Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Schloss's "B-boy Culture" Critical Review

Schloss opens up his B-boy culture article by giving the reader a little background to the activity. He lets us know the roots of B-boying, saying that the dance developed in New York City in the early 1970s, and that it's musical roots are based in rock and funk songs.  He also defines how battles take place in areas such as gymnasiums, clubs, or when it's nice out, basketball courts; anything that has a flat ground.  Battles also have a pretty normal competition layout, with a pre-determined number of rounds, where one competitor is eliminated each round, and eventually a winner is declared.

After giving some history to B-boying, Schloss discussed the canon of it, and the high importance of the canon.  B-boying's canon consists of old school songs such as "Apache," "Just Begun,"and "The Mexican," all songs that to what Schloss discovered, almost every B-boy and B-girl knows. The canon serves as important gateway between the past and the present.  It keeps people in touch with the roots of the activity, and by following these songs, and knowing them by heart, it gives a great deal of respect for the originators of the activity.  Since these are songs that are often played a great deal, knowing them is in every B-boy and B-girl's best interest because when they come on, it can be the perfect time to show off your best moves. This canon also serves as a bridge between the DJ and the breakers.  By having these songs in their repertoire, DJs can bust them out, and let people start breaking, and from this they can gain more respect in the B-boy world.  The canon also serves to create a sense of community. Since virtual all B-boys know, or should know the canon, it's something that everyone who participates in the culture shares.  This shared sense of what the best songs to break to creates the community of B-boying.  The canon brings the B-boy culture together and enables it to live on throughout the decades after its creation.

Question: If it weren't for the B-boy canon, would there still be able to be the shared sense of a community between the culture's participants?

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