Trailer for an exploration of Taiwan's rich bboy scene, and as it fits in the island-nation's hip hop culture as a whole. This project will span at least 2 years as we're only in Taiwan one month out of the year. For four hours on February 12th, 2013, OG Taiwan bboy, and a member of the international hip hop crew, The Mighty Zulu Kingz, Bboy Choco took me on a tour of just one area of Taipei: the Ximending a.k.a. the West Gate Pedestrian Area. The area, packed with endless stores and food stands has a real night market feel, but is known throughout the country as THE place where young people congregate. It's where the flagship stores for the most popular youth, athletic, and urban brands are situated, and is, as I discovered, a pivotal place for the emergence of hip hop culture in Taiwan.
The area is underground culture heaven, with frequent graffiti battles, skateboarder events, bboy events, basketball events, and festivals celebrating all facets of urban culture. On any given evening, walking through the concrete park in Ximending, the scene is something we could only dream about in North America: a few hip hop dance crews respectfully playing their music just loud enough for themselves to hear, drilling their choreography, a few poppers experimenting with ticking around a picnic bench, bboys and bgirls practising their balance, contorting their bodies into the craziest freezes, graf writers in their sketchbooks blending colours, beat-boxers practising their snares and crab scratches, and skaters and bmx cyclists occupying the centre straightaway. This happens every. single. night.
I'll finish the write-up properly when I review more of my notes, but just know that from the 4 hours spent with Choco, I had over 3 hours of his audio, and it was beautiful to see how excited he got around every corner, pointing at this one graf piece, or that building over there that used to be the place to crew up and prep for battle. I can't wait to go back to Taiwan to speak more with Choco, and of course, the multitude of other Taiwanese OG bboys and other true hip hop heads.
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