Wassup Rockers

Crazy Legs

Gotta write this down before I forget:

CRAZY LEGS SHOWED UP IN MY CLASS TODAY. kuampoai8um5pa095nq3birufnc,lkt4oicmo09c4ap

But he didn’t dance. I wish though!

OKay, so first of all, he needed to be paid in cash and we already had a pool of funds from earlier this semester but we needed some more money and a lot of us gave a bit but this one girl gave $20 which was really nice of her and the prof is like “Srsly?” and she was like “Well if it helps feed the dude why not” which I very much agree with.

When he showed up it was so cool cos he was just like a nice polite dude. He pretty much looked like the pictures of him as a kid except, uh, bigger. The prof asked him if it was okay to tape record what el Señor Legs said in class and Legs was like, “No”. I sorta feel bad about writing this post but it was really insightful hearing what he had to say so I’m really keeping it as a way to remember. Except it’s already been like an hour and a half since class ended so I’m sure I’m gonna warp a lot of things he said in class.

Well, the main thing I got is that it was all for the ladies. I mean the breakdancing. Like he wanted to impress the girls. HAhahahaha. You don’t understand, I mean maybe when he was like 10 he was all gangly and shy and whatever but he’s actually a really good-looking guy and when he said that I was like, “For serious? You were worried about that?”

Anyway, he also mentioned that he hardly listens to hip-hop anymore and I’m not a bit surprised. He says if he does it’s usually old school shit that come on on his satellite radio; he mentioned the Cold Crush Brothers a couple of times. I remember him mentioning he likes listening to Miles Davis, a lot of soul schtuff. He said that music has always been a huge deal in his life, that breakdancing is not just about hot tricks, it’s really about the dance, about getting into the music. He mentioned that he learned most about music from, well, all the early DJs like Herc and Bam and Charlie Chase, etc and that’s when it really hit me like, “OMG not only is HE a pioneer, he knows all the other fucking pioneers too…!” It was like a huge sign had descended right above his head that was flashing “THAT’S RIGHT HE’S A LIVING LEGEND”.

I think one thing I liked about him telling us he doesn’t listen to rap is that even then, you still couldn’t deny that hip-hop culture is IT for him, it is a part of his identity. It’s not like, “Oh I listened to rap when it was trendy but I grew up and got over it.”

Another thing he mentioned about hip-hop in terms of the music is that the live performance was such a huge deal. It was about getting the crowd pumped and making your mark in a live setting.

Of course we got into the sellout issue. Someone asked if Legs felt bad about helping popularize hip-hop into this commercial beast that it is now, and he was like “Absolutely not”, but he did elaborate and say that it’s a matter of striking a balance between being able to pay the rent and, well, compromising your artistic integrity. It makes sense, there’s no point in just making art just for yourself and no one else, you wanna be seen and heard, right?

We have a b-girl in our class so she sorta grilled him about women’s involvement in the breakdance subculture and he was like, the original b-girls were always on par with the b-boys, that he has a lot of respect for them and that there were famous b-girls before he even started dancing. However, he did point out that the original b-girls were much more different than the b-girls today. The way the old b-girls and b-boys used to approach the dance was the same, equally aggressive, equally confident, equally skilled. B-girls now don’t generally grow up in the same ghetto shithole the old ones did, so their approach is different.

He said that the worst thing b-girls do now when they’re learning is that when they make a mistake, they laugh it off. I didn’t get what was “wrong” with that per se, but he explained that when girls laugh it off it breaks their concentration; they’re not focusing on what they did wrong and how to fix it. He said the worst thing about b-boys is that they think they know everything.

In terms of hip-hop, he says that the Big Four parts of the culture used to all blend in, every kid was doing all of them, whereas now, these subcultures are fairly separated and there’s not enough dialogue among all the sections. I think he felt it was detrimental to hip-hop as a whole. He said he used to tag shit up, and he tried writing rhymes when he was younger but in the end he knew that breaking was his passion.

Let’s see, what else did he say? Fuck, I can’t remember. I guess I’ll edit this post if it comes back to me.

The Rock Steady Crew are celebrating 30 years this year. They’re organizing a lot of events in July to celebrate. More info here!


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