Afro Beats Dancer
Featured in "Black Is King" Stephen Papi Ojo brought the "Afro Beats" culture into the world of Pop superstardom with the Queen Bey herself Beyonce. Featured here in Cult Of Individuality apparel, with shorts by Frank Debourge, Dyn World kicks and bags by Sprayground. Fashion, Dance and Culture thrives in the Streetwear and fashion community. The Afro Beats Culture has taken the world by storm and "Papi Ojo" is one of the pioneers to represent it well.
Styled by Marcus Gregory Blassingame Shot by John Ellis.
Written by Marcus Blassingame Translation by Kevin Dozier
A retrospective into a unique movement where fashion meets dance, as told by internationally known dancers, Les Twins.
IN BLVCK: In a discussion with Les Twins filmed by Yak Films, we embellished on a concept on the merger of Dance and Fashion as a culture and a career move. Professionally known as Les Twins, a pair of identical twin brothers Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois (born December 6, 1988) are dancers, choreographers, and models, hailing from France. Their extensive resume proceeds them as they are recognized internationally for their talents.
IN BLVCK- In 2018,with the momentum you gained through previous endeavors, where is it that you feel your career is currently headed?
Laurent- "We can take brands to another level, even clients like Beyoncé and Nike, even though they are international, there is a better place than number 1".
As opposed to partnering with any of the brands that they have worked with, Les Twins are working towards producing and designing their own lines. Larry describes the idea behind the brand as a style that is universally unisex and not limited or defined as men's or women's, but can be shared by all.
Larry further discusses how creative marketing using their deal with Brand Jordan as an example; Larry: La Jordanie est le numéro 1 et les gens ont leurs favoris, certains aiment le numéro 3, d'autres le numéro 10, mais tout tourne autour des tendances des couleurs et de leur évolution.
Translation: Jordan is number 1 and people have their favorites, some love the number 3, some the number 10, but it's all about color trends and how they change. If you find a color that has very "little" limitation in gender preference, people will buy it.
Larry: Vous devez implémenter votre histoire dans votre produit, et avant Les Twins, il n'y a jamais eu de chaussure de danse populaire dans l'arène de Jordanie. Par conséquent, nous aimerions ramener l'un des styles classiques de Jordan en tant que "baskets de danse" officielles.
Translation: You have to implement your story into your product, and before Les Twins, never has there been a popular dance shoe in the Jordan arena. Hence, we would like to bring back one of the classic Jordan styles as an official "dance sneaker".
Laurent: Je préfère voir “Brand Jordan” sur le tapis rouge jumelé avec et à égalité avec une équivalence d'équivalence de Givenchy.
Translation: I prefer to see “Brand Jordan” on the red carpet paired with and on par with an equivalence equivalence of Givenchy.
IN BLACK: Which Jordan's do you prefer to dance in?
Laurent: 45 le noir élevé, nous devons ramener ces baskets. Ils ont changé ma vie. Quiconque me connaît sait que je vais danser mes chaussures préférées parce que je les aime autant. Mais en accrochant avec les plus belles femmes du monde, les chaussures doivent être fraîches.
Translation: We have to bring back the high 45, all black sneakers. They changed my life. Anyone who knows me knows I will dance a hole into my favorite shoes because I love them that much. But when hanging with the most beautiful women in the world, the shoes have to be fresh.
IN BLACK: Is that the first thing women notice on a man, his shoes?
BOTH: Non, mes yeux!
Translation: No, my eyes!
Laurent contines: Nous avons des idées folles pour pionnier la mode masculine. Dans mon expérience de voyage avec des artistes, comme Beyoncé et Jay Z. J'ai remarqué qu'ils se laissaient tomber sur le tapis rouge, mais quand je conduis je dois me garer et marcher jusqu'au tapis rouge. Puis un jour, j'ai été béni d'arriver dans une belle Bentley. À ce moment-là, peu importe qui était dans la voiture, (ça aurait pu être n'importe qui) mais ils ont débarrassé la foule, ouvert les cordes et nous ont donné un traitement royal ("ils m'ont traité comme si j'étais plus grand que Jay Z") Il s'agissait de l'état de la voiture par opposition à la personne à l'intérieur de celui-ci et c'est la même chose que je ressens sur la façon dont la mode peut affecter votre apparence.
Translation: We have some crazy ideas to pioneer men's fashion. In my experience when traveling with artists (like Beyoncé and Jay Z), I noticed that they get dropped off at the red carpet, but when I drive I have to park and walk to the red carpet. Then one day, I was blessed to arrive in a beautiful Bentley. At that moment, it didn't matter who was in the car, (it could have been anyone) but they cleared the crowd, opened the ropes and gave us royal treatment ("they treated me like I was bigger than Jay Z") It was about the status of the car as opposed to the person inside of it and that's the same way I feel about how fashion can affect your appearance.
Laurent: J'inspire à mon équipe (Criminalz et Avant Magazine) d'être élégante dans son apparence, et Larry se fait remarquer »,« pousse ses cheveux »! Toutes nos équipes ont des cheveux.
Translation: I inspire my team (Criminalz and Avant Magazine) to be stylish in their appearance, "and" Larry chimes in, "grow their hair"! All of our teams have hair.
IN BLVCK: Do you want to open the doors for fashion to incorporate street dance into their marketing, affording opportunities to other dancers? Larry: Vous ne voulez pas vous qualifier de" dur "parce que vous ne serez jamais assez dur, et au lieu de" rue "faites attention à l'étiquette" mode de rue "et dites simplement" mode "parce que Hip Hop à la mode n'est pas traditionnel.
Translation: You don't want to label yourself as "hard" because you will never be hard enough, and instead of "street" be careful of the label "street fashion" and just say "fashion" because Hip Hop in fashion is not traditional.
IN BLVCK: Even though Hip Hop inspires, feeds and buys fashion right?
Larry: Quand nous dansons, nous ne disons pas ce que c'est et sans limites, les gens sont étonnés et choqués parce que sans cette étiquette notre présentation est inattendue et agréablement surprenante.
Translation: When we dance, we don't say what it is and without limitations people are amazed and shocked because without that label our presentation is unexpected and pleasantly surprising.
Laurent: Le t-shirt que je porte peut valoir 10 $, mais ajouter un logo «D» et l'appeler fashion, il vaut maintenant 500 $.
Translation: The t-shirt that I'm wearing can be worth $10, but add a "D" logo and call it fashion, now it's worth $500.
IN BLVCK- Is there a name for the new collection?
Larry: "N.O.M est un acronyme pour" No Mercy ". C'est aussi un surnom que nous défendons.
Translation: "N.O.M is an acronym for “No Mercy." It also is a moniker which WE stand by.
Laurent: Nous n'avons pas encore décidé quelle sera la marque.
Translation: We haven't decided what the brand will be called.
IN BLVCK- Why is "No Mercy" your motto of choice?
Laurent: Parce que seuls les baiseurs de la mère font de l'argent. Parce qu'ils ne se soucient pas de tout ça. Chacun d'entre nous dans cette salle est talentueux (mais) nous sommes si humbles, nous apprécions tout le monde, nous nous soucions tellement des gens, que nous ne serons pas «stupidement célèbres». Nous nous soucions tellement que nous ne voulons pas aller trop loin (trop vite) et avoir un bâtiment faible (fondation) Nous voulons être forts ". C'est moi (qui je suis) et je ne changerai pour personne. C'est la raison pour laquelle nous sommes des icônes et pourquoi le magazine Avant et les beat boxers (The Beat Box House) vont loin. C'est comme ça que nous (INBLVCK) ne nous connaissons pas vraiment, mais nous connaissons les mêmes personnes. Nous ne faisons que baiser avec les meilleurs.
Translation: Because only mother fuckers make money. Because they don't care about all of this. All of us in this room are talented (but) we are so humble, we appreciate everyone, we care so much about people, that we are not going to be "stupidly famous.” We care so much that we don't want to go too far (too fast) and have a weak building (foundation). We want to be strong". This is me (who I am) and I won't change for anyone. That's the reason why we are icons and why Avant magazine and the beat boxers (The Beat Box House) are going far. It's how we (INBLVCK) really don't know each other but we know the same people. We only fuck with the best.
INBLVCK: Where do you see fashion and dance culture going?
Larry: Il y a un côté heureux et triste de la culture. Beaucoup d'Américains perdent le (élément de) Hip Hop sur le Nay Nay, Dab, le pas du jour ou le défi de la semaine. Vous pouvez créer des mouvements incroyables où ils ne peuvent pas comprendre d'où vous venez, mais plutôt quand vous ajoutez les danses (familières, à la mode) qu'ils crient. Nous perdons la (vraie essence de) Hip Hip cet artiste iconique, même si Mary J Blidge peut encore tuer (sur la piste de danse). Une nuit, lors d'une soirée P-Diddy, Mary J la tuait en face de Laurent "(imitant un mouvement d'épaule de la vieille école qu'elle a fait) et c'est de la vraie danse, c'est triste parce que le vrai Hip Hop est perdu. Paris, l'Allemagne, le Royaume-Uni, nous venons si dur pour le Hip-Hop traditionnel et nous sommes ici pour le représenter au maximum.
Translation: There is a happy and sad side to the culture. A lot of Americans lose the (element of) Hip Hop over the Nay Nay, Dab, the step of the day or the challenge of the week. You can create some amazing moves where they can't understand where you are coming from, but instead when you add the (familiar, trendy goofy) dances they scream. We are losing the (true essence of) Hip Hip that iconic artist even like Mary J Blidge can still kill (on the dance floor). One night at a P-Diddy party Mary J was killing it in front on Laurent (imitating some old school shoulder movement that she did) and that's real dance. It's sad because real Hip Hop is lost. On the brighter side in Europe, Paris, Germany, UK, we are coming so hard for traditional Hip-Hop and we are here to represent it to the fullest.
Laurent: Comment la mode change est ce va-et-vient dans le temps. Des années 70, 80, 90 au présent et au retour. Ce n'est pas une nouvelle création, c'est une nouvelle inspiration par les temps nouveaux tout en ramenant les styles précédents. Les gens adoptent et changent les styles tout le temps.
Translation: How the fashion changes is that will back and forth in time. From the 70s, 80s, 90s to the present and back. It's not a new creation, it's a new inspiration by new times while bringing previous styles back. People adopt and change styles all of the time.
INBLVCK- I remember seeing you in drop crotch joggers in 2010 which pioneered a whole market. You are definitely influencers in your own right.
Laurent: J'apprécie l'Amérique pour nous avoir apporté le Hip Hop, car c'est la meilleure chose à faire. Il y a tellement plus d'argent à faire qui n'a pas été fait. Je crois que nous pouvons obtenir beaucoup plus d'argent que ce qui a été atteint au début. Je n'essaie pas de m'habiller d'une certaine façon, je m'habille comme moi, alors c'est drôle de voir une fan s'habiller comme moi, faire de la musique et apprendre mon style de danse. "(Pour les vrais fans) S'ils ont une ligne de vêtements, je les porterai sur scène pour eux" (pour montrer l'amour). Vous devez être (humble) parce que les fans me sauvent tous les jours (avec leur soutien).
Translation: I appreciate America for bringing us Hip Hop as it is the top of the line thing that we have to be in. There is so much more money to be made that hasn't been made in it. I believe we can get way more money than was attained in its beginning. I don't try to dress a certain way, how I dress is me, so it feels funny to see a fan dress like me, make music and learn my dance style. "(For true fans) If they have a clothing line, I'll wear it on stage for them (to show love). You have to be (humble) because the fans save me every day (with their support).
Kevin Dozier Fashion Journalist INBLVCK MAGAZINE inblackmagazine.que.tm Instagram @inblackmagazine ABOUT US INBLVCK Magazine is a mixture of art, fashion, entertainment, news, style and trends designed to see the beauty in all walks of life with a romantic approach to giving those in the arts a platform of expression without barriers. For more information, view our media kit via: http://inblackmagazine.que.tm/inblackmediakit
TJ “Rocka” Jamez — a New York-based Krump, Flexn, and Contemporary dancer — has created a community of innovative, vernacular dance cultures through his platform Roundz of Flame (ROF). Providing live DJ events, themed citywide cyphers, sessions, and dance battles on a monthly basis since 2017, ROF brings together underground scenes that wouldn’t necessarily cross paths even before COVID-19 demanded more societal separation. Attending an after-hours ROF cypher at Washington Square Park, you can have a casual conversation with the stunning and powerful Krump King of the East Coast, Brian “Hallow Dreamz” Henry, aka “Lil Mijo,” while witnessing an electrifying, free-form performance by young Flexn OG, Huwer Anthony Marche, Jr., aka “King Havoc.” Choice member of the ROF family, the inimitable perfectionist King Havoc found notoriety as a featured soloist in Beyoncé’s 2019 concert film Homecoming. Hallow Dreamz, a 2017 TEDx speaker who you may recognize from director Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman, is sought after as the creator of Brooklyn Buck, an original Krump language. Away from staged spectacle and commodification, ROF artists demand recognition and respect on their own terms.
ROF is a gateway to accessing dance styles spanning time and place — including Breaking, Dancehall, Bruk Up, Flexn, Krump, Litefeet, Afrobeat, Popping, House, Waacking and Vogue — and has expanded the creative dialogue of New York’s dance community. In an environment of competition, specialization, and industry neglect, ROF was designed to provide a true sanctum of unification and energy. Rocka, aka “Hallow Rocka,” who grew up in Crown Heights with a Trinidadian mother and a Garifuna father of Hondurasian-Belizean descent, explains his mission as ROF’s leader: “We are trying to build an academy for all dancers, within all cultures, to be at home to learn, understand, grow, and train. Dancers who do not have the opportunity to teach can have that access to spread the true knowledge of street dance cultures without commercial distraction. It’s about the truth.”
In partnership with the Performance Project, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the University Settlement, ROF holds free public events announced via Rocka’s online platform @roundzofflame. Sessions begin in the afternoon and run deep into the night. Locations vary where ROF’s crowds of hundreds gather, and now that it has been forced outdoors due to the pandemic, anyone in the vicinity bears witness. ROF is home to some of the greatest dancers in the world including Rocka himself — a 2019 Showtime NYC All Styles Battle champion and founding member of the dance trio NUU Knynez (The K9z). Joining Rocka in The K9z are Hallow Dreamz and David “Twice Light” Adelaja, a fellow Krumper who also dances Footwork and House. The K9z function as a democratic dance unit, modeling the ROF philosophy of autonomous unity. They are winners of the 2014 Amateur Night at the Apollo and appear as consultants in The History of the Dap documentary presented by Chadwick Boseman for the production of Spike Lee’s latest film, Da 5 Bloods. All members speak the common idiom of Krump while also cultivating their own, individual voices. On special occasions, Rocka will inject the late-night, elite cypher with his interdisciplinary genius, fusing Krump with free Contemporary through his innovation, ContempoKRUMP. As the visual artist behind FireCry Fashion, a clothing brand producing custom painted garments, Rocka proves that dance is as much visual as it is kinetic. Washington Park or Wakanda? Nope. It’s Rocka time.
Unbeknownst to many passers-by of Union Square and Washington Square Park, these artists, largely grounded in African-based traditions, do not make art for art’s sake. Their invention is grounded in age-old, Afro-Atlantic practices and purpose. The dancers deploy styles connecting South Central’s Krump, Harlem’s Litefeet, and Brooklyn-born Bruk Up and Flexn. Bruk Up (“broken” in Jamaican patois), is a grim, avant-garde genre characterized by shoulder popping, pausing, and precise body control. Its lyrical progeny, Flexn, with its glides and wavy contortionism, can be framed as an extension of Hip Hop. A fusion of Dancehall and Popping, Bruk Up and Flexn embody the cutting edge of Black culture. Brooklyn is not alone in its revolutionary influence — Krump and Litefeet have also pushed Hip Hop into the future from coast to coast.
The term Krump or K.R.U.M.P., which stands for “Kingdom Radically Uplift Mighty Praise,” infuses this hard, heavy metal, free-form genre with focused intention. Fostering self-healing and reinforcing insider values, so-called street dance, just like gang culture, was born out of necessity. In Los Angeles, Ceasare “Tight Eyez” Willis and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo” Ratti created an aggressive, visceral body language that became the vehicle for escaping gang life and THE release valve of raw emotion. Through the basic vocabulary of Krump — upright chestpops, stomps, jabs, and arm swings — Krumpers use their own version of a traditional praise culture for the exchange and transmutation of energy on a collective level. Rocka explains: “Krump to me is expressing your praise for existence in the most prideful energy. Accepting the pain, the sorrow, and the joyful moods of how we expose ourselves to the dance. We are The Underground, and everything that comes with that made us who we are!”
Summer 2020 ROF gatherings have served as sacred spaces for refuge during an unprecedented time. Threat, danger, and death are nothing new for marginalized people in the United States. COVID-19 poses no fear for artists who understand the basic and universal necessity of spiritual transcendence through art and culture. They prove that no amount of physical distancing can separate us socially. If anything, they welcome more open spaces where they can gather and perform. As Hallow Dreamz says: “It’s never just me, even when it is just me.” The joy and kinship in the air is palpable. Although Black vernacular dance culture has often been framed as a form of protest, activism is just one aspect of the truths enacted in these cyphers and battles. At ROF, life gets worked out in motion, addressing any issue at hand and always pointing towards self-realization. Addressing fundamental needs through Africanized body talk, Black dance is a way of life. Marking important rights of passage and everyday personal moments of joy and pain, the brilliant force of dance improvisation ushers bodies into a new reality whether in New York, Kingston, or Lagos. Dalmar “Devil Dreamz” Nation, a young Krump dancer of Haitian and Jamaican descent, explains the dance’s power to liberate: “Freedom of expression with no judgment. Feeling joy with no weight. When you reflect on your values, you realize how much you are worth and that holds the greatest weight. When you see me, you see the tribe. A tribe is only as strong as its members, each one holding a piece of our legacy. Our actions hold the key to our future. We just have to know that we are worth it.” These dancers hold vital lessons for 2020: chase the sound, embody the music, be free through community.
Fashion X Dance X Culture
ROCKA JAMEZ "The NUU Knynez" of Dance
Battle Ground "Roundz Of Flame"
Brooklyn born and raised Street Dancer/Krumper Rocka Jamez represents Krump Culture merging free form contemporary with the style, achieving his visions through his artistic creations and dance work involving Krump and the Fashion industry. Rocka is the CEO and Founder of FireCry Designs a new dance event that unites all Dance Cultures, called "Roundz Of Flame" (held in conjunction with his partners "The Performance Project at the University Settlement").
Rocka, who's name is an acronym composed of the words (Rise Of Contemporary Krump Angel) Participated in multiple NYFW events which lead to Sponsorship by Puma & Jahnkoy, Magazine features in VOGUE and the honor to perform a piece for "Rihanna" at The New School Awards | Parsons School Of Design with his brothers "The NUU Knynez". In Sept 2018 he modeled and performed in NYFW 2018 for German designer Pia Bolte.
Rocka continues to represent the Fashion X Dance X Fashion X Culture by collaborating with fashion designers while simultaneously promoting the Roundz Of Flame Dance Battles which provides an energetic and organic platform to creatively compete in a positive and neutral environment. No politics, great sportsmanship, amazing networking and over-all "dance"!
The camaraderie within the dance community is something to be practice in different art cultures, especially when even though there is a platform for friendly competition, the energy is very free spirited and nearly shade free.
In August 2018, Rocka judged a competition for Regg Roc who collaborated with Bay Area California's Dance battle organization "Turf Inc" hosted by Johnny Anthony Lopez better known as “Johnny5” to bring West Coast competitors to New York in a rare sharing of positive vibes and contest.
On September 20-23 Rocka, the 2019 "7 to Smoke" Undefeated Champion participated in the "Behind the Groove – Times Square Edition". The event was held in Time Square, one of the central most notable, tourist attractive landmarks in the world by Full Circle Productions, a Bronx-based nonprofit breaking (breakdance) collective that provides uplifting and educational programming highlighting the positive aspects of hip-hop culture which is curated by husband and wife founders Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio and Ana “Rokafella” Garcia. Behind the Groove – Times Square Edition offers a choreographed time capsule that shows the span of street and club dance trends from the 1970s through the present day. Though breaking and other forms of street dance historically have not been sanctioned by the New York City mainstream, they have long been a staple in the consciousness of the less visible inner-city communities. In this program, popping, breaking, locking, up/rocking, house, lite feet, and krumping share the stage, spotlighting the music, the dancers, and the dances in their natural element. The production features a DJ set, as well as house, popping, and breaking contests that will be judged by local icons and audience interaction. This fusion of events and styles evokes the block parties found in the Boroughs, bringing the all-inclusive spirit of underground dance communities into the heart of Times Square.
TJ Rocka Jamez and his brand Roundz Of Flame are definitely ones to watch on the cusp of taking the dance culture to ultimate heights.
Stephen Hill also known as Bones the Machine, is a dancer, performer and creative from Brooklyn, New York. At the forefront of the 'Flexing' scene (also known as 'Bone Breaking'), he has represented the dance style internationally. His unique technique mixes contortion and improvisation with other styles from parallel dance movements such as tutting, popping, connecting and waving. An Artist who has been on stages internationally for nearly a decade, Steven 'Bones' is a Music artist, sculptor, dancer and Creative Genius, tattoo artist, film/video editor, clothing designer, actor, and promoter. He brings an inimitable aesthetic and creative force to everything he does. Bones the Machine has been in many media outlets including America’s Got Talent Season 8 with fellow Flex dancer DJ Aaron.
As the camera slides into the futuristic dystopian world of Balmain X H&M, Steven Hill, aka Bones the Machine, can be seen popping, locking, and "bone breaking." In the video made for the hyped collaboration with creative director Olivier Rousteing, Bones and his partner DJ Aaron do their joint-defying thing alongside Kendall Jenner and her crew on the world's most chic subway. For the last thirteen years the self-taught dancer has honed his skills working with the likes of Madonna, as part of her most recent MDNA tour, appearing on Yak Films Productions and sharing beautifully choreographed videos with his ever-growing Instagram following. From the beaches of L.A. to the streets of London and Paris, Steven can be found "flexing"—the dance fuses traditional hip-hop movements, freestyle, and contortion. Meet Bones the Machine, who put his unique dance style on the map who can be seen in Paris on one of Les Twins street performer videos. How did you come to be nicknamed Bones the Machine? I began dancing and flexing in East New York, where I grew up, people couldn't believe how my bones could pop out out like they do. At first they called me "Bones Crusher”, but my dance style has evolved to be more robotic and methodical, so I earned the moniker "Bones the Machine." Instagram: https://instagram.com/bonesthemachine Music By Bones The Machine Streaming On All Platforms YouTube Music Apple Music iHeartRadio Deezer End of Days · 2020 No Dead Weight · 2019 Mood · 2021 28 · 2019 Batteries · 2019
Written By Marcus Gregory B. Images- Andrew Sanford Stylist-Marcus Gregory Blassingame Designer- Anton Leathers Spark Studios NYC
Read about Twice’s journey through dance culture, work with a celebrity fashion stylish and how fashion can impact a dancer’s career.
In Black Magazine VOL 4 https://www.magcloud.com/webviewer/1771393?__r=&s=v__r=702272&s=w
See Below for the BTS video of Twice and his crew Rocka’s shoot with photographer Jefferzon Alvin and freestyle filmed by R.Streetz.
Stylist/Creative Director Marcus Gregory Blassingame
Fashion Stylist Marcus Blassingame collaborated with Yak Films Kash Gaines to create this sensational visual where dance culture and fashion combine as popular dancers are filmed and photographed for their feature in In Black Magazine.
Fashion Icon Patricia Field's ARTFashion represents some of New York's most forward thinking designers which along with a few other amazing brands are worn by the dancers, shot with "street style" influencer photography by Julian White. MUA Madge Earl.
The Cast: Bboy Gravity, Bboy Tata (Bboy) Hallow Dreamz (Krump) Pierce Cady and Tiera Jean (Free Form/ New Style)
FEATURED DESIGNERS: Stud Muffin NYC for Patricia Field ARTFashion , The Pot Head Diaries, Adidas, Facto Brand, Converse, Patricia Field, Indigo Providence, ThesePinkLips, Droyd Mondo, VA Denim, Ssik, Dope Tavio ThesePinkLips for Patricia Field ARTFashion Daniel Chimowitz for Patricia Field ARTFashion, Scooter Laforge for Patricia Field ARTFashion x Madly Made for Patricia Field ARTFashion, David Dalrymple for Patricia Field ARTFashion Facto Brand, StudmuffinNYC for Patricia Field ARTFashion, Heritage by America, JoJo Americo for Patricia Field ARTFashion, Marquise Foster, Jody Morlock x StudmuffinNYC for Patricia Field ARTFashion, Luis Vuitton
Featured In IN BLACK VOL 3
By Marcus Gregory B. (STORY FEATURED IN IN BLACK MAGAZINE )
Hip hop dancing is known to have officially begun in New York City during the late 1960s and early 70s.
The Culture eventually swept the global hip markets and heavily influenced many international countries including France. Major dance contests like Juste Debout and Incrouable Talent surfaced and the culture exploded all over the French market. Some time later the craze hit the internet and the popular award winning dance Crew "Ghetto Styles" began making a name for themselves in the local French Market and worldwide on the web. After winning many contests, the popular dance team started their own competition called "Fusion Concepts" headed by the talented street dancer Kanon Souza. Soon dancers from all over the world including Japan, London, Russia, Germany, The Netherlands, Africa, China, Korea and even as far as the Bay Area California have traveled to either witness or participate in the electrifying dance battles. The battles have grown to infect the viral and social media scene and created some sense of celebrity amongst some the performers. Dancers like Les Twins have shared in the popularity and the culture has grown to an epic lifestyle change for millions. In BLVCK sat down with Kanon of Ghetto Styles/ Fusion Concepts to talk about his experience in this momentous movement in culture. Born January 8th 1986, Kanon's family descended from The Ivory Coast to a French city called Meaux Town. The former BBOY Dancer currently resides in the lovey Lognes France. INBLVCK: Tell me about your name. KANON: My name, Je Kanon is my real name after my father. In our culture the first born must carry the fathers name which is me out of my two brothers and sister.
INBLVCK: Why did you decide to choose dance as a career? KANON: Because dance makes me feel alive and happy! I dont feel like it's work when I dance and life is a path where the aim is to be happy. My decision was predestined. INBLVCK: What cities have you danced in, name the organizations that held the contests? KANON: I've danced all around the world, to name all of the cities would take up a whole page alone, but I've danced in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow Marrakesh, Rio De Janero, Belo Horizonte to name a few. INBLVCK: What was your most memorable battle? Kanon: That's an easy question, it was against Tight Eyez, the famed "King Of KRUMP" (and one of the first Krump Dancers which originated in Los Angeles CA). INBLVCK: The moves that you create are no doubt outstanding, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such execution? KANON: I'm inspired by a range of things like Rap Videos to my homies around me. I pull moves and energies from my everyday life and implement them into my dancing. Some bad ass and really cool movements are created from my day to day actions. INBLVCK: Describe your style. KANON: My style is a mix of a rappers attitude and animation effects. INBLVCK Tell me about the FUSION CONCEPT battles. KANON: Fusion concept is a battle which has all of the good sides of every other event. We spread a special message about freestyle being that we don't place dance styles in any category but as freestyle where all kinds of dancers can perform in one single category. INBLVCK: What different styles of dancers have you had compete in the show? KANON: All style of dancers, including the USA styles (lite feet, flexing, turfing, Krump) I love to move and meet new people. INBLVCK: What cities have dancers traveled from to perform/compete? KANON: All around the world from South Africa to Russia and even Australia. INBLVCK: How are the segments set up? What are the categories? KANON: We have just one category, "Freestyle"! INBLVCK: What are some of the prizes that the dancers win? KANON: The best prize is the respect and visibility but of course there are some cash prizes. INBLVCK: Who is your Dance Squad, what are you all called, how did you all form together? KANON: My squad "Ghetto Style" consists of a crew of friends who are not only dancers but various types of artists (Rappers DJs and, Dancers). About a year ago I joined an alternative crew called "Geometrie Variable". INBLVCK: What type of dancer do you consider yourself? KANON: (I am a) Persevering dancer because I wasn't the type of dancer (who developed my abilities) with ease. I had to keep pushing, (practicing) and always persevering.
READ MORE IN ISSUE IN BLACK VOL 3
SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram- Kanon_gs Facebook- Kanon ghetto-style Twitter- Kanongs YouTube- Tvghettostyle Web site- www.fusionconceptfestival.com Www.ghetto-styles.com