rock steady crew
B-Boys

Rock Steady Crew

As Hip Hop culture blossomed throughout the South Bronx in the late 1970s, B-boying became a crucial element that helped settle neighborhood disputes through dance battles instead of violence.[1] Various dance crews were formed throughout the South Bronx, but their popularity began to fade in 1977.[2]  Puerto Rican B-boy Jojo, a former hustler who had been battling since the age of 9, wanted to revive the art form and founded the Rock Steady Crew.  Formerly known as The Untouchable Four B-Boys, EZ Mike, Peabody 170th, Jimmy D and Jojo decided to expand their dance crew by making potential inductees battle for membership.[3] [4]  Many tried, but the few that prevailed were Baby Love (Daisy Castro), Buck Four (Gabriel Marcano), Crazy Legs (Richard Colon), Kuriaki (Lorenzo Soto), Prince Ken (Kenneth Gabbert) and Devious Doze (Jeffrey Greene).[5]

The Rock Steady Crew soon developed and became known for groundbreaking and acrobatic dance moves that included head spins (a continuous spin done while balancing only on the head, the legs can vary indefinitely), front and back head flips (headsprings done without the use of hands), headstands  and handstands.[6] 16 year-old Baby Love acquired her dance skills by watching her brother breakdance in a group called the Young City Boys and was the first B-girl to ever gain national fame.[7]  Devious Doze, age 19, was also known for his graffiti that could be seen on subway cars, alleys and walls throughout New York.[8]  16-year old Prince Ken, a former member of the Young City Boys, was known as “the epitome of a B-Boy.”[9]  Crazy Legs credits himself with the invention of power moves like the backspin (in which the B-boy whips his leg around, spins around quickly and balls up), the continuous backspin and the 1990(which resembles a rapidly spinning one-handed handstand).[10] [11]  Crazy Legs (age 18) joined the crew in 1979, and the crew became a staple in New York club culture.[12] 

In 1981, the Rock Steady Crew gained exposure when a battle between the Dynamic Rockers at the Lincoln Center Outdoors Program was covered by national media outlets like National Geographic.[13]  The group’s newly appointed president Crazy Legs began a Manhattan chapter and helped spread Hip Hop culture with Afrika Bambaataa when they joined his Zulu Nation in 1982.[14]  Though the crew had appeared in documentaries Wild Style and Style Wars, it was 1983’s Flashdance that introduced B-boying to a national audience with cameos by Ken Swift, Crazy Legs and new members Frosty Freeze and Mr. Freeze.[15]  The group was soon managed by Kool Lady Blue, and they joined Afrika Bambaataa and Fab Five Freddy in London and Paris for the Roxy Tour while the “Wild Style Tour” took them to Japan with the Cold Crush Four. [16] [17] 

By 1984, mainstream audiences began to refer to B-boying as “breakdancing,” and it quickly became a pop culture phenomenon with appearances in TV commercials and movies like “Breakin’.”[18]  The Rock Steady Crew signed a record deal with Virgin Records and recorded their first single “Hey You” which charted at 38 in the United States and sold over a million in the U.K.[19]  Their album, Ready for Battle, was released shortly after, but legal issues prevented the group from performing together in the future.[20]  Rock Steady began to deteriorate and tragedy struck the crew in 1991 when two of the original members Buck 4 and Kuriaki were murdered in two separate drug homicides.[21]  Though the public’s fascination with B-boying dramatically decreased by the 2000s, the group celebrated their 30th anniversary with a compilation of Old School Hip Hop entitled 30 Years to The Day .[22] 

Today, Crazy Legs has remained dedicated to preserving the art of B-boying, and there are still many chapters of the Rock Steady Crew that have been formed around the world.[23]  Devious Doze still gains recognition for his artwork, but it is now showcased in galleries and corporate ads instead of in the streets.[24]  Baby Love eventually became a gymnast for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation, and Prince Ken created a documentary called The Rock Super Dynamite Soul explaining the history of “The Rock,” a dance form that originated in 1970s New York. [25]  Though the Rock Steady Crew now consists of dancers from completely different generations, the original members know that their contribution to Hip Hop history, B-boying and dance in general will always live on. 

Style/technique

The Rock Steady Crew was known for creating and practicing difficult and acrobatic power moves.  Some of these included to following:

  • Back Spin: One of the first spinning and famous power moves ever made. A move which has the breaker balled up and spinning on his or her back.
  • Headspins: A continuous spin done while balancing only on the head, the legs can vary indefinitely.
  • Front/Back Headflips: A headspring done without the use of the hands
  • 1990s: Resemble a rapidly spinning one-handed handstand

Videos

Beat Street Clip of RSC vs NYC Breakerz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpdLz0WFbQM

Flashdance Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RME_Qqaju9w

“Hey You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4J-EVxMcd0

Rare performance

http://www.mydanceclip.com/video/1206/rare-material-from-rock-steady-crew-back-in-83


Crew

The original crew: Daisy Castro (Baby Love), Gabriel Marcano (Buck Four), Richard Colon (Crazy Legs), Lorenzo Soto (Kuriaki), Kenneth Gabbert (Prince Ken), Jeffrey Greene (Devious Doze)

Currently, the main members are Crazy Legs, Prince Ken Swift, Mr. Wiggles, Masami, and Orko.

List of members


* Jimmy D
* Jojo
Crazy Legs
* Lenny Len
* Frosty Freeze
Mr. Wiggles
* Tuff Tim Twist
* DJ JS1
* Bonz Malone
Bobbito Garcia
* Fabel
* Double T

* Quit Riot
Q-Unique
* Flea Rock
* Abstrak
* YNOT
* Easy Roc
Tony Touch
* Fever 1
* Heps Fury
* Floor Rock
* Mr. Freeze
* Prince Ken Swift
* Doze

* Mad Child
* Mega
* DJ Eclipse
* DJ Evil Dee
* Renegade
* Jeskilz
* Mari
Rahzel
* Luigi
* Kool Ski
* Servin’ Ervin
* Denote

* Suga Pop
* Artson
* Armani
* Shon Boog
* Eunico
* Charlie Rock
* Venum
* Jeromeskee
* Masami
* Teknyc
* Fast Feet

Cited Sources

[1] http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/history%20of%20breaking.htm

[2] http://crazylegsworkshop.com/index.php/rock-steady-crew

[3] http://www.planetshine.com/jojo.html

[4] http://crazylegsworkshop.com/index.php/rock-steady-crew

[5] http://www.discogs.com/artist/Rock+Steady+Crew,+The

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breakdance_moves

[7] http://www.depechemode-forum.de/forum/showthread.php?t=132&page=19

[8] http://articles.cnn.com/2005-03-21/us/otr.green_1_graffiti-artists-trains-graphic-designer?_s=PM:US

[9] https://www.msu.edu/~okumurak/dancers/rsc.html

[10] http://www.daveyd.com/crazylegsinterview.html

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_%28breakdance_move%29

[12] http://www.onecypher.com/2007/08/interview-with-crazy-legs-of-the-world-famous-rock-steady-crew/

[13] http://www.oldschoolhiphop.com/artists/bboys/rocksteadycrew.htm

[14] http://www.hiphoparea.com/breakdance/rock-steady-crew-history-and-noday.html

[15] http://www.oldschoolhiphop.com/artists/bboys/rocksteadycrew.htm

[16] http://crazylegsworkshop.com/index.php/rock-steady-crew

[17] http://elvis.rowan.edu/~misra/breakin_faq/hiphoptimeline.html

[18] http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/breakdancing/article.html

[19] http://www.answers.com/topic/rock-steady-crew#ixzz1POPVo8yL

[20]  Ibid. 

[21] http://slumz.boxden.com/f87/where-they-now-beat-street-23-years-later-853210/

[22] http://www.answers.com/topic/rock-steady-crew#ixzz1POPVo8yL

[23] http://crazylegsworkshop.com/index.php/rock-steady-crew

[24] http://articles.cnn.com/2005-03-21/us/otr.green_1_graffiti-artists-trains-graphic-designer?_s=PM:US

[25] http://toomuchflavour.co.uk/site2/ken-swift-interview-original-rock-stead-crew-b-boy-7-gems-rock-division/

Categories
B-Boys