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Welcome to the third edition of SIN Cru's chockablock hip hop magazine S T U S H, dropping the niceness on the 25th of each month. As we are currently in a state of lockdown due to the Corona Virus keep an eye on SIN Cru social media channels for online tutorials and more. Keep safe, stay in and follow the government's advice. It’s SIN Cru’s 25th anniversary this year, follow #SINCru25 and upload your SIN Cru memories using #SINCruarchive25. 

In homage to all true rude gals and bwoys we are unfolding the myth and leg end of The Pinroll; the what, why, when, and how of this crucial detail in hip hop styling.

Pinrolls are a specific method of tapering and turning your trousers up which used to be strictly for dem ragga youts and hip hop heads down-by-law, but has seen a resurgence in recent years amongst the contemporary hipster crowd. 

Traditionally you would pinroll baggy carpenter jeans, Chipie cords and chinos, to lift their hem away from your dopest pair of trainers, hilighting your footwear in all its splendour.  In the case of rushing out the house sans moisturiser, the unsightly gap of cracked ankle and lower shin is avoided with your trousers having been invited to your shoe's party by their mutual friend, the sock – Burlington/ Nike #standard see Feb edition.  At some point during the aceeeeed haze of the late 80s, the game changed, and much like the serious one strap/ two strap dilemma faced by today's new yr7s on how to carry your Eastpak, it became customary to pinroll only one leg.  The left leg.  Apparently to save your trousers from getting caught in your bike chain, but anyone from the Bridge knows thats bollox as the chain is on the right.  The move to pinrolling just one leg is importantly in remembrance of the shackling of slaves and the freedom they fought for.

Much like the secret intricacies of the crew handshake, the skill of pinrolling was never taught, it is a coveted technique to be absorbed and refined.

 


                                                        JESUS MOTHER OF PEARL                                                 there is an Asos tutorial 

on        how   to       pinroll. 

                                                        Everything about it is wrong – 

the guy folds to the back and not the front.  

His first fold is too skinny, not the unspoken 1inch, and his second fold is all baggy and not drawn flat.  

To add insult to injury, the model has been styled in some no name kicks without socks.

 


Pinrolling is a hip hop heritage cultural practice, hip hop's origami, no safety pins or glue or bicycle clips, rubber bands or hair bobbles.  Once your basic pinroll folds have been honed, you can look to the masters who will dexterously pleat a colour coordinated bandana into theirs.  I had a bf who pinrolled his sleeves but that was taking it too far. 
'When your hands are busy your heart is serene' – Master Origami Artist Akira Yoshizawa 

Hip hop hooray, online one stop hip hop shop FullyDipped currently has it's spring sale with 50% off selected items. Head over and get your hands on some fresh vintage street and sportswear, artwork, books, accessories and more. 

In these interviews I will talk to people young and old who have been connected to, or are in some part involved in the breakin' or hip hop scene.  Through a window into these peoples' history and opinions, I hope that you and I will gain some wisdom, tools, or at least a different perspective.  I hope you enjoy...

This months SINterview is with bboy, writer, PT and teacher: Freeze. Growing up in Gothenburg’s early 80’s hip hop scene and currently residing in Stockholm Sweden, Freeze is a founding member of Ghost Cru, who brought Scandinavian style to the forefront through the 2000s with their cypher inspired battling and intricate footworks. Freeze's attitude towards training and unique trademarks have made him an inspiration to many over the years and he continues to travel the World: teaching, judging and supporting the scene. 

J:When did you start breakin'? 
F: February 1983, after watching Malcolm McClarren’s Buffalo Girls music video, I’d seen breakin' before then, but that’s when I started.

J: Could you say a bit about the scene/scenes you grew up with?
F: I grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden and stayed there til ‘86. In the 80’s there was a lot of breakin’ and people into hip hop. There were battles, clubs, a lot of fun stuff going on. 

The scene at that time was dominated by crews: I was first part of a crew called Break Electric Boys and then Profile Allstars. Also part of Gothenburg Allstars and Electro Rockers. The biggest crews in Gothenburg were DMC Rockers and DC Rockers and a crew every one wanted to battle called Crazy Body. There were like 30/40 other crews but these were the big ones.

J: What were your earlier influences? 
F: We were heavily inspired by the classic we saw on TV and VHS: Beatstreet, Style Wars, HipHop Beebop, One Hour with Rocksteady, Breakin’ the Movie, Body Rock. It was early days, a lot of people were biting. In Wildstyle and Style Wars Kenny always stood out to me. In the local scene around 84/85 a bboy called Kid Jam was way ahead of us, he was a sort of like my first mentor. He pushed me a lot although he was a bit younger than me, for what he did and for that time he so much flavour and style. 

J: What new influences have you connected with over the years?
F: There are so many, too many to name. I try to seek out the scenes and the people that inspire me, I don’t want to really mess and mingle with people that don’t - I don’t have time for that. I seek out people I look up to. 

J: What were the fashions in hip hop for your era growing up? 
F: At first hip hop fashion was a mess. We got inspired by the N.Y and California scene, then there was the europe punk and pop scene so no one knew what was going on until they really started to study the movies. We had the Puma Suedes, Nike Cortez, Chuck Taylor Cons, belt buckles, Kangols, trucker hats, Playboy beanies, Nike, Puma and Adidas tracksuits, Lee suits with the back pieces. People tried to get hold of mock necks but no one could. Fat laces in Puma Suedes were a big deal and really difficult to get hold of. I never got into Adidas Shelltoes but they were really popular especially later when RUN DMC started rocking them. T-shirts with bottom rockers and top rockers on the back and your name on the front repping your crew. I was doing graffiti too so graffiti pieces on your back and customising your own clothes was really important. 

J: What were some of the big differences between the styles then and now? 
F: I think most people in the early scene were copy cats, they were copying what they saw, now people are a lot more involved, sets are longer, people’s originality comes out more than it did then. The biggest difference was it was regional: you could tell where people came from because they were inspired by people around them. Now it’s easy to access inspirational clips and it’s more international. I like the idea of being able to see where a persons style comes from.

J: Was there more of a social aspect than there is now?
F: The dance is very social: you dance, train and hang out together. It used to be entangled with party dancing and clubbing. We didn't go and take over the club all night it was just about that little moment when the DJ played a certain song. More about hanging out. We went to different youth and social clubs and you had all the hip hop elements hanging together: rappers, DJs, graffiti writers all hanging out. Crews had a mix of people doing all elements hanging together.

J: Was there a different attitude towards crews before the age of social media and globalisation?
F: Yes definitely, super crews didn't exist in that way. City crews happened but most of the time they were real crews. You rolled with your crew through thick and thin, it was a really important. You didn't go to another crew unless your crew was dissolved or something happened. You didn’t jump from crew to crew.  You represented and took pride, thats where you belonged and where your history came from. Now I see people meet at a jam and the same day go together, that would never happen, it would be frowned upon. But there were also many more crew competitions where you just went at it for pride.

 

J: Could you speak on the other styles you grew up training? 
F: I started as a party dancer, social party dancing, the robot, then hip hop came so robot became poppin' or as we called it electric boogie, breakin'. Around 84/85 I started rocking, I kept doing it over the years and the knowledge came later. A couple of years back I started doing a little bit of hustle. I tried to rap and beatbox but I was never good at it, I tried to DJ but the needle would always skip. I started graf before bboyin, it's always been around me and I try and follow the scene still. I’m not involved but I try and keep my eye on it and keep dabbling. I have a passion for it.

J: I know you danced some freestyle and rock, could you speak a bit on the styles as you know them?
F: I started early with rock but I didn't really know what it was until I met Kenny a few times around 93/92. I went over to NY and he came to Sweden. He was going deep with his research, and went on to make 7 Gems Rock Division. I researched a lot and studied the O.Gs. I had trouble with the jerks and burns but the freestyle part came easy because that's what I was already doing. I think I brought that attitude from breakin' that you have to be original and do your own thing. I went to a few classes and privates but soon realised that I knew a lot about the dance and with that knowledge I tried to just be myself. I never really super trained it, just dance and enjoy it, sometimes I do more and sometimes less.

J: Do you think they affected / affect your breakin' style?
Rock and freestyle yes. I have a deeper knowledge in my toprock, I can expand it out of those four basic steps. I use rock steps to expand and transfer the feeling from freestyle rock. I think it’s important to make it look like toprock if you're going to transfer stuff from other dance styles, though its easy because those two dance styles are where breakin' was born. My style was also affected by the music that comes from rock and freestyle.

J: I know you've been a Writer for many years: could you speak a bit on your graf history?
F: I started when I saw Style Wars on TV. That night my big brother and I looted cans from our dads garage, went out and did a piece in a Gothenburg tunnel that said ‘crazy’, it came out pretty nice! A lot of crazy stories: my brother used to drive me on his motorbike to gas stations so I could rack cans. When the Gothenburg hip hop scene got a bit heavier I joined a writing crew called UGM: United Graffiti Masters, made of the most active writers. My friend Dwayne and I made a crew called Train Blast, we were mostly doing trains, we did the first whole car and the first window down side to side in Gothenburg. I moved from to Stockholm in the late 80's, breakin' took over and and didn't have as many writing friends. I write now and then, mostly legal walls, but I'm a summer time warrior.

J: Do you think its closely connected to your Breakin'?
F: All the elements are as important. They grew up together and should be treated like that. If you do breakin and don't have a clue about the other elements then you're lost in my opinion. You don't need to be an expert or anything but you should know about everything else. I’d say writing is the yin and breakin' is the yang: when you break you let the fire loose, its chaotic, Writing is more meditative. They back each other up and are a good release of your energy and vibration.

J: Could you speak on your history with Ghost Cru? 
F: In the late 90's I was in a crew called Moves Per Minute, it was more like a dance company, doing shows. I started to miss the battles and cyphers, started to go to more events and kept running into the same people: Django, Flaco, Dark Marc, Parkes, Ata, so we formed Ghost Cru. It was a crew that was like a story or something. Loosely made from three crews: Pro Kids Norway, MPM and Flo Mo, we kind of took Flo Mo under our wing, they didn’t have an old school scene in Finland so they’re we’re the younger ones while us others had been dancing since the 80s/90s. Flo Mo broke out when they felt their name was growing, we carried on going for about 10 years. Members from Norway were Luck Lars, Dirty Diaz, Dark Marc and Parkes, Finland we had Ema and Ata, Sweden was Me, Flaco and Marré. We took on two new members at the end: David and Mike. Now we only have four active members: Dark Marc, Parkes, Marré and me.

J: Were you aware of how big an influence your style and Ghost Cru were having on the breakin' world?
F: I saw our moves and our approach but I didn’t really pay attention. I see it more now, even when people don’t know names. I think it’s dope that we had an impact, but it’s not dope that people are biters. 

J: What were the styles or bboys that inspired that Swedish style of moving? 
F: I can only speak for me: obviously everything from the 80s first generation, NYC Breakers, Rocksteady Crew, Dynamic Breakers. Then Kid Jam was a big influence in my circles. Kenny was the one who inspired us a lot - I don’t know if he inspired the way of moving but it was just the way he was. I think Nico and Jasper got inspired a lot by Pervez and King B and then Maurizio had a big influence on the Swedish scene. Many people changed their style when Style Elements came out in mid 90’s, I saw it coming and thought people are followers. In Ghost Cru we got inspired by Rhumba, Martial Arts and stories we heard about breakers. My circles got inspired by the Florida scene in the early 2000s after going Pro AM, we were practicing to try and measure up to that standard. 

J: Your signatures are recognised through out the scene: could you speak a bit on how you created unique material and movements over the years?
F: A lot of my stuff is from comics. The ‘monkey on the wishing staff‘ freeze I do is from comics. The stuntman headspin is from cartoons. A lot from outside influences, not from breakin' even though it’s transferable. I look inside breakin’ too but I don’t want to. Everybody should respect that biting code and come up with new moves. I respect people expanding on existing techniques and concepts too like Sweet Technique. I’ve been working like that. I think its healthiest for the culture to find from outside and bring it in. 

J: I know you did a lot of varied creative processes over the years: are there any in particular that you would detail? For example how you, Nico and others made up the attack breakin’ style of footwork.
F: Travelling and the music are the most important. That started with Leacy. He introduced me to latin american and afro funk. With that process I travelled to South America and saw the dance styles, culture and religions there. War dances with knives and machetes, rhumba, Brazilian folk dances, native South American cultures. A lot of stuff in my toprock comes from that. It’s good to look in other cultures, dance styles, mysticism, religions and nature for inspiration. 

J: You're so well known for your teaching: are there any particular lessons that you really enjoy passing on? 
F: I think they all have value. Concepts where you can discover yourself are most important. Now everyone has access to N.Y and local foundation so I try to bring a new way of thinking and provoke what you already do and bring other things in from martial arts or different types of functional training. I enjoy teaching even basic classes. And coaching: giving people tips and ideas, there’s not many that are open to that but for those who are things are really happening. 

J: Are there any things you teach that you wish people paid more attention / diligence to?
F: I wish people paid more attention to what the culture is all about, details, form and the culture.

J: There are so many career bboy's in todays scene: do you have any advice for the big competition generation?
F: Step it up. Try and be more original don’t do all the moves that everyone else does, don’t follow trends try and get more character and stop biting. 

J: What does a training session look like for you nowerdays?
F: Trying to do what I’ve always done: be creative that’s what’s always kept me motivated. I warm up with rotational movements for my joints, dynamic stretching and some toprock for at least 30 mins then hit the floor. I do footwork training and speed training because those are thing that go with age. I do strength training that’s transferable to breakin'  and a little bit for looking good. 

J: What do you enjoy training? 
F: Definitely the creativity and I really enjoy when the results come and you can do new stuff at a jam, it’s always different when you train to when you hit the cyphers and that’s interesting. 

J: You have so much knowledge specifically into fitness and conditioning. What things do you think are really lacking in bboy training that you think people should address? 
F: I think people do things that aren’t transferable to breakin’. You should look at moves and things your body need and build exercises from there. 

J: Do you think it’s important for people to reach out to their local OGs? 
F: Yes learn your history in your area, know where you come from. You should have an overall picture of what came before you. There will be gems in that and you’ll carry a legacy, could be moves or an approach. You can pay tribute by flipping your OGs moves and keeping them alive. 

J: Are the ideas of biting or originality less important now the scene has so many more International dancers and platforms?
F: There’s a generation gap when it comes to biting It’s one of the main deteriorations of our culture. People should be asking their homies and finding out if they’ve seen stuff before and, If you need to, battle for it.

J: Should people be learning where there moves come from, or does it not matter so much in this fast moving era of competitions and social media? 
F: You should know where it comes from and their names. It’s part of your vocab: pay tribute. If you’re a famous bboy and you don’t know where your moves come from then you’re weak. People will hate me for saying that but I don’t care. 

J: Do you recognise this era of big comps and career bboys as being part of the same thing as you were and are or are they practising something different to you?
F: If they’re involved in hip hop culture then they’re doing the same thing as me, if they don’t know anything about it and not part of hip hop then they’re not breakers. Who am I to say something like that about someone but it’s how I think. You should know hip hop culture if you’re doing a hip hop thing, that’s what it’s all about right? 

J: If you had a message you could put up on a billboard that the most people around could see, what would it be? 
F: If you want what you’ve never had you’ve got to do what you’ve never done. 


 
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