Light Handed

Month: January, 2013

Sly and the Family Stone – If You Want Me to Stay (Funk Ferret edit)

My crewmate Bas1 had this song playing every time you would call him, in the way that you wished he didn’t pick up (in a good way that is haha). So funky, soulful, and feel-good. This version simply has beefier bass and brass sections to it, with some edits that make it more usable for club DJs or loud systems. This is one of my friend Lex’s favorite songs too–had this on repeat on our trip to Denver yee!

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DJ Crumbs – BattleDrill 2013 (Mixtape)

Bboy Crumbs (Style Elements) is a legend of our time–inventor of many moves, champion of many battles, and passionate supporter of the culture. I always envision an ESPN classic in 50 years digging into the video archives of VHS’ and DVDs’, with a small but dedicated community of super fans. While the kids won’t know, the true heads and students of the game will remember names like Crumbs, Remind, JayRawk, Poe One, etc. But it isn’t just the moves or the victories that separate history’s chapter makers from the asterisks, it’s being able to make contributions back to the culture consistently.

Crumbs, little known to others, is also a DJ and lover of music, specifically 90s hip hop. I remember we shared a conversation about how breaks being played at jams are just too fuckin fast nowadays, with no space to breathe or create for that matter. We both believe that it’s not just affecting people’s tastes and performance at jams, but it’s also constricting them creatively. There’s no more party vibe. With this in mind, Crumbs has been working hard and has now released his Battledrill training mixtape, aimed at getting folks hype at practice while reintroducing the hip hop uptempo vibe. Most of the tracks are reworks by Crumbs himself, mixed in with some of his favorites. I’d recommend it to everyone in the scene, to satisfy nostalgic tastebuds or teach youngbloods the value of another man’s (generation’s) nostalgia.

Download, Subscribe, Listen, Enjoy.

Disclosure – Boiling ft. Sinead Harnett (Joe Kay’s Afterhours Vibe)

This music is healing. This music makes me reappreciate all the going out and partying and crazy stuff we get into, not just the peaks of the night, but that shared come down you have with your close friends. The drives home at sunrise, the hotel room sitdown, the conversations of stupidity and grand realization. Moments in time.

Matter of fact I just had one of those weekends this past one with some kindred souls from LA/SD/the Bay. So blessed. So much love. Enjoy.

No Laptop Speakers Allowed.

Otik – Tremble

Ab-Soul ‘ILLuminate’ ft. Kendrick Lamar

Dope song. Dope video.

“They Wanna Share my Light”; Light-Handed.

Abstrak (Skill Methodz)

This is my first break-related post about a dancer I study and admire, and I find myself at a strange impasse on this day. I’m in between a place of reverence and two degrees of separation. It’s strange because I don’t know this man, I’ve met him as a fan back in 2007, but it’s almost certain I’ll come across him in the future. It would be awkward to say HEY I WROTE A BLOG POST ON YOU (I wouldn’t say that lol). But then I remember how awkward it was to approach him at Ashes2Ashes in Portland anyways haha. Today, honesty and purpose prevail. It’s my goal in discussing dancers, battles, moments in time–that I’ll be able to help others see the things I do and aid them in their break journey.

Abstrak was one of my first break heroes. As I was coming of break maturity around 2005/2006, right as I was getting into Hybrid Crew and thus beginning my love affair with this dance, I can’t remember how I came across him. Must’ve been some .avi file or somewhere online like bboyworld. There was something about his sense of flow, the continuity in how he carried himself on the dance floor, and the unpredictable rawness of freestyle. You never knew where he was going, what beats he was going catch, and when he was doing to perform one of those godsent moves that collectively fry the brains of everyone in attendance. Example: Start this clip at 1:18, but the set I’m talking about starts at 1:40.

Wtf what that?! Swipe, reverse flow, figure 4, flow freeze-freeze-freeze?! The fact that I can even write something trying to describe it proves to me how much I’ve grown in my own dance but as a high schooler watching this, I was flabbergasted. And the greatest part is: he was dancing the whole time. And I really doubt he ever did a move like that again, as I’ve heard his memory isn’t the strongest and that’s just one of those moves you don’t do, ever again.

It was exemplary of one of the best things freestyle dance has to offer, that trounces the appeal of beautiful choreography (for me).

Irreplaceable moments in time with movements that come from a higher power or in a complete “flow” state of mind.

(for the latter, see: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman). See it again here:

Every beat hit; every snare caught most definitely. There’s an air of complete gracefulness, and a class to it unseen on the international battle stages of today. Truly, it’s the flow of movement that sets it apart. I learned from watching him throughout the years, that flow like that comes from mastery of the body. You cannot practice this. You have to practice everything else (he was a really dope powerhead as was everyone else in the 90s) and learn your body, and with practice–perhaps 10,000 hours–your body will respond in kind. If you keep practicing, trust in your body, and finally disconnect yourself from pursuing “perfection”, you will do things you never dreamed of. There is value to drilling movement and sets and winning battles, which is something he did, but this guy represents the appeal of bboying beyond that. Pure creation and uninhibited flow. I will always thank him for inspiring that in me.

__

PS. I found out in my early research days that part of his foundation was learning how to house dance from Cricket (East Coast, not Crykit from Extra Kredit). That is a major reason why I started housing.

Capski – Canopy of Stars w/ Low Leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge’s showcase much? Maybe :] I’m a sucker for female vocals, broken beat, and atmospheric chords. Ooowee soundcloud was gracious to me this afternoon.

THKSKN: Interview with A-Game on Style, Philosophy, and Story to your Clothing

Hey folks, in place of something written here, I am linking you to piece written…elsewhere. Profound I know 😉

My friend Dianna aka Didi began her fashion blog a month or two ago, of which she states simply but poignantly, “write or be written.” I dig that. We met at Berkeley and have had a great many conversations, some of the most memorable on the 1st floor of Moffitt Library haha. It’s great to see her writing and sharing with the world her interests and passions. Please check her out at THKSKN

Her short blurb on our exchange:

Usually I write a little paragraph about my guest. However, I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say this post can stand on it’s own. He’s magnetic with his stories, his way of dress, his dance, his musings. I suggest you grab something to drink before delving into his stimulant philosophy about style.”

http://thkskn.blogspot.com/2013/01/its-2013-bring-your-game.html

Cheers.

HUZZAH!

So I finally sat down, gritted my teeth, and finished the second draft of my paper.

— In Medias Res — Cutshot to beginning of film —

In the first journal entry of my Asia journey in 2011, while I was in Taiwan, I wrote down in my list of life goals that I wanted to contribute back to B-boy/B-Girl culture in a form other than just dancing. I’ve been able to do that with some teaching here and there, but I still don’t view myself that highly as a teacher. I always begin my workshops by saying that I’m just a kid with an interesting perspective, who had a lot of time to think. In this same journal entry, I pondered the idea of writing a paper on the evolution of modern breaking. In April 2011, after a series of epiphanies and events, I embarked on that journey. Over that year I would travel the world, live in Korea, work for R-16, interview my heroes and pioneers, finish my last semester, get into and out of my first relationship, and eventually turn in that paper as my final to a class about sociological research methods. By the way, my degree is directed towards International Development as in a liberal arts degree specializing in the developing world and how shit gets exploited all the damn time. This paper was out of my element and training, but I went for it anyways.

Although I got an A (what what!), it still just wasn’t finished. My professor had done her extensive work with women who had abortions, single mothers, and other affected communities. She was amazing, but hadn’t in the slightest clue much about hip-hop, so her voice didn’t carry the authority of someone who could devastate me with her feedback (unless she gave me an F, which would’ve sucked lol). Over my research period I had met some of the eminent scholars in the break-field, who encouraged me to send them my work for them to review and give me feedback. I was too afraid so I said I’ll send you my second draft. I procrastinated, kinda hard. I was traveling to Cambodia to finish my sister’s band’s music videos, and around the US and Canada for workshops, battles, and judging. I didn’t necessarily waste my time, but I didn’t make the most productive use of it–pushing this monstrous paper I had been working on to the back of my mind for a while.

Just today, after some prodding, as well as rounding out the low curve in a spiritual, mental slump (I’m on the way up), I sat down and finished my second draft. I sent it out, to a lot of people. I’m a bit selective about who I share this work with but if you’re super seriously so-totally interested, then send me a message or leave me a comment, girlfriend. At this point, the paper has become less about academic ambition and more so about personal understanding of my approach to the dance and the culture of hip-hop as a whole. The basis of the workshop I have been teaching in the last half of last year entitled “Perspectives: Foundation and Originality” is essentially based on this paper and all of its research. The paper helped me solidify the workshop’s talking points and major ideological foundings. So to receive feedback on this paper from people I respect and admire, is to shake up the foundations of my understanding, and with their questions and contentions, build it stronger and lay more atop of it. This is an exciting prospect, and one befitting the lay of the land I have painted for 2013.

I’m a half relieved and half nervous. There is so much to do and expand upon. For now though, I’ll be content here and continue my job search. These works and others will take to the wayside until that feedback returns, and my mind begins again to revolve around pondering the nuances and subtleties of this b-boy/b-girl culture I love.

So with that said,

HUZZAH!

 

 

Galimatias – Ange De Lamour

From Denmark, with love. Write a verse, go ahead. You know you want to.