|VOL. #1 Aug/Sept Edition|
“DON’T STOP, JUST GO WITH THE FLO”
GEE- Seeing you out there Flo, it’s like you’ve been breakin’ for a long time. But you actually started in ’92, and before that you didn’t even like Hip-Hop. Tell me about that.
FLO- I know, back then I couldn’t stand hip-hop. But that was before I met [Crazy] Legs and Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew. I was actually a house head, dancing to house music. But what changed me was when I met those guys in D.C. I entered this dance contest and Legs was one of the judges. After I finished, Legs & Wiggles went out and danced. I never saw breaking the way I saw them brothers throw down. They opened me up to a whole new different way of life.
GEE- I know you were shocked when you saw them. What were you saying to yourself at that moment?
FLO- When I saw them doing moves I never saw before, I said to myself, “Oh my God! I got to learn how to move like that!” The way they were dancing to the music buy breakin’ at the same time, it was amazing. Right there I forgot all about house and wanted to go into hip-hop. So I went up to Wiggles and asked him how I could be down with their crew and the whole hip-hop scene. He told me that I would have to audition to get in, that meant battling somebody. I didn’t know that it would mean battling Crazy Legs, the president of Rock Steady Crew. He blasted me so many times it was ridiculous! (laughs) He was eating me alive…
GEE- How did your whole mentality change after that?
FLO- I was angry. I wanted to get this guy. I practiced and practiced because I was really determined to get in. It paid off because they saw me getting better. When Crazy Legs and Wiggles came to D.C. again, that’s when I got my break. We were all catching a bus to Georgetown for a show. The driver had to stop to go to the bathroom. Wiggles said, “Why don’t you and Legs get out and break on the concrete?” That’s what they did when they didn’t have any cardboard. So we started breaking. They told me it was time to join Rock Steady, after that, the rest is history. I moved from D.C. to New York and lived there for six years.
GEE- That’s ill. Now you’re in the Big Apple and homeland of Rock Steady, did you have a mission while you were out there?
FLO- Oh yeah, for sure! I wanted to learn as much as I could about the hip-hop culture. So I met and spoke to some of the pioneers of Hip-Hop. People like Afrika Bambaata, Melle Mel, Grand Master Flash, a lot of them. My mission was to learn strictly from the originators.
GEE- A lot of people have their own definition of what the word “HIP HOP” means. They think its some kind of fad. After learning from these pioneers how would describe or identify hip-hop?
FLO- To me it’s a culture. A culture with five elements: DJ’ing, MC’ing, Graffiti writing, Dancing, and Fashion. People think that there’s only four, but Fashion should’ve been added a long time ago. You can’t say you’re a hip-hop head and say you’re an MC if you don’t respect the breakers. You have to respect all 5 elements to be down with hip-hop. You have to!
GEE- when you’re dancing, what does it do for you? Emotionally, I mean.
FLO- it helps me when I’m upset, or if something is bothering me. I put a lot of character in my moves. I love to make people laugh. If I can make one person laugh, I know I’ve done my job. But what I love the most is battling someone and making them feel stupid. It’s all about having fun.
GEE- You told me before that a Breaker and a Dancer are different. How is that?
FLO- A breaker can’t call himself a dancer if he’s not listening to the beat. You got to hit the beat if you call yourself a dancer. There are only a few Breakers that can dance to the beat. That’s what I’m trying to encourage breakers to start doing. It just makes it look so much better when you ride the beat. The original breakers back in the days used to dance to the beat. Nowadays, kids are more into the moves. What about the music?
GEE- You left Rock Steady in ’94 to join 7 Grand Masters to stay with Ken Swift. Then, 7 Grand Masters broke up in ’95. Now you formed Footwork Fanatix. How did this all come about?
FLO- First, I want to clarify that it is now 7 GM’s Footwork Fanatix. When I asked Ken Swift to be down, he said yes, as long as he got to keep the name 7 GM’s. I said no problem, so it became 7 GM’s Footwork Fanatix. We started in Las Vegas. Right now there are four members, and everyone in this crew is equal. The limit will be 6 or 7 so there won’t be any confusion as to who’s in it. I want to keep it like a small family. No one calls the shots; we all make family decisions.
GEE- Okay, you know you can’t dance forever, so what do you want to do in the long run?
FLO- Dancing is my career for now. But it can only go on for so long because your body breaks down. That’s why I want to get into acting. You can act for a long time. My dream is to be in martial arts movies. I’ve been practicing martial arts for 13 years. At the moment, I’m doing some videos here, and a few commercials there. I also go to different hip-hop events and speak about the culture.
GEE- For people who are interested in the hop-hop culture, what would you suggest for them to do first?
FLO- I want them to rent this movie called “Wild Style”. If people want to know what real hop-hop is, and what it really stands for, rent this movie. It has all five elements in it. That’s the only movie that was made besides “StyleWars” that represented real hip-hop. Movies like “Breakin” and “Beat Street” are all commercialized. “Wild Style” represents the roots of hip-hop culture, so go get that!
UPDATE: This interview was actually done a year ago, but I caught up with FLO and found out that he’s doing his thing with USHER, training him into b-boy material. If you checked out Usher’s latest video “U REMIND ME”, you can see where FLO has been putting his work into. Shouts out to FLO and FLY for doing there thing!