(short intro of b-boying in cape town)
This piece will not go into much detail, other than documenting my intro to this form of dance. It doesn't include the names of specific people, so don't be too upset if you don't see it here.
When I first witnessed the art of b-boying, I really wasn't too impressed. Being as I was 12 years old I had better things to do than watch a bunch a kids spinning on their heads and sh@t. Not too long in the year (83) I suddenly liked this style of dance (known as breakdancing) and it was then that the weekly treks to "body rock" started. Quick note to the non believers, there you go, Athlone may not be the place with the best b-boys mc's etc, but recognise where it started.
Now that we've got that out of the way let's get to the topic at hand. I used to run away with my boy Charles and we'd go to body rock to see the guys get down. He went primarily due to his friends being in some crew (they weren't any good tho') B-boys got busy on a concrete pitch in front of a brush painted mural which read "body rock". I recall Ricardo trying to do a flip and landing on his head!!! Damn that musta hurt.(...concrete pitch..ouch) There you could see crews like G-force (taken from a old cartoon series), Pop glide, Balastics, Phantoms, Jam rock, City breakers and Hotrods were just some of them that I still remember. Sh*t used to jump off once I got home and my ass would get a royal beating. Moms was vicious with that belt.. And a few years ago homeboy (Charles) was sent to the big house for a 9 year bid (by the way it was for Breaking and entering, scuse the pun). Damn who woulda thought that the guy who introduced me to the b-boy culture would turn gangster.
In those days it was the norm for b-boys to get down with some funky assed routines and battle each other for cash. Winner takes all. The sequences were creative and very different to todays competitions that consist mainly of power moves (windmills, Flares etc) My sh*t was the poplocking, robot dancing.
This era came to an end when a club was opened (T-zers) I didn't go there once, never had the cash. No big deal cause the high school i went to had alot of b-boys and so I didn't miss a thing. During recess the guys got busy outside of the classroom with the boomboxes blaring the music that I'd later get to know as Elektro. This would go on till the end of recess or till some f$%^&king teacher would complain about it.
T-zers actually played a mix of music, with elktro getting a spin. There was this Punk rocker in my class who used to tell me everything that happened and would give me tapes of the music, apparently he was just as impressed with LL cool J, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Ha this punk was always bragging to me that T-zers was the place where hip hop was alive and well! It was during the years of 85 till the 87 boycotts that my interest in the culture deepened and I started to respect the other facets of this thing called hip hop. Myself and a few class mates would have endless arguments with our music teacher who insisted that hip hop was not a form of music. Our english teacher however kept things interesting by inviting kids to say raps for a specific assignment. One of our first graf artists, Gogga, did a piece outside of T-zers and it was a sad day when the place closed.
This is where I got back into things going there with friends from the hood. B-boying was still in effect, despite what the media said. It should be mentioned that whenever a club closed the culture would still be practised and at the establishment of a new venue the full culture would always reappear. Even thought the faces would change as older b-boys taught the younger guys who were eager to get into things. So names like Dream team, youngsters with moves, Azanian b-boys and b-boy kings came to be the names of more resently established crews.
Fourteen years later the facet known as b-boying is the one enjoying the most growth and this year my eyes were really opened to just how many kids are getting into it. The one event that signalled the return of the culture to its former glory, would have to be last years Power Jam at the Nicro centre. The place was packed front to back and all of the facets were covered. Its been all systems go from that time. I had to laugh outloud when I saw teen summit announce that b-boying had returned. Well in South Africa, it had never died. There is now such potential for battles that a big event now looms on the horizon.