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BOTY (Battle of the Year)

The Battle of the Year is a widely-renowned international b-boying competition. There is no other tournament that rivals BOTY in size or scope, earning it the title of the “World Cup of B-Boying”. It has grown remarkably since it’s inception in 1990. B-boys from every continent flock to the competition every year, hoping to show off their skills and learn some new ones along the way. Who can compete? BOTY is truly an international competition in that b-boys come from all over the world to compete. Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas are all represented. Diversity is key to hip hop culture, and breaking is no exception. For over two decades, Battle of the Year was a crew competition;...

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Graffiti in New York City

New York City graffiti is arguably the most recognizable street art in the world. From subway trains to rooftops to buildings, graffiti writers have always found a vast array of canvases to work on. Train Bombing The New York City subway is widely revered as the birthplace of modern graffiti. It was there that the first graffiti writers knew that their art would be seen by hundreds of commuters every single day. What better way to get high exposure without the art gallery costs? The only cost was if you were caught, and writers quickly became experts at slipping past authorities. The 80’s in NYC would be characterized by bubble-lettered tags, cartoon characters, and scenery painting every subway train. Rooftop...

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History of Graffiti

What is graffiti and where does it come from? Graffiti can be seen in all forms, from subway trains to t-shirts. The style and provocative themes have a history rooted in self-expression and social resistance. In the seventies, DJ Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture: MCing (oral), DJing (aural), b-boying (physical), and finally, graffiti art (visual). The four forms of expression have a history that is deeply intertwined; though graffiti is arguably the most well-recognized and pervasive in popular culture. Graffiti has been around since ancient Rome, but the art form as we know it now came into the social consciousness in the late 1960s. Taki 183 was a messenger who travelled all throughout New York City for work. He would...

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How to Look Good in Your Underwear After the Holiday

The busyness of the holidays is over and many of us are just noticing that we’ve packed on a couple of spare pounds. Our stockings aren’t the only things that got stuffed this season. If your underwear is fitting just a touch too tightly, that’s a good sign that it’s time to reverse those holiday habits. Here are a couple of healthy tips to get your birthday suit back to its finest form: Eat healthy, don’t deny. Fad diets are just that, fads. Skip the complex games and focus on fuelling your body. Instead of cutting out certain foods, limit them. Portion control is a realistic and effective way to shed those extra pounds without causing a yo-yo effect. Did...

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A Brief History of B-Boy

When we think B-boy, we generally think about headspins and insane power moves. But B-boying has a very diverse history influenced by underground culture.   The B is for Break A break is a section of a song that “breaks” away from the musical form, usually resulting in hard driving percussive rhythms. This was the section that dancers would pull out their most impressive steps and moves. Traditionally, breaks were fairly short, so DJs adjusted. Kool DJ Herc is most well known for extending these breaks by using two turntables and going back and forth with two copies of the same song, allowing the dancers a longer “break-down.” This gave the perfect opportunity for a dance-off known as Breaking Battles....

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