Sonntag, 17. Dezember 2017

                  Interview with  DJ Clark Kent (The Herculoids) a.k.a. The Original B-Boy Poison

                                     conducted by Sir Norin Rad (The Intruders Crew / Germany)

                                                               on August 5th, 2017
                                                     
DJ Clark Kent a.k.a. B-Boy Poison



NORIN RAD: "Where and when did you first witness breaking and what made you get involved in it?"

CLARK KENT: "The first time I witnessed breaking was on Webster Avenue in a community room party that I went to in my neighbourhood.  So I lived on Washington Avenue & 169th street and the party was on 169th street & Webster in the community room at the projects down there...and that's really the first time I seen breaking and really didn't understand it when I first saw it but after going to a few more parties I kinda got the gist what it was all about."

NORIN RAD: "Do you recall the year when you first saw breaking being done ?"

CLARK KENT: "1973."

NORIN RAD: "Who gave you that name Poison as a B-Boy and what is the story behind that name?"

CLARK KENT: "Poison was a name I chose for myself only because when I would get at somebody dancing...I wasn't that type of person that took long to win a battle.You know, like most guys have to go through three or four different moves or series of moves..like I would just come in get you and my first move would put you away.  So I gave myself that name because of my style because if I gave you some poison to drink it would only be a good 20 minutes before you die. You know, so that's the type of style I had."

NORIN RAD: "This leads me directly to my next question. Which routines were your signature routines and what inspired you to come with them?"

CLARK KENT: " My most popular signature move was going into the phone booth and change from Clark Kent to Superman. That was one of my favourite moves. I came up with that routine just from the name Clark Kent alone. It kinda made sense to do something that coincided with the name Clark Kent. Another move I did was the Dracula where I would lay in a coffin just before the break and once the break kicked in then I would come up out of the coffin and would kind of do a Dracula type robot and come at my opponent and grab him by the neck and bite him on the neck. And that's pretty much the move that sealed the deal with Rossy (Trixie's brother) at the dance contest at the Silver Door where I was given the name Clark Kent by Kool Herc. And my most famous move that everybody did back then was...I had a signature move where I would do a backdrop come back up from the floor and drop back down into a fetal position and go to sleep."

NORIN RAD: "Okay, just to make sure that I have understood you correctly...does that mean that when you used to battle back then that the dancing was done simultaneously? Or would you go in first and then your opponent would respond after you like it is done today?"

CLARK KENT: "Dancing was done simultaneously!!! That stuff that you see that one guy jumps in and one guy jumps out....that's later on. The art of dancing and burning somebody is to go against them simultaneously. Not just you do move and I do a move. That's weak!"

NORIN RAD: "What were the most notable Jamming Spots where B-Boys would get down at in your era?"

CLARK KENT:"Okay, I wanna be 100 percent clear on this statement I'm about to make.Anybody from back in the day that don't cosign this statement is somebody who didn't matter. Because B-Boy is something that a lot of people call themselves but let's be clear..there were people dancing all over the Bronx but where it mattered in Hiphop Culture coming out of the Bronx....if you didn't  do it at Kool Herc's parties we didn't care what you were doing. Kool Herc's parties were the Superbowl of breakdance, okay?! In different pockets people danced in their neighbourhood and some people were the best in their neighbourhood but the cream of the crop,the top of the line, A1 B-Boys come from Kool Herc and if you didn't do it at Kool Herc's parties as far as we are concerned it didn't matter!!! And the places were these things took place was at The Hevalo..that was the first place coming out of 1520 Sedgewick Avenue....It went from The Hevalo to the Twilight Zone...from the Twilight Zone it went to The Executive Playhouse which later on became The Sparkle and also at The P.A.L on 183rd Street & Webster Avenue. And again I wanna be crystal, crystal clear for anybody who reads this interview..let's keep it real,okay?!...I personally didn't care if you was breaking in Bronx River, I didn't care if you was behind a rock somewhere in the Bronx. If you wasn't at Kool Herc's you wasn't nobody I needed to be worried about."

NORIN RAD: "So contrary to a common belief of today Breaking was a dance performed in clubs, right?"

CLARK KENT: "Correct! That is 100 % correct!"

NORIN RAD:"What was your relationship with the legendary (N***er) Twins?"

CLARK KENT:"Well, we met when we were 8 years old and we did everything together in the beginning of hiphop.  If you saw me, you saw the Twins...if you saw the Twins, you saw me..our names were cemented together, okay?! There's nothing that they were involved in that I wasn't there for and there is nothing that I was involved in that they wasn't there for. We were like triplets. Wherever you seen one you seen all three of us when it came to movin' around in Hiphop. We used to travel down to Chuck Center which is one of the places we really honed our skills at before finding out about Kool Herc and going to Kool Herc's parties. We would go to Chuck Center like every other week 'cause they had a dance contest and we used to love winning that dance contest."

NORIN RAD:"That's some precious knowledge!!!  Chuck Center was located in East Harlem, right?"

CLARK KENT: "Yes on 115th Street & 2nd Avenue."

NORIN RAD: "So you were basically breaking at Chuck Center BEFORE you met Kool Herc?"

CLARK KENT:"Before I even met Kool Herc! That's where The (N***er) Twins and I honed our skills and we would go down there with cats like Wallace Dee and Chip. These are guys from the era of like Trixie and them. We ran with a whole host of cats down there before we found out what Herc was doing what he was doing on the Westside (of the Bronx).One of the names I wanna mention though is Dancing Doug!!!Back then Chuck Center was one of the places where we encountered Dancing Doug! The premier place to do breaking became Kool Herc's parties but prior to Kool Herc's we used to go to (DJ) Smokey's parties, you know, the Twins and I. From Smokey's we caught on to Chuck Center and then from Chuck Center we caught on to what Herc was doing. And out of all the places we went, you know, we honed our skills! A lot of people have this misconception that we got our skills at Kool Herc's...by the time the Twins and I arrived at Kool Herc's we was already elite!!!! And that's why we quickly ran through whoever thought they was somebody at Kool Herc's at that time. It was only a matter of time before you got on our nerves and you kept running your mouth.. There's nothing that they were involved in that I wasn't there for and there is nothing that I was involved in that they wasn't there for. We were like triplets. Wherever you seen one you seen all three of us when it came to movin' around in Hiphop. We used to travel down to Chuck Center which is one of the places we really honed our skills at before finding out about Kool Herc and going to Kool Herc's parties. We would go to Chuck Center like every other week 'cause they had a dance contest and we used to love winning that dance contest."

NORIN RAD:"That's some precious knowledge!!!  Chuck Center was located in East Harlem, right?"

CLARK KENT: "Yes on 115th Street & 2nd Avenue."

NORIN RAD: "So you were basically breaking at Chuck Center BEFORE you met Kool Herc?"

CLARK KENT:"Before I even met Kool Herc! That's where The (N***er) Twins and I honed our skills and we would go down there with cats like Wallace Dee and Chip. These are guys from the era of like Trixie and them. We ran with a whole host of cats down there before we found out what Herc was doing what he was doing on the Westside (of the Bronx).One of the names I wanna mention though is Dancing Doug!!!Back then Chuck Center was one of the places where we encountered Dancing Doug! The premier place to do breaking became Kool Herc's parties but prior to Kool Herc's we used to go to (DJ) Smokey's parties, you know, the Twins and I. From Smokey's we caught on to Chuck Center and then from Chuck Center we caught on to what Herc was doing. And out of all the places we went, you know, we honed our skills! A lot of people have this misconception that we got our skills at Kool Herc's...by the time the Twins and I arrived at Kool Herc's we was already elite!!!! And that's why we quickly ran through whoever thought they was somebody at Kool Herc's at that time. It was only a matter of time before you got on our nerves and you kept running your mouth.. and we waited untiltil you were dancing in your little circle and I would jumped into your circle and make short work of you. That's how we got down at Kool Herc's parties. Like a lot of our stuff was never premeditated. I have heard when you interviewed other people and they said,"Well, guys come in and say I wanna battle you!"That wasn't my and the Twins experience! We took on people without  them knowing we was coming. By the time we jumped your circle if you thought you was somebody it's too late to run.... You're trapped now!"

NORIN RAD: "Damn! I have to gather myself!!! That's some heavy knowledge!! So there were Harlem B-Boys trying to bring it to you in 1973 at Chuck Center?"

CLARK KENT:"And we would eat'em like lunch."

NORIN RAD:"Now who or what exactly was The Nine Crew and what was their position in the culture of Hiphop?"

CLARK KENT:"They were pure gangsters...and their position in the culture was..I'll give you an example...if we had an issue with somebody at a party somewhere and we went back home and told people that we had an issue.. well that issue got taken care of fairly quickly! Basically they were straight thugs. These are dudes that didn't care about DJing...they wasn't trying to be no B-Boy. They protected the neighbourhood (The Nine), you know?! They were very serious about making sure people understood that about them. If you came to The Nine you better had your ducks in a row."

NORIN RAD:"Thank you! Could you briefly highlight how your battle against Rossy went down at The Silver Door and what it consequences were?"

CLARK KENT:"Well basically at that particular time Herc had seen my skills. He took a liking to me and I guess that was his way of trying to find out just how good I was and how willing I was to continue to take on all challengers. Like I said we always chose the toughest guys. You know, if there was five guys known for dancing at a particular place...we didn't care about nobody but who was on top! My thing was I always started from the top down. A lot of people start from the bottom up cause it's a lot easier...we always took the route from the top down. So if we beat the top dudes that told you right away dealing with you made no sense because you can't do nothing like the guy who just got dusted of. That's how our reputation grew quickly because we always went for the dudes who everybody else felt could not be beaten. And in terms of the Silver Door...Rossy was kinda like the last guy Herc had on his list to test my dancing skills against people from the Westside. And I don't know if a lot of people know this but Rossy and Trixie are brothers!"

NORIN RAD:"I know and they also had a sister called Kimmy, right?"

CLARK KENT:"Yes...they also had a sister Kim who I dusted off back in the days as well, okay? Cause there were some B-Girls back then, you know? Wasn't many of them but you know you had Kim, you had Janice....you had Duesy...there were quite a few girls that were very good..they just didn't have better skills than me.....And so Herc introduced this dance challenge to me and brought it to my neighbourhood. And I guess at something like that I can't turn that down, you know what I'm saying? You're coming in my neighbourhood with somebody talking bout they wanna challenge me. Come on now, I had to handle the bussiness!! All my people was there..I mean that's like coming in my living room saying, "I'm better than you!"and that's not gonna happen."

NORIN RAD:"So you dusted Rossy off and after that you were embraced by Kool Herc as a Herculoid and you also received free entry to all Kool Herc parties for life, right?"

CLARK KENT:"That is correct because the dance contest was for life time pass at Kool Herc Production. So the winner of the dance contest had from that point a free entry into any production  Herc gave and that's how me and the Twins became staples at Kool Herc's because we were the first."

NORIN RAD:"As I told you it is my intention to shed some light on the fallen and unsung heroes of this culture called Hiphop like Timmy Tim for instance. So my question is: What was your relationship with the late Timmy Tim?"

CLARK KENT:"Timmy Tim was my first mentor as a DJ he took me under his wings. He was down with Herc...the original crew that Herc rolled with by the time I got wind of what he was doing was Kool Herc, Coke La Rock, Timmy Tim and a brother named Mike Mike and Mike Mike became famous cause in the Hevalo he was sitting in a separate booth that controlled the lighting system in the Hevalo. So his claim to fame was, "Mike Mike with the lights." And that was one of the names Herc and Coke and Timmy always shouted out on the mic...you know, "Mike Mike with the lights!"To get back to Timmy...we were of similar age and when Herc brought me into the crew Timmy welcomed me with open arms, we became very good friends, he even dated on of my cousins  and it's unfortunate that he died but we had a brotherly relationship, you know?  Our relationship got very personal it was more than just being at the party. We would be at each other's house. I knew his parents he knew my parents, you know. Timmy Tim was the first DJ that was a mentor to Clark Kent."

NORIN RAD:"Did he also take you record shopping with him?"

CLARK KENT:"We've always done that together! As we would hang out on weekends, you know, every now and then we would stop at  record stores and we would both share our different likes for records. You know if he found  a new beat he would let me listen to it and say, "Clark, you think this will work at the club?"  and I would do the same thing vice versa. We kinda worked together, honed our ears for music in the early, in the very early beginnings of my DJ career."

NORIN RAD:"I think at this point it is important to stress the fact for those reading this interview that we are talking about very early key players in Hiphop DJing who had a profound influence on the whole artform including rocking parties, beat digging and things of that nature which are emulated by thousands all over the world nowadays. So since Timmy Tim showed you the ropes in DJing and rocked parties with you it has to be said that he had a major impact on HipHop, right?"

CLARK KENT:"Yes, correct and let me just say this...I wanna make sure you print this, Norin. Timmy Tim  had a sister named Dottie and if Dottie ever reads this interview I just wanna say, What's
 up?" to her and her surviving family and "Get at me on facebook!" I'm on facebook as Tyrone Smith."

NORIN RAD:"Now from what I have heard Rossy was like real tight with Timmy Tim both as a friend and as B-Boy partner so I would like to know whether there was kind of animosity between you and them at first since you defeated Rossy at the Silver Door?"

CLARK KENT:"No, because everybody respected the game, you know?! I even hung with Rossy after the dance contest. It wasn't like we had dislikes for each other we just was in a dance contest and the better man won that night I could have just as well lost and would have still been friendly with Rossy as well. When we got down back then..I just want you to really really make this clear to your folks in Germany....it was nothing but love back then. We all did this for the love of what we were doing and we were all together.Just because we had dance contests and challenges against each other it didn't mean that we didn't like each other. We would dance against each other and then be talking about it at Taft High School the next week laughing together about it."

NORIN RAD:"Could you name 5 other outstanding B-Boys or B-Girls from your era that are generally being overlooked today and should be mentioned?"

CLARK KENT:" I think that James Bond should be mentioned. I think that Duesy should be mentioned..who's a B-Girl. I think Kim should be mentioned (Trixie's younger sister) who was a major B-Girl. I think that Wallace Dee should be mentioned because he was the first one to come out with the hat action and I also like to point out Tony Fuji who is a B-Boy from the beginning but didn't stay long in the game because he had other aspirations to make money in areas that consumed too much time to go to parties. I didn't even know him back then personally but I know him very well today. Fuji mainly comes from (Grandmaster) Flash's area....he comes of from up there of Boston Road...you know The Dixie Club and Lovebug Starski and them used to be at the Burger King. Those were all from his area up the hill there.. Boston Road and Prospect. Yeah, I was down the hill on a 169th street & Washington Avenue...so we talkin bout 5 blocks off  169th street. But those are some dudes that really are cemented in this culture that nobody talks about."

NORIN RAD:"How did Kool Herc find out about your DJing skills?

CLARK KENT:"Herc had already known us from dancing. In 1973 is when a lot of things took place that solidified my position as a B-Boy. But then in 1974..late 1974...in the summer..a DJ that lived on  169th street named Dutchmaster he would bring his system out into the park behind 1285 Washington Avenue and play music. One particular day....Dutchmaster and the (Ni***er) Twins were kinda close and they was starting to build a relationship with the Twins getting down with Dutchmaster and one day he just brought his system out and I asked him, "Could I play?" and he allowed me to play. The good thing was Herc was in the park that day and Herc saw that I was playing the music he actually came up and he said, "Yo Kent, let me help you out!You know, I'll show you!" Like I wanted to drop the needle to the break of "Just Begun"... 'cause remember back then there was no headphones.. he would say, "Needle further down!"because he knew where the groove was in the record.. he could see that..so he kind coached me on and saw that I had potential for spinning music."


                                               
DJ Clark Kent gettin' busy on the Whels Of Steel


NORIN RAD:"Would you say that DJ Dutchmaster was a part of Hiphop?"

CLARK KENT:"It's kinda hard because I wouldn't say that Dutchmaster had a role in Hiphop but he was one of the many DJs throughout the city who had a system and who gave parties. Dutchmaster's parties basically were like for people from the Latin community and they used to do the Hustle. You know, it wasn't a B-Boy situation like at Kool Herc's. But Dutchmaster is definetely somebody who should be mentioned because without him there would be no Clark Kent down with Herc DJing."

NORIN RAD:"You briefly mentioned that you and the (Ni**er) Twins would also go to DJ Smokey's parties..how did a DJ Smokey party differ from a Kool DJ Herc party in terms of the atmosphere, the music being played etc."

CLARK KENT: "Okay, the difference was.... all the DJ Smokey parties that I attended was on Grant Avenue in an apartment building. They just had an apartment where Smokey set up his system in one room. It was like a sweat box!!! You know you walked up five flights and you went inside and  Lucky was at the door..that was his guy that did his security back then and he had Master Rob with him. It was a small venue that allowed people to come in and participate. The difference between Smokey's and Herc's was Herc's was a bigger arena. You gotta realize these guys were playing in an apartment and community room. Herc was the first to take it to a major club, you know?! Herc took it to the Hevalo from the Hevalo to the Twilight Zone..from the Twilight Zone to the Executive Playhouse..from the Executive Playhouse to the P.A.L. Herc opened the door and lead the way for everybody else. Everybody followed what Herc was doing.These venues that I'm telling you about  they were exclusive to Herc!!! Like (Grandmaster) Flash couldn't even think about playing at the Hevalo. They wouldn't even talk to Flash 'cause Flash was nobody back then. You follow what I'm saying?!!?Whenever I used to play my music by the time I stopped B-Boying and I started DJing and we are talking about parties now. When I would  lift  my head up to look at the crowd...just to give you an idea.... you know who I saw? Who I always noticed?  Melle Mel, Mr. Ness, Kid Creole, okay ? I would see Flash at my ropes!!! I'm a major part of the DNA of Hiphop because I take great pride in telling you I inspired the Furious 4 to be who they are. Melle Melle, Mr. Ness and Creole got their swag from Clark Kent!!! Later on they got with Cowboy and became The Furious 4, later on they got Rahiem and became The Furious 5. I inspired a whole generation of MCs and DJs because we were first!!!"

NORIN RAD:"How did that change of Breaking from being a dance done mainly on top to a dance that is basically centered on floormoves nowadays take place and what was your role in that process? Like I have heard that Trixie, Sasa and them did only very few floormoves if any at all and that you and the Twins were responsible for bringing the dance to the floor."


CLARK KENT:"They didn't have no floormoves! You see that's where we (Clark Kent & The Ni**er Twins) were known for changing the game 'cause first it was Trixie's era at Kool Herc's and then later Sasa came along and knocked him out the pocket  cause Sasa took the crown from him  so to speak. Then we came along! And you gotta remember Sasa can dance! That's my man at the end of the day I don't care what nobody says. But he was a stand up dancer. He did a lot of robots and he had alot of nice moves but when we came along we had floor moves. We would work out what we called the backdrop where we can drop down put your hands behind your back bend your knees get your hands hit the floor and you can spring up and down. Like I told you Sa was good in and out but if me and Sasa had ever got down I can honestly tell you today the floor moves would have taken him out!"

NORIN RAD: "But why did that battle between you and Sasa for the crown of the number one  B-Boy never take place back then?"

CLARK KENT: "Well, because you gotta remember Sasa was a little older than me. Remember we were young kids at this time. You know we're only 14,15 years old  but Sasa was a little older so he understood the magnitude, he understood the draw that a B-Boy showdown would bring to a Kool Herc production and he pulled me to the side  and he said,"Yo we should get paid for this!" and I respected him for that and we took that to Herc and we told Herc, "We would have no problem doing it but why not cut us in on some of that cash?" And Herc never put up no cash and so it never really happened because Sasa was serious about getting paid for a showdown of that magnitude. Now me myself as a young kid I could have done it for free! I would have done it just for the fame and the notoriety! And the way that even came about was, you know, after  the Twins and I had dusted off  everybody else there was only one left...and to be totally honest with you...here I come along  we're at a party and Herc is talking on the mic,"Number one B-Boy Sasa!!!!! Number two Clark Kent!!!" After a while you wanna get a taste of what it is like to hear Herc say,"Clark Kent is number one!" One night we was at the Hevalo and Sasa got in the circle and danced...'cause you gotta remember the top guys didn't dance every week.We pick and choose when we wanna dance!  Some people were fortunate enough to be there to see us dance and those who wasn't there made sure that they came around so that if we chose to dance next time they were there to see it.  We were the cream of the crop! It wasn't like you were guaranteed to see us just because you came to Kool Herc's yeah you would see us but we wouldn't dance every time we went there. You know to see me dance was like an event! You had to prepare for that! That's something that doesn't happen often so when it does happen it has to be a top flight performance, it has to be a show! Whenever I danced somewhere people talked about that until the next time I danced somewhere! When Sasa danced somewhere people talked about that til the next time he danced somewhere 'cause we was the cream of the crop!!! So to answer your question..Sasa was dancing at the Hevalo in a circle and I jumped his circle and when I jumped into that circle I did a floormove on him and the crowd went nuts because no one had seen anyone challenging Sasa and put something on him that worked. When I got up and started  admiring my work as I came up out of my move and I backed out of the circle Sa did a move to me. He did  some kind of Karate robot and did some Judo chops to me. So yeah it was like one for one. I did a move on him, he did a move on me. That let Sasa know, "You're next! I'm coming to get you!" That's when Herc started gassing up this major showdown between the number one and the number two B-Boy and that's when later that week Sasa pulled me to the side..'cause we all went to Taft High School even though we hung out at the parties we would see each other during the week at school...and me and Sa was talking and Sa told me, "We should get paid for that because we're bringing Herc an audience that he normally wouldn't have."Cause can you imagine that if Herc announced that there would be a dance contest between me and Sasa....if Herc was used to see 500 people that particular night he is gonna see 1000 people. So why shouldn't we be cut in on some of that? And I respect Sasa to this day for that!"

NORIN RAD:"So is it legitimate to say that the B-Boys were also an extremely important factor in the process of building this Hiphop culture since they drew large crowds to the parties of Kool Herc and other DJs?"

CLARK KENT:"That was the reason why  most people came to Herc's because he had the top of the line B-Boys and I want to be real clear on this because I hear a lot of people out here that call themselves A1 B-Boys. I'm sure you heard that term before...The title A1 B-Boy is a title that Kool Herc gave to the elite B-Boys that attended Kool Herc's parties. So anybody who claims to be a A1 B-Boy and they wasn't at Kool Herc's they're lying to you!!! Of course people gonna copy that or try to replicate that in their neighbourhood but whatever they did in their neighbourhood didn't mean anything to us back then because if you didn't do it at Kool Herc's as far as I'm concerned you wasn't good enough."

NORIN RAD:"So the title A1 B-Boy was an accolade, right? Like a warrior who was knighted by a king..."

CLARK KENT:"It was an accolade...that's right! I don't mean this negatively, Norin. This is just the truth...There were a lot of pockets of B-Boying back then in different neighbourhoods but in my opinion  if you was good come to Herc's and show us how good you are because everybody who came to Herc's  who thought they was good we showed them through burning them and jumping their circle,"You need to go home and practice!"

NORIN RAD:"May I ask why you didn't mention Eldorado Mike as an A1 B-Boy?"

CLARK KENT:" I'mma give you a piece of gold here, Norin. Eldorado Mike WAS NOT A B-BOY. Eldorado Mike was known for dancing the hustle with girls just like Chip. The hustle dance.. that was another portion of the Kool Herc parties. See that's another misconception that people have is that they think that  Kool Herc parties  and all Hiphop parties was all B-Boys.IT WAS NOT!!!  There was a portion of the party that people just came in, paid their money and danced. Then there was a portion of the party.. like we were elite B-Boys... Eldorado Mike.. guys like Chip they were elite hustlers...so they would do the Hustle with girls, you see what I'm saying?! So whenever I hear somebody mention Eldorado Mike as a B-Boy I know that person is full of shit."






                                          






  







  

Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2017

INTERVIEW WITH THE ORIGINAL B-BOY TRIXIE


                                     INTERVIEW WITH THE ORIGINAL B-BOY TRIXIE



NORIN RAD:"Where did you  live  at when you first started going to  Kool Herc's parties?"

TRIXIE: "I lived at 57 West 175th Street. That's Macombs, Nelson, University, all that it is in that area. Kool Herc lived in the Valley and we lived up on top."

NORIN RAD:"And that's the West Side Of The Bronx?"

TRIXIE:" Yes, that's the Westside."

NORIN RAD: "Do you recall what made you pick up that name "Trixie"?

TRIXIE: " Coke La Rock gave me "Trixie" 'cause I, you know, did tricks! Coke La Rock gave me that name and it just stuck. Everybody started calling me Trixie. That was it! That was my name! Wherever I went at they called me Trixie."

NORIN RAD: "Do you remember where and when he gave you that name?"

TRIXIE: "Very early at a Kool Herc party."

NORIN RAD: "So you were there at his first parties in that recreation room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue?"

TRIXIE:"Yes, we were the ones that started Kool Herc!"

NORIN RAD:"So I guess you also knew Herc's CINDY?"

TRIXIE:"I know Cindy, I know his mother, his father, I know his fam!  But I was there on the Westside of the Bronx before all of them. We all grew up together.. me and Herc met when we were teenagers and most of us were graduating going to high school. We played basketball together all the time, we did a lot of things together. We went to the same schools! We went from house party to houseparty....stuff like that! One day Herc invited us to his parties and we was all thinking about it..either we wasn't gonna go or we was gonna go because it is cold down the valley. The valley was Sedgewick Ave..Sedgewick is coooooold at the winter time and you gotta go down these stairs and all this junk. Man!!!  But.... winter started and we'd go to his party and it was 50 cent...yeah, it was 50 cent."

NORIN RAD: "When did you start breaking and who inspired you to start breaking?"

TRIXIE: "I'm gonna say it like this....Did nobody inspire me to start breaking 'cause I already knew how to dance. I started breakdancing in 1971, then 72,73...yeah, and I stopped dancing in 1974/75. When we did go to Herc's parties that's when I took it to another level. All my friends could tell you I already knew how to dance so it wasn't like I didn't know how to dance. Nobody did..I put it to you like this. My Mother was a dancer so I gotta say my mother kind of inspired me to dance."

NORIN RAD: "Is it true that breaking at that time was done mainly on top?"

TRIXIE:"Yeah,you would get into the move of it, you know?! Then once you see an opening then you come down to the ground and do your rolls, your spins, all of that....but you see there is a timing for that. A lot of people the way they are breaking right now all they do is the floormoves, they are not actually dancing. No! We didn't do it like that.You danced first then you break ..."Oh Boy, you now break Boy!" Then you come back up and you dance again.It was a dance. That's what it was. It was dance breaking."

Norin Rad:"And back then B-Boys used to dance to the whole song, right? Not just the break part?"

TRIXIE: "Yeah, yeah, yeah!!! From beginning to end! Whoever gets tired or whatever (against you)...you're the winner. Back in my time I could dance a whole album. A whole album by myself!"

NORIN RAD:"Over here many B-Boys have this misconception that back then it was all about breakbeats all night BUT Kool Herc did not only play beats for the B-Boys to get down to but also Hustle joints and slow joints, right?"

TRIXIE:" Yeah we used to do slow dancing.Listen, Breakdancing started a lot of stuff. The Hustle is a Latin dance but we turned it into a Soul Dance. To mingle with the other half, the girls, we had to dance slow. But if you were breakdancing she was not gonna dance with you. Most girls couldn't breakdance. So you had to mix it all up! For me as a dancer I had to do all of those. Not just breakdancing I had to dance to every type of song..so I could get a date. You had to know how to mingle, how to talk to a girl, how to do the hustle.... or you could dance regular 'cause we used to do dance regular, too. So if  you danced regular you could make her smile and move her body. All that plays into breakdancing."

NORIN RAD:"Thank you very much!! There is another question directly attached to this one. I heard Coke La Rock saying that he was also playing kool joints. What was he referring to?"

TRIXIE:"Everybody is dancing, everybody is having a good time...you gotta slow it down once in while. Kool joints that's how you slow it down where everybody can hold on to each other, talk to a girl in her ear.  You know real smooth, real ooooh....So all of that played into breakdancing. All that stuff that we did!!! We didn't dance to rap music. It wasn't NO RAPPERS when we were coming up. You gotta have style, you gotta have class.....and we dressed up!"

NORIN RAD:"Did Kool Herc use special lights at his parties? Like you once told me that at those early house parties they would put on red light when slow joints were played?"

TRIXIE:"He put on a strobe light when he went to the Hevalo and those other places. All that stuff came later 'cause in the beginning he didn't really have no space to put it. For slow jams he just cut the light off.You ain't got no green light, you ain't got no red light or any of those colors. He just cut the light off. Everybody just doing their doing cause nobody could see nobody in the dark."

NORIN RAD:"That must have been really intense slow dancing with the girl that you like in the dark." 

TRIXIE:" Because guys are shy. Most Guys are afraid to talk to a girl. Girls are not shy. Most girls are faster than men. If you got a little little heart  you go up there and grab her by the hand and say, "Come on!" She might say, "No!" You say, "Alright" and move on to the next one. But yeah, it was intense for everybody even for me."

NORIN RAD: "What about drinks? Did they serve Kool Aid lemonade?"

TRIXIE: "Kool Aid??? Did nobody drink no Kool Aid at no party. You know what we drank? Colt 45!!!!! Old English 800. And to be honest with you we smoked a lot of weed. And you had your Kool smokers and your Newport smokers cause Kool was like the biggest cigarette brand back then."



Bildergebnis für vintagecolt 45
Colt 45


 
Norin Rad: "Could you describe how battles were initiated at those early Kool Herc's parties at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue or Cedar Park? How would a battle start? Was it a non-verbal thing like someone would go in after you? Or would they come up to you and challenge you verbally? "

Trixie: "I put it to you like this. A dude would come to me and say, "Yo Trixie! I wanna battle you!" Then everybody would say, "Uuuuuh!!!" So I would be like, "You really wanna do that?" Then he would say, "Yeah!" So then they would make a circle..They would make the circle big enough so that we could dance. You gotta dance first! Next thing you know..I done lost my mind (chuckles)!!!! I  just started dancing and I forget about everybody and I just do my thing, man!!!! I wish you could have been there back in those days..just see for yourself....because I was REALLY dancing !!!! So imagine everybody makin a circle and watching me and watching the other guy dance! And girls!!!!! A lotta Girls is watching me DANCE too now..not just the guys...but the girls is there too!! So that would mean more guys would come at me...you know the guys would get jealous and wanna dance!"


Norin Rad:"Okay, and how was the winner of that battle determined? Was it like somebody said, "He's the winner right there!" or was it rather like you burnt your opponent so bad that he already knew that he was done?"

TRIXIE: "Yeah, like that!! Just like that (laughs)!!  He just knew he got served! Cause I didn't play.. I did not play. When I got on the floor and you challenged me..I did not play!  I took dancing..I took that very, very serious. I mean I had fun but I took it  serious. I felt like...sheeesh...once I got one the floor I felt like nobody could stop me from dancing...that's how I felt. You know...next thing you know I take your head of!"

NORIN RAD: "What effect did the music have on you at those parties back then?"

TRIXIE:"You mean the beat?"

NORIN RAD:"Yes, the beat.."

TRIXIE: "The beat was like a wire into my body.I would just feel the beat of the music and I just made up a dance. Boom! Autonatically, I was all in it. I make up a dance..  Next week everybody is doing my dance! Then I do another style and everybody would do that dance.  I was known as the guy that made up dance styles, too. I was the guy that started the party. As soon as I walked in everybody was happy, "Trixie here!" I'd be like, "God damn, ain't nobody dancing? Alright, let me do my thang!" and I started dancing and that's it!!  Next thing you know the party is on! And I'd find one guy..maybe one guy from somewhere else..he would come and say, "I wanna challenge you!" Next thing you know the battle is on. Coke would say, "Trixie!!!!!!" And that would be it, man!!! They'd say, "Trixie!" and put on the music. It's on!"

NORIN RAD: "So Coke La Rock would shout you out on the mic, right? Getting the battle started?"

TRIXIE:"Yeah, yeah, yeah (excited)!! He'd say, "Trixie!!!" You know?!! "What you wanna do?!!!!" And there would be some times nobody would wanna dance against me because I done beat mostly everybody for so long.. You had to be really good to get on the floor with me at that time."  

Norin Rad: "So is it fair to say that during the very first era of Kool DJ Herc's parties...from 1973 to 1974...nobody could touch you, right?"  

Trixie:"Could nobody touch me. I'm not bragging. There's another story behind that, too. I don't think anybody could touch me. I be honest. That's the way I felt 'cause guys would practise their moves and then they would think they could do them on me. I'm telling you the truth...I never ever ever ever practised my moves! You know how the kids are practising their moves now? I never did that..never..ever. It just came natural!"

NORIN RAD:"You just made up your moves spontaneously reacting to the music, right?"

TRIXIE:"Straight to the music, the beat....the dance....everything I just made up."

NORIN RAD:"How was biting another person's moves looked upon? Did that bother you?"

TRIXIE: "You had a lot of people who were trying your moves, you know? It ain't bad. All it would do was make me change my moves. So if you think you got my move pad down I would come up with something totally different. You gotta come up with something different and that's why they called me Trixie! I didn't do the same moves over and over again. Cause you see me doing one move and the next week I come and you think I do the same move again?? It didn't work like that cause then it gets corny. You gotta come up with something new everytime! Dancing is so differently...it's like a singer. You can't have the same song over and over again. You gotta come up with another hit!"

NORIN RAD:"So you weren't offended when you saw somebody copying your style?"

TRIXIE:"That was kool, man! I loved it...it made me feel good cause I can say,"You got MY move." I didn't get upset or nothing, I loved it. That means I started a trend...that means everybody is dancing like me. Matter of fact cats are still doing my moves today." 

NORIN RAD:"What were some of the moves that you were famous for back then?"

TRIXIE:"The Trixie Shake!!!! If I shake...it was over...my whole body vibrated.From my legs.. to my chest to my head to my hair..cause I had an afro..I wore an afro at that time. So my body would be like....uuuh...Could nobody copy that!"

NORIN RAD: "Nowadays you got people calling themselves B-Boys who totally disregard the music but back then in your era the music was the key, right? You had to dance to the beat, right?"

TRIXIE: " You had to dance to the beat! Yes!!! You couldn't be offbeat cause your moves would look whack. I always danced TO THE BEAT even now when I dance I dance to the beat.They're breaking now but they are not on the beat. It looks fine, it looks cute but I don't look right to me."

NORIN RAD:"Yeah, how can you say that you are dancing when you're not feeling the music and your moves don't match the beat?"

TRIXIE:"Right! That's not dancing! Nah! You dance to the music to make it like...It's like a flow....It's like a bird flying in the air. It's like diving of the board landing in the water correct..It's like playing basketball...Dr. J doin'a dunk but he is like a swan going to the basket. I mean it's all a flow. It's like Chi, you know in martial arts, it's like Chi. You gotta feel it and once you feel it....aaaah man, aaah man I wish I could have met you years ago just to show you what that means. It should be in your heart and your ear. You got to let your ears send you the music. You gotta hear the music.  If you don't hear the music you're not gonna feel it. Mind you I play congas, too so I always know the beat."

 NORIN RAD: "When did you start playing congas?"

TRIXIE:"Yeah, I started when I was 10 years old. Did you star at an early age?"

NORIN RAD:"So you always had that feeling for the rhythm, right?"

TRIXIE:"Now you understand. Rhythm, the beat..everything falls in place." 

NORIN RAD: "Which songs would you get you down to when you were at Kool Herc's parties?"

TRIXIE: "James Brown! The Ohio Players, Earth, Wind & Fire..oh man, I could dance to all of the songs he played but really James Brown! If you danced against me and it was a contest....'cause I used to do contests, too. That's how you make a few dollars, or win a prize or get a trophy or whatever. James Brown!!!! Sheesh...It was on!!! Put James Brown on and I could dance to a whole album. Sex Machine, Give It Up or Turn It Lose..I could dance to all of his songs, all of his fast songs. But I gotta say in my mind I was not a B-Boy at that time! I WAS NOT a B-Boy when I was breakdancing. Kool Herc did come up with that after I had stopped dancing.So I wasn't no B-Boy I was just Trixie. All the other guys he made them, you know, B-Boys and Herculoids. I wasn't around when he did that though. Nah, I wasn't with that. We gonna straighten that out right now! But now B-Boy that's what it is."

NORIN RAD: "Ok just so that I understand you properly...the term of a B-Boy was something that Kool Herc came up with but you were alreay breaking before that and did not consider yourself to be a B-Boy?"

TRIXIE:"Right! No, I was just Trixie. They didn't call me Trixie the B-Boy. It was Trixie, Trixie, Trixie!! That's what I want everybody to understand."

NORIN RAD:"How would you dress and how important was it back then to dress fly?"

TRIXIE:"You had to be fly! You had to dress up.  We were doing it even before we went to Kool Herc's parties. We always knew how to dress fly. We wore Playboys...Playboys is before British Walkers...so we wore Playboys, we wore leather suits, we wore tailor made pants, Italian knits, we wore leather fronts, gators... stuff like that...If you felt like it you could wear sneakers, Lees, nice sweaters, jewelry you know stuff like that...Guys had to dress up, you couldn't go there stinking."

NORIN RAD:"Which cologne was popular among you back then?"

TRIXIE: "Champagne!!! Champagne was the top cologne at that time. All the guys wore Champagne."
                                       
Champagne Cologne (SIr Norin Rad's Stash)
               


                                                  END OF PART ONE

                                      Interview with the Original Style Writer Riff 170                                               ...