Why is Hiphop Culture missing in Breakin events???

For today’s blog we wanted to do a survey on a very important aspect in our scene. Why are most events not very Hiphop? For the last decade, breakin events have been about JUST breakin and not much Hiphop (fyi, this doesn’t apply to all events). Younger generations and others at fault are now referring to the breaking community as “breakin culture” and going as far as to stating that breakin is it’s own culture. Saying such things means breakin separated itself from Hiphop Culture to create its own. We at The Bboy Spot know that breakin is an element of Hiphop Culture and support it as such, but we want to hear from you.

So, naturally, we’ve a couple questions for you!

1) Is breakin is its own culture?

2) Should breakin be its own culture?

3) Do you care about other elements of Hiphop?

4) Have you taken an interest in researching about Hiphop Culture?

5) Are breakin events too competition base?

6) Have you traveled outside your state to experience other breakin events?

7) Would you like to see other Hiphop elements implemented to modern breakin events?

8) and…how long have you been breakin for?

If you can, answer these questions for us to get a better understanding of the current state of mind in the breakin today. There is no voice better than the voice of the community!

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20 Responses

  1. Minh_eP says:

    I will ask question 8 first because it might help to understand me.
    8.) I am a 16-year old bboy and I’ve been dancing for three years now. So please don’t hit me too hard with your critic etc. I admit that I’m still young and inexperienced so mistakes are natural I guess but hey, at least I am trying. 🙂 Also with English being my third language there might be some mistakes so please have mercy. 🙂

    1.) Yes and no. I think the problem is that many bboys/bgirls are not interested in practising the other elements of HipHop and thus “breaking” slowly becomes it own culture. But on the other hand we dancers need the WHOLE culture. Without Music there is no dance. And who makes the Music? MCs and DJs. Additionally the writers help us to promote ourself with their art.

    2.) No! As mentioned above breaking depends on the other elements of HipHop. Also for example when comparing a breaking-only event with a HipHop event the HipHop JAMS are (mostly) the more funnier and more enjoyable one etc. and you can find inspiration (and friends) in the other elements as well.

    3.) Yes I do. Especially scratching seems very interesting to me. But being a student means being short on money so I don’t have that much opportunities for workshops etc.. However, I am still very young (I guess) and because of that I will surely have enough opportunities for these.

    4.) Of course. I have do admit that breaking is my preferred element but (as mentioned above) the elements are connected and interesting. I tried MCing too and even though I was/am bad it is very fun.

    5.) Depends on the event. RedBull BC1 for example is strictly competitive but it helps the breaking scene to get more “attention” in the public. Local events are mostly less competitive I guess but they do not draw as many people from far away than competitive based jams so that’s why I think there are more competitive based events.

    6.) As mentioned above I am short on money but I always try to. I was at Circle Industry last year and am planning to got there this year too for example (It is in comparison a rather “small” battle but well, step by step 🙂 )

    7.). Yes. Many and especially the younger dancers (like me) should learn about the culture and its roots. In some events where I (or my “elders”) have been there were workshops with DJs and they were always pretty fun and helps to understand the music more so workshops could be a good start in the right direction. The problem with that is that these workshops usually take place on another day because of time issues and apart from the local people not many want to actually stay for another day “just for a workshop”.

    Damn that was long. Thanks for reading. I am open for any thoughts 🙂

    • Savon Hankins says:

      Is Breaking it’s own culture? No Without Breakbeats and HipHop Music, breaking would not exist. Plus most bboys back in the day were also graffiti artists
      2. Should Breaking be it’s own culture? Yes, but it should always be a hip hop element
      3. Do you care about other elements of hip hop? Yes, and I love all 4 elements
      4. Have you taken an interest in researching hip hop? Yes, I always study the culture
      5. Are breaking events too competition based? Yes, many bboys are actually even forgetting that breaking is a dance rather than a sport, and due to all the competition, bboys are more focused on who can do the most difficult shit rather than who can dance well
      6.Have you traveled outside your state to experience other breaking events? No, I don’t care about breaking events honestly. I just do me
      7. Would you like to see other hip hop elements in breaking events ? Yes, rap music is cool to break to and its is cool to see a dj at a dj stand making beats for bboys to break to
      8. Have long have I been breaking? About 2 years

  2. James Jusung Park says:

    I have been breakin for 10 years now.

    First off, I dont believe that Breakin is its own culture. Why should Breakin isolate its self from HipHop when it is based on HipHop from the beginning? by any means, Breakin should get its rightful attention in Hip Hop. It is starting to look like it is its own culture but it should never be.

    Also Breakin should not be part of its own culture.

    That is NOT hip hop and that totally defeats the 4 elements that Afrika Baambatta spread to the whole world.

    As much as HipHop is getting influenced by other cultures, I believe that other elements are important and it is connected with each element.

    I used to start my interest to only korean bboys and their moves. However, I know there were alot more and it was about the movement. This lead me to learn more about the correct history of hiphop and got me to research more about my korean breakin scene and other countries scene too. Over the years, breakin competitions has leveled up no doubt. This is inevitable because we all evolve and we improve in certain ways. I don’t believe it is too competitive. It is just evolving every day and someone is raising the bars each year. If you think it is too competitive, then you should either start practicing more and be hungry or just not complain about how breakin is only focused on competition. People cypher everytime and it builds up skills and makes competitions more intense. Period.

    I have been in the korean local scene for 3 years and I am very naive on what the scene focuses on and where it is heading. However, the scene, to be honest, is very trendy comparing to the states.

    Yet, there are always individuals who focus on the essence of the true hip hop by sharing hip hop historical documentaries and closing the gap with the old and new generations. Today, other hiphop elements are implemented into modern breakin events, like allstyles.

    • Rafael Gonçalves says:

      Bboying was around before hip hop even existed, so i can say that bboying always was its own culture!, it wasn’t a part of hip hop from the beginning, you should get your facts right.
      Before it belongs to something bigger, we cant forget the true nature of bboying, its a dance that uses FUNKY music as its base (remember, before hip hop or rap was even a thing). Hip hop was a concept created to unify different people with similar mentality. Not every bboy listens to hip hop, and most writers actually like Rock/heavy music!
      It’s normal that in breakin events its all about break, bboys make breakin events, not rappers or djs or writers! Its its own community with its own terms and history, and it will always be.

      • Fumi Furuya says:

        breaking as in dancing to the breaks, so the dj needed two turn tables to keep playing the breaks. so they didn’t just dance to just funky music. they danced to the breaks of the funky music. hence breaking. fumiblog.com.

      • Savon Hankins says:

        Please learn about hip hop. It is called breaking because break beats is what created it.

  3. Lennart Coppens says:

    1) yes, a little
    2) yes, a little
    3) yes
    4) yes
    5) sometimes
    6) no
    7) yes
    8) 8 years, 3 years serious

  4. JIREH S. says:

    1) Is breakin
    is its own culture? Yes, it’s everywhere all over the world. It’s in
    commercials, online advertisements, movies ect. When we start seeing something
    everyone can see and call it a title I would assume it’s a culture. If I saw
    someone playing pokemon cards with a group of friends I see that as a culture. They
    grew up learning how to play it, watch the show/movies and basically have high
    knowledge about it. If you have advanced knowledge about breakin then yes I think
    it is a culture.

    2) Should
    breakin be its own culture? No, only because breakin is a piece of a culture.

    Example: Think
    of breakin like the Prodigal Son, breakin leaves his element and decides to be
    his own culture. Without maturity it starts to experience some life struggles, he’ll
    be exposed and beatin down until he realize to come back to his family
    (culture) and will need help to rebuild. Breakin should never be separated from
    his Elements, it can do its thing but it won’t end well.

    3) Do you care
    about other elements of Hiphop? Yes, it’s important to know all 4 to understand
    the purpose of the hiphop movement. All 4 complements each other. Graffiti Art
    is for promoting the culture, Dance is the expression of the movement, Djay is
    the music to the soul, MC is to spread the word.

    4) Have you
    taken an interest in researching about Hiphop Culture? Yes, hip hop’s almost to
    its golden year but culture wise it’s still young. Some of the innovators still
    alive and well, most of them are still performing and continuing to pass the
    knowledge to the next generation. Imagine learning the culture now and in 50+
    years you’re out there with that hip hop IQ.

    5) Are breakin
    events too competition base? Yes I would think so. Its sad to say but when
    people ask bboys/bgirls if they’re “breakdancer” they don’t even know how to
    react. “no I’m a competitive bboy” I mean that sounds stupid (for someone that
    doesn’t understand off the bat) promoters right now are so hard to push breakin
    to the mainstream that when it gets there it loses its’ momentum and goes right
    back down to the floor (see what I did there). Stop forcing the growth and let
    it naturally develop. I’ve entered a lot of battles but also judged a few in my
    scene and watching the new generation compete I could see that they rather win
    than express real emotions.

    6) Have you
    traveled outside your state to experience other breakin events? Yes, as a bboy I
    recommend it. Not only to battle or have a good time also to network and most
    importantly learning from those events. Someday you’ll run your own event and
    it should resemble your style, like a dancer your life experience follows
    through you dance. The more you go to events the better yours would be, you’ll
    know the traffic, the amount of ppl you expect, how to promote it and what kind
    of music you prefer the djay to play. Learn
    from those events, please! What didn’t you like? What did you like? Why was the
    event taking forever? Is the MC annoying? Why are there more Guys than Girls!?

    7) Would you
    like to see other Hiphop elements implemented to modern breakin events? I wish
    it was required! Instead of waiting for 5 hours till they call our crew name to
    just do prelims I’d like to see graffiti art work, have some turntables out
    there and watch them cut and an MC battle or cipher. The only few places I’ve
    been to that had those were Mighty4/OutForFame and Outbreak back when they had
    it in the Bboyspot. Promoters need a way to put these all together somehow.

    8) and…how long
    have you been breakin for? About 17+ almost legal =)

  5. Gabriele TwistedRock Staltari says:

    1) No, it’s not a culture of its own, It is a branch of a culture, since it depends strictly from at least another element in Hip Hop culture it cannot be separated, so I would say it is an artform. A culture defines something more than just an artform despite its complexity.

    2) No it should not. Don’t you all like Hip Hop as it is? Don’t you all like to listen your favourite breaks mixed by a good DJ while you’re bboying and get involved by a captivating host who animates the crowd during the events?(That’s MCing) And don’t you like an old fashioned wild style lettering rocking on your flyer? Or even better, don’t you like to rock the dancefloor while someone is painting a wall behind you and an MC is proving his skills alongside with a DJ? As for me, I even like to hear stories about Kool Herc and Bambaataa and how they brought peace into a chaotic period and gave us a direction and a reason to live. It gives a lot more sense to what I’m doing.

    3) I obviously care about other elements of Hip Hop. Knowledge is the lost element. Everybody should practice it to realize that this thing we’re in love with is even better than we expected.

    4) I’m currently translating Hip Hop books in my first language so my interest in the research about Hip Hop culture is even becoming a job for me.

    5) It depends on the event.

    6) Yes I did, and I take the chance to congratulate you for the great job you do with Outbreak

    7) All the elements togheter are never too much so yes, I’d like to see other elements implemented to modern bboying events

    8) this year marks 12 or 13 years I’m in the game, I can’t even remember precisely.

    Peace and blessings to you guys. Keep doing your job and inspiring the whole movement

  6. Tommy Murphy says:

    8) Knowing who’s talking is important, so you can know where they come from. I’m a college student who’s been aware of hip-hop and breaking for 3.25 years. I’m barely more then an e-boy; I just have humility, and the teachings about hip-hop’s roots from Rebel Diaz, Ben Orteez of the Cornell Hip-Hop Collection, and my professor of African-American Studies and Religion, who is a Bronx native and was there when Kool DJ Herc was having parties. So I have little physical experience, but I think about it a lot.

    1) No; breaking is too connected to other cultures to be it’s own culture, but it can appear that way. I believe that the disconnections from the other cultures of hip-hop make breaking appear separate. Does YouTube footage ever show Victor, Kill, or Lil’Zoo participating in other elements to people online? Does the rap industry, the child of MCing, ever acknowledge the other elements in #1 songs that everyone listens to? Has the rap industry been solely designated “hip-hop” when it’s only one part? Do people focus on large-scale events mostly for their breaking, or are events made just for breaking at all? Do people gain an interest in one element, not receive a hip-hop history education, and not take the time to learn about the other elements and how they intertwine? And has breaking also become part of the “street dance” world as well, with dancers in front of people who don’t know that they’re seeing breaking, tutting, locking, or housing? Breaking is not a separate, island culture, but I think it can appear that way, and that people can be interested in just breaking, and treat it like it’s a single culture.

    2) No. Disconnections mean no MCs at events, no DJs for music, no flyers and designs, no side jobs for dancers alongside pro MCs or DJs, etc. And it would mean disconnection from the 5th element of knowledge.

    3) Not as much as I should..it’s hard to balance hip-hop, college, girlfriend, martial arts, and more…

    4) I guess I have not…

    5) Hm….well, it is interesting to note that most of Undisputed’s Top 8 are competition-based events, and that those competitive events are mostly one-on-one, not crew-on-crew, but that’s another topic. I think that breaking competitions are often too competition-based. I have not been to an event yet, so I can’t say from experience; only from observation.

    6)…not yet. I’m planning trying to watch Silverback this year though.

    7) …yes. After all I’ve said, it makes no sense to say that breaking isn’t it’s own culture and is still connected, and then not call for more of the other elements at modern breaking events.

    Question: Bboy Dyzee’s got a group called B-Boying Statistic & Research on Facebook, with 9000 members. You want me to post these questions on that forum, and get more responses?

  7. Brandon Poythress says:

    Put this on a google docs
    form. It would be better and more organized 🙂

  8. Firuze Gülay Tezcan says:

    8) Okey first of all I’m not a Bgirl but my father is a Bboy since he is 18 and now he is 48 I remember the times when my father took me to events. My father is a bboy and I’m a Hip hop dancer myself for more then 8 years.

    1) No it’s not you can’t dance without the music not just Hip Hop music all kind of music
    2) It shouldn’t why not sharing the culture in the name of Hiphop. Dancing was before Hip Hop I know but Hip Hop is peace, love, unity, havingfun… What about bboying?
    3) Of course I know the basics of waacking, locking, popping, house I try to experience every kind of dance even salsa, belly dance and more but not good at each just know the basics
    4) Yes after I moved to Turkey I needed more to research because in Turkey there are just 2-3 guys who has knowledge really no one cares here that much about history anymore 🙁
    5) Too competition base! It is already like competions. Mikey Disco said that battle doesn’t mean 2 rounds it is until the other one can’t anymore. This days we just have competitions
    6) When I was 6 I was at the battle of the south in Stuttgart / Germany and in alot of events in germany after that I moved to Turkey and was in alot of events too. There where just 3-4 bboy crews in Turkey.
    7) Yes I remember that before in competitions it was crew vs crew not with numbers based not 3vs3 or 5vs5 and they didn’t just break they did popping and locking too… I really love bboying I grew up with bboys but I just love to dance Waacking or Hip Hop more why not dancing all together? Like the allstyles I think it’s a powerful experience

  9. Paritosh Parmar says:

    1. No, its HipHop

    2. No.

    3.Yes all of them

    4. Yes

    5. Yes specially for new generation kids..

    6. Yes

    7. Yes.

    8. Since 2007

  10. Joslee Jld says:

    HIP HOP is the way how a generation lived back in the days, We cant jus point out on just one thing to define HIPHOP, its just like one of the culture like we might have learned in the history classes back in the school days. But what these kids do hear these days or see these days is just commercial stuff polished in to a “fake hip hop” cant blame them, But it sucks when they have that belief that its hip Hop, while they aint getting that soul of hip hop .The Music the moves the attitude the swagg, So rich it was.

  11. Amaury says:

    1 – Breakin is born from hiphop. Although all dimension of hip hop (music, dance, art) are nowadays growing separately, the essence is the same.

    2 – No, the culture must be understood as a whole.

    3 – Yes I do, it’s interesting to share and learn from all elements of hip hop. You’ll probably notice that the core values are the same.

    4 – Yes, even released a documentary last year: “Breakin’ it down: an overview on breaking culture”.

    5 – As for French events, yes.

    6 – Yes, in Finland, where bboys’ spirit is dope.

    7 – Definitely, the issue is that for instance breaking is not as developed as hip hop music economically-wise. Bringing those environment together is very challenging.

    8 – Since 2005.

  12. PagaBboy Cristian says:

    1, no it’s not, like one of the brothas said below in the coments it needs the other elements to get in “motion” DJ-ing and MC-in(the real mc-ing not raping)
    2.No , first of all because is depending on other branches of the hip hop culture and second of all it’s a crucial and main part of the hiphop culture and has contributed to the birth and development of the hip hop culture.
    3.Of course , i started as a Mc now i’m a bboy and also studying DJ-ing.
    4. Every day of my life, not only from books, articles or videos but also thru direct contact with different participants to the international and local moovement.
    5. yes and most of the opinions are pread below no need to get into them.
    6.Outside of my town, country not yet continent but planning that aswell.i’ve started traveling late in my 30s because of the restrictions my country had for traveling across europe as part of the old eastern block.
    7.But they are most of them and i would like to see them not beeing taken appart from that.
    9. I;ve been breakin’ for 20 years since ’96 .

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