20 Jun A brief history of the Rock Steady Crew
A brief history of the Rock Steady Crew
Music has the ability to bring people together in a whole variety of ways. We listen to music when we’re happy, we listen to it when we’re sad, we listen to it to relax us, we listen to it to energize and motivate us, and much more besides. The great thing about music is that there are so many different genres for us to choose from, so all tastes are catered for. In terms of popularity however, you simply cannot deny that Hip Hop is one of the most popular genres in the entire world, and has been for many decades. If it wasn’t for a, at the time, little known B-boy group named the Rock Steady Crew, however, there’s a strong chance that Hip Hop would not have become anywhere near as mainstream as it did. Here’s a more detailed look at the Rock Steady Crew.
Who are the Rock Steady Crew? – The Rock Steady Crew are a B-boy and Hip Hop group that were established way, way back in the year 1977, specifically in the borough of the Bronx in New York City.
Early years – Founded by Jojo and Jimmy D, the Rock Steady Crew were initially a break dancing group. Back in the 70s, break dancing was virtually unheard of, outside of the Bronx, yet Jimmy D and Jojo soon changed that. To become a part of the crew, potential members had to engage in a break dancing battle with other crew members. Towards the end of the 70s, b-boying, also known as break dancing, was beginning to quiet down and was not quite as popular as it had been in years previous. Jimmy D, looking to keep things fresh, allowed the addition of two more members to the crew: Crazy Legs, and Lenny Len. By the early 80s, Jimmy D had allowed Crazy Legs to start a new chapter of the Rock Steady Crew in Manhattan. They grew in popularity in the local area, though it wasn’t until 1981 that the Rock Steady Crew really became noticed.
Nationwide recognition – In 1981, a photographer from National Geographic enquired about the crew performing at the Lincoln Centre’s outdoor program. It just so happened that this program was being covered by the NY Times, as well as local news stations, and National Geographic. This gained them nationwide, even worldwide, exposure, and it resulted in Jimmy D making Crazy Legs the president of the whole crew.
Growth – A year later the crew were performing shows and had expanded their memberships to include men, women, and children. They were managed by Kool Lady Blue in 1983, and not long after, they were invited by the Queen of England herself, to perform in the UK, at the Royal Variety show. This lead to them gaining a record deal in the UK, and their hit ‘hey you, the rock steady crew’ reaching the top 10 charts in the UK and going gold.
The 90s and beyond – By the 90s, the crew were still going strong and actually held their very own musical entitled ‘So, what happens now?’ which gained critical success across the globe. To this day, the crew is still in operation and still features Crazy Legs as the president. To remember their roots and where they came from, each year in the Bronx, the RSC holds an annual anniversary party.
Also check this video from VOX