Hip Hop – Show me how you Pop, Lock and Break!

This week we learnt about Hip Hop – about its origins, gangsta rap, Mcing, breaking, popping and locking.

You Got Served! (2004 Sony Pictures)
You Got Served!
(2004 Sony Pictures)

The lecture was so awesome! It took me back to when I used to listen to a lot of Nelly, OutKast, B2K, Pdiddy, Lucdacris and many more.

Reading Henderson’s, ‘Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora, and finding out that Hip Hop dancing, such as popping, locking and breaking, did not just come from America, but was also influenced by the Samoans was very interesting. So for this post I’d like to talk a bit about Hip Hop dancing.

When thinking about Hip Hop dancing, I instantly think of movies like, Step Up 3 and You Got Served – mainly because they strongly represent modern representations, of popping, locking and breaking; but who are remembered at the core of these dance techniques?  Step Up 3, 2010

Jorge “Popmaster Fabel” Pabon credits people such as ‘The Lockers’ and  ‘The Electric Boogaloo Lockers,” for locking and popping.

He explains locking as a, “specific movement which glues together combinations of steps and moves similar to a freeze and sudden pause…Dancers combined fancy step patterns with the legs and moves done in various sequences,” and popping as, “Transitions between steps, moves that are fluid and unpredictable.”  The Electric Boogaloo Lockers

Break dancing is described as a time for B-Boys and B-Girls to “Go Off”, (As Kool DJ Herc would say), during a hectic break in a song.  (Pabon, J 1999)

Suga Pop!  Photo via Dancelounge.com.au
Suga Pop!
Photo via Dancelounge.com.au

Going back to Samoan influence, the main Hip Hop dancer brought up in the reading was Suga Pop, who exceptionally pops and locks, and is mentioned as having worked along side Michael Jackson – choreographing and performing in ‘Thriller’ music video, (One of the most awesome music videos to exist!), and also has had a massive influence on the Hip Hop dancing in New Zealand too! 

Overall Hip Hop dancing is awesome and most importantly inspirational, and will continue to express a part of this epic genre of music!

 Michael Jackson 1982, Vevo 


Henderson, A (2006) ‘Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora’ The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture Basu, Dipannita and Sidney J. Lemelle, eds. London: Pluto Press, pp. 180 – 200

Pabon, J 1999, Physical Graffiti: ‘The History of Hip Hop Dance’, accessed 24/8/13, http://www.daveyd.com/historyphysicalgrafittifabel.html


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