album, BCK 2 WRK, featuring tracks by artists from WRKSHP and The Circle, the two Detroit-based record labels put together a (moderately) friendly 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Before I get into how skillfully Audetorium’s team worked their way to the final round of the tournament, I should tell you why we were so excited to participate in this event. Volume One of BCK 2 WRK is an absolute mood enhancer from start to finish. Featured on the album are some of the Midwest’s most prolific rappers from the likes of Skilla Baby, MiaJC, EWM Kdoe, Lil’ Beno, and Loskii (just to drop a few). It’s very rare that two labels come together to bring a massive amount of talent onto one album. You can see artists getting featured on records outside of their own label, but not as a compilation. It’s these types of forward thinking maneuvers from these two labels that will help bring rise to a new renaissance of Detroit music. It’s working together and building one another up that will help build back a new type of Motown.
When the jerseys were thrown on that camaraderie didn’t make its way too far into the paint though.
The tourney took place on a beautiful, summer afternoon at The Monroe Street Midway. While Killa Squad DJ’d next to WRKSHP’s merch booths, crowds formed from off the street to pick up gear and watch the teams compete. Brands like StockX, The Circle, 107.5 Radio, Detroit DJ, WRKSHP, VIOLA (the cannabis company whose players showed up roughly an hour late. I mean… c’mon… that’s perfect), and the Detroit Pistons all put together teams of 3 players in hopes of taking home awards. Artist Sheefy McFly, who also created much of the artwork at The Midway, watched from the sidelines as players dribbled a ball covered in his artwork down the court.
Che Pope and his team at WRKSHP might have lost in the first round to The Circle led by producer Dominique Hollins, but Pope was all smiles during interviews about the two labels coming together to collaborate on BCK 2 WRK and what will be the first of many annual basketball tournaments. The team Audetorium put together, comprised of Michigan Playmakers AAU alumni Dwight Burton, Miguel Priest, and Cameron McEvans, pushed through the competition like sharks out for blood. Their skills on the court were unfortunately no match for The Circle in the final round, who came to show everyone that they were as unstoppable on the court as they are on their album. [Editor’s Note: Comments regarding how Audetorium’s team was cheated out of a win by a ref who somehow misplaced 6 of our points halfway through the final match have been redacted from this article.]