Valadez paced the front of the room as he talked about the dancers and crews he encountered in Tokyo. Pensive, he chose his words carefully and often corrected or qualified what he said. He wanted his audience to know that although his research was anthropological, he was a philosophy major, and while he had some insights into Japanese hip hop dance, he didn’t want to make any “huge claims.”
“The evidence that I got was from hanging out, talking with, and observing hip hop dancers in Japan,” he said.
Valadez, who speaks Japanese, figured out through social media where dancers in Tokyo congregated. He approached them and asked them to teach him a new move. They made him do the move over and over until he got it right. They introduced him to their friends and told him where to find more dancers.“They use dance to bring themselves into this interesting and imaginative space,” Valadez said. For example, “‘I want to go to the desert. How do I dance in the desert?’ And then you imagine the desert, as one of them put it. It was such a cool approach to dance.”
Hip hop dance, which is rooted in black and Latino cultures in the United States, came to Japan in the 1980s. B-boys in their 30s and 40s told Valadez that people started imitating American dancers they saw on TV, and American dancers came to Japan and imparted their craft.
Yet some of the meaning and history of hip hop was lost in translation. Valadez said many of the practitioners and fans he talked to didn’t understand the lyrics of English-language songs.
“There was a kind of disconnect that has led some to say, ‘All we were taught was the dance and the art and the sport of hip hop dance, but we were never taught the meaning and culture of hip hop,’” Valadez said. “‘We only got the aesthetics, but not quite the meaning.’ That was the narrative as I was told and as I understood it.”One of the best dancers was Bboy Katsu, who started dancing as a teenager in order to look cool. He became famous and traveled, and as he learned more about hip hop, he began to feel disconnected from the genre’s origins in New York.
“He found himself in this interesting identity quandary that I think fans of hip hop dance can find themselves in, especially on the international scene — ‘What am I to this?’” Valadez said.
Katsu told Valadez that he eventually went to a mentor, who simply said, “Hip hop’s just one thing, Katsu. It’s you.”
Katsu came out of this identity crisis with an acute awareness of hip hop’s American context, but also “a universal hip hop egalitarianism, this universal view of how hip hop can save the world,” Valadez said.
“I met people who took this style of dance as, ‘This is my life, this is who I am, this is important to my identity.'”
Some of the dancers practiced in bars, many of which catered to a particular style, like popping, locking, breaking, or voguing; others danced in parks or on a city street, using the windows of a financial building as mirrors. In a lot of circles, mastery was a priority. So was keeping up appearances — Valadez wore a red-white-and-blue tracksuit and a baseball cap during his Bates presentation, to show that in Tokyo, you need to look the part.
“I met people who took this style of dance as, ‘This is my life, this is who I am, this is important to my identity,’” he said. “The immediate equivalent I can imagine is people pursuing this dance in New York, a really highly competitive scene. People are really focused on skill.”
Valadez also spent a lot of time with the Nova Grande crew, dancers who he said practiced in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park, or on the street, or in their own bar. Instead of practicing and perfecting any one style, they told him they saw dancing as a form of storytelling.
Yo Yo Honey Singh lends support to Arjun and Amaal
Punjabi singer and rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh may have not been making it to the front page but he makes sure that he is connected to his fans and friends.
While the singer is busy prepping for his upcoming projects, he ensures that he is connected to his fans and his friends from B-town. Honey Singh has always been supportive of fresh talent and has given a break to many of the young singers we see today and this time it was the team of Mubarakan who got to know that the rapper is in love with their soundtrack.
Recently, Honey Singh took to his Facebook page to give a shoutout to lead actor Arjun Kapoor and the composer Amaal Mallik for their latest song Jat Jaguar.
" Here is the latest song of my dear Arjun Kapoor @arjunk26 sung by our loving n talented Navraj Hans. Pls like n share Mubarakan," the singer wrote.
The actor and the composer of the song showed their appreciation of the music sensation.
Amaal replied to Honey Singh's post by commenting, "Feels amazing to see you sharing my song Yo! Yo! Honey Singh. Big fan of you and your work. Would love to collaborate someday. Regards."
Meanwhile, the Jat Jaguar aka Arjun took to Twitter and said, "Tu toh meri jaan hai YO YO!! Thank u for the love and support, navraj and vishal killed it in the song…."
Yo Yo Honey Singh has always promoted fresh talent and extended his support to his friends for their songs and movies. The music sensation has revolutionised the way people listen to songs these days. The rapper and singer has not only earned his loyal fan following but admiration within the industry.
Yo Yo is currently working eight-nine hours a day for his upcoming projects and has produced 30-40 tunes
MUMBAI: The ‘Dheere Dheere Se’ singer Yo Yo Honey Singh, a trendsetter of Indian music industry, recently sponsored a boy’s music lessons.
He recently encountered a boy in his vicinity who wanted to pursue music but could not afford to pay the high amount of fee.
Singh personal went on to meet this boy with interest in classical and folk music. He met his family too and decided to sponsor his music education.
Honey Singh has a huge fan following and has always been loved by the audience, as the singer has always had something new to offer with each song.
Yo Yo is currently spending a dedicated amount of time composing his upcoming project.
MUMBAI: Indian rapper-composer Raftaar has teamed up with American hip-hop artiste Shawn Mims and American Grammy Award-winning record producer-engineer-composer DJ BlackOut.
The Toh Dishoom hitmaker had come up with a dancehall-inspired track Baby Marvake Maanegi, in May.
Just a few days ago, Shawn Mims, whose stage name is Mims, expressed his desire to work with Raftaar and sent him a new version of Baby Marvake Maanegi, with his vocals and produced by BlackOut.
"I have always believed that our country has great talent and legacy when it comes to music. Instead of Indians looking towards the West for inspiration and collaborations, it's time the West turn their focus to India. I'm very humbled with the gesture by Mims and would love to work with him on my next track," Raftaar said in a statement.
The Indian rapper had also created a special rap for the 2016 Hollywood film Passengers
Raftaar, who has sung in Dangal, gets talking about his musical journey
Dilin Nair, popularly called Raftaar, had an eventful 2016 with hits like ‘Toh Dishoom’ and ‘Dhaakad’. The rapper-songwriter, who grew up in Delhi and Haryana, believes his grasp over the Haryanvi language got him a song in Dangal, which continues to run full house at theatres. Raftaar is now looking forward to an exciting year ahead, starting with Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2, releasing next month. He is also working on a single for his coming album Zero to Infinity, which is to be released soon.
- RAFTAAR WON HEARTS AT TANTRA WITH HIS DESI SWAG. ONLY T2 WAS THERE
Long queues at the entrance. Packed dance floor and a busy Bodhi Bar. Tantra was the place to be on November 4 as everyone waited for guest artiste Raftaar to take the stage. “This is the craziest crowd I have ever had in Calcutta and you can say this is my pre-birthday party,” said the Dhakkad singer who turned a year older on November 16.