Saturday, September 24, 2011

Word on the Street

Browsing my bookshelves this morning, my eyes kept getting drawn to the same thin volume, so I pulled it down, blew the dust off it and cracked the spine. The book was Breakdancing - Mr. Fresh and The Supreme Rockers Show You How To Do It! It was a helluva way to start the day. Because it's far too good to keep to myself, I wanted to share my favourite chapter with you, a glossary of breakdancing argot circa 1984. Is it fresh or is it wack? You decide!:
If you don't want to completely embarass yourself, then don't tell your friends you just heard "a really outstanding song." Don't say, "That girl is really dumb." And if you're having a great time, going nuts with all your friends, don't say you're all "going nuts". 'Cause that's wack.

And if someone tells you that they have a friend who's a really BAD dancer, don't think he's not a good dancer. And Breakdancers don't "hang around."

Tell your friends you just heard a new song and it's really fresh. And you met this girl who's wack. And that you and your friends were buggin' out. And if someone does a BAD King Tut, then their Tut is fresh. And if you're maxin', you're relaxin'.

So if you don't wanna be wack and have a heart attack, pay attention to the following words and you'll be awesome.

Amaze 'em. This is how you win a dance battle. "You amaze 'em."
"How do you amaze 'em?"
"Easy. You just amaze 'em."

Awesome. Breakdancers don't need much of an excuse to say awesome. Some nights everything is awesome.
"Wow, look at that Adidas suit. Awesome."
"We're goin' to the Roxy tonight. It's gonna be awesome."
"I got the continuation of my Windmill. Awesome."
"I met some fresh girls. Awesome."
"Look at that cheeseburger. Awesome."

Bad. Bad is real good. In other words, if it's good enough, then it's bad.
"When we get our new Chinese suits, we'll be bad."
"Man, I saw this two-month-old kid doing the King Tut, and he was bad."
"Those Gazows are bad."

Bite. When someone bites one of your moves, then they steal it. Bite only has one very exact meaning, and this it. Biting moves is really wack, but everyone does it. Biting is little bit like cheating in a card game. If you see someone biting one of your moves, you can pretend you're biting you're finger, as a sign that you know they're biting. The most interesting thing about biting is that it shows how really individual Breakdancing is. Your moves are used to win battles, so if someone bites one of your moves, then they can use it against you in a battle.

Bugging Out. When you're going crazy, you're bugging out. Or if you get confused or mess out you say you're bugging or bugging out. Or if you see something or someone that really catches your eye and really stare, then you're bugging out.
"Man, we got on the subway and we were bugging out."
"What's the matter with you? You're buggin'."
"Man, those guys were buggin' out."

Chill. Good, O.K.
"His Pop is chill."
"You wanna go to the movies? That's chill."

Chillin'. Relaxing. Hanging out. Laying back.
"Hey, what's up?" "Chillin'."
"Hey, what's up?" "Chillin', willin', maxin', and relaxin'." or "Maxin' and relaxin', chilling, willing, and able."

Fresh. This is the big word. This will get you through a lot of tough situations. Fresh means original, good, or real good. And to say it right you always accent the word fresh.
"Our new routine is fresh."
"I heard a new record. It was fresh."
"He's too fresh."
Fresh is used in so many instances and so often, as long as you use it for anything good, you'll be fresh.

Juice. If you got juice, you got pull with someone who counts.

Maxin'. Relaxing. Or use max out.
"What's your beef?" "Maxin'."
"I'm tired, I'm gonna max out."

Power. If you're a dancer and you're really rocking, you're in power. When someone is in a position of authority, power or respect, you say that they're in their power - a very common term. For example, Michael Jackson is in his power. The Beatles were in their power in the 60's and 70's. Afrika Bambaataa, one of the most respected persons in Hip Hop, is in his power. Sometimes when a dancer feels like he or she has the audience bugging out, they'll do a dance move with a closed fist to indicate a state of power.

Rock. When you're really getting down dancewise, you're rocking.
"How'd it go?" "Man, we were rockin' shit."

Take out. If you win a battle, you take the other dancer out. If someone beats you, they take you out.

Wack. The opposite of fresh. Bad, not bad. Everything bad is wack.
"Man, you wack."
"He dances wack."
"Look at that Calvin Klein outfit. "Yeah, it's wack."

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