In the 1970s, hip-hop as a cultural phenomenon became an important cultural change in the United States. “Hip-hop is a state of mind; a way of living and being” (Gwendolyn D. Pough, “Seeds and Legacies: Tapping the Potential in Hip-Hop, p. 284). In this scene, there are art forms of singing, graffiti, DJ and B-boying styles. In this HACK, I will write about B-boying emerged in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s. Since then, it had been used as a firm rejection of the dominant white patriarchal social order by the black and the Latino and now a nonverbal communication tool between people across the globe beyond barriers such as race, cultural difference, verbal language, and so on.
Dancers called B-boys usually performed on street and showed their creative forms of body movement with beats such as rap music and other musical forms. In the above video Breaking L.A. 1980s, Ice Cold Crew performs the b-boying in Venice Beach, L.A., and people from the young to the old and from the black and the Latino to the white got together and enjoyed the performance.
Like a rap whose lyrics influence on social issues, b-boying as a counterculture functioned against social problems. Emily Jordan quotes the journal Identity Constructions among Breakdancers written by Fasting, Kari, and Langnes on her post about the history of b-boys, “The B-boy world functioned as a counterculture – an escape – from the traditionally oppressive society that members encountered on a daily basis. As a B-boy, dancers felt empowered and liberated from the stigma and stereotyping they faced as a result of their race and/or ethnicity” (http://haenfler.sites.grinnell.edu/b-boys/).
In the modern society, hip-hop, the subculture of America, has been spreading throughout the world. Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios explain on the article The Global Influence of Hip Hop and Breakdancing, “Although hip-hop culture has made its way through much of the world, there are still some places where you wouldn’t expect hip-hop music to flourish, and countries like Colombia, Yemen, Cambodia, and Uganda, might not come to mind when discussing the art of breakdance.” Hip-hop dancers express their identities with free but specific body movements including their own signature movements through the competition called “Battle.” Their dance and body languages are used to communicate with the opposite group during the battle. Even though it is called as ‘battle,’ they don’t fight but pursue the interaction within the peace. I attach three videos. In the first video, you can see how they feel the music and enjoy the hip-hop subculture.
In the second video, you can see how they control their excitement aroused by the opposite dancers and pursue the peace.
The last video, one of my favorite videos, is not about B-boying but Poppin dance which is another type of hip-hop dance. In this video, you can see how they are creative and interactive.
These three videos have one thing in common. They pay attention to the opposite dancers, try to understand what they express, and actively participate in their nonverbal communication without any distinction. Even though there would be some aggressive expression during the battle, they hug each other and express their respect for others without ill feelings. I think this subculture of America has influenced on the world with good function.
Langnes, Tonje F, and Kari Fasting. “Identity Constructions among Breakdancers.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 51, no. 3, 2014, pp. 349–364., doi:10.1177/1012690214526402.
Forman, M. (Ed.), Neal, M. (Ed.). (2004). That’s the Joint!. New York: Routledge.
“Subcultures and Sociology.” Grinnell College, haenfler.sites.grinnell.edu/b-boys/.
Staff, Marketplace. “The Global Influence of Hip Hop and Breakdancing.” Marketplace, Marketplace, www.marketplace.org/2015/05/19/world/global-influence-hip-hop-and-breakdancing.
Method in the Madness: Exploring the Boundaries of …http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=86406468A4F04AE785BF03320CA4EBD1&CID=175D67AFC032670806806BE4C1CF6627&rd=1&h=KCeUFBZVr6ZE8xG8KIRxLDrNJ_34c1AVZ3-_ENF6xyk&v=1&r=http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13504639751952&p=DevEx.LB.1,5063.1.
“1971:The Rock Steady Crew.” Hip Hop Dance School!, 10 Apr. 2010, hiphopdanceschool.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/1971the-rock-steady-crew/.
skillsone. “Breaking L.A. 1980’s.” YouTube, YouTube, 25 Oct. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCjF-8hgHMQ.
“Morning of Owl vs Disfunctional Art | Royal B-Boy Battle Qualifier 2017.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3IoUeYLpzE.
“Pro KillTheBeat Morning of Owl Crew vs Pockemon Crew Battle FINAL 2015.” YouTube, YouTube, 30 Jan. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhsix5EgZPw.
hurricanesstudio. “HURRICANES BATTLE-ISM 2013 TAIWAN | POPPIN CREW BATTLE – TEAM EUROPE VS TEAM KOREA.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Dec. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvKxPExS-yM.