It’s not what people see, it’s what they don’t see

In part 4 of it four part series, Cyber ​​in Seattle is ending, but the door to the world of breakdance – and its bright future – is open.

The day after the event, I walked around the city of Seattle. It was an overcast day, not untypical for the region, but I couldn’t help but see the city through different eyes than the day I arrived.

Beyond the skyscrapers, statues, streetlights, and bustling Seattle natives was a sense of culture. There was an underground hip hop scene just waiting to be discovered. The signs were everywhere. The graffiti-strewn walls of the building’s sides, phone booths and support beams. A local museum with a prominent exhibition dedicated to the history of the genre. It’s a whole community unto itself, tucked away in the vast art culture of this beautiful city.

TThere is no medium that emphasizes the combination of community and individualism like Breaking.

As I strolled down the pedestrian walkway at Seattle Center shortly after climbing the Space Needle for the first time, I stumbled upon an experience that held the entire weekend together. A father and his son stood by a stereo, microphones in hand, a donation box at their feet. The two rapped a series of homemade songs. When I showed up, there might have been two or three people around her, but whether there were three people watching or 3,000, their approach would have been the same. They were there to express themselves, spread the culture, and most importantly, have a good time. Father’s name was CZON. He has been making music for around 15 years and only started rapping a few years ago with his 10-year-old son Nicco.

As fate would have it, Nicco pulled out some basic breaking moves during the duo’s final song of the day. I could not believe my eyes. Here was the culture, the lifestyle, the community that I had spent days learning to manifest before my eyes. That was hip hop. That was broken. That was Seattle. In fact, CZON and Nicco recently took part in a Breaking Cypher that was scheduled to feature Seattle’s famed b-boy crew, the Massive Monkees. Before the event, Nicco was able to practice some of his own dance circle breaks before he and his father performed one of their songs.

From the underground hip-hop scene to the streets of Seattle, Breaking World’s influence is as far-reaching as it is extraordinary. There is no medium that emphasizes the combination of community and individualism like Breaking. “It’s not what it is, it’s what it feels like,” Tilson, one of Cypher’s MCs, told me. “It’s not what people see, it’s what they don’t see.”

There is a whole world of people blind to the beauty and impact of this community. So was I before this weekend opened my eyes. It’s so cliche, I know – such a graphic, sensationalist take on a regional breakdance tournament. But don’t take my word for it, experience it for yourself.

Breaking is and always has been an uncompromising niche, but in the summer of 2024 a whole new population will be exposed to this spectacular blend of sports and arts.

And her life will never be the same again. It’s not what people see, it’s what they don’t see

John Verrall

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