Breakdancing deserves as much of your attention as the latest Drake freestyle, even if it wins a Grammy. That is, it should if you care about Hip-Hop beyond the mic. Although it might not be the hobby of choice for most of the youth these days, its growth globally is undeniable. Boys and girls around the world pick up breakdancing more and more every year, adding to the already rich history of creative ingenuity and breathtaking moves.
To help document the culture within the culture, Red Bull BC One All Stars, Lilou and Roxrite, started a multi episode series (Crew Code)that focuses on crews around the world that helped form breakdancing into what we know it today. We spoke with Roxrite about the creation of the series and future plans. You can read our conversation below as well as watch the newest episode of the series, featuring Chicago crew Phaze II.
Was there a specific event that inspired you guys to come up with this video series? Or was it time in both of your minds to shed light on the unsung heroes?
For me the idea of this project comes from being involved in the scene for 20+ years. Always seeing how the mainstream portrays breaking and the way it is always brought up as a thing of the past, I thought it would be an incredible thing to do something new, to tell the story of modern day breaking crews and their influences around the world, a story told by those who live and breathe this movement-not just some reporter that’s going to come in and talk about the 80s, cardboard breaking and all that. We are past that point. It’s 2015 and the dance has evolved to a level beyond many’s imagination.
How did both of you end up working on this together? Was it one person’s idea and he invited the other to work on it?
The idea came from Ariston (the producer of the series) and myself. Lilou and I have been shooting our videos for our own YouTube channels throughout the years. Both of us having a similar understanding, it was a perfect fit for us to expand in this venture, so we involved him right away.
How did you pick the crews that you covered in each episode?
Lilou and I picked crews that have had history but also have a big message and story behind them, things they have done to influence or inspire the community. It was not easy narrowing down the crews because there are more crews that definitely deserve their shine. We naturally started with our own crews who have had an impact throughout the years.
Which episode was the most fun to complete?
For me they all were special, but the one I had the most fun shooting was the Phaze II episode in Chicago. We had gotten the formula down a bit better by that episode so we got to shoot in some cool locations.
Are there any goals that you’d like to accomplish with this project other than educating more people on the history of BBoying?
Yeah my other goal is for people to see the real message behind each story. Look at the details in which the dancers move and explain their passion. This is something that is much deeper than what is seen in the surface. Each crew has a message that is very relatable to other things in life. In the end I hope people are inspired to push themselves to the highest level and not give up.
Do you see any obstacles in the way for BBoying before it reaches its full potential?
There are always obstacles in everything. Many of them I feel come from what mainstream society thinks breaking is. But also ourselves in the scene, we have to continue to push the envelope and not hold each other back. We have to support one another and spread the movement in a way that is more respected.
How do you feel about the results for the Red Bull BC One this year, either by each round or the overall champion?
Being at the Red Bull BC One and watching it live I agreed with almost every call. There are a few I might of called in a different direction, but it wasn’t my job that day. The overall champion Victor got a well deserved title. He stuck to his guns and adapted to what he felt he needed to drop at the moment. In the end he had the harder bracket in my eyes and a champion always takes the harder road.
Where would you like to see BBoying go in the next 5 years?
For myself I would like to see BBoying stay raw in the underground like it has always been but also I would love to see more and more bboys/bgirls get to shine on a more visible level. I would like to see bboys and bgirls get more endorsements and more opportunity for them to survive off their craft.
Do you ever feel like the pillars of Hip-Hop don’t interact with each other as they used to? If so, how would you like to remedy that issue?
This is definitely true. It’s like each element forgot about one another and only those that truly understand that this is a culture and not just music see it for what it is supposed to be. Honestly, I don’t know if there is a remedy. I feel some elements are only based on hits and money, so they don’t keep up with one another. Bboys/bgirls, graffiti artist and some DJs are fans of one another. Once they reach mainstream success they don’t incorporate what Hip Hop is. They just push whatever the trend is. I guess the best way to change this is to start with education and teaching people what Hip Hop was, where we’re at, and where we can take it from here as a whole, not just one element.
Do you plan on doing more projects like this one after it’s all said and done?
After this project is done there will definitely be more projects like this one that can and need to be done for Hip Hop and breaking.