crazy-2_phixrEarly Hip-Hop films such as Beat Street and Wild Style were the first ones of its kind to depict the daily biographies of graffiti writers and break dancers, when large percentages of society viewed it as a passing fad.

What was once thought of as breaking the law in the eyes of many is now more like common ground; as you’re bound to come across numerous murals of all sorts created by legendary graffiti artists, along with current-day ones.

As for B-Boying, the tools of the trade needed to engage in this freestyle fashion of dance were simply a boom box/ghetto blaster, plenty of batteries, and most importantly, a flattened cardboard box.

When all those instruments were combined into one cohesive unit, the end result were headstands, windmills, flares, freezes, pikes, handstands, suicides, turtles, and plenty more terminology that would leave outsiders lost in translation.

What began in the streets almost 40 years ago with groups like the New York City Breakers, the Rock Steady Crew, is still being carried on with the help of Richard “Crazy Legs Colón (who happens to be the president of the Rock Steady Crew).

So as the legendary squad gets ready to celebrate their 32nd year in existence, the most famous member of them all takes some time out to break it down…

iHipHop.com: Right now you have the Rock Steady Crew’s 32nd Anniversary coming up on July 22nd through the 26th. When you first started back in the day, did you ever think it would reach this level?

Crazy Legs: It would have to be a dream for me to even think it… Back then, the only dreams involved were having local props and getting recognition…

We were real competitive against each other, and you have to remember—we were 10-years-old when we started…

So thinking that far in advance wasn’t really realistic, because you’re more concerned with watching cartoons… I try to tell people that Hip-Hop isn’t some big plan that somebody thought out…

iHipHop.com: So as the president of the Rock Steady Crew, what do your duties consist of?

Crazy Legs: First and foremost, just keeping the branch alive, and that was my promise to the original president of Rock Steady… He asked me to keep it alive, and I’ve been doing it, even though I’ve been sidetracked here and there…

But for the most part, it’s been about taking people under my wing, and schooling them—whether it be about the Hip-Hop culture or the dancing…

People have to remember that Rock Steady isn’t just a “B-Boy crew,” it’s a Hip-Hop crew… You have people like Tony Touch, [DJ] Evil Dee, and different MC’s like Dilated Peoples [Click for Evidence interview], and we have graffiti artists…

So we cover everything… Outside of that, you want to put the right people in place to carryon the tradition… So we do have a younger squad of B-Boys and B-Girls…

32-rsc-whitebg2iHipHop.com: Speaking of the future, is there anything that you dislike about today’s Hip-Hop culture?

Crazy Legs: As far as things I don’t like about Hip-Hop, I would have to say there is not enough balance… I don’t hate on the commercialization of it, because if it weren’t for the commercialization of it, it wouldn’t have been brought around the world…

Any pioneer that tells you that the commercialization of it is f*cked would be shooting themselves in the foot; because we all got our fame through television, movies, and magazines… So I don’t get self-righteous about Hip-Hop, but there needs to be more balance…

iHipHop.com: When you were coming up, and perfecting your skills, were there any tricks that were hard for you to master?

Crazy Legs: Nah, you know what? Not really too many moves existed back then… You didn’t really have all the acrobatic moves that you have now…

So when I was coming up, I was one of the innovators… I just took the foundation that already existed, and I was advancing it… I took it to places that the people who started before me never gotten to…

iHipHop.com: So after all these years of breaking, does your body ache? Do you ever have to ice yourself down in a tub?

Crazy Legs: Nah, nah… I’ve had my share of surgeries, but any kind of pain that exist, doesn’t exist… No one is really going to hear about it, because I’m not that kind of a person… [Laughing]…

I live through the wounds and the bumps and bruises… The only people I complain or express that to are my close friends, if that even exists…

As far as I’m concerned, as you get older, you don’t try to do everything, you just find a way to finesse through what you’re still capable of doing… You don’t lose flavor… So if you’re rhythmic, smooth, have flavor, and you’re rocking to the beat—you’re always going to be a B-Boy…

crazy-1iHipHop.com: How does one become a member of the Rock Steady Crew?

Crazy Legs: First and foremost, you have to develop a bond with the members of the crew… We have about 50-60 members in the crew…

So you have to be around us, and get to know us, and hopefully you’ll have something that you can bring to the table, which will make Rock Steady a better crew…

It’s not about what can Rock Steady do for you? It’s about what can you do for Rock Steady?

Plus, depending on what element of Hip-Hop you’re into; whether you’re a DJ, MC, popper, locker, or whatever—we let the people who are masters in those elements have a bigger say than the rest of the crew… There’s a whole process, and number one: It takes at least six months to get in…

That’s hoping that you’ve done your homework, and that you did some bonding with the crew… If you’re a B-Boy or B-Girl, you have to battle your way into Rock Steady, and that is set up by me, and its random, and no one knows when it’s going to happen until it actually happens…

iHipHop.com: Over the course of your career, do you have one memorable performance that really sticks out in your mind?

crazy-3Crazy Legs: Here’s the thing: When I perform, it’s not always about being on stage, because sometimes it’s that moment when you’re just catching wreck in a cipher…

One of the times I came to Puerto Rico, which was like one of my first times, I met a bunch of Hip-Hop heads out there, and I caught wreck in this club called Lazer

I felt good because I was in the motherland, and I was catching wreck… So that was one of my all-time moments, because I was at a place where I never really got to visit, but it’s where my roots are, and this is what I am culturally… So rocking in Puerto Rico would be one of my all-time moments…

iHipHop.com: How do you feel about the state of B-Boying versus then to now?

Crazy Legs: It’s stronger now than it was back then, in terms of how many people… But every era has its ups and downs… Back then; most of us were stick-up kids…

People used to say things like, “Those wild-ass mothaf*ckin stick-up kids can do those great moves.” [Laughing]…

But today, it’s like the opposite, because you have these B-Boys that are a bunch of nerds, but it’s cool, and I don’t try to hate on any of the eras…

iHipHop.com: If you hadn’t started B-Boying back then, could you imagine yourself doing something else?

Crazy Legs: My other dream as a kid was to become a New York Yankee baseball player, or go into boxing, because mostly all of the people in my culture go into boxing…