Crowd Vol.7, Seoul Korea 10-4-11

Written by koreasingaporedanceproject on 12:19 AM

The Crowd streetdance series in Seoul is a 1vs1 all style mixed battle hosted by Tae of Trip Family, a Seoul dance studio and Flow Maker,a streetdance event management team. Crowd volume 7 was held on the 10th April in V-Hall at the famed Hongdae district in Seoul, the centre for streetdance, youth art and culture in Korea. It was my first time to come back to Seoul in a year and I could not think of a better event to catch during my short 10 day trip than a Flow Maker 'Crowd' jam. 

Everyone was there. All my friends, dance acquaintances and people that I looked up to in the Seoul scene came to this jam. It was almost like everyone gave me a welcome back party, haha. People just love coming out to a Crowd Mixstyle 1vs1 simply because the event is just so damn funny~! 

MCs were MC Go and Jazzy Ivy (photo below). 

Between the two of them, they have hosted almost every single major streetdance event in Seoul over the last six or seven years, from R16 to Battle of the Year, to Street Jam. That's not to say they haven't forgotten their roots because they have also been most prevalent at all the little jams too, like Crowd, Who is the Best of Pop Lock and many more. Jazgeem is also a recording MC as well and has dropped several albums in the last few years, so he also makes appearances at music festivals as well as his own concerts. 

When they are together on the stage, they have such a familiarity with each other, such a connection that when they speak, it's like it's just you and them in the whole auditorium. It's hard to explain, but it's such a privilege to watch them work on stage (even though my Korean listening ability isn't fluent enough to grasp all their jokes) because what you are watching is not just two event MCs, but two friends up there sharing their camaraderie with you in the audience in such a way that makes you feel like a friend as well.

I found a little bit of youtube footage of them online from R16 2009 in Incheon.

So it was brilliant to see them at work again, it made me feel like no time had passed at all at the event even though it had been a year. Ivy dubbed me 'Seoul Brother number two,' in reference to him being Seoul Brother number one. Lol, how about Ivy, I be Seoul Brother 'A' and you can be 'Seoul Brother number 1?' ^^

Jaz Geem's youtube:
Jaz Geem's website:
Jaz Geem's facebook:

MC Go is an old generation Seoul hip hop dancer who always had the gift of confidence and intelligence on a mic. Prior to his auto accident in 2007, he was one of the best in Seoul for hip hop dance and if I recall properly, he was the champion for Crowd vol. 1 in 2006. Here is a video of a funny showcase he did with G-Haksu in 2006 at the first Who is the Best of Pop Lock in Blue Monkeys club in Sincheon.

Judges were a who's who of the dance scene in Seoul; G-Haksu, Bboy Tinoroc, Originality Woong, Pop Kun and House dancing Seen. 

Entrants were also equally as crazy as the judges, Popping DS, aka Kin, Originality Moon, Crazy Kyo, Funky Lia, Bboy Mickey, Kyoung Mi aka Lock Me....

Oriental Waacking Unit: Waacking Jina (orange) and Ari (red)
The guest showcases too were off the chain! Monster Woo Fam, The B. + Funkyz and Oriental Waacking Unit. Monster Woo Fam is Korea's first Krumping family and is headed by the infamous Monster Woo who just gets crazy on that buck tip. Youngster, Bucky and 2Face went to Singapore for a project event by Music Garage studios in 2010. The B. is an all girl popping team featuring Dassy who you may remember was the Floor The Love 2011 Popping and Locking champion alongside boyfriend and partner aka Kin. And Funkyz is Kyoung Mi and Kyoung Ah who came in first runner up in Singapore Juste Debout 2011 Locking category. Oriental Waacking Unit features Jina as a member and of course, Jina was a judge in the first Floor The Love battle competition in 2007 and gave the very first waacking workshops in Singapore in 2007. Wow, so I guess all the guest showcases had a connection to Singapore. Dope.

DJ Mulder was the man behind the wheels of steel with co-Dj, DJ Back. Mulder had a brief break to recharge his batteries after bringing the house down at Juste Debout Singapore in January. It was good to hear him play at Crowd.

Crowd featured a lot of different dancers sharing their dance in a mix-style competition. Dancers play 'rock-scissors-papers' to decide what genre of music they DJ must play for the battle. So, if a popping dancer is battling a house dancer and chooses 'popping' music for the music for the battle if he wins the rock-scissors-paper game, then the battle is heavily in his favour. It's notoriously difficult to dance outside your genre of music against someone who is 'in' their music. 

What I found interesting is that most of the time, the dancer who won the music choice didn't pick a music category that was their strength. A locking dancer would be up against a bboy and choose 'House' music. I don't know if this was sportsmanship or politeness, but it happened more often than not. The result is more often than not freaking hilarious and there is as much laughter as 'oohs' and 'aahs' 

I think this type of mix-style battle where high-level dancers of many genres all come to compete  in a sense of non-competition is really fresh. It shows a sense of maturity and unity in the scene when people can come together to a jam that features genres they don't usually get down to to maybe battle someone in a different genre to different music. A kind of 'rojak' feeling where the main aim is to have fun more so than 'be the best.' 

Bboy Mickey in the top 8.

Popping DS

Soul K, waacking dancer from Ghost of Soul

Every battle has its winner though and Crowd volume 7's champion was Crazy Kyo, the defending champion from Crowd volume 6. It was Crazy Kyo vs Popping DS in the final popper vs popper. Locking Moon and Hip Hop J-Black were in the final four. 

After the event, me and Rebecca Chan, a Malaysia Hip Hop dancer who is living in Seoul at the moment went out to eat with Funky Lia, Waackin' Jina, Waack Queen, Soul K and Soul Choi in a neighbourhood eatery nearby the event hall. It was so good to be back in Seoul with old friends doing the same stuff we used to do back in the day. 

I could not have asked for a better event or jam to see coming back to Korea for the first time in a long time. 

Thank you Seoul.

Love, Seoul Brother Number Two.

Floor The Love 2011

Written by koreasingaporedanceproject on 3:11 AM

Floor The Love 2011
Date: March 26th 2011

Where: Singapore Management University, ACC Hall

Judges: Freestyle Ali (Next Level Crew, Korea)
         1G (Imperial House of Wacking, Korea Chapter)

Freestyle Ali Video

1G Video

DJs:  Mulder (Korea)
        Smoke (Singapore)
        Crown (Worldwide)

MCs: Stephanie Phua and Chris Crown

Hip Hop 2vs2        Locking 2vs2            House 1vs1
Popping 2vs2        Waacking 2vs2

Email your Team Name, Individual Names, Country, Phone Numbers, Category of Battle and email addresses to Registration closes March 22nd. 40 teams per category. $25 per contestant, payable on the day. Contestants can enter in as many categories as they want.

Early tickets available at Natasha Studio, Singapore $26 each. Available SOON! Watch this space for more info.
Door tickets on the day $30.
Foreign visitors looking for early bird $26 tickets, please email with your contact details and country of origin. You can pick up the tickets at the door on the day of the event.

Event Schedule:
Coming soon

Workshop Schedule:
Coming soon

After party Schedule:
Coming soon

Facebook - "Floor The Love"

Judges Profile - 

Freestyle Ali is one of the most progressive streetdancers in the new generation of dancers in Seoul. A graduate of the notorious year long 'Hard Training Project' at NY Studio, where dancers trained from 11pm to 5am seven days a week for a year under the tutelage of NY Studio seniors, Freestyle Ali chose his name because of his love and dedication to learning house, locking, popping, hip hop and more. Proficiency in his funkstyle dances led to an invitation to join 'Funky Move All Stars' with aka Kin, aka Ra and Boogaloo Tom. Along with Ji Hae (aka 1G), Kyoung Ah and Kyoung Mi (the two Singapore Juste Debout 2011 Locking runner ups), Ali took 'Hard Training Project' to Osaka for Dance Delight vol. 22 in 2006 and finished in the top 16 with a Hip Hop dance routine. Freestyle Ali has also been dance lecturer at Seoul Performing Arts College and currently teaches Hip Hop and Popping dance with various studios in Seoul. He was a judge at Floor The Love 2007 and 2008.

Top Achievements -
Korea Locking Session 2005, best 4 
Battle of the Month, Freestyle Battles best 4
4 Da Next Level 2007, Popping best 8
Real Jam Hip Hop / House 2009, Hip Hop side Best 8

Guest Shows
City of Heaz 2009, NY Crew
Seoul City Festival 2008
R-16 International Bboy Festival 2009
Seoul Arts College Festival
Yong San American Base Festival

1G is also a graduate of the Hard Training Project and has found a specialization in Waacking but is also proficient in Popping, House, Hip Hop and Jazz. Taking in the NY Studio culture of studying a wide range of dances, 1G impressed Imperial House of Waacking Father Tyrone Proctor with her humble attitude towards learning more combined with a gift for dramatic flair in waacking, she was made the leader of the I.H.O.W. Korea Chapter in 2009. Further testament to her diverse love of streetdance, 1G has partnered with many Seoul dancers and dance teams of different disciplines such as Funky Lia (aka Locking Lia) and House Jinu over her dance career to create shows ranging from contemporary jazz to hip hop to waacking to house. She was a battle guest at Floor The Love 2010 and returns as a judge in 2011.

What's the Name of That Song?

Written by koreasingaporedanceproject on 11:37 PM

How many times have you heard your friend ask 'What's the name of that song?' Music is so pivotal to especially the culture of Hip Hop in addition to Streetdances in general. They make us feel 'funky,' 'amped,' 'motivated,' and put us in that indescribable zone where you can do your best creative work either freestyling in practice or thinking of a new direction for your choreography.

We've all seen unbelievable freestyles in battles, where a dancer's familiarity with the horn breaks of a song, a drum set or bassline just kills the battle and we say "Damn! He killed the music!"

And or course, the right selections in music coupled with the insight of a choreographer to write a piece of dance to describe that music transcends language and 'communicates' themes and subtexts to the audience (of course not just in streetdance, but all dances).

But what makes Streetdance and Hip Hop so different to our approach to music is the concept of 'Digging' and 'Sampling.' 

What is Digging?

Digging traditionally refers to the way a DJ searches stacks for obscure and never before discovered vinyl records. In places where vinyl is sold, Djs join vinyl enthusiasts to look for music from different eras to use in their sets and recordings and performances. The better you could dig, the better collection of music you probably had.

Djs used to keep their record collections secret from one another - Bambaataa, Flash and Kool Herc notoriously used to soak the labels off their records so that other DJs couldn't get a peek at who the artist was and famously, Bambaataa kept the record 'Apache' by the extremely obscure  group Incredible Bongo Band which in turn got the music from 60s grpup The Shadows in the UK a secret from everyone else and if you wanted to hear that song, you had to go to his party. There was no other way of hearing it!

Sampling - the DNA of Hip Hop Music

'Sampling' refers to a DJs use of a previous hook, beat, hornbreak or other musical arrangement on an existing piece of music into a new piece of music. It is often a familiar 4 count snatch of a familiar riff, vocal sample or drumset. Djs and music producers 'borrow' the credibility of that 'sample' in their new work to present an interpretation of the music for their own contemporary work. This is especially the case in popular 'remixes' such as utilizing the World Famous Supreme Dream Team's 'Hey DJ' (Rappin' Island 1984) bass, keys and vocal that has appeared in the following  releases

Hey LadiesHey Ladies by Beastie Boys (1989)
I'm in the HouseI'm in the House by Dysfunkshunal Familee (1994)
Slide and Rock OnSlide and Rock On by Redman (1994)
HoneyHoney by Mariah Carey (1997)
Hey AZHey AZ by AZ feat. SWV (1997)
Hey DJ (Play That Song)Hey DJ (Play That Song) by Tony Touch feat. B-Real and Nina Sky (2005)

World Supreme Dream Team 'Hey DJ' (Rappin' Island 1984)

Jeff Chang wrote in his book 'Total Chaos: The Aesthetics of Hip Hop' that Hip Hop isn't creating something from nothing, it's seeing the something in the thing that society tells you is nothing. 
Which I think is a pretty apt way of viewing as well the larger racial undertones and social issues that helped shaped Hip Hop Culture in the 1970s Bronx. 

No art centre? Paint on a wall. 

No musical instrument? Beatbox. 

No band equipment? Use records. 

No dance academy? Make your own dance. 

No money for new clothes? Keep you sneakers looking new and fressshh.

I'm an avid fan of finding the roots and sample to recent tracks. When I first began listening to Hip Hop music, it slowly dawned on me that I was hearing snatches of music from other records and that I would hear that same sample by different artists on different albums, most notably for me was World Supreme Dream Teams 'Hey DJ' that was on Lighter Shade of Brown's 'Hey DJ' and Mariah Carey's 'Honey.'

Remember, these aren't just straight covers of songs like Alien Ant Farm'a 'Smooth Criminal' butchery of Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal,' but an intelligent use of a segment of sound to bring the right tones of familiarity and even nostalgia while invoking a new sound. 

In the days before the internet, finding information about music was almost impossible. Scratch that, it was impossible outside living in a place that had a well-established Hip Hop music culture. I would go to friends and ask 'Hey, what's the name of that song, it goes da-da-da-dee-dee-dum-da.'

Needless to say, results were minimal.

But now, I've found the internet holy grail of sampling. A wikipediaesque record of who sample what, where, when and for whom. A treasure trove of information and god almighty beats. 

 You can spend days at this site researching what they call the 'DNA' of Hip Hop music. It is such an enormous catalogue of information that is always being updated. It's sites like these that is really going to change the game for the next generation of Hip Hop music fans and Streetdancers. Try punching in the name of some of your favourite contemporary artists (especially all you kids born after 1990) and see who they have beat jacked from. 

Start with P. Diddy. Haha.

Musical foundation is maybe as important as your technical foundations. In developing your approach to dance, the music you listen to is going to play a big part. The different dances whilst have similar roots in many cases are also distinctly done to only one or at the most maybe two genres of music. 

So dig. Dig deep into the music of the dance styles you practice in. You will find untold treasures, I really promise you. You will develop an ear to appreciate the kind of 'feeling' that makes people in your genre produce the best, most innovative works. But it all has to start with collections of music that you listen to. The older you get, the more samples you will probably even start to recognize just on the radio as part of songs that you heard once before in elementary school. 

I guarantee World Supreme Dream Team will be collecting royalties for 'Hey DJ' for yeaarrss.

I'm off to go login back into that site to waste some more valuable office time. I hope I can finally find the name of that song that goes 'da-da-da-dee-dee-dum-da.' Do you know what it is?