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Wywiad : King Uprock #2 (Dynasty Rockers)

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Dołączył: 04 Lis 2009
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PostWysłany: Pią 11:30, 06 Lis 2009    Temat postu: Wywiad : King Uprock #2 (Dynasty Rockers)

King Rock Interview-Dynasty Rockers


NORIN RAD: Could you just shortly introduce yourself: what's your name, since when you are doing uprocking, your background, the name of the crew and what are your achievements in uprocking - what you did so far - over the years and all dat!?

KING UPROCK: Well, my name is King Uprock, back in the days I used to go as R.C., as my initial, Ralph Casanova. Uprock started in the sixties by a man called Rubberband and Apache and they were gangsters and after the years came and the Disco was coming in, Apache wanted to change the style of Gang-Uprocking into crews and "Dynasty Rockers" are the first crew that came out with the word 'rockers' on the back of the shirt and that was in 1973 and then „Touch of Rock" came out, „Nasty Rockers", „Mysterious Rockers", „Basic Rockers", „Rock with Class"; it was so many crews after that. In 1980 we had a number one Uprock competition: all the guys from Brooklyn was trying to uprock for number one. I won the competition and all the old guys blessed me and told me I was the new king on the block and from there on I called myself "King Uprock" and tried to support Uprocking. And then in 1979 I was still b-boying and I was down with „Dynamic Rockers" and I was down with „Incredible Breakers". And then I was breaking for a while with Kid Freeze who really invented all the powermoves and all dat and we just did shows with „Dynamic [Rockers]" and then after a while I just stood underground working with kids, trying to keep em off the streets and I give free classes to everybody who comes to my class.

Rocking (Uprocking)

NORIN RAD: Alright, in Europe it's like, the people, they don't really know that Uprocking is a dance for itself, like B-Boying is a dance for itself, it's the same thing with Uprocking as I read. And I just want you to tell us a little bit about the background of Uprocking. I heard there's little bit of Salsa in it, can you tell us just, where did it take place, to what kind of music it was performed to, and which were like the dopest crews back in the days and you said in the sixties, could you just be a little more precised, tell us a little about of the dance and how it evolved!

KING UPROCK: Well, when "Rubberband" used to be a Salsa dancer and he used to go to parties he used to be such a good Salse dancer that all the girls used to like him just because he was a great dancer. And Apache was a good friend of his, and he was more the comedian, he would always try to grab your head and throw it to the floor like he would burn it and stuff like that. And then them two guys got together and the Uprocking started coming more in and went to the parks and people were playing the conga drums he would do little stuff like dance and then take your hat and throw it, then shoot it [King Uprock imitates the soung of a gun being shot], and from there eveybody started doing it, it was like a fever. And after a while people started getting involved in it.

NORIN RAD: In which particular area?

KING UPROCK: More like '69 to '72 in Brooklyn - that's in Bushwick. They used to have a club called the "Starship Enterprise" in Manhattan and all the oldschool guys used to got there for dance competition and Rubberband used to win all the dance competitions. And a lot of people were jealous for him, because he was so good; they killed him, because they didn't want him to win anymore competitions. A lot of oldschool guys like Danny Boy and Manny from Dynasty, the older brother, he knew Rubberand and he wanted to keep it alive. So he started teaching Danny Boy and Manny and Carlos and that's when we became the Dynasty Rockers. And a lot of people like (?) from Dynamic Spinners they knew Rubberband and I'm telling you this guy was so great, you know, watching him, I mean as a kid I remember seeing him and my older brother knew him ad he's talked around Bushwick all over. The Bronx and Queens, everybody knew him because he was always trying to be a peacemaker and everybody knew he was a great dancer and everyboy I guess got into the Uprocking.

NORIN RAD: So it started in Brooklyn and there where DJ-crews, too, and they used to spin the music?

KING UPROCK: Yeah, we had Disco Eddie Speed, he was a DJ, Grandmaster Flowers from Brooklyn, we had Sounds of Dynasty ?, but we had our own DJ group. Touch of Rock, they were an Uprock group, but their DJ name was Majestic Disco Sounds. And then you had Electrifying Sounds, Disco Stompers, Divine Sounds, Disco Twins (they were from Queens) and there was more DJ groups coming out. I got into Djing when I was a little kid, because Amp (?) from Electrifying Sounds used to teach me how to DJ. I called myself 'Master of the Turntable', that was my DJ-name. When I was a B-Boy, I called myself 'Mr. Nice' and when I was Uprocking it was 'King Uprock'.

NORIN RAD: Could you just tell us how an Uprock-battle goes down: the procedure and all that?

KING UPROCK: Back then with the gangs there used to be one guy like a B-Boy, one goes down, the next one goes down. But when the crews started coming out, there was so many people, they used to line us up on one line with the other people on the opposite side and we used to call that the 'Apache Line'. And we should battle against each other and then Rubber[band] was judging: he would tap you on the shoulder and tell you to get off the floor. Until the last guy on the floor hat to go on with the last guy. When you Uprock you dance the whole record, you don't dance to a little bit, you dance the whole record. Sometimes we would dance ten records, straight, like 'Get Ready' which is 21 minutes long. So, your dancing 21 minutes, that's one record. And then the next record may be fifteen minutes long. So, you're talking about dancing an hour/ an hour and a half straight without stopping. At the long run people who get tired fast, will lose at the end. So you had to know how to save energy, make shure that you don't throw all your moves, that you don't repeat 'em.

NORIN RAD: What are the elements of Uprocking?

KING UPROCK: When you're dancing to a record, let it have a break-part, that's when you're freestyling. And then when the break-part comes in, that's when you and your partner try to burn each other, see who get the best burns. If you're uprocking against me, you might catch me at one burn, but then when I come back and I get you with another burn, I top your burn, you gotta top mine. So, that's how it goes. It doesn't mean that you never get a burn offa me; you might burn me or catch me with a move, but if I catch you with a better move than that you gotta come up with a better move than that and catch me - and that's how you determine who's the winner. But, you gotta learn how to dance. It's hard to talk about it, when you see it, you understand; when you come to classes, you get to understand, when to dance and when to really retaliate against your partner or your opponent and burn them.

NORIN RAD: How would you define a fresh Uprocker? What makes an Uprocker really good?

KING UPROCK: Usually when I see guys trying to Uprock right now, I try to see what style [...] Style is important in any dance. You can learn steps, but if you don't have style, you look played, always. That's what I look for. First I look for style, how they dance to the beat, how they're dancing to te record. Sometimes we don't dance to the music; we dance to the words. That's another thing. You know, when it goes 'dry my eyes', we imitate the song with our dancing. Sometimes when a person says 'aaah', then I migt stab you like you're sreaming. I'm doing the acting of the song.

NORIN RAD: So, you really study the structure of the song?

KING UPROCK: Yeah, you really have to know the song from back to forward. You gotta know it as if you wrote the song. That's how Uprock is; they know every little sound. It could be a little sound with the beat and go 'dooom', like a space ship and then you create a burn to that noise. So, it's a lot of work. I tried to help a lot of guys and teach em Uprocking but they tell me 'this is a lot of work', and they just wanna be impress people; but it's like Locking: Locking is another dance and Boogaloo is another dance; if you don't have flavor, and if you don't really put work into it, you're not gonna be able to become good dancers.

Hip-Hop culture

NORIN RAD: Now I'm gonna ask you some question about Hip-Hop in general. Did you ever get involved with other elemets of Hip-Hop culture like writing or anything like that?

KING UPROCK: I used to tag up on walls. I used to write Presto, Caz and Lee 88. I used to tag like four different names. I'm mostly a DJ and a dancer, that's what I really worked on. I used to try the Mcing a little bit and I was pretty good, but what fits me more is Djing, because I play drums - I've been playing drums for almost 35 years, I was playing since I was a little kid - and I played piano. I'm (?) and I know how to play with the beats. That's why I got rhythm in me. Plus my mother, she was a Salsa dancer, told me a lot of Salsa moves. I took those moves and changed it into Uprocking. I watched Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, the Nicholas Brothers, took whatever they did and created a new move (?).

NORIN RAD: Do you think it is important for somebody who gets in touch with Hip-Hop culture to know the history of the culture?

KING UPROCK: It's important for the person who wants to be [in] a Hip-Hop culture and the element they wanna be in. And it's good, because, when you learn what the person was doing from before and the person that is doing no more they can pick up and take it to another level. The same thing with B-boying and Locking. There's no certain rule that you have to do certain things (?) . If you can do everything that a oldschool brother did and you can change it and you come back with new moves - you're now taking it to the next level. And I think oldschool brothers have to start respecting the new generation that's coming out and trying to do their best instead of dissing them and telling them that they're wack, because when we die and the new generation starts taking over and the next geneeation after them is gonna look up to them as oldschool because they never got to meet us. So, by you being here I feel happy because I get a chance to explain to you. Because I can't tell people 'Oh, you suck. You don't know how to uprock. Why you doing this? Why you doing that wrong?'. And if I never get a chance to show them ... at least if [I] could tell somebody to show them a little bit, I think that's better than anything.

Zulu Nation

NORIN RAD: We're here at a Zulu-Nation party and how do you feel about the Zulu Nation? Are you a member of Zulu Nation?

KING UPROCK: I'm not a Zulu member, I'm a Zulu supporter. I support all events. There's a lot of guys who don't like me in events, because there's a politic game. They don't want me to get known the way I should be known. They don't want me to get recognised the way I should be recognised. I don't worry about that, becuase when I teach my kids in Brooklyn, where I teach at - and I teach for free. You know, I teach B-boying, Popping, Locking and Uprocking - I'm glad to see, I got a whole bunch of kids not doing drugs, not in jail, still alive, they go to school and they're doing the right thing. You know, a lot of these guys, they make a living out of this. I don't make a living, I have a job. I believe in education, that's the first thing and I give God my most praise, because without I wouldn't be able to rock. I think if anybody's gonna be the king of Uprocking, it's gonna be Jesus Christ. He's the number one Upocker, because he gave me the chance to do this and to be around people like you and anybody else so I can give knowledge. I mean, I'm just King Uprock an earth, because I'm here with you guys, but I give my King Uprock to Jesus because he gives everyday another day to live. That's how I feel. Everybody that's doing a positive thing I support. If you're not doing a positive thing, I don't really support it, because I don't wanna be part of something that's not really a positive thing to kids or to anybody. Especially I always defend the newer generation, because a lot of oldschool guys are always dissing the new generation, and especially from other countries. We're all one person wether we're different nationalities, we're still one people, because we bleed the same type of blood - red. When you bleed green, then something is different. But we're all human beings and I think we should all work for each other and respect each other. If there's a battle, we battle and that's it. And that's alright, cause that's part of the game. But we should never disrespect other people from other countries. I hate when oldschool guys from New York diss everybody else, because they're not from a part of New York. I kind of feel real bad and I defend 'em everytime.

Rocking (Uprocking) 2

NORIN RAD: Let's talk a litle bit more about the history of Uprocking. What kind of clothes did you wear back then and could you [describe] the atmosphere on such a jam? How it was going down/ how it started?

KING UPROCK: Back then we used to have these pants called French Cuts (?), they were kinda like (?) bottoms. And then we had shirts with letters on it or we used to have a chino jacket with the letters on the back. Touch of Rock used to have a designer who designed their own type of suits. Everybody sees me uprocking, battling, whatever; but nobody has seen Uprockers do Routines. That's another part of Uprocking, when two guys doing a Routine it's awesome. It's like seeing a show. The clothing, we wear Kangaroos (?) sneakers, Pumas, Adidas, British Walkers, 69ers (?), Pro Keds, Pro (?); whatever was available at that time that's what we were wearing. [When] we used to go to a club we had to dress up. We used to dress up with nice shoes, nice pants. An Uprocker doesn't get dirty cause he's more on top, he never really hit the floor.

Another thing is the beginning of Uprocking: a Uprocker's dance on the top was called 'Rock'. They just called 'yo, you going to the Rock dance? You wanna Rock?'. They used to say to other guys 'I burn you!'. Those were the most definitions of the dance. They used to call it Uprock later because when we used to throw Uprock competitions and we used to have Rock contests there was the other side of Queens that's next to Bushwick, Ridgewood, and they had Heavy Metal Heads and they thought they were gonna watch a Hevy Metal Group. And when they came we was like 'no, this is a Disco thing and we're Uprockers!'. They didn't know the concept because they saw 'Rock'. So we started calling it 'Uprock' dance and that's how we kept it going and eventually it became 'Uprocking'. People from other borougs used to come to Brooklyn and watch us and go 'Yo, Brooklyn Rockers, them niggas are bad'. That's why people say Brooklyn Rock, but it's really called 'Rock'. 'You wanna Rock, you wanna Burn' was the terminology of that time of the dance.

NORIN RAD: It's definitely an own dance form, right?

KING UPROCK: It's an own dance form and it's a mixture of a lotta types of dances, Salsa, Hustle... . Whatever the song, Funk and Soul, back then that's what people used to dance to. (?) also. So it's like a big pie with a lotta ingredients that made that dance.


NORIN RAD: Could you tell us three of your favorite songs that you really love to get down to!?

I don't know if they gonna know this type of thing, but „Listen to Me" by Baby Huey is one of my favorites, „Get Ready" by Rare Earth is one of my other favorites, „Life on Mars" by Dexter (?); another good one: the Jacksons' „Hum Along and Dance" and „Life of the Party", „Rock Creek Park", „Get a Whistle and Blow" (?) by the Soul Searchers, „We're the People"; those typa songs. Those are the songs; when I hear those like „The Mexican" or Baby Huey I go off. People see me, they know that I'm dancing to the music cause they see the expression on my face and the way I'm dancing and I don't stop. I'm 38-years old so I keep going. I have a son who's fifteen, I have another son who's ten and my four-year old son, he uprocks a little bit and he breaks a little bit. My older son used to be my partner, but he got into more Basketball now, he's taller than me. I just try keep teaching kids, I teach everybody; it doesn't matter with kids, it could be somebody older and I still teach.

NORIN RAD: These kinda songs, they're Soul and Funk music, right? Could you describe what you feel for this kind of music!?

KING UPROCK: I feel like I'm the creator of those songs. I'm so happy when I hear these songs, I get flashbacks. If I took a pill and it gave me energy I could turn into a superhero; that's how those songs make me feel. If you don't feel the song you don't give your best. It's like Bruce Lee: Bruce Lee shows every eypression when he does a Karate move; he really means [what he does] and that's the same when I uprock. A lotta guys call me the Bruce Lee of Uprock cause when I dance I give every affection, you see me like 'wow, this guy's incredible!' and that's what I try to be. Just give a good show and show people what knowledge is all about.

Dynasty Rockers

NORIN RAD: Dynasty Rockers, who are the current members?

KING UPROCK: We had Dynasty Rockers, the big guys, Carlos (?), Danny Boy (?), Manny (?), white boy Tony (?), black Tony (?) and me.

NORIN RAD: That was in 1973, right?


NORIN RAD: Until when?

KING UPROCK: Dynasty never broke up, the guys still dance, but they don't dance as much as me and I just kept going with the name, representing the name. Then we had the girl's Dynasty with Diana (?), and Genette (?) and Melly (?); those girls had their own crew. We had Junior Dynasty: Little Edwin (?), Stacey (?), Gerry (?), Crumbs (?), Geoffrey (?); we had a big juniors (?) and we had Little Dynasty, the litle kids from six and under. So we had like four divisions of Dynasty.

NORIN RAD: And today?

KING UPROCK: Today I have my little son, he's Baby Dynasty. I don't have no juniors because now all the guys who were juniors are men. They're more with the big guys.

NORIN RAD: What about those guys like Break Easy?

KING UPROCK: They're a new generation in Dynasty. I have Dynasty in Florida, Seen (?); I have Numbers, who lived in Florida, but he's in Las Vegas. I have Break Easy now that lives in Brooklyn and I have Antonio, who lives in Switzerland; everytime he comes I teach him. For everybody who wants to be part of Dynasty, I teach em and if I see that they doing good they become a family member of Dynasty Rockers.

Rocking (Uprocking) 3

NORIN RAD: How you feel on the situation that Uprocking gets overlooked? People tend to focus on the B-Boying; is that (?) to you?

KING UPROCK: Sometimes it is because this is a dance that started B-Boying off. A lot of B-Boys, their Toprocking is from Uprocking; the Downrocking, that we used to do, the Uprocking, Freezes, the Helicopters; B-Boys do the same thing, but they added Backspins, Hanglides, Windmills, Headspins. That's the only thing they added, that's different, that we don't do. What happens is a lot of theses B-Boys, their pioneers, when they go to other countries they don't mention us. So for a person to go somewhere and not mention us is like we're not known, but when a person comes to an anniversary, like there's a Zulu anniversary, and they see us they're like 'Wait aminute! Who's these guys?'. When they get to hear our history it's kinda they finally feel cheated because whoever went to their country never told them about us, but the truth always comes out; it doesn't matter. The truth always comes out, I believe that, and that's why I don't get involved in politics. When you see me you can greet me: I'm the nicest brother you ever met and I treat everybody fair. When I dance you judge: you like me or you don't like me, everybody is not gonna like me as a dancer. As a person you gonna like me cause I think I'm a fair person.

NORIN RAD: Uprocking started in the sixties. What was the height of Uprocking, the golden age/ era and when did it slow down (?) ?

KING UPROCK: The beginning of it was in '68; in the seventies it started getting strong and then it died out more in the eighties when the B-Boys started getting recognized. B-Boys never really came to Brooklyn, but when we used to go to clubs and we would dance against somebody they would hit the floor and spin on their head; we would be like 'Yo, what you doing, we Uprocking, we're not doing that typa dance'. The Bronx called it B-Boying, we called it Downrocking. That's when Uprocking started diing out and Breaking started picking up and I just kept bringing it back and everybody wants to be uprocking. A lot of B-Boys are now quitting B-Boying just to become an Uprocker. They shoul be able to do both.

Hip-Hop guidelines

NORIN RAD: How would you advice somebody that comes to Hip-Hop culture: what kinda peronal attitude should he have in his career?

KING UPROCK: Try to make sure that everybody treats you with respect first and you give respect back. When you come to an event ask questions, don't be afraid to ask! If you see somebody who came to an event earlier than you and saw something you inestigate more, maybe with another person you get to finish the investigating and ask your questions and you get to see, open your own eyes, what dance is all about and who the true pioneers are really keeping it real, and who's not. When they're not keeping it real don't get involved with the politics, keep doing your thing. I feel that a lotta people are cheated when they don't learn the real Locking moves or Boogaloo or Uprocking [moves]. As for B-Boying, everybody sees it, there's tapes out. Right now I'm finishing my Uprock tape: it's gonna be demonstrations, interviews with all the Old School guys and then I have some nice footage that everybody is gonna like. That's gonna be the killer right there! I have Uprock shows that I sell (?), but I'm gonna put out a tape because it's gonna give everybody a vision now, instead of my voice a vision of what I was talking of.

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