June 13, 2016 in Editorials, Interviews by

League of Assassins Review + Interview

This past weekend I had the opportunity to host the 3rd installment of the Deadly Assassins “League of Assassins” dance event at Encore studios. For about 10 years now I’ve been heavily involved in the support of the Krump movement in the NW attending many shows and workshops along the way but this event has really proven the immense growth of the dance community! Krumpers were a huge factor in this but Breakers, Poppers and House dancers alike all came together to make this event one for the books.

The weekend started on Friday with a Krump workshop where 3 of the most influential dancers of the community (Spartan, Ruin and Theory) were flown out from California to each teach a class on the growth, fundamentals, different Styles and the importance of individuality of Krump. With 33 years worth of experience between the 3; it’s no wonder why each lesson showed a packed house. (More from them later.)

Saturday was where the action was! This was a day PACKED with battles not only from the Krump world but different styles from all over were showcased. Dancers from Boston, Arizona, California and Texas all came to participate in the day filled with dance madness!

We started off with a “7 to kill” competition. Also known as “7 to smoke” in the break community, “7 to kill” is a round robin competition where each dancer has the opportunity to “Kill off” each opposing battler! The one with the most “Kill offs” at the end of the designated time period, wins! The first time one of these has been held at a Deadly’s event. 7 entered but there can only be one winner. This years victor was a dancer from Cali that goes by the name J Beast!

From there we jumped right into the first round of the All Styles 2v2 battles. 20 teams entered but after 3 rounds of intense battles it all came down to the teams of Soul Trigger and Con-Vo. These 4 guys were insane! A battle full of not only technical skills but were also really at each other’s necks! Taunting would be an understatement. In the end, the judges chose Con-Vo as the winners!

Between each of the three All Styles rounds there were sets of 3 very aggressive Krump battles! Passion was expressed in the previous styles but the Krump was the true highlight of the event. The Deadly Assassins  held it TF down for the Krump movement out here with distinct highlights from The DA’s Marcus ( CrownZ ) Cooper, Lil MaddHatta ( Tae Howard ) and Deadly Option ( Bravo Domo )…. I’m still over here thinking about CrownZ intro to his battle! Sheeeesh!!!

IMG_1578The NW was very well represented this weekend but the guests of honor Spartan, Ruin and Theory left it all on the table. It’s no wonder why these guys have been all around the world off of the strength of dance alone. CRAZY amount of talent between the three of them. I had seen footage of them in the past but seeing them live gave it no justice!

Before their flights Sunday evening, I got a chance to sit down with the 3 and ask them a few questions about themselves and the dance communities they’ve made an impact on. Here’s what they had to say…

 

You guys have been all over the world. Where’s your favorite place to teach/dance?

Spartan- “I’d have to say Japan because of their passion and willingness to learn the art.”

Theory- “Yeah, I’d agree with Japan. Those guys are just so eager to learn out there!”

Ruin- “For me, the best place to teach is in South Korea. They ask so many questions, you can just tell they want to learn something new. But my favorite place to dance is in Paris. It’s just so damn beautiful out there!”

The NW dance movement has grown tremendously. In your opinion, how has it gotten as big as it is?

Spartan- “It’s grown so much because of the dedication of leaders from the movement. They push forward to an extent that it makes people want to follow not only them but other movements as well. They take their egos out and put the culture to the forefront instead of making it all about themselves and that’s very important if you’re looking for growth. They give back to Krump more then they take from it.”

Ruin- “It’s very important to want to learn. Krump is always growing. With this being my first time out here, I had seen some of these guys footage here and there via YouTube but I can definitely tell everyone stays up to date.”

Theory- “Yeah, these guys basically summed it up. It’s really getting crazy out here.”

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It’s pretty clear dance has opened up a lot of doors for you guys. How do you feel about the Krump movement and what it’s done for you?

Spartan- “it’s opened my eyes to a different part of my life that I would have never cared to see in my younger years. Without Krump, I honestly don’t even know where I would be. Most likely involved in music in some way but to be the type of inspiration I am for so many people around the world; the impact Krump has made on my life is immeasurable. It’s allowed me to see so many different things from a cultural aspect. It really has created a lot of opportunities for me to be a good person and the man I am today.”

Ruin- “I definitely agree with you bro, like, I’ve had a lot of hobbies in the past that I’ve been super dedicated to but once dancing and Krump came into my life it changed everything. All the negative shit went out the door and all my focus went towards dance. Just the way I look at life or the way I see things have all changed. I can go to a movie theater to see a film and be like “I know where they shot this scene! I was just there last week!”. If I didn’t get into Krump I would only know “my way”. It’s enabled me to see things from other people’s perspective and that’s one of the more useful things it’s done for me. I honestly don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for this shit.”

Theory- “Along with everything these guys are saying, For me, Krump has given/ taught me the meaning of brotherhood. I come from a small family so Krump has helped me meet tons of new people that I normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. I’ve been able to open up and make real, long lasting friendships. With some of these guys there’s no way we could see each other everyday but when we finally link back up its like no time was lost whatsoever.”

I’ve noticed within Krump a lot of folks have a Character they live by. What’s the importance of having a Krump character?

Spartan- “It brings a sense of confidence. It puts you in a position where you can be whoever you want to be and nothing else matters in the moment. It allows you to express who you already are. It doesn’t have to be real, but it can be. My character is based off of the hardships I’ve encountered in my life which gives me a certain sense of cockiness because I’ve already defeated every struggle I’ve been through in my mind, so that translates into the dance floor. The importance of having a character is so you can have an image for people to connect to. In some cases, your character may inspire/ help someone get through something they’re going through or it could even give someone the confidence to join the movement we’re already apart of. Who I am as a person is sometimes different then who I am in dance but without that character i may not have sparked that interest to someone new.”

*Ruin and Theory both agree*

Theory, Domo told me you do more then just Krump. Said you’ve produced for a few pretty well known artists. Who are you working with right now, what do you have planned in the future and how long have you been producing for?

“I’ve actually been producing since I was 10 and I’m 27 now so 17 years. Started really early because I’ve always felt really comfortable with my musical ear and always had a real passion for music in general. Most recently I’ve worked with artists such as Dondria Nicole and Eric Bellinger. As well as an up and coming artist from Interscope named Wash and OvO artist Party Next Door. Just really been focused on branding myself and my company The Penthouse. Actually, this summer myself and the 3 other producers from The Penthouse are putting together an EP that we’re all extremely excited about.”

Spartan, I’ve heard a few tracks you’ve rapped over. Krump records are a little different then a regular rap record. Which do you enjoy more and why?

“I definitely enjoy doing both but I lean more so towards rapping over Krump production because of the feeling it gives me. I’ve always had this grimey type feel when I approached a record and with Krump it’s easy for me to express that emotion. It’s more of a battle type track where, much like in a Krump battle, you’re looking to take someone’s head off. My favorite rappers growing up were MOP, DMX, Onyx, Jadakiss and Cassidy. The way they laid their vocals and the intensity of each verse has always inspired me! I honestly feel like if these guys were to get on a Krump record, they would absolutely murder the track! Funny Story!! The first track I ever made was actually a song called “Fuck Wendy’s!” The hook was like… “Fuck Wendy’s! Burgers are circles, we ain’t no squares!” (Whole room busts into laughter) Yeah, we were some fools, man!”

Ruin, Outside of Krump and teaching Krump, Domo tells me you customize sneakers. How’d you get into that and What’s the craziest custom you’ve done?

“Outside of dance, I’ve always been into art. It was actually my main dedication before dance. Growing up, I went to a performing arts school for a little bit where I really developed a love for drawing. From there, I’ve always had a love for sneakers and fashion so it was pretty natural for me to connect the two. As far as my craziest custom; I’d have to say it’d be the “Kill Bill” collection I did a while back. They were yellow and black with red blood splatters all over. I did that on a few different canvases… Nike Cortez, Nike Air Python, Nike slipper and a pair of Nike football gloves!! Easily my favorite collection!”

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