BBOY ETIQUETTE 101
In the Bboy and Hip-hop culture, there are un-written codes that were lived by, which have helped to shape the culture into what it is today. However, these codes are now being lost, and it is my attempt to make them re-known so that Bboyin' and hip hop culture can grow better for the future generations to come.
R E S P E C T
etiquette [ˈɛtɪˌkɛt ˌɛtɪˈkɛt]
1. (Sociology) the customs or rules governing behaviour regarded as correct or acceptable in social or official life
Bboys of today, mainly the younger generation, are unaware or ignorant to the fact that there are certain ways to do things in Bboyin' and Hip hop in order to gain respect.
- Exhibition battles
- Competition battles
- Cypher battles
- "Wannabboys"- beginners who know nothing about the dance and are just getting started.
- "Amateurs"- have already started but are mediocre in their skills and talents.
- "Hometown Heroes"- Made a name in their own region, town or city but never fully proved himself outside of his region.
- "World Contenders"- Have proven themselves worthy outside of their own territory, and proven they can hang with almost anyone.
- "Superstars"- Has beaten the best in the game and wins battles constantly.
- "Legends"- Long after he/she retires from battling, people will always remember. A timeless style or major contribution!
- "Pioneers" and "O.G.'s"- Paved the way for Bboyin' to be what it is today but may have never gotten the chance to enjoy what we currently do in todays bboy community worldwide.
CIRCLES and CYPHERS
- A> Similar styles or moves being thrown down in the cypher (There can only be one!)
- B> Out of Respect and Acknowledgment
- C> Personal beef, grudge, or disrespect
- Similar Styles or Moves being thrown down in the cypher is the most fairest and positive way to call someone out, or get called out.
Its part of the game and nobody takes it personally unless you are trying to call out someone of a Legend status or older generation. You do not call them out, they are the ones to call you out! If they are the ones who call you out, then there is SO MUCH RESPECT and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT given to you in the fact that they called you out.
- Out of Respect and Acknowledgement, you can call someone out who is on equal status than you.
Likewise, as you get older, you can call out someone that is from the same generation as you. Part of the reason is that older generation of bboys are not young anymore. They are prone to injury, they may even live off of their dancing. They may have even contributed a lot to the dance in some shape or form, and you need to acknowledge that the fact that bboying might not be where it is today without these contributers. These older generation bboys are not in their prime, and its not right to challenge someone, especially if they have been out of the game.
- Personal beef, grudge or disrespect, KNOWS NO STATUS OR GENERATION.
If you have a real personal beef or grudge with someone at all, you are free to settle it in the cypher, anytime and anywhere. But if there really isn't any REAL personal beef or grudge, then what it is, IS PURE DISRESPECT.
Cypher Etiquette: Don't do's
Exception is if there is personal beef, or disrespect involved.
COMPETITIONS and TOURNAMENTS
- When you decide to enter a bboy competition, you are bound by the organizers rules and regulations and your fate is in the hands of the judges. Competitions are very different from Cyphers, especially in the sense that you are expected to perform when its your turn to battle, whether or not you are ready, warmed up, or feel like dancing. Further more, you only have a few rounds to prove to yourself, your opponent, the audience and especially the judges that you won your battle and are the best on that particular day.
- If you do not like the Rules, or the Judges, you can contact the organizer before the event and voice to him or her your concerns and opinion.
- If it remains the same and you still are not satisfied with the Rules or the Judges, do not enter the battle.
- If you enter the battle, do not expect to win.
- If you do not win, do not be upset, and do not complain. You knew what you were getting into.
If you have to resort to touching, it means you can't handle it as a bboy.
Exception: If you don't care to get disqualified or lose all your respect, and your willing to fight after the competition!
Don't Steal Rounds
In a cypher, there is no time limit so its ok to steal rounds, it shows that you have more to give! But in a competition, there is a set amount of time or rounds which needs to be equal for both sides. Stealing rounds shows that you are desperate.
Exception: If the other team hesitates going in, you can steal the round.
The moment the other team starts dancing, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY! Getting in the way shows that you are afraid to see how your opponent will react to you and possibly burn your round.
Exception: If the other team starts stealing rounds and for some reason the host or organizers seem to be allowing it, you can interfere.
Don't Mimic Moves When Its Not Your Turn
In a cypher, you can do what ever you want really, except cyphers are usually too small for two people to be doing the same crazy move at the same time. Just because in a competition, the floor space is much bigger, doesn't mean when someone is doing a move, to go and do it at the same time. It makes it really hard to judge and makes a big mess of the entire battle. If you can do the same move or better, wait till the person is done and go in right after! That is called burning or smoking someone! The crowd will go even crazier, and it will make it look like your winning the battle even more!
Exception: no exceptions
In a cypher, trash talking begins when there is disrespect involved. However in a Competition, it is part of the game to keep it hype and have a lot of energy. You only have a few rounds to win so you need to do everything you can to take away your opponents confidence in a short period of time or rounds.
Exception: If you trash talk, do it tastefully. Don't talk personal things. Everything said should pertain to the current battle only.
Exception 2: If you and your opponent have a large mutual respect for each other and want to make it a clean battle on skills a lone, don't trash talk.
EXHIBITION and MATCH UPS
Nobody wants to see an amateur or wannabboy in an exhibition battle... unless there is serious beef involved, they would want to see you get served, smoked and burned!
Unless you are the number 1 Hometown Hero, the only one that has a right to challenge you is the number 2 Hometown Hero. Your goal should be to become the number one Hometown Hero, and in doing so, you now have the support of your region, and you can now represent where your from in foreign places. This is your journey to becoming a World Contender.
The Hometown Hero has something to gain, and you have something to lose, so if you accept this battle, make sure you are compensated.
Right now you are shining, and promoters and organizers are inviting you because everyone wants to see you battle. World contenders will be challenging you for your spot and you have to accept, but you are entitled to good compensation. You can make your own rules and choose the amount of Rounds. You have earned this right and respect, but remember that stars fall. Your new goal will be to prove that you can stay at the top, and that you and your style can last through the continuous generations. Even after many bboys have watched and studied you, taking your moves and techniques to new levels. The truth will come out to see if your style is timeless, or if your contributions will forever be remembered, making you into a Legend.
Bboy Etiquette Don't Do's
It is like knowledge, it never ends and keeps growing. Through this universal culture of Bboyin' and Hip hop, we will learn how to respect others, and how to gain respect in return.