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You have to dance first, then get acrobatic. People don’t understand that and it’s a shame. ’ Make your toprocks look good before you decide to jump into a windmill” (B-Boy Phantom, interview). The promotion of the b-boy canon works as the promotion of b-boying as dancing rather than gymnastics. In addition to this general sensibility, the b-boy canon also works to promote the use of specific rhythms. Many b-boy songs share the same implicit rhythmic 30 Foundation pattern. Like the clave in Latin music, from which it may well be derived, this pattern is sometimes articulated in the music, and sometimes not.

See who else is gonna start b-boying. ” And then that would start off your b-boy set. (DJ DV-One, interview) The deejay can use the symbolic power of b-boy songs to create an exciting environment in non-b-boy contexts. This is not insignificant. One of the hallmarks of good deejays is that the audience trusts their judgment with regard to which songs are appropriate to play at any given time; they know how to rock a crowd. Their understanding of how music serves various social needs is the primary reason that fans pay money to hear them.

Although the song’s performers had certainly never heard of hip-hop or uprocking when they recorded it (since hip-hop didn’t exist and uprocking was limited to teenagers in a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx), “The Mexican” has become so associated with uprock that whenever GeoMatrix hears it, he is immediately filled with an aggressive competitiveness that compels him to perform the dance. 4 At one point in the evening, the deejay played “The Mexican,” and b-boys in the crowd began uprocking within five seconds.

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