Well, here we are in the 21st century and B-Boyin’ is still going strong in the underground venue as well as around the world. What you’re about to read is basically a simple yet important message. To our new generation of B-Boys and B-girls, did you know that once upon a short time B-Boyin’ reigned supreme in the mainstream spotlight? It became such a phenomenon that Hollywood saw the hype and smelled the money.
The art of the B-Boy dance (commercially known worldwide as breakdancing) was first introduced to the world in the movie called Flashdance. The movie as a whole was a weak one, but what gave the movie its popularity and strength was a two minute segment with a few members of B-Boy originators, The Rock Steady Crew.
At that time I remember sneaking into the theater, along with the rest of those who didn’t have enough money for a movie ticket, just to see that B-Boy segment. For those who did pay for the movie ticket, they would leave immediately after that segment was over, and so did I.
The Rock Steady Crew, along with another B-Boy crew known as the New York City Breakers, made a few television appearances, such as The Merv Griffin Show, That’s Incredible and Saturday Night Live. And soon after that, Hollywood decided to create four more movies that had B-Boyin’ in their script, Breakin’, Breakin’ 2, Beat Street and Body Rock. After the movie Body Rock officially became Hollywood’s greatest Hip Hop movie flop of all times, the B-Boy exploitation in Hollywood heard its’ final curtain call.
So right now from where I sit, a couple of decades has surpassed and Hollywood once again smells fresh money from the art of B-Boyin’. Thus far B-Boyin’ has influenced scenes in movies such as You Got Served, Step Up, Step Up 2 :The Streets, Honey, and Stomp the Yard. Also a mad outbreak of television talent shows with B-Boy appearances has taken over our digital frequencies, too! Shows like, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, America’s Best Dance Crew, America’s Got Talent and the short lived Superstars Of Dance.
Now Check this out, on one hand, I’m very happy and glad to see that Hollywood has once again acknowledge the art of B-Boyin’. However on the other hand, on the small screen, the networks only care about one thing and that’s ratings. Likewise on the big screen, it’s all about the movie ticket sales. Now some of you may have heard the phrase “history repeating itself.” So I ask all of you is that what history is doing now?
See, you must understand something about me; I’m not some Hollywood hater or a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I’m the type of person that has a nasty habit of looking at the BIG picture. I simply do not want to once again see our B-Boy crews be used, abused, stepped on, and wrecked on by Hollywood. So B-Boy crews worldwide, watch your step! I’m hoping that we in the Hip Hop culture have learned our lesson from the claim to fame era, and that we have become a lot smarter this time around.
I’m also hoping that our B-Boy crews are making sure that there is a health insurance clause in every contract / service agreement that they sign. I mean, anything could happen in practice right? What if one of your members dislocates a shoulder trying to create a new power move? Who’s gonna cover the medical bills? Also if not signing a guaranteed contract / service agreement, how ’bout half upfront?
Look, I admit I don’t have a lot of suggestions for my fellow B-Boy crews, but knowing how Hollywood treated them in the past, I wouldn’t dance for free in the future.