Light Handed

Laura Mvula – She (Eagles For Hands Remix)

London Grammar – Hey Now

Winter’s leaving, not too sad about that, but this song captures my mood and moment so perfectly with the chilling touch of a cold winter. Just found this trio. While she’s no Florence Welch, whoever this singer is definitely rattles my bones. Once again, they’re British.

Been a while since I posted but I will return here when I find myself in the right moments. I’m getting more comfortable with releasing some more personal stuff–poetry, lyrics, personal stories, etc. I still want to write as much I can. This blog won’t be left behind so easily as before…

Strange times bring you back to places like these.
You know, places like this white blank; background a
hollowed space filled with thoughts lingering,
the sole desire to fill in the voids in time
When everything doesn’t seem to add up.

Watching
the series of events unfolding before me
as I settle into being back in my own city.

Unexpressed manhood, the bubbling frustration.
At the club, I thought I was supposed to see bubbly,
but all I see are bubbles in their blood as it drips from their lips.
The standing man takes one shot to the dome
to pay for boots bloody mary’d on another man’s face;
You pray no man will shake the shooter
in this scene so palpable you have to swallow.

She screams because her friend has stumbled
her protection effective as group grinding on the dance floor.
But her yells don’t penetrate the chatter–

the sounds are too loud in this place.

The walls of young mens’ minds filled with soundtracks
scored by trap dreams and dreams
of being trapped.
Her friend cannot get up
after rhythmic stomping
so she, in a split second,
decides her night on a kamikaze.

She gets thrown to the ground.
and I see him, staking his shot.
No honor, no manliness, no machismo.
No value, no reward, no real power.
Just bubbly, burning, blood.
He sprints 10 feet across the floor,
and sucker punches her, launching her from atop her feminine heels
to the ground where gender apparently doesn’t matter anymore.
Her stumbled friend still laying bloody on the ground.

This takes me beyond monkey’d madness,
alpha silverbacks testing iron resolve.
This is only a violence man can create,
that soaks its roots in emotional frailty.
Reminding me of the city I saw growing up.
Many boys who just need to be held.

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!

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.