Planet Rock: The Story of HipHop & the Crack Generation

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back on the 80s and 90s, few can argue the catastrophic effect of crack cocaine on the black community. When crack cocaine hit the streets in the early 80s, it opened up an entire new market for drug users. Individuals who normally couldn’t afford the expensive high of cocaine, could now receive a more intensified euphoric intoxicate from crack cocaine which cost substantially lesser than its progenitor and was extremely addictive. Within two decades, crack had exacted a heavy toll, leaving serious physical and emotional side effects not only on its users, but also on an entire community and on the United States as a whole. Continue reading

See the Cast of ‘Beat Street’ Then and Now

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Released around the time mainstream America first started to fall in love with hip-hop, 1984’s ‘Beat Street’ is a film encompassing the three key elements of the movement: breakdancing, DJing and graffiti. Using the burgeoning hip-hop scene as its background, the movie follows the lives of two South Bronx, N.Y.-based brothers and their circle of friends.

With its hokey dramatic plot and awkward comedic moments, ‘Beat Street’ has rightfully never been considered a gem of American cinema, but since it features musical performances from some of the key artists of hip-hop’s first wave, the movie is essential viewing for any self-respecting fan of the genre.

Today, we’re launching Then and Now, a feature in which we take a look back at hip-hop-related movies and find out what the cast have been up to in the years since they first hit the big screen together. We couldn’t think of a better film to kick off the series with than ‘Beat Street.’
Rae Dawn Chong Plays Tracy Carlson

Then: Chong plays Tracy, a college music student and composer who is fascinated by b-boy culture.

Now: The daughter of Tommy Chong (of ‘Cheech and Chong’ fame), the actress has gone on to appear in such films as ‘Commando,’ ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘The Principal.’ In a 2013 radio interview, Chong threw some verbal jabs at her ‘The Color Purple’ co-star, Oprah Winfrey, calling the media queen a “great brown-noser,” among other disparaging things. She later apologized and said that her comments were taken out of context. Sure they were!
Guy Davis Plays Kenny “Double K” Kirkland YouTube / Neilson Barnard, Getty

Then: Davis played “Double K,” an aspiring DJ that falls in love with Rae Dawn Chong’s character.

Now: The New York City native has juggled both an acting and musical career since the release of ‘Beat Street.’ The son of actors Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy has appeared on stage and screen, and is also a respected blues guitarist with over 15 albums in his discography so far.
Jon Chardiet Plays Ramon “Ramo”YouTube / Facebook

Then: The actor took on the role of Ramon, a graffiti bomber who ultimately dies in a NYC subway tunnel after slugging it out with a rival bomber.

Now: Chardiet has authored more than 20 children’s books, and has continued acting. His most recent appearance is in the 2013 thriller, ‘Borderlands.’
Franc. Reyes Plays Luis YouTube / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Then: Reyes played Luis, a bomber in Ramon’s circle.

Now: The Nuyorican actor-dancer turned his attention towards directing in the years since ‘Beat Street,’ with gritty crime thrillers like ‘Empire’ and ‘The Ministers’ under his belt. Before he became a director, Reyes had a stint as a songwriter.
Kool Moe Dee Plays Himself YouTube / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Then: Kool, along with the rest of the Treacherous Three and Doug E. Fresh, appeared in a scene in the film performing the song ‘Xmas Rap.’

Now: Born Mohandas Dewese, he became the first rapper to ever perform at the Grammy Awards. One of hip-hop’s earliest stars with hit singles like ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ and ‘Wild Wild West,’ Kool has also done some acting, and even appeared in the 2002 Britney Spears film, ‘Crossroads.’ Despite the last fact, the rap OG’s hood pass is still valid.
Crazy Legs Plays Himself YouTube / Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Then: The legendary dancer appeared in a breaking battle scene in the film.

Now: Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón is the president of the Rock Steady Crew, an influential dance collective formed in 1977. In 2003, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed July 26 to be “Rock Steady Crew Day” in New York City.
Brenda K. Starr Plays Herself YouTube / David Friedman, Getty Images

Then: A chance meeting with one of the film’s producers, singer Harry Belafonte, helped Starr score her performance of the song ‘Vicious Beat’ in ‘Beat Street.’

Now: Not long after ‘Beat Street,’ Starr landed a record deal. Her first single, ‘Pickin’ Up the Pieces,’ became a huge dance hit in 1985. A young Mariah Carey worked as a backup singer for Starr around this period. After a successful run in the pop (‘I Still Believe’) and freestyle (‘What You See Is What You Get’) arenas, the singer turned her attention to the Latin market and found a whole new audience as a salsa diva.
Afrika Bambaataa Plays Himself YouTube/Scott Gries, Getty Images

Then: Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force appear in a performance scene shot at the famed Roxy club in Manhattan.

Now: A pioneering DJ in hip-hop, Bambaataa made Life magazine’s “Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” issue in 1990. The 56-year-old is in the middle of a three-year appointment as a visiting scholar at Cornell University.
Grandmaster Melle Mel Plays Himself YouTube/Tim Whitby, Getty Images

Then: Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five closed the film out with an explosive performance of ‘Beat Street Breakdown,’ the theme to ‘Beat Street.’

Now: The first rapper to refer to himself as an “MC,” Mel is still touring around the world and most recently was seen in Ice T‘s excellent documentary, ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.’
Stan Lathan Serves as Director of ‘Beat Street’ YouTube / Paul Morigi, Getty

Then: Lathan had already directed classic televisions shows including ‘Sanford and Son,’ ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Hill Street Blues’ before he took on ‘Beat Street’ after teaming up with producer Harry Belafonte.

Now: Since ‘Beat Street,’ Stan Lathan continued to direct and also become a big player as a producer. Along with partner Russell Simmons, Lathan co-created the ‘Def Comedy Jam’ series in the early ’90s, and in 2002, the ‘Def Jam Poetry’ series. Still a behind-the-scenes mogul, his daughter is actress Sanaa Lathan (‘The Best Man,’ ‘Brown Sugar’).

Circle of Fire | Silverback Bboy Events | Mason Rose | UDEFtour.org

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If you have been dancing for a while you’re sure to have heard of one of the most prolific west coast crews, Circle of Fire. Known for their fusion of breaking and house, Circle of Fire has been pushing the boundaries of free expression in breaking for nearly two decades; a yin to the yang of traditionalism and structure. Mason Rose spent some time with the crew and today we present a look into the soul cypher with Circle of Fire as they get down in the bay. Check it out below!

An excerpt from the mind of Mason Rose:

“Forged in the fires of trial and triumph a person’s soul is ultimately expressed through art, through culture… through sound and movement.

What is soul? Soul is not something you have but rather something you can become.

No place is this more evident than in the dance community. The dancers do not simply express their souls, but rather for those brief moments in the ever-sacred cypher… the dancers ARE their souls; uncovered and true for all to see.

And like all truth, Soul has a certain ring to it. And like all rings they bring us full circle.

What is soul? Step into the Circle of Fire and find out.

Mason Rose”

CULTURE OF HOPE

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What started as a vision of dancers from Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, an international project came into being: With the aid of breakdance as means of expression, we will counteract street violence with street culture together with dance enthusiastic children and teenagers from slums of Manila, Philippines.

Joint by numerous breakdancers from various countries and in close collaboration with the local funding agency Onesimo we will establish public and sustainable break dance trainings spots for teenagers in carefully selected slums of Manila, starting March 2015. Through workshops we will provide adolescent people with an insight into the peaceful and positive culture of Hip Hop dancing.
Break dance ought to help them gain higher self-esteem and thus form an identity detached from street violence.

Due to their lack of prospects, for countless street children of Manilas the only thing left on their search for themselves is the coherence within criminal gangs. The hope for a life in dignity seems to literally choke on the dust of Manilas streets.
With a team of ten we will present the Hip Hop culture again where it once started: In areas afflicted with poverty and injustice in which people barely have a chance to live a balanced life free of existential worries.

The internationally successful film team KAIZENPICTURES will accompany the project and produce a feature documentary from the gained film footage. With help of the globally strong Hip Hop scene this documentary will then be sold worldwide. Distributions of this film will in the future and on the long run financially support the project.

For further information visit our website hiphop4hope.com
or contact us info@hiphop4hope.com

 

UFB WORLD FINALS – MARMARIS TURKEY

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Stance were invited to the beautiful town of Marmaris, Turkey to cover Underground Funky Base 8 World Finals.

Featuring the likes of Storm, Maurizio, Kapela, Ben, P-Lock, Airdit, Voodoo West Crew, Teembo and many more. This event should be on a lot more Bboys & Bgirls radar!!!! It’s got it all!!

Music: DuffStep – Close your eyes
Chronicle Grime – Career Cats Get Tiger Suits
Drone footage by UFB TV
Filmed and edited by Doy

The Real Streets of R16 World Finals 2014

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r16koreafront

Many people only know of R16 for the battles which take place. But many people don’t know the entire live experience of being at R16 and all the different aspects and elements of the entire weekend. Here is an insider’s report of what went down at the 2014 R16 World Finals.

After many months of planning, travelling, and many challenges, another successful year of the R16 Global Series has finally ended with the R16 World Championships which went down in Seoul Korea on July 4th, 5th and 6th.

Every year, the R16 Global Series is growing bigger with more countries B-Boys, poppers and lockers having the opportunity to participate at the world finals amongst this generation’s top, hungriest and active battlers. 2010 was the first time R16 implemented championship qualifiers around the world, starting out with a total of ten eliminations. In 2011, it grew to sixteen eliminations, then 2012 had twenty two and 2013 had twenty six. This year, there were a total of twenty nine R16 championship eliminations in twenty three countries around the world. Now only the best of the best are able to make it to Korea and have an opportunity to battle on the world stage. Besides a few special invites in the Solo B-boy, Popping and Locking categories, all participants are the R16 Champions of an entire region, continent, or great nation.

R16 Winners list 2
Not only has R16 grown in size and reach, but the core final event, has grown into an action packed three day weekend with many participants visiting from all over the world.

The weekend kicked off on Friday July 4th with the R16 Press Conference which is held in the R16 World Championships venue called Olympic Hall. This is where all the competitors get their first glimpse of how serious this event is. After the government officials deliver their ceremonial speech, each of the artists and athletes are called up onto the stage so that the various press can take pictures, videos and snapshots. Towards, all the crews are called up onto the stage, one by one and must perform a one minute throw down for the press. After all 8 crews have finished, the press vote by ballot for which crew they liked the best. The winners win the R16 Presses Choice Award and 1000 dollars for just one minutes work. Predatorz takes the win and is the second year in a row that Russia wins the Press award.
Press Conference Artists
Immediately after the Press conference, held at Club Syndrome is the R16 Open Elimination for the solo B-Boy, Popping and locking categories. Perhaps it should be renamed to the R16 International Open because the majority of participants are from all over the world, with nearly two hundred entries. Battlers not only have a chance to experience competing with the Korean level of Popping, locking and Breakin, but they also have a chance at earning the few remaining spots on the world stage.
open eliminationIt is amazing to see how high the level of the open elimination has risen. In previous years, the Korean nationals have dominated. This year, is the first year that no Korean has won a spot on the world stage. The top 8 had some very intense battles, with some new faces that are surely to blow up in the near future. Look out for B-Boy Heady from Korea and B-Boy Quick from China. The two final spots were taken by Boris from Double Kill Taiwan who has made his first debut on an international stage, and Ayumi from Body Carnival Japan, the first B-girl to win the R16 open elimination history.

open elimination ayumi

Day 2 starts off at 1pm with an outdoor block party style festival called the Puma cypher, just outside the main doors of the R16 World Championships venue. While people are lining up to get their tickets to the R16 World Finals, they have the ability to see real B-Boy cyphers up close and in person, experiencing the true original essence of Hip Hop. Featuring a DJ booth, and hosted by Jotee of Rivers crew, the cypher has a nice vibe while B-Boys from all over the world jump in and the crowd cheers for as the dancers of all skill levels participate in the circle. pumacypher
Puma has four B-Boys, (three black and one latino) dressed up like 70’s and 80’s old school B-Boys. Many people flock to take pictures with them in front of the Puma suede exhibit. Graffiti panels and a long row of vendors which consist of B-Boy companies like Soul Food, Bboyworld and Underworld add so much more to the experience.
oldschool

The main doors open at 5pm as people slowly make their way into their seats, although over 1000 people choose standing seats to be as close to the action as possible. Before the main event starts, recap videos of all the past R16 eliminations are playing on the jumbo LED screen. Then suddenly, the lights turn off as the audience roars in excitement. Day one is the finals for Popping, Locking and the Solo B-Boy battles.

audience3

The Popping battles and Locking battles both have the final 8 contestants in each category. The Popping final battle goes into a tie breaker with Kid Boogie from USA, winning over Sally Sly from France.

Solo Popping

The locking final battle is not only an all Japan final, but it is also between husband and wife, Masato (winner of R16 Japan Locking) VS his wife, CIO who qualified in the open elimination. CIO wins over her husband Masato and becomes the R16 Locking World Champion.

Solo Locking

The R16 Solo B-Boy Battles has a total of 16 B-Boys and B-Girls, majority of them being R16 Elimination Champions from around the world. This year, there was a new system used for the world finals Solo B-Boy battles, which is a hybrid of the “Undisputed” system, aka the “Best Of” system, with some elements similar to the OUR System. The difference is that the “Best Of” system is judged “Round for Round” (first one to win a specified amount of rounds wins) while the OUR System is judged on who overall won the majority of the universal B-Boy elements.

Solo Bboy

This year, the Best of System had five judges, each of them looking at a separate category, but giving a vote round for round who won according to their category. Four of the categories are relatively similar to the OUR System, Fundamentals, Creativity, Difficulty and Execution. The only difference is the Cypher/ Battle Element was taken out and replaced with a Musicality category.

In all battles except for the Finals, the first person to win the majority of 3 is the winner. Consequently, if someone wins the first two rounds, then the battle is finished. The audience was able to look up to the scoreboard and see not only who each of the judges was voting for, but also who was winning round by round.

Although the Best Of system didn’t have the after battle final climactic suspense of whom the judges would ultimately vote for, it was able to build a deeper connection from the audience to the fan favorites during the actual battle itself, creating suspense and excitement especially in battles which were close. For example, Roxy lost her first round against Lil Zoo, but when she won her second round, the crowd went crazy. When she tied her third round, the crowd went even wilder. In the end she lost in the deciding 4th round, however she won the hearts and respect from the audience.

In retrospect, the Best Of system was really great for the audience, adding excitement and enjoyment to the battles with a sense of professionalism in the direction of B-Boying. On the other hand, some B-Boys have some getting used to this method of judging, and battling.

undisputed2undisputed

One blooper this year was for the first three solo B-Boy battles, there was a technical error with the system. The names where switched on the scoreboard, so Tata was announced the winner over Issei, and Eddy Twister was announced the winner over Boris from Double Kill Taiwan. It wasn’t until Spin was announced the winner over Wing, did the staff realized that the names were switched. Therefore Issei, Boris and Wing were announced the rightful winners and advanced to the next round.

In the end, Issei won over Lil Zoo in the final battle, becoming the first ever 3 x R16 Solo B-Boy World Champion and now wins a spot in the “Undisputed” finals.

winnersday1

Day 3 begins once again with the Urban Arts Festival and Puma cypher outside the main venue at 1pm. This time, it’s even more packed than the day before. At 5pm, the main doors open and everyone makes their way to their seats for the much anticipated crew battles and performances. This year, the levels of the performances were on a higher level. It seemed as if each show was getting better and better and the crowd was very into it. Each crew had different qualities which made their show stand out in its own way. The performance battle is not only meant to find the best performance, but it is also meant to create the seeding brackets for the battles. The top scoring crew battles the lowest scoring crew, while the second highest scoring crew battles the second lowest scoring crew, and so on.

Each of the five judges are assigned to a specific criteria and giving a score from 1-10, according to their category. This is done to ensure all important elements are accounted for, rather than being based on pure entertainment factors. The five categories are Foundation, Creativity, Difficulty, Execution, and Performance.

Performance results

This year, the showcase performances were on a high level and the scores were extremely close. According to the judge scores, SKB (Australia) and Double Kill (Taiwan) were tied for 5th place with 34 points and was only 1 point behind Body Carnival (Japan) who scored 35 points, who was last year’s performance e winners. Half a point above them was Gamblerz (Korea) scored 35.5 points.

supercrew

However, way ahead of them was Super Crew (USA) who scored 40 points. They were leading until the last performance by Predatorz (Russia) which they scored 42 points and won them the R16 Crew Performance contest. To see more details on the showcase performances, go to http://r16korea.com/site/?p=3340&lang=en to see more. After the performances, the final rank seeded the brackets and the crew battle began.

This year, for the crew battles, the OUR System had a new scoreboard implemented. It was designed to use less numbers and give the audience an overall feel of who is winning and losing throughout the entire battle. The five element icons of Foundation, Originality, Dynamics, and Cypher Battle were each on a scale that would slide to the left or right, according to how many points they scored, similar to a tug of war over the 5 elements. To see how the new scoreboard works, please watch the following battle for as example

Now it’s time to make a detailed recap on some of the battles at R16 World Finals. There are three battles which need to be highlighted:

  1. China VS USA
  2. Taiwan vs Japan
  3. Korea VS Russia

#1 Jokester Crew from China VS legendary Super Cr3w from USA was one of the first round battles. Although Super Crew didn’t have two of their most known B-Boys (Ben and Ronnie), against Jokester throughout the entire battle, they were winning. Super Crew was winning 4 to 1 elements, then in the middle, Jokester started catching up, 3 to 2 elements for Super Crew. Then alas, the final round, Jokester throws out their strongest commando routine, finishing it off with rising China superstar B-Boy Quick who ends with a strong stylish power combo. How does Super Crew respond? With a solo from one of their members, definitely not strong enough as a response, thus consequently, losing the battle, 3 to 1 elements. This was the first time China has ever beaten USA and was a huge win for the great nation of China.

A big lesson from this is that in the OUR System, every detail and every round counts. You continually have to top whatever your opponent throws out at you, there is no such thing as throwing away a round.

#2 Taiwan VS Japan

Another close call was Double Kill from Taiwan against last year’s finalist Body Carnival from Japan. Taiwan was winning in the beginning; however Japan was able to pull through towards the middle and in the end won 3 to 1 with the Battle category tied.

On a side note, Double Kill from Taiwan has been working hard for the past 3 years to get to the world finals, winning two R16 Taiwan Championships and finally winning R16 South East Asia Championships earlier this year. It’s great to see their hard work pay off for them.

#3 Korea VS Russia

The final battle was between Gamblerz of Korea and Predatorz of Russia. If you read the many comments on youtube, the decision is pretty split over who should have won. Here is a breakdown of exactly what went down.

After the first round, Predatorz was winning 2 to 1 elements, winning originality and Battle while Gamblerz was winning Foundation.

But immediately after, Gamblerz turned it over and was winning 3 to 1 elements. The score was pretty close from 3 to 2, than 2 to 1 all the way until the end, where Gamblerz wins over Predatorz, 4 to 1 elements.

Overall, it’s great to see Gamblerz back on the main stage, although many people agree that it would be quite difficult to top the epic performance of Morning of Owl from last year as well as Jinjo from the previous years.

crewbracket

Controversial scores:

In every event, there are always controversial decisions. However, the OUR System is very transparent and allows for the judges scores to be carefully examined. Before we look into some of the most controversial scores from R16, please keep in mind that when seeing these scores, you need to also consider the view from the judges seat, the energy in the atmosphere, as well as repeats from previous rounds. Also, watching battles on youtube is a lot different than watching in live in person. With that said, here are some of the most controversial scores that has got the community asking questions.

#1 Dynamic score being too high

Some people have been noticing that Lil G has been scoring some B-Boys a little bit too high or low in Dynamics. For example, Rocket scored a perfect in Dynamics, scoring higher than Predatorz who did power moves. Was Lil G taking into consider other dynamic qualities such as balance, energy and complexity… or was he judging based on what is easy or difficult for him personally?

#2 Rocket in Foundation

Although Gamblerz is known for their high level of Dynamics, Rocket is known for his awesome musicality. In R16 Korea eliminations, Rocket scored a 5 (Perfect) in foundation, however in the R16 World finals, final battle, he received a 2 (poor) by the foundation judge, Asia One.

#3 Originality against Japan

Body Carnival not only is known throughout the world as an “originality” minded crew, but they also had Assassin from Waseda breakers on their team. Assassin is known in “today’s” community as one of the most original B-Boys, however, in one of Body Carnival’s battles, Benji the originality judge scored Assassin a 2 (Poor) on originality. Is this considered a bad score, or could it be that Benji is from the 90’s, and was from a time where originality was considered the most important aspect in B-Boying? Perhaps he seen it all, or maybe he’s been out of the loop too long?

Whether one agrees or disagrees with these scores, the fact of the matter is that the OUR System is what allows us to look into the judges heads, and as some people have already said before, if we can’t trust a judge to be able to judge just one element of Bboyin, how can we trust them to judge all elements at the same time? Either way, our community is heading in the right direction, and it will take time before we either find the perfect judges, or train our worldwide judges to be as perfect as possible.

After the R16 World Finals, it’s time for the much anticipated R16 After Party, which was held in Seoul’s number one prestigious club named Octagon. The R16 After party not only hosts the top DJ’s in our Hip Hop / B-Boy community, but also creates a concert like atmosphere where there are top Korean music artist, such as Jay Park of AOM.

Part way through the night, Floorgangz call out Blue (Extreme / SKB) in the cypher. The intensity of the circle was so high that a crazy Blue starts shoves the Floorgangz member, then shoves the person to their right, then the next person, then Blonde, then some members of SKB. Turns out, Blue was trying to get people to move back, but was a little bit tipsy to communicate that properly. Despite the intensity, after the battle, was all manly hugs and daps which goes to show the power of the cypher, and the power of Hip Hop.
In conclusion, the legendary battles of R16 has come to plateau for this year, however the overall stage production and audience experience has grown to a new level. Even more so, R16 has grown to become more of an ultimate three day experience that once experienced, can change someone’s life. R16 continues to be the hope to the future that one day, B-Boying will become as professional as the other sub cultures and lead our community into a self-sustaining culture and industry.

First ever Indian Hip Hop Fest – july 18-19-20

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Hip-Hop

CHENNAI: Here’s a shout out to all of Chennai’s movers and shakers. Gear up for the country’s first ever Indian Hip Hop Fest slated for July 18, 19 and 20. With crews flying in from all over country and a range of events including a rap session, beatboxing and even a Superhero Bboy battle for the kiddies — you may want to block your calendar for a glimpse of the action even if you’re one of those peeps with two left feet.

According to organiser and Bboy, Phani Kumar, “The festival has already been happening within just Chennai for the last four years.” It was called the Chennai Street Festival. “But now we want to make it bigger, and the response from crews right from Mumbai and Delhi to even Kerala has been just overwhelming,” he states. This year, he’s partnered with the Catalyst Art Foundation and the Goethe Institute for the three-day fest. As for the tweens signed up to dance off in that aforementioned ‘super’ battle, we have to wonder…who’s expected to take part? Phani responds with a laugh, “So far, Spiderman, Wolverine and would you believe it…Shakthimaan!”

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com

IT’S FOR US | ES PARA NOSOTROS | www.TCKPRO.com

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tekbig

First and foremost I have to thank God for blessing me with the ability to do what I love for a living! With a big sigh of relief and a big ole’ grin on my face I’m happy to announce that my documentary IT’S FOR US | ES PARA NOSOTROS is finally done!

Thank you to all of you that made this possible!!

#ITSFORUS
#PowerStyleRadio
#WindyCityWednesdays

 

Bboying in Panama and Central America

panama

Luis Campbell Montilla aka bboy Masterd is one of the legendary Panamanian bboy and he is going to tell me more about the bboying scene in his country and Central America in our interview.

 

Ligo: Hey bro whats up! Can you tell me more about the bboying scene in panama in terms of how did it started?

Luis: Hey friend, more than glad to share what I know. Ok back in the mid 80s we had a growing scene, since we were occupied by Americans, so we had lots of direct influence from US, as well as a TV network with US shows. But most of the kids back then changed from breaking to jam, and that’s when the majority of the first generation crews disappeared, with the exception of few bboys that continued dancing alone.

Around 1996-1997 started the second generation of bboys, with a couple of kids that had some knowledge on breaking as well as popping, since they were in high schools, they made name quite fast, among the high school kids all along Panama City, at the same time, there were a couple of bboys from the first generation that still danced, they were from Panama City Breakers, one of the city’s biggest crew back in the day, that formed up when kids from different hoods, realized that they were other bboys through the city, and after battling each other’s for some time, they got together and formed Panama City Breakers, since they also found out there were crews in other states of the country, so, with those two influences, the second of generation of bboys started growing up from 1996 forward.

After that, around 2000s there were only 2 crews, Panama Breakholics which had most of the kids who started around 1996 and after, and one of them crew, from which I was the founding member, that gathered kids that started around 1998/2000, we all belong to the same hood, after that new crews were created and some others disappeared or become the whole new crews.

In general terms, from 2000 up until 2006 we were the same kids battling against each others, by that time there still were random street battles, call outs, and our scene was very raw back then, even though we still new to the game, we had sick battles, there are very few from that generation that still continue dancing. We have a lot of new cats now; there are more people in our scene but since Panama is a small country, our scene tends to grow very slow.

Ligo: Thats good to know bro, you really know the history of your scene. Which countries from Central America do you think they are developing in bboying? And what can be done in order those countries to be recognised international?

Luis: Well it took some time, but me and some of my crew mates tried to put together some pieces of history, it’s not complete yet, since there are a lot of people we can’t find to hear their story, but we are going there. Ok as far as Central American countries, the one which have the biggest hip hop culture is Guatemala; they have a huge movement there, lots of bboys, MCs, DJs and writers, also have some help from the government which is very good and something really hard to get. In the past 2 or 3 years, there had been a few international level qualifiers in Central America, such as BOTY, All The Way Live, Breaking The Law and Red Bull BC One. It’s very hard to fly out to other countries to battle, share, and learn, I believe that is the fastest way for small countries to grow, by experiencing other hip hop points of view. Since all the countries here are small comparing them with others, I think skills get stock at one point, since we end up battling the same people always and travelling and experiencing different things on any of the elements changes your perspective and recharges inspiration to continue creating and helps the culture to move forward. For example, BOTY Central America 2010, Guatemala won, they travelled to BOTY Finals, that crew returned from that experience fully recharged, and each one of those bboys managed to spread the inspiration received in that travel to the rest of their scene. As of now, the active countries on bboying around here are Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. I know there is a scene in Nicaragua and Honduras as well but I do not have much info on how many people. Belize would be the only country from which we never heard of breaking activities, they have never participated in any of the regional events done over here.

So in order to be recognised international, I think the most important part besides having the chances of competing in international events is to increase the skill levels of bboys. There had been a good increasing on the skills of the new cats I know or heard about from these Central American countries I mentioned. Since in the past few years’ people had been able to set up jams in which they bring top bboys and give workshops and such. I have managed to bring people such as Kujo, ATN from Battle Born, Tanya from Russian Steps, Tony Styles from Renegades Crew, Man Of God from Rhythm Attack, Jasoul from Battle Born and Malon from Havikoro. It is very hard to raise money for that, but I have realise that cats on the scene need to receive information from that kind of people, people who do have the experience, who know what they are doing and can continue inspiring people to continue inspiring people to continue creating. Same has happened in El Salvador and Costa Rica, since those countries are the ones with I have more contact, I know that they also brought top cats to judge, workshop and do lectures for their scene. So bottom line, I think either is having more international jams with international guests in whom they are able to share a little with the bboys here or being able to increase the participation of Central American crews or bboys on international events, at lasts as observant so they can get the full picture.

Ligo: I see that in order for bboys from Panama and Central America to compete in international events, the skill level is the main key in order for them to make a break through to the international bboying scene… So tell me, are there any bboy events in Panama? And does Panama deserve to have a Red Bull BC One Cypher? If so, why?

Luis: Well, we have a small scene, comparing it to Guatemala or El Salvador which I think they own only on bboying but in all elements. I attempted to do an official qualifier for the BC One Cypher here, since a regional cipher was being organized down in El Salvador, at the end Red Bull apparently decided not to support the event in El Salvador, or at least that was I been told, the qualifier went down as something different, so I had to do something apart from Red Bull brand. The pro staff gave two slots for each country for the qualifier, we managed to pick one bboy from our scene by doing a cipher contest and the other one was selected from a previous regional event that Panamanian bboy won. I think we have good talent here, okver all, but there is a lack on studying a little bit more in order to be better, but I do believe that Panama deserves a Red Bull BC One Cypher, the cats on the scene look forward to that kind of milestones here, and they will improve a lot in order to achieve that goal. This is my global opinion regarding our scene and what can be positive so we can all improve. I’m not implying that we have bboys that don’t bite things from top world bboys, but since the biggest part of our scene is formed on new bboys, and they bound to do things that they seen on YouTube, and sadly, the biggest part of our scene support biting of some sort. The older crews are trying to struggle against.

Ligo: Wow, thank you for sharing the info with me about the Panamanian and Central American bboying scene, and it’s good to find people like you who the knowledge of bboying and hip hop in your country.

Luis: Thank you! Blessings and respect

Marlon & Rudy Rexx (Havikoro) talks History & Shout outs | Havikoro 15th Anniversary | #SXSTV

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History of HAVIKORO

It all started around 94/95 when Blas Pereyra came up with the acronym of K.O.R.O. (Knights of Rhythm Odyssey).Him, Sergio Doniz, Mario, Shadow, and Big Rick aka Indian Rick were the founding members. And previously represented in a crew called Warehouse.
All inspired by dancers like Phatheadz, Nubian Nomadz, Moptop crew.
KORO was primarily a House/Freestyle dance crew. Other crews that existed around the time consisted of G-Tribe, KAOS breakers (who were responsible for bringin breakin back from the dead in Houston Texas), StreetStyle, Kaliko, Breakforce, Akshun Figaz, REbel Crew, Rock Skittles Krew (My man Coo Breeze was responsible for bringing that crew from Vegas), and W.H.Y.N.O.S. (We have your nutz on skills). After a couple years of representin in Houston, KORO developed good relationships with WHYNOS and KAOS breakers. Around 96 all 3 crews started a unity crew by the name of URBAN BUS (which was also named by Blas). It wasnt til around 96 or 97 that Breakin influence was introduced to KORO by myself, WHYNOS and KAOS (ala Colcutz, Ragland, Mike etc). Around late 97 all of WHYNOS got blessed in KORO. WHile that was going on it was only a matter of time before another crew by the name of Visual Rhythm (Lil John, Lil Rick, Felix, Lil Eric) got blessed in KORO. With some members coming and going, it remained one of the most respected crews in Texas just from the versatility the group had.
Years went by and another crew that was introduced to KORO from the help of the old Visual RHythm members was HAVIK BBOYS (MOY, Nat, Maya, Jesse,CHuy, Ricky, and the other Rick). And at almost every jam that went down in Texas..it was always Havik and Koro battling for 1st place. Even though Havik and Koro were friends. Battles got heated at times. Another opportunity for Havik and KORO to battle each other was at Out for fame 2000 in Houston. And it was for the 1st place prize in Houston (which was free plane tickets to Chicago for Out for fame Semi Finals) KORO ended up winning the contest. But when it came time to fly to Chicago, a member by the name of Joel could not go because of school. We all voted and Moy from Havik ended up going to Chicago (O.F.F team was Me, lil John, Marlon, Mario and Moy). And that was official HAVIKORO was born. Chicago Out for Fame was the first day we represented the HAVIKORO T-SHIRT. Even at the time of FreestyleSession 5…Havik and KORO were still 2 different crews at that time.
For the people that sincerely care…I hope this helped out.

Peace
RUDYREXX HAVIKORO

Video Credits: STEP x STEP DANCE: Uniting Dancers Around The World
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