While growing up in DC, I got a chance to hear music from all walks of life. My parents mostly rocked the oldies…James Brown, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Marvin Gaye, Lena Horne, and many others. DC has its own musical culture too where Go-Go reigned supreme. I liked what my parents listened to and embraced my city’s own but I loved the music that had that techno break with heavy percussion, a lot of mixing and scratching, and was always heard blaring from car stereo speakers or huge boom boxes. Hip Hop.
I knew of the Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Red Alert but I had no idea what they looked like because we didn’t have cable television back then. But every now and then I’d get a visual taste of what hip hop had to offer.
My first glance was ‘Beat Street’ in the mid-80’s and after watching it I knew of two things. One, I had to learn how to break and two, I was in love with Rae Dawn Chong.
Within the same year I saw another cult flick that was a hip hop classic. This movie was more intense with its dancing but looking back on it now, it is rather corny. Oh, and another love of mine was in this movie too, Lela Rochon.
Today, break dancing is still around but has taken on a new spin and to be honest with you, I like it. The funny thing about it is the kids you see embracing the old art form of break dancing now weren’t even walking, let alone even born, when these two movies were in theaters. Here are a few videos I like.
First up, from Washington, DC…The Beat Your Feet Kings
Next up, from Atlanta, GA…Kenneth ‘Xclusive’ Paryo
And last but not least, from.Santa Ana, CA…David ‘Elsewhere’ Bernal (oh, I did my research and he’s 29 years old)