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Watch > Episode > Bboy Crazy Legs - Breaking Boundaries, Defining Hip-Hop Culture And The Rock Steady Crew

Bboy Crazy Legs - Breaking Boundaries, Defining Hip-Hop Culture And The Rock Steady Crew

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Born Richard Colón on January 1, 1966, in the Bronx, New York, Crazy Legs grew up in the heart of the burgeoning hip-hop movement. Inspired by the emerging culture of DJing, MCing, graffiti art, and dance, he became enamoured with breaking in the mid-1970s. The streets of the Bronx provided the canvas for this cultural revolution, and Crazy Legs quickly found his calling in the art of breakdancing.

In 1977, Crazy Legs, along with a group of like-minded individuals, co-founded the Rock Steady Crew (RSC), one of the most influential and enduring breakdance crews in the history of hip-hop. The crew played a pivotal role in popularising breaking not only in the local communities of New York but on a global scale. With Crazy Legs at the forefront, Rock Steady Crew became synonymous with skill, innovation, and the authentic expression of hip-hop culture.

Crazy Legs is credited with pioneering numerous breaking moves and innovations that have become integral to the art form. His mastery of footwork, freezes, and power moves set new standards in breaking, showcasing a level of skill and creativity that inspired generations of dancers. His contributions to the evolution of breaking earned him a reputation as a trailblazer in the hip-hop dance community.

As a founding member of Rock Steady Crew, Crazy Legs played a crucial role in introducing breaking to the global stage. The crew’s performances captivated audiences worldwide, contributing to the international spread of hip-hop culture. Crazy Legs himself became a cultural ambassador, travelling extensively to share his passion for breaking and to connect with diverse communities around the globe.

Crazy Legs’s impact extends beyond the dance floor; he has been instrumental in documenting and preserving the history of breaking. In 1983, he appeared in the influential hip-hop documentary “Style Wars,” providing an authentic portrayal of the burgeoning subculture. Additionally, Crazy Legs was featured prominently in the iconic dance film “Beat Street” (1984), further solidifying his status as a representative of the hip-hop movement.

Crazy Legs has dedicated significant efforts to education and community outreach, aiming to empower the next generation of dancers and preserve the authenticity of hip-hop culture. He has conducted workshops, lectures, and mentorship programs, sharing his knowledge and experiences with aspiring dancers worldwide. Through initiatives like the Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory, Crazy Legs continues to be a driving force in fostering artistic growth and cultural awareness.

Crazy Legs’s impact on hip-hop culture has earned him numerous accolades and recognition. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Rock Steady Crew, solidifying his place in the annals of music and dance history. Beyond awards, Crazy Legs’s legacy is etched in the continued vibrancy of the hip-hop dance community and the global recognition of breaking as a legitimate art form.

Bboy Crazy Legs’s journey from the streets of the Bronx to international acclaim is a testament to the transformative power of hip-hop culture. As a pioneer, innovator, and ambassador of breaking, Crazy Legs has left an indelible mark on the dance world. His enduring legacy extends beyond his own accomplishments; it lives on in the countless dancers he has inspired and the global embrace of hip-hop culture as a dynamic and influential force in the realms of art and self-expression.

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer
01:55 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
04:23 | Brian’s introduction
05:16 | First European Hip hop tour in 1982
08:26 | Youthful misappreciation of the opportunity fame offered
12:35 | An emerging talent from his tough, but fun life, growing up in The Bronx
16:47 | Why he went out bombing and writing
18:19 | How the windmill came about
24:04 | Seeking out more people to battle in early 1980s Upper West Side
26:36 | What led to the explosion of hip hop downtown
32:07 | How did the different backgrounds and cultures intermingle
35:17 | Be yourself and respond to the music soulfully
38:17 | Practising hard to be the best and gaining respect by proving it in a battle
42:28 | Frustration at failing to benefit from their talent which was used by others to benefit themselves
49:59 | That’s not B-boying it’s Break Dancing with no funk to it: we’re going to reclaim it
56:56 | Too many hip hop movies are corny
58:06 | Appraisal of Netflix TV film ‘The Get Down’
1:01:12 | The essence of being a Bboy
Founding Puerto Rock Steady to benefit others
1:06:20 | Lack of UK Government support for a sport now going into Youth Olympics
1:11:51 | Why he battled Bboy Storm and the battle with Ken Swift didn’t take place
1:20:59 | Bboy Crazy Legs views on the Bboys who came out of Germany, France and Japan
1:22:26 | What he looks for when he judges Bboy battles
1:24:36 | A visiting scholar at Cornell University
1:30:59 | His hopes for the benefits to the worldwide community in future development of Bboying
1:35:39 | Success secrets
1:36:35 | What Crazy Legs changed his mind about in the last few months
1:38:20 | What we would be surprised to learn about Crazy Legs
1:38:41 | What keeps Crazy Legs awake at night
1:40:23 | What will Crazy Legs’ obituary say
1:41:02 | Phone call to the 20 year old Crazy Legs
1:42:25 | Best advice ever received
1:43:50 | Advice to the young person listening who wants to succeed in hip hop
1:45:28 | Brian’s summing up.

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