Thursday, October 25, 2012


The New York City Breakers (NYCB) is a breakdancing crew and hip-hop group that was established in the Bronx borough of New York City. They were originally known as the "Floormaster Crew". Chino "Action" Lopez,Noel "Kid Nice" Mangu,Matthew "Glide Master" Caban,Tony "Powerful Pexster" Lopez,Ray "Lil Lep" Ramos,Bobby "Flip Rock" Potts,Tony "Mr. Wave" Draughon,Corey "Icey Ice" Montalvo Michael Holman, Hip Hop pioneer and Downtown artist/filmmaker who produce and directed the first Hip Hop film, "Catch Beat" in 1981, promoted the first Hip-Hop parties in Downtown Manhattan at a night club called "Negril." At a NYC Bow Wow Wow concert in September, 1982, Bow Wow Wow's manager and legendary impresario, Malcolm McLaren, hired Holman to put together a Hip Hop Review - consisting of DJ Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Jazzy Jay, MC Ikey C, graffiti artist Kel-1 and the Rock Steady Crew - to open for Bow Wow Wow. A few months later, Holman brought his Hip Hop Review to Negril, an East Village club on 2nd Ave. and 12th Street, as a way of introducing this new sub-culture to the Art World of Downtown New York City. On the opening night, Holman had Bambaataa and Jazzy Jay rock the dance floor, and featured the graffiti art of Rammellzee. Holman's close friend, legendary graffiti artist/pioneer Phase II created the flyers for these Hip Hop nights. Holman also screened "Catch A Beat" for background visual entertainment. The featured breakdancers/B-Boys, and the true highlight of the night, were the Rock Steady Crew, whom Holman had acted as manager/agent for a year or so at that point. Wanting to see a real B-Boy battle, played out for a Downtown audience - something even Holman hadn't witnessed yet - Holman asked Crazy Legs, Rock Steady's leader, to find and invite another B-Boy crew to Negril for a real throwdown. Crazy Legs decided to invite the Floor Masters, a crew they had battled a few weeks before, at a hostile Jam in a High School in the Bronx. Ironically, the two battling crews had to join together, to fight their way out of the Jam when the crowd turned against both of them. This incident created a lasting friendship and respect between these dance crews. During the Negril Floormasters/RSC Battle, Holman was amazed by the newcomers' dancing abilities. Where the Rock Steady Crew dazzled the crowd with their dancing and rhythm, The Floor Masters wowed everyone, especially Holman, with their speed and power and athleticism. Inspired, Holman decided to create a new, all-star, super B-Boy crew, that specialized in power and speed, and build the crew with The Floor Masters as the foundation, and it was Phase II, with his genius for words, who came up with the name, The New York City Breakers. The NYC Breakers started their careers' with a splash, appearing, not days after signing with Holman, on the nationally televised Merv Griffin Show. Soon after, the NYCBs began appearing on everything from "Soul Train", "Ripley's Believe It or Not!", "P.M. Magazine", "CBS Evening News", "Good Morning America", "Amnesty International Gala", "That's Incredible!", and "NBC's Salute to the Olympics" just to name a few."Sixteen Candles", "Beat Street", "The Freshest Kids", and are some of the noteworthy feature films they appeared in as well a cameo in "Body Rock". The NYCBs appeared on the first ever Hip Hop TV show called "Graffiti Rock", created, produced and hosted by their manager, Michael Holman.And author of the book "Breaking and The New York City Breakers", that was to be published that fall in 1984 by Freundlich Books. He was America's leading exponent in Hip Hop Culture and a founding member of Hip Hop International Inc.And released a Album Break-Master Featuring New York City Breakers that went Gold with Posters and array of how to break steps and how hold a competition the first to have all this in one album. The NYCBs were the first ever Hip Hop group and/or artists to perform in Washington D.C for a sitting President, specifically Ronald Reagan, during the 1984, "Kennedy Center Honors."" The performance was broadcast nationally on CBS, and is considered a landmark for the acceptance of Hip Hop culture in America. While performing in tribute to legendary choreographer, and Kenndy Center Honoree Katherine Dunham at the Kennedy Center Honors, the NYCBs befriended Frank Sinatra, (also an Honoree that year) who was so impressed by the NYCBs, he hired them back to perform for the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala, which Sinatra was the organizing Chairman. Michael Holman and The New York City Breakers formed the first company Hip Hop International toured the world and performed for Presidents and royalty (England's Price Andrew and the King and Queen of Norway). As one of the first Hip Hop/B-Boy crews, they helped spread Hip Hop around the globe, and will always be remembered as crucial pioneers of Hip Hop Culture. At the height of The NYCBs fame, sadly, Matthew Caban (Glide Master) died in a motorcycle accident (from WIKI).