bag of trix – battle of the year ’99.

I have an ego the size of the skydome.  Whenever I write or post something I assume that all 5oo of my ‘friends’ are reading my shit.

So assuming everyone’s been following, it’s become obvious that I miss my old city.  She’s all I think about lately.  Sadly, it’s not my ‘friends’ I really think about.  It’s the city herself.  And all the shit that gives her booty pop.

So THANK GOD FOR YOUTUBE!  I don’t ever have to come home, I can YOUTUBE Toronto shit all day, all night.  Which has been the steez-oh lately.  (Hipster-ville, Pilipinas has been pretty lame-oh to me lately and fuck it, there’s a typhoon outside).

Today’s post is something I’ve been searching for for years since the first time I saw it.  Probably in ’99.  This clip is from the performance segment of the 1999 Battle of the Year in Europe when legendary Toronto B-boy crew, BAG OF TRIX took the title.

Amazing pride when I first saw this and learned they won it all.  I remember thinking “YES!  now the world can see the styles emerging from Toronto.”  Styles that Bag of Trix and other crews of the time pioneered, revolutionizing the way the city and anybody else on the planet who knows shit about boogie-ing, boogied.

Nobody was doing routines like these guys.  They were not only technically complicated, but they showcased PERSONALITY.  Something I always find lacking in not just dancers, but almost EVERYTHING these days.  Most of all their routines were CLEAN.  Well rehearsed and down-pat.  They could slow them down and tweek them out or perform them at amazing speed, according to the music.  Brilliant.

These guys were the kings of ‘tricks’.  An exaggerated smile, a hand sliding across the floor, coming back again, and slipping through the other elbow.  Keeping it there on point with the rhythm, add a little something like sticking out the pinky.  Spinning half way on your heels, bring it back again, dropping down to the floor, and coming back on the toe-tips of one foot while holding the other out i1n your hand.  These little gestures, when woven together formed a style that nobody in the world scene was coming close to at the time.

The rest of the world was biting New York or doing back flips and spinning on their head for five minutes.

You’ll see shades of Bag of Trix in a lot of the street dancing today, especially in routines.  But even today, you’ll seldom see the originality and attention to detail Bag of Trix showed in the 90s.  They’re still ahead of their time.

Back in the day, Glizzi was my hero and I bit pretty much everything he did.  A bunch of them crashed the stage at my high school talent show while me and my buddies were performing and I almost lost it.  Something I’ll never forget.  I was glad to be exposed to such brilliance in my formative years.  I can say that the style had a great deal to do with shaping my personality and sense of humour.  And I made a shitload of friends (and enemies) doing it.

Perhaps the most important influence and the best thing about Bag of Trix was their diversity.  They were literally a Bag of Trix.  Dudes, with varied skin-tones and personalities, representing different parts of the city, coming together to get down.  A sentiment symbolized in their hand-sign:  two hands locked in a clasp.

When these guys came on RAPCITY for the first time and Micheal Williams (or was it Master T?) introduced them, it wasn’t a month before nearly every Filipino kid in the city was trying to drop needles like Gizmo.

Unfortunately, even with all that influence, like so many amazing acts from my pretty city, Bag of Trix never really got their just due.  So hopefully after the 500 or so people I know (or don’t know, really) read this, folks will start to recognize.

-mlv

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~ by mlv on 17 July, 2009.

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