Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hip Hop Jam Fest

This weekend I experienced my first Hip Hop Jam Fest in Kansas City, Missouri. It was JamFest 7, a Jigsaw Production, sponsored by Run Four Ever. What?!? Um....yeah. . . never really believed I'd write that sentence in a blog post. I mean, I couldn't have deciphered it before last night. However, I had a really good time and it definitely was a new cultural experience.

Let me give you some background on my hip hop expertise. . . (insert sound of crickets here). Honestly, all that I knew was from watching You Tube videos of my cousin Dan, a break dancer, and hearing his stories last summer at my Grandma's 90th birthday party--just the place one expects to get a lesson on B-Boys. (Here's a pic of the two of us chatting.)

If you're interested, you can check out some of Dan's video on YouTube here or here.
One of the videos includes random footage of Dan practicing and showing off his skills. The other is from Adelaide's Medal Jam--a breakdancing contest held at Rundle Mall. In that video, Dan's the one in the black t-shirt and grey pants. I know he's my cousin and I'm biased, but I think he's super-talented. :)

Anyway, back to my original intentions: Hip Hop JamFest 7 held in KC, MO. I had heard of these "underground" dance/hip-hop contests, but had never experienced one until Saturday night. It was interesting to see the different styles of hip hop. There wasn't just breakdancing; there was also a major showdown of "popping" and "krumping" experts.

A little etymology lesson for y'all. . . The word "hip" was used in the vernacular of African Americans as early as 1898, and means current or in the know, and "hop" refers to some kind of movement. Therefore, I will surmise that Hip Hop artists are "in the know when it comes to current movement trends." And yes, these folks can move! Here's a video from YouTube that was published after the event Saturday night that includes a couple of the guys in a "battle."Check it out.

As mentioned earlier there was also a krumping contest, which I had never really heard of before. Although I learned it's not my favorite form of expression, Wikipedia explains it like this. "Krumping is a type of street dance popularized in the United States that is characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated, and highly energetic moves involving the arms, head, legs, chest, and feet. The root word "Krump" stands for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. The youths who started krumping saw the dance as a way for them to escape gang life and "to release anger, aggression and frustration positively, in a non-violent way."Krumping has become a major part of hip-hop dance.

So, there you have it. I hope to have another cultural adventure some time soon, and I'll let you know when I do. Peace.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So I'm thinking that your cousin needs to marry a chiropractor so that when he's my age he can save money getting his body popped back in shape. Very entertaining. Not sure how you handled more than 2 minutes of the Jam Fest though. The noise that was supposed to be music (??) was quite annoying.