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Chitown Footworkin’: First the Southside, then Samsung, then the world!

October 31, 2007


Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been preachin’ the relevance of regional dance music for years. From D.C. Go Go to Baltimore Club, Detroit Techno to Miami Bass each form had it’s genesis in the city’s urban core and gradually spread to a wider audience. These styles have at least some core elements of hip hop and it’s always interesting to see the ways various geographic flavors gets thrown in and effect the corresponding dance styles.

In our constant search for the next hot “it”, us media and marketing folks have given these styles some shine over the years, not always to the best ends-sometimes making the underground mainstream is a really bad idea-but it’s good to see folks getting some recognition and (ideally) eating off their craft.

Footworkin’ has been a Chicago staple since at least the late 90’s and grew out of the city’s fierce house and club scenes. The music is like House on meth:fast, neckbreaking stuff-and the footwork, well just check it:

Recently Samsung, in a move that kicked them up about 1 zillion notches on my “Marketers who are on their shit” list, rolled out the ad campaign for their new “Juke” phone, featuring real live jukin from Chicago’s FootworKINGz:

With the commercial nod, a recent article in Rolling Stone, a theater debut at this years “Hip Hop Dance Fest” and yes folks, a movie deal in consideration, looks like Footworkin’, or at least the FootworKINGz, are set to be repping the Windy city lovely for a minute. I really hope creators of these dances and musical styles have their business hats on, are smart about how much control they give away and make it a point to establish some form of ownership over their creations. I’m down for everybody groovin, but just make sure that green goes into the right hands at the end of the day.

I mean, I’m way too young for this, but I hear cats used to listen to Rock n Roll and do the Charleston in the hood. Now ain’t that some other ish…

A little street dance multimedia:

A couple of years ago its was Krumping:

The southern Cali Style made famous by a big man in a clown suit and a world famous fashion photographer. There was a movie, there were guest appearances and the cats down in Compton got a little love for the work they had put in. All was good in the hood.

Then there was Turfin‘:

Turf (Takin Up Room on the Floor) is straight out of the BAY A-R-E-A!!!!! (sorry, if you live in the bay it’s the requirement…). Made famous by, strangely, another very big man-and a gang of youngsta’s from the hoods of east and west O.

While Turfin’ came in full force when Hyphie music briefly took over the national airwaves, the style is a hybrid of break dancing and Cali pop locking. There’s been a lot of local attention paid to the dance and some steady national buzz and hopes are high that you’ll be seeing groups like the Animaniakz and the TURF Fienz on the big stage sometime soon.

TURF vs Krump:

The Charleston-Remixed

Just an ill ass B-Boy vid (Junior vs Benji):


3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2007 2:03 pm

    peace…Just dropped by to say thank you for writing about us. I manage these kids. I come from a house dance background, made my rounds through the industry in the last ten years in and out of NY & LA and came back home to take these kids on their journey. So trust that they are in good hands because I learned many tough lessons myself as a dancer & choreographer. And yes, we have a good lawyer by God’s blessing who is coming on board to help. Could you do us a grand favor though, please refer to the dance as footworkin NOT JUKIN…The music they dance to is termed as Juke, but the movement is footworkin. The “Juke” dance style is very raunchy and overtly sexual. WE went from Jacking, to footworkin to jukin….But please help us clear it up in the media that we are promoting footwork not Jukin….thanks

  2. othersidemedia permalink
    November 7, 2007 8:15 pm

    Thanks for the correction ladysol. It’s an important detail.

  3. November 9, 2007 4:28 pm

    Holy shit Kwan!!!
    This was Quite Raw! Quite Educational! and It was hella fun to watch too.
    So good a writer can add photo’s and video’s with their words in dees days!
    I never saw Turfin before, and that last clip was well Raw!!
    Thank you for this one!
    hard to top dat!
    oh, and the Charlston bros’ was funny, matched the music.
    Was they voguing at some point?

    hey, Thanks again.

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