I am extremely excited for the Pro Breaking Tour this year! I think it will change the landscape of American bboy culture by bringing a level of event production that is seldom seen in the United States. The best thing about this Tour is that it is being put together by established promoters and bboys. These are the same people that have helped the scene grow on a grassroots level for years. I’m excited for the opportunities this will afford bboy culture in the U.S. and I would like to share a bit about my role as a DJ in this community.
Breaking is the root of everything I do. I have been breaking for almost 15 years and being a part of this community and culture is an honor. I believe that my involvement as a bboy is a crucial part to my role as a DJ. I have seen trends in music come and go, I have seen trends in moves come and go, and the collective knowledge of all of this helps me “paint” a jam with the right colors. Old school hip hop for certain heads, strictly drums for others, slow bouncing funk for some, rocking joints, latin funk, afro funk…the list goes on. My love for this dance is channeled through my music.
When at a jam, I watch the dancers to see how they respond to music. I watch very carefully and I learn that certain individuals and crews have preferences. I try to bank all of that information in my head and use that to influence my set selections, which ultimately keep a jam hype, or calm, or feel-good, or whatever the vibe calls for. My style of Dj’ing not only draws on the preferences of others, it also draws on my own preferences, an awareness of the space I’m in, and an awareness of the culture surrounding me. That being said, I always take my sets back to my roots; I was raised on 90’s hip hop and, musically, that was my first love. I was also raised on jazz music (my father is a jazz trumpet player) and the influence of jazz can also be seen in my sets. These influences have formed my style, which now include the signature tracks that only I play; tracks that I dug long and hard for or tracks that I made myself.
I have crafted my breaks knowing specifically how we as bboys like to hit the beat or vibe with the music. The more that I learn about the dance through studying, breaking and listening to pioneers, the better I get at making music for bboys. I utilize many rhythms and sounds, and I think about questions like “What move would a bboy do to a horn hit versus an organ swell?” I make breaks to satisfy many different aesthetics at once. When I can imagine bboys of different styles enjoying a break I’ve made, I test it out at a jam and see if it works!
This past year has been a blessing for me; I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and the world to do breaking events. 2014 is going to be another incredible year, and the Pro Breaking Tour will be a big part of that! The Tour events put on by UDEF will be the biggest in the country and will set a new standard for U.S. events. To naysayers that talk of corporations watering down our culture, I say, look at the caliber of people behind this event!!! Look at their contributions to our scene over the past 20 years or more. I certainly don’t include myself in this group, but the Tour involves a group of people working through a non-profit in UDEF who have supported our interests consistently for the past 20 years. I trusted them then, and I trust them now. I am truly excited for the Pro Breaking Tour and I’m even more excited to see how it will affect bboy culture in the U.S. as a whole!
Much love and thanks to everyone involved for this undertaking, 2014 let’s go!!!
DJ Fleg, Lionz of Zion
DJ Fleg YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.
Fleg | Strife TV | Chelles Mix | January 2013:
Fleg | Strife TV Mix | June 2012: https://www.youtube.com/
Twitter: @djfleg on twitter