South Korea’s hip hop dance team Lock ‘N LOL took home the gold in the mega crew division against the U.S. at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship this year in San Diego, California. Originally, this dance competition started in 2002 by Hip Hop International.
Several countries that participated in past tournaments are Phillipines, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, and the U.S. The competition is divided into four different sections: hip hop for adult, varsity (ages 12-17) and junior (ages 7-12) crews, popping for solo dancers, locking for solo dancers, and breaking for adult crews. It brings the best dance crews from over fifty countries to compete against each other for the top prize. Hip hop fans can consider this to be “The Olympics of Hip Hop Dance.”
Hip hop culture has always been a competitive free-flowing artform giving artists the opportunity to express themselves without any use of violence. Born out of the South Bronx in the early 1970s, they were speaking from the heart and fans connected with their message. As time passed, the artform spread overseas. In the U.S., one aspect of the culture that made it exciting to watch was breakdancing. Even Hollywood made several films about this phenomenon such as Beat Street and Breakin’ back in the ’80s.
As a result, other cultures began studying hip hop and seeking ways of enhancing it. America has a tendency of seeing hip hop only as a way to make money for the major record labels. As a fan, I have an issue with this because making hip hop music should be done from the heart and soul, not for the money. Today, artists are told what songs they should write and perform instead of doing what feels right to them. Along the way, creativity and originality has gotten lost.
In other countries, artists are more focused on perfecting their skills making it more difficult for Americans to stay ahead of the game. The Filipino dance crew known as the A-Team is also considered one of the best hip hop crews. They won the mega crews division tournament last year. Many people think being the best should be something that is handed to you.
If anyone wants to be the best in anything, they have to work hard and prove themselves. In my opinion, it is one of the reasons South Korea won the tournament. I believe they wanted it more and willing to go the extra mile to attain their goal.
“During this year’s six-day competition, international crews showed that hip hop dance continues to evolve as they build on the genre’s fundamentals, like the rigid muscle contractions called “popping” and the bouncy motions of “locking,” to create choreography that reflects their own culture and urban environment(The Wall Street Journal).”
Therefore, it is up to the artists and fans in reclaiming their power. Young people around the world love hip hop and want to be a part of something that will impact them on a higher level. The influence of hip hop overseas will continue to evolve and reach more young people for many years to come.
Watch the video below of South Korea’s Hip Hop Dance Crew Lock ‘N LOL: