When it comes to the history of b-boying, the Rock Steady Crew is synonymous with pioneering the culture that has grown from its humble beginnings in the Bronx to worldwide acclaim. Originally started by Bronx b-boys Jimmy D and Joe Joe, the Rock Steady Crew has grown into a worldwide icon in the world of Hip-Hop. The Rock Steady Crew has been a driving force in much of the choreography seen today in television and dance films. Boasting over 40 members, Rock Steady is truly a Hip-Hop force to be reckoned with.Crazy Legs, President of RSC, has been keeping the name strong in all facets of entertainment along with the many talented members of the Crew. Crazy Legs has been featured in numerous movies and documentaries over the years, including Flashdance, Beat Street, Wild Style, Style Wars, and the Peabody award-winning documentary Dance in America: Everybody Dance Now. Most recently, RSC has made impact on television with appearances on dance shows like Dancing With the Stars and MTVs Americas Best Dance Crew. We got in some time with Crazy Legs to see what both he and the crew had in store for Hip-Hop fans in the future.AllHipHop.com: You have been involved in some major movies and stage productions over the course of your career. What have been the biggest highlights thus far in performing for you personally and for the crew as a whole? Crazy Legs: The stuff-I-did part of me would say on a Hip-Hop culture level, the first time I met Afrika Bambaataa on stage at the Ritz Club in New York in 1981 was a huge thing. We opened up for him and a punk rock group called Bow Wow Wow. When we met Bambaataa on stage for the final bows, he brought me and Frosty Freeze (may he rest in peace) and the Rock Steady Crew on stage to become a part of the Zulu Kings. The Zulu Kings was the new generation of B-boys that were on the front line for the Zulu Nation at that time. Im not a member of the Zulu Nation anymore, but that was definitely a big time for me. Another time would be when I danced with Jimmy Casta and the Casta Bunch at SOBs in New York in 1991. SOBs actually reached out to me and asked me to come out while he performed It Has Just Begun at SOBs. We werent actually performing the song, but we really appreciated coming on stage to the song we used in the movie Flashdance. So we were like, Hell yeah well come perform! Getting down to one of the DJ anthems while the artist is actually performing is pretty high on the list of experiences. The third thing for me would be meeting James Brown. On a commercial level, doing Wild Style was the only movie that was a true representative of the culture of Hip-Hop. Even though it set out to become a documentary, but ended up becoming a cheesy movie in terms of the acting, the people that were in Wild Style were chosen because they were at the top of their game. It was based on their skill level and their ability to perform. There were no record labels behind the movie saying, Well, use my artist and well support you. And you know thats how you actually got in the movies. These people were rocking the crowds during b-boy jams. These were real ghetto celebrities holding it down. That was a really high point. AllHipHop.com: Do you have any personal achievements that you are particularly proud of?Crazy Legs: All of the things that I have accomplished are all achievements to me. A personal achievement to me is being a good father to my child, which shouldnt even be an achievement; it should be a natural ability. In this day and age, with so many absent fathers around, you should pat yourself on the back without getting gassed up over something you should be doing anyway. AllHipHop.com: I know you and the crew has been putting it down for a while, especially with you just recently celebrating Rock Steadys 31st Anniversary. When did it all start for you? When did you start b-boying?Crazy Legs: It started for me in 1977. Thats basically it. [laughs] I was whack at the beginning. But thats anyone whos going into any art form whether its turntables or breaking. Hopefully you have the ability to move past your wackness, you know? Find that glow inside you to be better at the turntables or whatever it is you want to do. AllHipHop.com: Was there anything in particular that really made you want to get into the art form? Did you just see it one day and decide thats what you wanted to do?Crazy Legs: The first time I saw it was in 1976. I saw Africa Islam and my brother doing it in the front of my building in the Bronx on Garfield Street. When I saw them doing it, there was no music, no jam or whatever; it was just two people throwing themselves on the floor. I was really embarrassed for my brother, and that did nothing for me. A year later, my cousin Lenny brought me to a jam that was going on in the Bronx. He was telling me that people were b-boying and doing graffiti, so I checked it out. I didnt even know what b-boying was and the term break dancing didnt even exist. But when he brought me to the jam and I saw everything going on in full blast with B-boys battling and b-girls battling, graffiti artists comparing tags on the walls in the park, MCs comparing their black books and DJs rocking the mic, I became engulfed in that world. The rest is history. AllHipHop.com: Since b-boying is really the foundation of Hip-Hop dance, do you feel that people need that foundation in their repertoire to truly call themselves “Hip-Hop” dancers?Crazy Legs: The term Hip-Hop is used very loosely these days. I feel like a lot of things shouldnt qualify you to be a Hip-Hop dancer. I think people may not have the appreciation for this dance the way they should. They call themselves Hip-Hop dancers because the foundation of Hip-Hop dance is what we do. [Breaking] is the first Hip-Hop dance. Its the only one that has lasted this long without having to borrow styles. Youve had the Wop, the Cabbage Patch, the Smurf, the Jiggalo youve had all of these dances that have come and gone. B-boying is the only dance that has remained constant; it stood the test of time. AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that movies like Step It Up or You Got Served have the same credibility for Hip-Hop dance as movies like Beat Street or Breakin’ did in the ’80s?Crazy Legs: Breakin wasnt even a breaking movie, so the title was completely wrong anyway. I feel like pop-lockers from the West Coast should be the people to judge that movie. It was called Breakin but it wasnt about breaking. [laughs] I feel like the newer movies have a different kind of impact. Beat Street and the small appearances we had in Flashdance were ground-breaking and pioneering movies. I was in a car with a friend of mine that told me he went to see Flashdance 20 times to see a scene that was three minutes long. He went to a theater and paid to see a movie 20 times just for one scene. I dont think anyone is going out to the movies and checking out Step It Up 2 20 times. A lot of these movies, the dancing is cool and all, but the acting is horrible man! Lets be real! Im the type of person that goes to a movie to see it in its entirety, dancing and all, not just one scene. I can sit here and tell you Beat Street for me was wack in terms of acting. There were great moments that kept building Hip-Hop commercially, but the acting was wack.Theyre all relative to their time. Now were showing the evolution of Hip-Hop dance. Were seeing all of these movies coming out now, but in terms of the choreography, its all been done before. We did a documentary called Jam on the Groove that was a dance musical. It featured about 12 pieces of Hip-Hop choreography. It featured popping, locking and even martial arts. It still gives Hip-Hop its time to shine, and thats a good thing. Im definitely not hating on anyone trying to get their hustle on. AllHipHop.com: Rock Steady Crew has performed overseas, even for the Queen of England. Do you find that Europe or other countries are more receptive to b-boying than the U.S. even though it did originate here?Crazy Legs: I would say that when it comes to appreciating this dance as an art form and the fact that this came from the United States own back yard, the U.S. has the least respect for what we do. If you go to Korea, the government funds programs that actually let their youth learn and perfect this dance that started in the South Bronx. In the U.S., its hard enough to get a sponsor to go to a competition, let alone have a training facility. Its crazy man.AllHipHop.com: Why do you feel like thats the current start of affairs?Crazy Legs: Its not a feeling, its a fact! [laughs]AllHipHop.com: Why is the climate like that though? It doesnt make any sense that it originated in the U.S. but we arent supporting it.Crazy Legs: I dont know. I would hope its not because it was something started by Black and Latino people, you know? Maybe it doesnt say to the powers that be that this is an American art form. I dont think America sees it that way to where it can be funded and become a part of the American institution like ballet. AllHipHop.com: What steps needed to be taken to get that accomplished?Crazy Legs: We need some real love from our own government. Like I said, Koreas government got behind their youth. Other than that, everyones trying to make their connections. We dont have one organization thats working across the board like Korea does, which is a damn shame.AllHipHop.com: Especially with it being around as long as it has.Crazy Legs: Right. All I can do is continue to do what I do and hope that that has an effect on a protégé or someone that is taking my class when I do teach. Hopefully some person that grew up around my age that has a kid now will take them and show them that, Hey, this is what I used to do. Hopefully theyll take their kids to a Rock Steady anniversary and show them that, Hey, this is a young mans dance. This is for me too. AllHipHop.com: We have seen some b-boys on shows like America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance and other mainstream shows recently. How do you feel about Hip-Hop choreography being integrated into popular dance, and what do these shows do for the genre?Crazy Legs: Americas Best Dance Crew isnt what its name suggests. A lot of those groups arent crews; theyre dance companies. That in itself is a big lie. People are going to think thats what crews do when that isnt the case. People that come from street crews take on this art form because they dont have a lot going on in their lives and they need a form of expression because they live in the hood. Thats not saying that you have to be from the hood to be in a crew, but thats just what it is. Real crews are extended families. A lot of groups on ABDC arent from that background. Its almost like thats a hobby for them. From the ones that Ive met, many of them have more than just dancing; in real crews, all they have is dancing. Thats just the reality.AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like shows are detrimental to the art form?Crazy Legs: Its a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides an opportunity, and on the other hand, the judges dont know the vocabulary of what theyre judging. I dont think theyre coming in as legitimate dancers. They probably learn about it as they go along. Theyre probably being consulted by these kids that arent being paid for their knowledge.AllHipHop.com: I was wondering why Lil Mama was sitting up there.Crazy Legs: What does she know about being in a crew? She comes across as being very scripted. From what I heard about what goes on during the show, a lot of it is actually scripted. People are actually chosen before a lot of it goes down. But it does create opportunities for workshops and things like that. There are good things and there are bad things. If theyre going to have people judging b-boying, at least have a b-boy on the panel. AllHipHop.com: What do you have ahead of you in terms of events? Crazy Legs: I consult on a lot of things. I do a lot of work with Red Bull. We have some things happening that I cant really elaborate on, but its an international thing. A lot of people in Rock Steady have their own projects going on, but I would like for all of us to get together and start a dance studio together. We could school them on where it comes from historically as well as how to do it correctly. AllHipHop.com: More and more youre seeing entertainers go back to their housing projects to donate money and give back to their communities. I know you give back quite a bit to your community, but what are some of the initiatives in New York that you do to help out? Crazy Legs: A lot. Im the type of person that doesnt do press releases. I dont give back because I think its going to be a good press angle. Im totally against that. Ive been hired to teach at a Peace Academy, and I taught for a semester. At the end they gave me a check for it. The stage where the children perform was really damaged. I gave the money right back to them and told them to go fix their stage. I throw food drives for City Harvest, development councils, and they give it back to the communities. I also do basketball tournaments. Red Bull sent me to Uganda to work on a documentary that promotes awareness about displacement camps due to the war. They told me I couldnt get paid, and I said. Lets do it. That trip was the most heart-breaking experience in my life. Ive been to Third World countries before, but never anything like that.AllHipHop.com: There are a lot of people that look up to you, whether it be b-boys, artists, people in the entertainment industry or whomever. With a lot of exposure comes a lot of pressure. How do you stay under composure? What do you do to ensure that youre a good role model to follow?Crazy Legs: When its time to get down and do your thing, never let them see you sweat. I know people see me as a leader. If I fall apart as a leader, people will fall apart around me. If you chop off the head, the rest of the body will follow. I feel like if Im the head of what I have going on, everyone else has to see everything is alright, even when its not. When it comes to complaining, Im at the top.I cant complain downwards. Youre a role model whether you like it or not. What you do affects the decisions other people make. I encourage people to stay in school. If young people want to be in the Rock Steady Crew, their grades have to be right. I tell them that some of us messed up, and we dont need more Hip-Hop dummies.AllHipHop.com: Any advice for our readers who are aspiring to get into the culture?Crazy Legs: I would like to tell people that life isnt Beat Street. If you want to get involved in Hip-Hop, theres more than just b-boying. If you develop a knack for something and your skills are on point, go for it. Stay in school, take care of the family, and as corny as it sounds, keep it real. There are too many fake internet thugs. Flavor and style comes from your style, not just acting. It comes from being yourself. Allow your character to shine. That allows you to be set aside from the average person out there.