Words by Nick Slay

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It’s hard to deny Hip Hop’s effect on mainstream culture when it dominates the news cycle in figure skating.

We can all admit that Hip Hop and figure skating aren’t synonymous. For an Olympic sport that is kind of stuck in a time warp, Hip Hop songs aren’t the typical choice for routines, especially when it comes for the Olympic qualifying rounds. However Jimmy Ma, 22, from Queens, NY is here to change that and Twitter was definitely here for it. Defying tradition, Jimmy aggressively hit the ice to DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s epic, “Turn Down For What” to the delight of fans.


Describing himself as, ‘Mean mugging’ a la Russell Westbrook after his performance that had fans in the stands rocking to an electronica remix of the tune. Triumphantly beating his chest when his performance ended and demanding applause from the fans, he definitely brought a healthy spirit of Hip Hop bravado to ice. Between the amount of confidence he brought to the ice and the audience participation he received when the songs notorious hook drops, all eyes were definitely on Ma. Although, he only came in 11th place due to a stumble after jump, he did steal the show from frontrunner and Gold Medal hopeful Nathan Chen.

This however does speak volumes about the effect that Hip Hop has mainstream culture (as it always has). Especially, since Hip Hop is arguably having one of its best years ever, as it toppled Rock as the most consumed music in America. This is supported by Diddy being the highest paid musician across all genres, Hip Hop/R&B sweeping the Grammys, and Cardi B’s monumental year in music which not only supports the sound; she broke records as a woman in music as well.

Jimmy Ma who sat with his choreographer Nikolai Morozov back in May over a beer and BBQ and wound up choosing the chart topper as the anchor song for his routine. Local news reported if Twitter support was factored into judge consideration Jimmy would be going to Olympics this year in PyeongChang instead of being a future hopeful.

Here’s Jimmy Ma’s performance on youtube (Cued to when the song drops):