Bboy Thesis 2008

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Hip-Hop acted as a staunch rejection of the predominant, white, patriarchal social order (Holmes-Smith 1997).

B-boying – a sub-set of the Hip-Hop culture – created an environment that centered on street dance performance, and provided one of the most groundbreaking and innovative artistic forms of its time.

B-boys often traveled across borders to learn from one another and compete in street battles – a core element of the B-boy culture.

In street battles, dancers compete against one another in a cypher (circles of people gathered around the dancers); they are, then, judged on musicality, skill, and creativity.

However, the dawn of the Internet did not only beckon in negative effects for the B-boying community; social media brought a new creative outlet for artistic expression and communication.

You Tube and other social media platforms allowed for conversations between B-boys around the world, resulting in a global exchange of knowledge, perspective, and subcultural capital.Not only was B-boying featured in newspapers across the boroughs (e.g.the Village Voice and NPR) during this time, it was also prevalent in both the rave scene and the original Bronx neighborhoods.International popularity soared from South Korea to Brazil, but what tied this culture together?The shared ‘vernacular’ of the culture created a sense of unity among B-boys regardless of their country.The judges on dance shows and sensationalized B-boy crews “[played] a crucial role in authenticating street dance for the American public and in shaping the American dance aesthetic” (Kong 2010).This led to the establishment of a specific image and ideology of B-boy in the American mind, discrediting the diversity within the culture and instilling a distinct mold that B-boys, at times, struggled to fit.By the mid-1980s to 1990s, Hip-Hop rose to mass popularity and gained substantial media exposure from artists such as Public Enemy and Run DMC.Additionally, films such as Wild Style, Beat Street, and more popularly known, Flash Dance, placed b-boying more prominently on the global mainstream stage.From the beginning, Latinos, especially from the Caribbean, were essential in the development, dissemination, and diversification of Hip-Hop culture (Reznowski 2014).Through the use of bilingual rap, Latino artists opened doors for non-English presentations of Hip-Hop and eroded the hegemonic English language in what would become the global phenomenon of Hip-Hop (Fernandes 2011).


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