Editorial: The Top B-Boys of the 2000s

Nine people and nine lists, each with 10 b-boys to countdown to 2010. You do the math.

BY Calvin
POSTED December 24th, 2009


As the approximate fourth decade of b-boying’s existence spins to an end, we’ve been busy putting together a list of our favorite b-boys of the 2000s (the decade, not the move).

Please note: this is not a comprehensive list, nor is it meant to be.

As perpetual students of the dance and culture, we know there will never be any history or list that fully satisfies everyone in the b-boy community. In other words, we’re not perfect, and neither is this list. We know that.
So, instead of trying to achieve the impossible and please everyone, we decided to keep in the spirit of the holidays and make it a family affair. We asked some of our b-boy family and acquaintances to chime in with their personal favorites.

We tried to keep it diverse, asking b-boys, promoters, DJs and even our own readers. We also allowed each person to use whatever criteria they wanted, ranging from battle records to influence to fame and beyond. Each list is purely subjective. Collaboration was minimal.

The results? Well, you can check them out below. But see this not as a definitive, end-all list, and more as a springboard for further discussion into the next decade. Feel free chime in with your own thoughts and lists in the comments section.

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays.

ALPHATRION – RISEN FROM THE ASHES

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Photo provided by Tammy Tso

10. Godoyski (Rock So Fresh Crew) – When I first started b-boying, I didn’t really have a full appreciation of what you could do with footwork or how good it could look until I saw Godoyski get down (He was then a member of Sound Savages in Atlanta). After practicing with him a few times and getting to know him, I started leaning more towards footwork and haven’t looked back since. He and his crew are still doing a great job of showing just how good footwork can look.

9. Doeboi Fresh (Risen from the Ashes) – I saved the last two spots for two b-boys who were important to me personally. The first is Doeboi Fresh from my own crew, Risen from the Ashes. Doe’s one of the most underrated b-boys in the South. Those who have come to Atlanta and seen him dance can attest to the fact that he’s dope but he’s also one of the nicest people on the planet. He’s consistently clean and always entertaining to watch. I’m not just saying any of this because he’s on my crew. He could leave RftA tomorrow and call me a loser and I’d still think the same thing (except the nicest guy on the planet part).

8. Skeme Richards/DJ Basic – I wanted to include a DJ, but it was a toss-up between these two. Both play in a style that I really enjoy, going outside of just the break and actually using an entire song to give b-boys new things to rock. They’re also constantly digging and bringing new things to the table.

7. Cros1 – Created the concept of the b-boy entrepreneur… promoting, a clothing line, a series of shops, DVD’s, etc. He created a template that a lot of other b-boys have started to follow to varying degrees of success. Aside from that, he was the founder of Freestyle Session, without a doubt one of the most successful events in the world.

6. Dyzee (Supernaturalz) – Although he wasn’t a major inspiration for my personal style, I always appreciated what he brought to the dance in terms of threading and intricate flows using your body in interesting ways. I also think he deserves some recognition for his judging system, which might still have some kinks, but brings something new to competitions.

5. Free (Circle of Fire) – One of the few b-boys who I think can really meld multiple styles of dance into something truly unique and enjoyable to watch. You can see elements of b-boying, house, capoeira, and jazz, and it all melds together in a way that allows him to express himself better than a lot of other dancers.

4. YNOT (Rock Steady Crew) – He’s the reason a lot of people are playing with the beat more. Before him, there weren’t a lot people hitting anything other than the most obvious aspects of a song (snare, stabs, etc). Now people are using guitar riffs, horns, basslines and everything, all thanks to clips of him in toprock battles or on stage at RSC Anniversary.

3. RoxRite (Break Disciples/Renegades) – Probably the cleanest b-boy of the decade. His freeze stacks are always sharp, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him screw up.

2. Abstrak (Skill Methodz) – The definition of flow when it comes to b-boying. Everything he does is fluid, and I’m always surprised by what he comes up with in his runs.

1. Megus (Boogie Brats) – Pioneered a whole style of b-boying and was really one of the b-boys I could say can fall into the category of legend. I can remember hearing his name an awful lot in early 2000’s, and in an era before YouTube, that says a lot.

BARRY RABKIN/B-BOY GRIZ – CYPHERSTYLES.COM STREET DANCE SOURCE

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When I first started CypherStyles, I assumed that other established businesses in the b-boy scene would be territorial and cold to me. Instead, the film makers, crews and fashion lines were just as supportive and welcoming to me as the rest of the street dance community. None of the world-class b-boys I know are haters; they’re all really kind, down-to-earth people. None of them set out to be “The Best”. They set out to follow their passion for hip-hop and do what they love, and their success flowed naturally from that. All of my top 10 have brought something fresh to the b-boy scene, and each of their contributions have forever changed our community for the better.

JabbaWockeeZ
– JabbaWockeeZ were the winners of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Crumbs and Flips were in You Got Served, and we’ve had other big name dancers in Stomp the Yard and Step Up, but none of the dancers were given special recognition. They were just one more “breakdancer,” someone else who could do flips or windmills, without any recognition of their unique identity, style or skills. The JabbaWockeeZ were the first group in my generation that were recognized as being stand-out talents by the culture at large. You’ve got kids all over the country with JabbaWockeeZ posters, t-shirts and masks. The JabbaWockeeZ danced with Shaq at the ESPN All-Stars and were just as well recognized by the audience as Shaq himself!

One of the most fulfilling things about running CypherStyles for me is I get to directly give dancers and event promoters an income stream, paid for by other street dancers interested in their videos. It’s a self-fueling cycle; as the community gets bigger, the more dancers can focus on developing their skills instead of trying to make rent that month in a dead end job. Most of the world’s best b-boys are still forced to take day jobs to afford to eat. They can’t make enough through dancing to provide for themselves because producers will just take another dancer who charges less, and the audience won’t know enough to know the difference. The only way that breaking can blow up so a large number of b-boys can make a decent living doing what they love is by getting specific street dance celebrities widely acknowledged by pop culture.

This can happen without selling out the culture, as long as the values of the community are conveyed instead of being diluted and candy-coated into nonsense like the breaksploitation movement of the ‘80s.  As top dancers are given more of a voice, we’ll have an opportunity to actually speak and explain to the world what we’re about instead of letting the media distort and misrepresent us. If you ask any b-boy who Physicx or Machine is, they can tell you, but if you ask your average person who isn’t in the scene, they’ve got no idea. The JabbaWockeeZ are the first dance crew I’ve seen to make the crossover to being a recognized name in pop culture. Pop culture street dance icons can pull people into our culture, the same way Michael Jordan did for basketball, Metallica did for metal, or Tiger Woods did for golf. They bring in the fresh blood, cultural awareness and the mass appeal that breaking needs to be able to support its best dancers so they can realistically work towards careers in b-boying, focus fully on developing their talents and elevating the art form overall.

Kujo – Breaking is an incredibly rich form of expression that pulls from virtually every style of dance, combat and gymnastics. It deserves to be more than just a contest to see who can do the most flares. It’s important for all of us to think more deeply about developing an original style from a diverse body of influences and analyzing the development of innovative movements beyond just saying “That ish was fresh!” In a street-centric culture, Kujo was one of the first well known “Nerd B-boys”. He doesn’t spend his time shopping for high waters, pocket protectors and attending Trekkie conventions, but if you’ve ever heard him speak or read his articles, he’ll articulately discuss how philosophy, art and literature influence him and his views on dancing. Kujo brings to the light the parallels between classical “high” art and street art. Kujo made it okay to be an intellectual b-boy (as long as you can still tear the floor up with some gravity-defying flips and freezes), and his philosophies, carnival-style acrobatics and impossible poses encouraged people to get away from the “orthodox school” of breaking and incorporate new influences to push the art form in untraditional new directions.

Erwin – The founder of Bboyworld.com connected b-boys in a way that had never been possible before his forum. I’ve been friends with him for many years, and he’s stayed true to his mission of giving everyone in every corner of the globe a chance to be see and be a part of b-boy culture. Almost a decade before YouTube, MySpace or Facebook, Erwin was paying out for servers so he could bring the global b-boy scene together as one big happy family. That’s good for the evolution of the dance, it’s good for the community, and it’s good for b-boy culture.

Junior – The “Musclebound God of Planches” is so strong, fluid and explosive that even as you watch him, it’s hard to comprehend what you’re seeing. I always find myself checking his footage for wires or evidence of computer graphics. The normal limits of power, flexibility and gravity don’t seem to apply to Junior. His superhuman highlight reel in Red Bull BC One made the rounds of the Internet and exposed millions of non-b-boys to the dance, giving them an opportunity to appreciate the style’s athleticism, aggression and creativity. Junior always dances with a smile and looks like he’s having fun. It’s great to see someone joyfully bringing the love back, even while shattering the competition. Junior does all this with a crippled leg, a fact which offers hope to everyone. It’s proof that having limitations won’t hold you back from greatness, and instead they are simply an opportunity to maximize your strengths in other areas.

Israel – The director of The Freshest Kids b-boy documentary gave lovers of hip-hop culture a view into the much-debated origins and progression of b-boy culture. His film is an informative but accessible history lesson that has insights to offer everyone, from OG’s that grew up dancing in the Bronx at Kool Herc’s legendary parties to viewers without any prior knowledge of hip-hop or street dance culture. Israel reveals the birth, evolution, and more than anything else, the love of the culture that inspires all of us to get involved in breaking and stay involved. On top of that, it’s good to see other Hebrew Homeboys like me and Kid David making contributions to the b-boy community!

Hella Hung – Hella Hung can’t be contained, quickly described or stuffed into a category. In a world of internet b-boys who bite the latest move on YouTube or kids from a good home and good community thinking that being a true breaker means acting like they came from anything but, Hella Hung offered something that goes back to the true roots of the culture: originality and being yourself. Never content with the norm, this William Hung of breaking exploded onto the scene with a breath of bizarre originality and freshness. He gives hope to all the weirdos, goofballs and outcasts of the world to do their own thing, do what works for them, and be true to themselves no matter what anyone says, which is really what hip-hop is all about. Also his unwillingness to admit defeat under any circumstances inspires us all to never back down and to rep our moves 100 percent, whatever our current skill level or competition happens to be.

More Than A Stance – Writing about breaking is like b-boying itself: “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.” Plenty of people before MTAS attempted to start magazines, blogs or DVD’s covering the events, products and biggest names of b-boy culture, but no one has ever come close to the level of quality MTAS puts out. Our culture is filled with knowledge, developments, insights and personalities that deserve coverage and exposure. Keeping the articles professional and entertaining while keeping it 100 percent real and true to the culture is a difficult tightrope to walk. Almost all professional coverage came from outsiders who weren’t knowledgeable about breaking, but MTAS comes from Paul and Calvin, insiders asking the right people the right questions. MTAS does it better than anyone ever has and quite possibly better than anyone else ever will. As long as they keep writing, I’ll keep reading and enjoying every article right along with the rest of the b-boy community.

Asia One – Asia has devoted her entire life to hip-hop with her legendary B-Boy Summit and No Easy Props events, hip-hop shop, battling, judging and training workshops. Asia is genuinely devoted to spreading the positive values of hip-hop culture and keeping the community alive and growing. Breaking is still a male-dominated activity, and there are even fewer female teachers or event promoters. It’s great to see b-girls repping just as hard, or harder, than b-boys in event promotion, competitions and classes.  Asia is good people; she inspires me and I hope to see more b-girls following in Asia’s footsteps and getting involved with the culture, on and off the dance floor.

Free – House dancers in the ‘70s and ‘80s were inspired by b-boys and created “lofting,” a style of house that incorporates b-boy movements, named for The Loft – the club where the style originated. Lofting developed and evolved on its own and came back full circle in the form of Free, Orb and the rest of the Circle of Fire/Shape Shifters Seattle crew whose freestyle blend of breaking, house, tap and lofting has won them countless b-boy championships and inspired everyone who sees their fresh style. Breaking and house are very distinct dance styles, with breaking focusing much more on hitting the beats hard, aggression, floor work and power moves, while house is about riding the beat with flow and intricate standing footwork combinations. It’s not easy to have a style that is so well blended that you can win both b-boy and house championships with the exact same moves and get respect from both audiences. Free bridged the gap between the house and b-boy scene, and in doing so he opened up new possibilities for both worlds.

Cros 1 – The founder of Freestyle Session blew up b-boy events in Cali at a time when the culture was in deep hibernation. For most of the early ‘90s, breaking was pretty underground and there weren’t many opportunities for people to actively compete. FSS reignited the fire and gave people a reason to get back to training and to come together as a community. Cros has kept his events and Armory clothing company going strong year after year in a community where fly-by-nights are common and long-term reliable brands are rare. Despite being one of the planets biggest b-boy competitions and bringing in thousands of b-boys from all over the planet, FSS has stayed fun, positive and kept its tight-knit community feel.  FSS is the event that almost every event promoter wants to be. Freestyle Session is THE definitive US b-boy event, and the spark that burned in the darkness when the scene was in a coma has turned into a raging inferno burning a little brighter ever year. I’ve got nothing but respect for what Cros has done and how chill he’s stayed along the way never “going corporate” or losing sight of the community that supports him.

B-BOY PRYME – MORE THAN A STANCE FEATURED READER

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Kid David – For sure one of my favorite b-boys. Kid David’s style is so jaw-dropping, at times it makes me weep.

Thesis – This cat’s creativity is ENDLESS. He could probably go 30 rounds without running out of moves. And if he did, he would just make up new ones on the spot.

Casper – If I ever had a chance to battle Casper, I think I would run in fear. He’s so fierce! His presence on the floor is unmatched.

Menno – MASTER OF THE BABY FREEZE! I bow down to your freeze and power transitions.

Flying Buddha – AMAZING POWER COMBOS. DONE.

Domkey – Another amazingly creative b-boy. His abstract everything makes me drool with jealousy.

Puzzles – He’s so freaky fast. Look at his footwork go! I love watching this guy dance.

Machine – The beat has a bounty on its head, and Machine is ready to kill. At sessions, I constantly hear, “Yo, did you see Machine murder this song?”

Toyz – This cat’s power control is sick. He could probably power combo until the sun burns out.

Vizion – No beat goes unloved by this guy. His style is pure flavor and his attitude on the floor is raw. Vizion, along with his crew the BeatSickMisfits are repping the Midwest and Indiana with every ounce of their souls!

CALVIN – MORE THAN A STANCE

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Photo provided by Monica Chang

10. Moy – I think a lot of b-boys still go through a period where they want to be Moy, from his explosive moves to his aggressive-yet-controlled battle demeanor. I think that one B-Boy Hodown clip summed it up with that text that said something like “OH SHIT IT’S MOY!!!!!” No, really, watch out, it’s Moy.

9. Tells One/Rebirth – Give me some of whatever he’s having. His energy and battle persona are nuts.

8. Dyzee –The first time I saw Dyzee dance, I was completely convinced that there was either something wrong with my tape, my VCR or his legs. I couldn’t tell what exactly was wrong, but something was definitely not normal.

7. Shie-Chan – The last time I was this scared of a Japanese girl was when I saw The Ring. My first exposure to her was a battle video in which she calmly flicked off the camera for no apparent reason.  Then she actually started dancing, and the hardcore meter went through the roof.

6. Rawbzilla – You know those sets and moves you think of when you’re daydreaming/tired/high, and then you try them and feel stupid because they’re ridiculous/impossible/lame? Rawbzilla is the guy who takes all those and makes them look cool.

5. Revolve – It’s pretty impossible to find any footage of this guy online, but even thinking about the stuff he used to do gets me more hyped than seeing some of the biggest names in b-boying today. Revolve of Birmingham, Alabama’s BMW Crew singlehandedly made me see the beauty in originality and foundation. His jangly toprock and his skittery footwork—I can’t even explain it. Next.

4. Kid David – His stuff just looks cool.

3. Born – Yeah, totally predictable choice, I know. But it takes extreme talent to make the smallest, simplest movement completely oversaturated with b-boy flavor.

2. Abstrak – The first time I saw Abstrak dance, I just got really confused. I had no idea what the hell was going on—I just didn’t have a grid for it. Most people would look stupid taking on a name like “Abstract,” but Abstrak lives up to it and then some. I still don’t understand how he does what he does, but it’s mystifying. If people made a screensaver of Abstrak’s stuff, they’d probably make a lot of money.

1. Vengeance/Megas – I don’t even know the right way to spell his name(s), and I have even less of an idea of how to begin explaining all the reasons he’s dope. Yeah, that dope.

PAUL – MORE THAN A STANCE

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Photo provided by Tammy Tso

Juse Boogy – The first b-boy whose style I tried to bite. Watching him battle alongside Jeromeskee in the first Lords of the Floor was a b-boy-life changing experience for me. He epitomizes the word “smooth” to me.

Abstrak – One of the reasons I like Abstrak is because he’s unpredictable. That’s because what he does isn’t logical. Because he’s superhuman.

Moy – Everything Moy does just makes sense when you watch it. Each move leads into the next in a way that seems completely obvious and natural. Until you try his moves, and then you realize he’s a freak of nature. I also dig his no-nonsense battle persona. Get in, get out, stay quiet.

Megas – He was bound to show up on this list if not just for his legacy. Everyone bites him, no one knows where he is, and he seems to be the only b-boy who the forum lurkers don’t talk shit about. Add to that the fact that he actually is as dope as the hype surrounding him, and you have the recipe for a legend.

KMel – “YOU DID THAT RAINBOW TWICE!” Seemingly one of the scariest b-boys alive, and not just because of his attitude. I think that’s about all I have to say about him… just watch him battle.

Casper – I’ve just never seen anyone else like him. His energy is raw, his flow is super creative, and he knows how to tell a good story when he puts it all together.

Cloud – If I collected b-boy action figures, Cloud’s would be the one still in the box in a glass case. Simply put: he just makes everything look bad-ass.

Poe One – I saw him in Total Session III in college, and I still get flashes of him dancing in that video when I’m trying to come up with new stuff. His swagger and attitude are what I remember most.

A-B-Girl – Just plain raw. Powerful, quick and sharp with all her movements.

Ronnie – One of the b-boys who made me start thinking more about the importance of transitions. Everything he does is super smooth, and each move motivates the next. One of my all-time favorites.

QKONG – BASHVILLE STAMPEDE/ILLVILLE

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10. Cloud – His dancing is like nobody else’s. It’s really interesting. His character – his whole swagger – is just so smooth.

9. Luigi – He gave me a better understanding of what the Florida style is. When I say, “Luigi,” I think of Florida as a whole.

8. Marlon – Attitude.

7. Machine – He’s a freestyling fool. I’ve never seen anybody freestyle like this guy. Coming straight off the dome and still makes his rounds look like he worked on them for a year or something.

6. Ducky – I really like his flow a lot. I would say when it’s time to be aggressive, he can really be aggressive, or he can make it a beautiful thing. He’s the epitome of art for b-boying.

5. Omen – Omen is a dance machine. In every single battle I’ve ever seen of this guy, he always has new stuff. He’s always creating new sets – a new bag of tricks.

4. Rawbzilla – He reminds me of Freddy Krueger. If Freddy Krueger was a b-boy, he’d be Rawbzilla. If you put a video of Rawbzilla next to Freddy Krueger doing his character, dancing around, doing his jokes, I always felt like it was the same person.

3. K Mel – Raw.

2. RoxRite – For battle strategy, this guy is the truth. Every battle I’ve seen of the man, he’s never failed me. I always know that he’s gonna do good in the battles no matter what.

1. Kid David – I feel he’s the most consistent b-boy in terms of his punctuation of everything. From beginning to end, he doesn’t miss a beat. It’s like he’s telling a story, man. He’s telling an amazing fucking story, not no nursery rhyme shit. It’s a straight up novel.

ROXRITE – RENEGADES CREW/BREAK DISCIPLES

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Ken Swift - It is always dope to see him get down in person; he always drops dope stuff. He makes simple moves look so fresh and timeless. He has a lot of originality! He can still kill it even after so many years in the game. He continues to influence and inspire b-boys all around the world. In my eyes, he’s the Michael Jordan of b-boying in the way he has inspired.

Megus - I first saw him at the Pro-Am in 99, but even into 2000 going to about 2001, he was a dope b-boy to watch get down. His flow was just so intricate that it was something to watch. Even though I stopped seeing him, I saw so many people try to do his stuff. Even now, you see cats trying to use some of his concepts.

Remind – One of my biggest inspirations. In 2000, when he came out at the The Armageddon battle, he flipped his style again — something that is very hard to do in b-boying. It’s like he redefined his moves and got stronger. His whole approach flipped. I seen him kill shit one night at a club in LA — after seeing him kill it, I went home motivated to practice harder!

Kmel – He has a certain swag when he b-boys. I remember I saw footage of Lords of The Floor 2001. I hadn’t seen him or watched footage of him since ‘99. After I watched, that tape I saw a new Kmel. The way he played with the beats — only some could do that. In my eyes, he innovated the whole beat hitting.

Moy – I liked watching Moy. He always had fresh stuff. He is a powerful b-boy to watch. He has a bit of everything and has a creative approach to it. A hard battler, he was one of the youngest b-boys that I can remember traveling at a time when it wasn’t so easy to do it. I saw his influence in so many people.

Wicket – He also has a certain style when he b-boys. When I got in Renegades, he definitely had an influence on me. He was one of the first to have that impact when he b-boyed — he has so much style when he dances.

Lego – I like his approach on b-boying, and it is inspiring to see. He represents that b-boy mentality. He’s been rocking ill since the ‘90s, and seeing him come out more in the 2000s was dope. His flow is mad intricate. He does so much stuff and can hit freezes in between his movements.

Kid David – After seeing him hold up on his development from knee surgery. He sat out for about eight months. We had a talk after he felt like stopping, and look at him now. He has developed into so much — watching him get down is motivating. He has that approach of making simple moves look dope. That is a hard thing to do.

Kevo – I met Kevo in North Carolina in 2005. I had seen him on video somewhere before. After seeing him get down in person, I saw his potential. He started mixing both things together better, and the next time I saw him, he was more developed and now is a force. Battling with him and seeing some of the stuff he can do is crazy.

D-Rock (Renegades) – This guys was my battle partner from 2002 to 2005. We only lost one two-on-two together. After that, we never lost as a duo. He developed so much in a short amount of time. He was a huge motivation for me during that time. He pushed me so much. Every time I drove to Frisco to practice, that fool had some new shit. I drove there once or twice a week. He had an ill approach — a mixture of power, freezes, footwork and musicality.

TOYZ ARE US – LIONZ OF ZION/4F/ALL WAYS ROCKIN’/BEAT WAKZ

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Photo provided by Monica Chang

10. Narumi (Japan) – One of the dopest b-girls I’ve seen. With dynamic footwork, crazy power combos, and blowups… Everyone is terrified of her… Everyone…

9. Dyzee (Canada) – He’s a seasoned vet. He’s been around for a long time… But he’s still killing shit… Crazy part is he doesn’t even seem like he’s hit his prime yet.

8. Kolobok (Ukraine) – Has some of the most craziest and most original freezes today. No one can match his determination or cleverness of his freezes.

7. Flying Buddha (Russia) – One of my favorite powerheads… Not into all the typical tricks of power today like doing a million 90’s or 2000’s. He is all about combos, which is what powermoves are all about. Not too many people can pull off the combos he can.

6. Soso (France) – The dopest trick b-boy I know of… Blow ups after blow ups after blow ups… On top of blow ups…

5. Lil G (Venezuela) – The underdog… Who would have expected someone from Venezuela to come out with some of the craziest power, enough to compete against KYS, Cico, Punisher, Bruce Lee, you name it…

4. Lilou (France) – Only two-time winner of Red Bull BC One and extremely influential over in the Europeans.

3. Thesis (West Coast, USA) – The youngest b-boy I know of that can tear apart other seasoned veterans.

2. Kid Glyde (East Coast, USA) – Bringing a whole new meaning of “that New York style.” The only one I know of who is making a lot of noise in NYC.

1. Hong10 (Korea) – One of the nastiest, most influential b-boys from Korea… Ever…

TYRONE – THE NOTORIOUS IBE/MIGHTY ZULU KINGZ/FUNKY DOPE MANOUVRES

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Machine – He’s an amazing dancer. Ever since Machine came to visit us at IBE 2003, my IBE organization partner Mario Bee and I have had a special respect for this guy. He’s like our younger brother and has given us some of the best moments in IBE. Since 2003 up until today, Machine only got better and better.

Lilou - Watching Lilou dance always reminds me of the French b-boy spirit that made French b-boys and crews famous in the late ‘90s. Between 1995 and 2000, the French were bringing originality, creativity and most importantly, the element of humor to dance floors all over Europe. Also, I must say that some of the major international events would go totally “off-script” because at times, the French showed their rugged and raw mentality, which I must admit they were always able to back up with their skills.
With Lilou, it’s the same; since 2002, he has been all about originality, creativity, humor and yes, he got himself in some situations because of his street mentality. I guess it’s the French hip-hop side in him. If Karim Barouche is a French icon of the ‘90s, then Lilou is that icon for the past ten years.

Cico – The first time I met Cico was when he and the Killa Beez crew came to IBE 2001 to participate at All Battles All. He didn’t really stand out in that battle, but I can still remember his endless power routines, walking off really unsatisfied after every round he made during the battles. Looking back, I think he already had his mind set on doing crazy power combos. After IBE 2001, I kept up with him, and every time we talked, he told me about the many injuries that prevented him from making a big break in the b-boy scene. His getting seriously injured at Battle Of the Year 2002 was especially sad.
I have great respect for him for overcoming all these troubles and situations and becoming the dancer that he is today. People say a b-boy has got to have character, and it’s really hard to put character into your power and air moves. To many, Cico is a great powermover, but to me Cico is a true b-boy because he brings character and showmanship to the dance floor.

Physicx - He’s the best Korean b-boy ever. It’s sad, though, that people put so much pressure on him just to see him perform his signature moves. I have seen Physicx rock small cyphers with original footwork, flow and musicality. I tell you, it’s amazing. It’s sad he slowed down a bit; I think we have not seen 50 percent of the stuff that he can actually do. On the other hand, I have great respect for him choosing to work on a more personal level helping out his Rivers Crew rather than to keep pleasing people.

Junior – Many credit Junior for his capability to perform his amazing moves despite his leg disability. True, but I credit him for his great imagination, creativity and kindness.

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Focus – Words can’t describe the respect I have for this guy. I always tell him, “FlowMo melts the ice.” I guess that says it all.

Kmel – Hip-hop is all about making your street mentality entertaining but without losing the street flavor. Jay-Z is the king of hip-hop entertainment but still has that same street flavor as when he dropped Reasonable Doubt in 1996. I am sure that if KMel was a rapper, he would be Jay-Z, no doubt.

Poe One/Ken Swift – They are true masters and teachers, and most importantly, both of them are really accessible, open and friendly. I think most of the younger generation would like to be schooled by these guys; I’ve never met a person that wouldn’t. Both have so much knowledge about our b-boy culture and history, and both are able to constantly translate their experiences and knowledge to a new generation. Ken Swift isn’t just a person from the ‘80s, Poe One isn’t just the ‘90s. Their influences and inspirations were not just then; they are also now and will be even more tomorrow.

11 Responses to “Editorial: The Top B-Boys of the 2000s”

  1. Bboy Pryme says:

    Awesome article to end year. I hope MoreThanAStance is around in 2019 so we can do this again :D

  2. AlphaTrion says:

    I feel like there were just too many dope b-boys this decade. Everyone’s list had someone I felt like I forgot

  3. Mex One says:

    There it is guys, as you can see I took my list pretty serious.

    My Criteria for top 10 bboys is as followed:
    #1: Bboys must had at least a 5 year run of non stop involvement in the community.
    #2: Respected by the O.G’S(respect is everything)
    #3: Inspired many..
    4: #Winning competitions help but not main part.

    THE LIST(in no particular order)

    1)Kmel: K is K and in the 2000′s he set himself
    as a bboy legend.He was never a constant competitor but always shined on the big stage(LOFT-FSS Special edition)He also mentor you gunz like Casper and now the Boobie Brat Kidz.

    2)Rox Rite: The most feared competitor in the game period. No one won more events than Rox in the 2000′s. His run started @ Pro-AM 99 and has not stop since.Inspired the masses and his freeze framing style is now universal.

    3)Poe One: One of the most humble O.G’s in the game. Poe(along w Ness) have probably judged the most events in the 2000′s(Judged ALL MAJOR Events) As a bboy he still kill it(as seen @ IBE 09)Probably one of the best teachers outhere.

    4)Alien Ness: What can not be said of NESS,
    The leader of the Zulu Kingz. You gotta have some pull to recruit some of the illest in the game WORLDWIDE.Online, no one is more involve, @ jams no one says more.

    5)Focus:FSS 04 was his coming out party. Been killing it ever since. FloMO has been in many major events, Some say Focus has single handedly carry the squad.In Europe(Scandinavia) there’s no one better.

    6)Lego: ALOT of talent comes from the Miami and Lego is MR. 305 in the bboy scene. None has done for the city and repped it as he has. 15 years str8 not taking a break representing to the fullest. Inspired many and continues to shine.

    7)Ducky: 1st Bboy superstar in Korea in the early 2000′s. A major inspiration in Korea and is now seen as a true O.G. Still very active. Korean bboys owe a lot to Ducky.

    8)Ronnie: Since I.B.E 03 Ronnie has been NON-STOP.
    winner of many major events and inspired many..
    When I see bboys like Wing(Jinjo) I definitely see
    the Ronnie influence.

    9)Ken Swift: KEN SWIFT GREATEST OF ALL TIME. PERIOD!

    10)MOY: Last but not least Moy, coming out party was FSS 5 in 99 where he earned the title of airflare king. For the early parts of the 2000′s he was the boy wonder. He represented to the new generation what KidDavid/Luigi represent to todays generation.
    Now he is a world renown bboy that has nothing left to prove.

    ALMOST MADE THE LIST
    Ruen: The power craze of the 2000′s was led by this guy…No one took over battles as he did in those days on the power tip.(maybe boy)
    Inspired the world to fly.

    Machine: Was a big influence from 03-06,07 but
    has slowed down when many started doing everything on beat.

    Kid David: Kid came out strong in 05 but was slowed by injury, if the decade lasted 2 more years he for sure would have been top 10.

    Lilou: Only reasons he is not on the list
    is because he 1st was known for biting certain moves(Head backflip to lotuz=ADAM BOMB)& in France, there’s a man named Benji who gets
    a lot of the fame.

    Abztrak: Abz is top 10 of all time status but in the 2000′s he went underground for a many years.
    Abz will go down as one of the greatest bboys to ever live.

    Hong 10: Came out strong in the later part of the 2000′s but he never really set the way. He gets alot of the fame in Korea but many consider Physix
    The underground King.(I would love to see that battle)

    Crums: Crums was a FORCE from 96-04 that’s basically a decade but i cant count 96-99.
    He never stoped but He ended up focusing on other aspects of his careen. I think he was the 1st bboy to go on tour with black eye peas(i think)

    Spee-d: Spee-d came out strong in 03 when he only had 1 year and a half of breaking! His coming out party was @ FSS 04 and if not for moving to Hollywood and doing the family life, He would have been top 10 for sure.

  4. AlphaTrion says:

    Just to clarify…my list was taking into account the bboy culture as a whole and how it relates to my life (that’s why there are djs, promoters, and region specific b-boys on there). So I understand why my decisions might differ from others.

  5. BIC_epidemic says:

    my 10 basically has what everyone mentioned above..but i got some bboys i thought everyone overlooked. i used to hear these guys names all the time, even before i started bboying.

    lil john – a murderer with his energy in his execution
    reveal – amazing flow, and really took floor moves to another level.
    naytron – hella raw, i thought he defined power with freezes.

  6. 360 says:

    what a gay list who cares about some one breaking for 5 or 10 years let see 5 years down the line

  7. Each One, Teach One. says:

    This Is My Very Personal List.
    For What They Stand For, Mean To People And The Impact They’ve Made.
    Abstrakt
    Born
    Casper
    Cloud
    Crazy Legs
    Frosty Freeze
    Ken Swift
    Kid David
    Kmel
    Luigi
    Machine
    Orko
    Pablo Flores/Kujo (Climax Soul Control)
    Paranoid Android
    Poe One
    Ronnie Boy/Ronnie Ruen
    Roxrite
    Storm
    Thesis

    These Came Very Close, If There Were A Top 25 Of All Time. This Would Be IT

    Float, Flow Master, Megus, Menno, Spy, Taisuke.

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