Having recently returned to the bboying scene after taking a year out due to double knee surgery, we caught up with Cambridge local, 16 year old George, part of the crew Generation iLL
Please introduce yourself: My name’s George, a.k.a Sad George, I represent Generation iLL and Nasty By Nature, I have also recently been associated with Ghetlow Pirates who I have been friends with for a few years now
How long have you been dancing for? About 6 years, but I had nearly a year off because of my knees
Having started dancing at such a young age, how do you feel your attitude towards bboying has changed now you are older? When I was younger I thought everything was amazing and wanted to be like everyone but now I’m older I have formed my own opinions a lot more so I have a better idea of what I like, what I don’t
Has your surgery changed or restricted the way you dance and if so, how? I think it has changed but I think if I didn’t have surgery I would of changed anyway just from personal preference, how I wanted to dance and from my development. Restricted, it has restricted my footwork for abit but I think that will be back to normal in time
Who are your favourite hiphop artists? I rate Wu Tang, Nas’ older stuff. I like S Club 7 as well
What are your favourite films? Watchmen has to be on there! That film you lent me, the Prestige, that’s a fresh film and Pineapple express just because it cracks the f#*k out of me
Favourite childhood cartoon? Without a doubt Spiderman, recently downloaded all 5 series, going in on it!
Most memorable battle you have done? Probably about 15 minutes ago against Ben Jammin and Zorro lol. I think the main one that stands out is me vs. Kiina from Floor Gangz back when I was 14, at Just Jam under 18′s, I have always really liked Kiina and think he is a good bboy so I was really happy when I beat him
What are your goals in bboying? Pretty much full world domination, I plan to take over everyone and win everything. Nah I want to make more of a name for myself, get out there a bit more and rep hard
Any shoutouts? Shout outs to everyone, my crew Generation iLL, Nasty By Nature, my girl Josie, pease and love Josie. My Mummy, she’s always pushed me and supported me, Jammin for teaching me the ways of the warrior and beating me about 15 minutes ago! All the people that have taught me over the years, Ill Boogs, the generation that I came up with, Alex and Jake
Ed Spoons is a London based bboy and part of one of my favourite UK crews ‘Ghetlow Pirates’ Ed recently graced us with his thoughts and experiences in UK bboying and hiphop. I find this a really interesting read and I’m sure you will to. Here is what he had to say:
I’m Ed Spoons, founding member of Ghetlow PIrates. I’m a Bboy based in London where I teach, do shows and compete, but by day I also work for Hoxton Hall where I manage and develop youth arts projects for young people. On the side I also organise Jams and Parties in the local area and run Strike Cover with my good friend Carl.
Where are you from and how long have you been dancing for? I was born in Manchester to Welsh and Scottish parents and moved to london when I was 5. As soon as I was old enough, I went to Uni in Leeds where I stayed for 5/6 years before returning down south, so I am not sure where I belong really but London is pretty hype so I am sticking here for now. I’ve been dancing for about 10 years now, I started at a youth centre out in Twickenham, I had to travel about an hour to get there but once I got started I got hooked!
What do you think to the current uk bboying scene?
The UK scene is interesting at the moment as the level is on the come up and people are doing some good stuff, but it’s a trade off, as to do that a lot of people are just emulating what they see on the youtube and following the trends with their dancing. I feel like there are a lot of dishonest dancers who are showing one thing but in reality it’s not true to them so it looks very forced. Partially it’s due to many of them being quite young in the dance so they haven’t found the real belief to just do their own thing yet, so I am sure it will settle down. Also I feel it’s true that the guys winning the jams arent really the best or most interesting dancers, it’s become more of a box ticking exercise and thats a shame, but that’s something that is happening everywhere so its not unusual.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of different stuff really, I have a big love for funk and soul music, though I really like that 80s boogie shit too. I listen to a fair bit of HipHop but then I am also into a lot of other stuff, a bit of electronica, psyche rock, jazz whatever. Good music is good music so genres don’t really matter. And morrissey is a rudeboy haha.
Favourite hiphop artists from the US and the UK?
Thats a tough question really, as its always so hard to pick favourites… UK wise I dunno what’s happening now so much, but when I was into it I was keen on Taskforce and all that Mud Fam business. For anyone who remembers it we used to session the old Dark and Cold video mixtapes a fair bit haha. My mate has a band called the Yes Men that are good, good MC with a great singer and some dope production so I’d say have a listen to them at www.theyesmen.co.uk
With the US it’s pretty dull to say but I’ve always been keen on Big L and all that DITC shit, the Wu, Nas, all the usual suspects like that. I like all that Demigodz stuff too with like Apathy and Celph Titled and them guys, also I always had a lot of time for Edan, he’s a good MC and his radio shows he did a few years back are worth a listen, he plays a lot of really good music across a lot of genres and it will educate you. sorry I cant be dropping some crazy secret shit haha recently I been feeling Action Bronson, saw him the other week in camden and he rocked it pretty good!
Favourite childhood cartoon?
My favourite childhood cartoons were Jayce and the wheeled warriors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I got a lot of time for Ulysses 31, even though it was a little before my time I remember seeing it on Sky when i was on holiday and it was so good, combining my love of Sci Fi with classic mythology is a winner.
Which bboy would you most like to battle and why?
I really dunno who I would like to battle as I am not that arsed about it anymore like that, I am happy to battle anyone who has a good style and i respect really, it’s more about sharing than anything for me. I was supposed to battle both Joey D from the infamous PRS and Doke from bad taste in exhibition battles over the years but they always got cancelled for whatever reason so I guess that would be cool. We got a bit of a joke in my crew about me battling DeJaVu from HeadHunters too as he is like a footwork guy with glasses who was on the vids when I first started out, he was pretty mean at the time!
Your most memorable battle to date and why?
My most memorable battles I reckon are probably the old Circle Prinz UK when me and Zorro battled Spin and Abdul, there was a lot of hype around that time about a Leeds/London rivalry particularly between Ghetlow and La Familia. It went off and we won, but it was a good atmosphere as a lot of people kind of picked sides being either from the north or from london so it was pretty intense. I heard a rumour that it was actually rigged so we would get the draw in the first round to make it hype. Also when we won Mighty4 Uk its was hype as it was with my house/crewmates flo and Gump and we won in Leeds (beating two london crews) and the crowd went ballistic. I put the video on here as it was so funny haha..
Can you please tell us about your involvement with the highly succesful breakin’ event ‘Attention to Detail’?
With ATD I used to go to the northern ones and am mates with the guys who started it. I can remember talking to Jamie and Reveal way back about the concept and that though I think it was just as I moved away that it started properly. In london my friend Charly from Brassroots had a residency at the Richmix on a wednesday and they did an MC battle with the live band. I went down and immediately thought it could be done as a breakin’ event so i got back to the guys up north who were on about expanding anyway, so we got together and sorted it out. Originally it was a free night on a Wednesday and since it has grown to be a bigger thing than we ever thought and we now run on a friday night, we got 4/5 in the independent, pick of the week in Time Out. It’s actually becoming its own event on its own now called Breakin’ Brass as it means we can develop it further without being trapped in the format of ATD. There was one on the 6th april and the next one will probably be in July.
What have you got planned for 2012?
I have already said that 2012 could be the best year ever so lots planned. Personally I want to hit a couple of jams abroad, go see my pals in Paris probably. We got a night on the regular in london Called UNiTY which is just great music and vibes in a local boozer, got some really good DJs and a cracking good time, so that’s got to expand. Got some really cool shit happening with Strike Cover doing some education projects too, fingers crossed we taking ATD on tour in europe in the summer too. With regards to the Crew we trying to make a bit of a push to get out there again and remind people that we are still dangerous, as we been chilling for a while now. Got some good kids in the crew coming up so we gotta set a good example!
I guess I wanna give a shout out to my crew Ghetlow Pirates first and foremost as they are my inspiration. Also the justbreak boys in paris and Willski, all the old Leeds heads (F-Unit, Breakers Unify), the ORIGINAL imperial steps (Fuz, BombJack and Ian) for teaching me so much. All my friends and family in London town for keeping me busy and entertained, Howl at the Moon for being a great pub, Brassroots for being so hype, ELD for giving me work and getting me the brilliant Firm to work with, Mr. Chuckles for hooking me up all the time and holding stuff. Big love to the Lemonade Associates, Niya and the UNiTY collective, my boys in Heavy Smokers, Trinity, BTC, everyone who is holding it down and being honest. I also cant leave out the WGBGs, keep peeled for them, its gonna be bigger than anyone knows!
I think it is safe to say that in 2011 Changubis (formerly known as Vicious Victor) made a massive splash in the bboying ocean. I first saw 17 year old Victor on the footage of the ‘Red Bull BC One: USA Qualifier’ where he fought his way to the final battle against El Nino, taking out several well renowned veterans of the US bboying scene in the process. After this Victor started popping up everywhere and doing really well at some of the biggest events in the world including ‘Battle of the Year’ and ‘The Notorious IBE’ Victor is a breath of fresh air to the scene as he seemed to come up relatively unknown and is now known and respected by dancers all over the world.
Victor came to the UK in March to do a few battles and teach workshops, we caught up with Victor at an iLL Sessions workshop in Cambridge and here is what he had to say
Please introduce yourself:
Victor, a.k.a Bboy Changubis, my new name, family name because I don’t wanna call myself Vicious Victor anymore, there’s a lot of Vicious’
Whereabouts are you from? From Orlando Florida
What first got you into bboying? My Dad, he has a twin and they used to break back in the days in Mexico so he started getting me to break, he taught me like backspins and stuff
What music do you listen to? Whatever, whatever makes me jump and shit
Favourite hiphop artists? A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, lotta people
After a day of competing and cyphering at Cambridge bboying jam iLL Sessions we caught up with one of the special invites, up and coming Irish Bboy HappyFace, to discuss the hiphop scene in Ireland, his travelling experiences and other things
First of all please introduce yourself, where are you from and how long have you been dancing for?
My name’s HappyFace, I’m from Recession Squad, Ireland and I’ve been bboying for about 4 and a half years
What first got you into bboying?
When I was about 9 I went to Spain one time and I actually won some kind of like Mickey Mouse dance contest between all the kids, but I didn’t actually get into it until I was about 15, so since then I basically found like the Golden pages and looked for dance studios in Dublin to teach breaking and we found one luckily enough
What are your views on the UK bboying scene in its current state?
I’ve travelled to the UK a few times since October 2010 and I’ve always kept an eye on it but basically I think over like the last 2 years the scene’s grown a lot, from guys I’ve spoken to they’ve said it’s got better but also there are certain things that have made it a little bit worse, there is a lot of jams going on but they’re not all up to such a high standard, but I think for every bad jam out there you are also going to have good jams and eventually everyone will learn the trade of putting on good jams
What sort of music do you listen to?
I like to listen to some 90′s hiphop, I also like to listen to some chilled DJs like Onra and Ta-Ku they’re like my main chilled beats, also I love DJ Lu Chi-sz he does some really really chilled mixes
Who are you’re favourite hiphop artists?
You know there’s the usual, Biggie, I love Nas, Tupac as well, I’m stuck on people like Arrested Development, like all old hiphop because I cant stand all the commercial shit that’s around today
Have you ever tried or are you interested in graff?
Honestly I’ve never tried graff because I have the fucking drawing capabilities of a 2 year old, but I’ve always respected it, I have a lot of friends that do graff and have told me stories and showed me pieces, the Irish scene’s pretty good for it, there’s always been graffiti around, it’s an element of hiphop as well so you always have to respect it for what it is
Who are the main writers from Dublin?
First off there would be probably the dopest to me which was El Grifto from UEK, he was nasty, he actually went to Australia, I think he’s back but I dunno if that’s like confirmed or whatever, also Cisto, really really nice pieces, just really nice flow and Macer, Macer’s probably been the biggest export for Irish graffiti he’s done some really big stuff and Dusto
Is there a big community of rappers in Ireland and who should we look out for?
I only found out about it like a year and a half, 2 years ago but I know a lot of rap battles are going on, I’ve seen DFI and the UK one Don’t Flop, there’s been some Irish guys coming over, my favourite lyrically is probably Nugget, Nugget’s nasty, lyrically he’s hilarious but he gets his point across, he’s a really good battler, he puts up a good fight
What’s been your most memorable battle and why?
It would probably be this year from an event that I ran with another guy from our bboy society in DIT in Dublin, I got to the finals which kinda looked mad shady considering I like co-organised the event but yeah that was a really memorable battle against Justroc because I learned a lot from it
You’ve travelled to several jams outside of Ireland, can you please tell us which countries you have danced in?
I travelled over to Hong Kong 2 summers ago with some friends and did a battle there at Mind Generation, I did a jam in Las Vegas before that, that was a bit random, I was over there with some people at World Bboy Championships, I battled in Italy for Bboy Games. UK is actually the place where I’ve been to the most battles, I battled in New York as well at the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary, at New York City Breakers 30th Anniversary footwork battle, there’s been a few but I plan a lot more for 2012, like once a month if I can. I feel the scene at home is on a bad slope so I like to travel a lot
I wanna shout out Generation iLL, Wordplay Magazine and Joey Deez, shout out to my crew Recession Squad, shout out to the Wizard, Mariano, Toby and Silent. Shout out to the UK bboying scene, the graff scene is sick, the Irish bboy scene, the Irish graff scene, the mc scene, to everyone reading this interview, I want to thank you for the opportunity to have an interview and say a few words. Shout out to Bad Taste Cru, also to some of the people that taught me along the way that don’t bboy anymore and DIT Society that have always helped with funding and shit like that