Oct 072004

Throbbing beats of hip-hop music filled the air as students

showed off their break dancing skills on the Lory Student Center

Plaza Thursday afternoon.

The display was a preview for the Hip Hop Culture Club’s Higher

Ground event on Oct. 23 in the student center Main Ballroom at 5


Higher Ground will feature MC battles, beat-boy battles and a

fashion show with “some of the top urban lines in the country,”

said Derek Flores, the vice president of sales for Genetik Gear, a

sponsor of the event.

“Different (disc jockeys) from Brooklyn are coming in to judge,”

said Flores, a senior history major.

Several hip-hop groups and disc jockeys will also be coming from

around the country, including Remind of Style Elements in

California and Lil John of HaviKoro from Texas. The Procussions

from Colorado will also make an appearance.

The student organization has hosted events to promote awareness

of hip-hop culture since it began in 1999.

Sam Fung, group vice president, described the founding members

as “a bunch of guys that love break dancing.”

“Every year since then we’ve been throwing an event,” said Fung,

a junior international studies major.

Fung has been a group member since 2000, when he was encouraged

to get involved by a friend.

“My friend was president and he urged me to be vice president,”

Fung said. “All of us here love music and love dance. It’s open to


Matt McDonald, the club’s president, became interested in the

hip-hop scene in high school.

“When I was in high school I started listening to hip-hop and my

interest kind of took off from there,” said McDonald, a junior

business-marketing major. “We welcome anybody and we promote any

form of expression.”

Dancing, rapping, MCing and the art of graffiti are just a few

forms of expression, though McDonald said the club’s most dedicated

members are dancers.

“Dancing is the heart of the club,” McDonald said. “We’d like to

bring more people in. If you just like hip-hop music come out and

have a good time.”

Laurel Goodman, a sophomore social work major and treasurer of

the club, started out by attending the free break dancing


Now Goodman helps teach the classes.

“There’s some basic steps,” Goodman said. “You teach (students)

a foundation and let them take it from there. Let them develop

their own style.”

However, in order to break dance, McDonald said it is important

to be in good shape.

“You have to be in an all-around good physical shape,” McDonald

said. “A little bit of strength, a little bit of flexibility.”

For all three students, dancing is a method of


“It’s a means if I’m upset or something to get out that

emotion,” Goodman said. “It’s a positive means of expression.

People should get out there.”

Fung said he likes the idea of battles between dancers as a

nonviolent competition.

“If you and someone else have a beef, you can take it out on the

floor and dance,” Fung said.

However, for McDonald it’s more about the music than the other


“I think about feeling the music,” he said. “Feeling the beats

and performing to the best of my ability.”

In the end, McDonald said it all comes down to two things.

“Hip-hop is all about soul and good vibes,” McDonald said.


To enter any of the battles visit www.genetikgear.com.

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