I’ve talked about traveling a bit here and here but I wanted to give a little more practical advice on how to get the most out of your trip (and your dollar) when you’re traveling for b-boy jams. Toyz of Lionz of Zion also wrote a similar blog post on More Than a Stance but his deals more with traveling abroad (I still recommend it). I’m going to focus on the more mundane 5-10 hour car trip that’s pretty common for most b-boys.
There’s a certain stereotype for the b-boy. He’s between 17 and 30. He doesn’t have a steady job. Rarely has any money. No car. No girlfriend. No real future. We’ve come to accept this as the norm and we even celebrate it. We call it living the b-boy life and pride ourselves more on how many jams we’ve been to or won than how much we have saved up in our bank accounts or how successful we are at our careers. Let me be the first to say fuck that.
We don’t get a whole lot of oppurtunities to dance. Outside of jams and practice sessions we don’t have many options and we all know that’s simply not enough. Every now and then you’ll have to actually get out and be around non-b-boys at a club. Now you might just be going to hang out and they start playing some James Brown or maybe you went out with the intention of b-boying…but chances are, you will end up getting down at some point. However, I think there are some rules to abide by so that you and any other b-boy aren’t permanently banned from the club.
I’ve seen a lot of discussion on Facebook, forums, at jams, at house parties after the jam, and in car rides that revolve around “All Styles” battles (I’ll explain why I’m using quotes later). There’s a lot of controversy as to what they are, what they should be and how (or even if) they should be integrated in to the b-boy community. These discussions always seem to occur with a lot of b-boys and b-boy promoters chiming in but the thing that’s absent is input from the all styles competitors, judges, and DJ’s themselves. In the rush to figure out how it fits in the b-boy community, they seem to have been left largely out of the equation.
In the past three years I’ve ended up DJ’ing a lot of All Styles battles at Bashville Stampede, the Battle Ground Zero series in Indiana, and the Sickest of the South series in Baton Rouge along with several in Atlanta. Over time, I’ve grown to really enjoy these battles and the vibe the competitors bring to it and I respect what I think is a new scene in it’s own right. In this post, I wanted to talk about my thoughts on the “All Styles” scene; what I think lead to it, where it is, and where I think it will or should go from here. Continue reading
If you live in Atlanta or ever came to visit there’s a very good chance you’ve been taken to MJQ Concourse. If you’ve never been try to imagine a parking garage converted into a club playing just about every genre of music you can think of. MJQ has been a staple for the Atlanta b-boy and street dance scene since it opened. We’ve always been welcomed and supported by a majority of the staff, particularly Poppy and JP who work the door (well used to, Poppy retired but JP’s still there). Go on any Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday and you’re bound to find a cypher. I’ve been to a lot of clubs and none of them have the same great vibe for dancers that MJQ has. The DJs are eclectic and most actually have a pretty good idea what b-boys like and are willing to throw us a bone from time to time and give us a full b-boy set for a few minutes.
Recently Creative Loafing wrote a pretty interesting article tracing the history of the club through quotes from those that actually lived it. It’s definitely worth the read if you’ve ever been to MJQ or plan on going.
Yesterday I covered the checklist I go through as a DJ traveling out of state. Today I’ll go through the things I think about when I’m traveling out of state simply as a dancer looking to compete or just cyper and enjoy the jam.
One thing that has been major trait of b-boying is the ability to look fresh. Lots of the pioneers talk about the importance of dressing fresh when you went out to a block party and keeping your clothes looking clean throughout the night. If it wasn’t for b-boys the entire sneaker culture wouldn’t even exist. We practically invented the concept of dressing fresh in hip-hop.
So what happened?