Blessings and Light,
My name is Marcus “Ademi, O.G.” Paris, and may I say that being a part of this year’s Legacy Series representing Krump is, if not one of, THE MOST honourable opportunities I’ve had. Not only for the cause of what and who it’s for but for the simple fact that this beautiful, complex, and uplifting craft has impacted so many lives.
I remember it as clear as day. I was in grade eight, just got home from middle school not too long ago, and I’m sitting in my living room watching 106 & Park (because you had to catch that every night!). Commercials come on, and I see a commercial for a film out of nowhere. With Black young or old, at that time, I couldn’t tell what age range they were to identify with, but the one thing I could identify with was that they were Black men and women, boys and girls, dancing. And not just any typical dancing. Back in those times, Dancehall was the ting! Sean Paul and Elephant left, right, and center. This dancing did not only appear but felt moving and powerful, and all I had was one minute to receive everything I’d seen. Thankfully, I did catch the title of the film title, and it was “Rize.”
The title was all I had to run with. At that time, the internet was beginning to be heavily incorporated with youth and community centres. I googled “Rize” and found the website for the film. At that time (around the year 2004), the film wasn’t being shown in theatres in Toronto, so all I had was the website, five clips of what I discovered were the dance styles to be “clowning” and “krumping.” Five clips each of 15-30 seconds was all I had to absorb from a BET commercial. One random summer day at my Aunt’s house, we decided to go to Jane and Finch Mall. Great mall, you could get all the bootleg DVDs during them times. I look down one day and tell myself how I saw the movie Rize on Bootleg. From then on, it was over! From copying movies from the DVD, googling names and finding more videos of Krump in the recent years made after Rize was filmed, my life changed forever.
Krump has been my best friend, my enemy, my lover, my fighter, and my saviour for many years, and I am most likely not the only one feeling the same way. Krump has been a therapeutic outlet for me since the age of fourteen. Its charismatic, electrifying, and ancestral movements taught me how to understand my emotions, gain self-reflection, and move my body, soul, and mind in any shape or form that willed it. It has helped me gain resolve with the loss of my father by allowing me to portray his energy, his entity, and what I thought he might be through my character and how I performed my movements. Krump has been my outlet for over 15 years. Krump has been my saviour.
Canadian Krump culture spans from Montreal, Quebec, where the first Canadian Krump crew, “Bzerk Squad,” was formed by Canadian OG “Pez.” Canadian Krump pioneers “7Starr”, “Taminator,” and “Jigsaw,” who were original and founding members of Bzerk Squad, have been able to maintain and continue to build the Krump community not only in Montreal but the Province of Quebec, to Toronto, where every Wednesday evening at the Tropicana Centre in Scarborough Town Centre, where Krump sessions would be held with other Krumpers in the city discovering each other. From then on, Krump dancers from Etobicoke (“Soul Society”) to Durham (“D.U.B”) were able to find one another and finally be able to grow and share each other’s purest expressions.
Our Krump community history has faced a lot of adversity. A lot of trauma and pain stemmed from a lack of direction and support for situations that we did not know how to address or handle as we were young adults trying to build a culture that brought us love and peace. And till this day, those who have come up in the culture are healing and finding their way back to the community. A Community that provides security in expressing their authentic selves by learning more and more every day about the culture, where it comes from, and who and what it represents. The response to systemic oppression, the response traumas faced in life, the answer to the everyday adversity that the Black community in South Central faced, which sprouted this rose from concrete.
Krump is about pain, joy, love, healing, support, togetherness, and community. Krump is Black and proud. Krump is for this world’s children, youth, men and women. Krump is for the people.