Home > Getting missional > Krump like you mean it

Krump like you mean it

I think it’s due time to discover another amazing “somethin’ somethin’” about hip hop culture that may surprise you.   This part of hip hop makes me proud to dance it.   Keep reading, you’ll be inspired…

I have a fun job of teaching hip hop in schools.  When I mention to students that we’re going to learn Krump, the room bursts with enthusiasm.  Giddy girls instantly jump into a Beyonce, “booty shakin’” stance, while the guys put on their best “gangster” face.   To this I just laugh.  When the excitement dissipates, I begin to tell them the inspirational story of Krump.

Krumping originated in the inner city of Los Angeles where oppressive acts on blacks caused rioting (Watt’s riot) and gang life.  A man named Tommy, influenced by this lifestyle, one day found himself in jail for drug dealing.  When released from prison, Tommy decided he no longer wanted to follow his cultural context…. he wanted to create a new one.

Tommy started performing at kids birthday parties becoming a “Ghetto celebrity”, giving birth to the dance style, Clowning.  Clowning grew into an alternative for inner city kids to be involved with, rather than getting immersed in the gangster life.  There are over 100 clown dance groups that visit kids birthday parties to date.  Imagine Tommy never made the conscious decision to rise above his current lifestyle?  The sub culture he has created for those wanting more than gang life is substantial.

Krump evolved out of clown dance as a way of release.  Krump is an aggressive dance, but not violent.  Dragon, one of the original krumpers says this: “We are not heathens or thugs.  What we are is oppressed”.   What a better statement to describe the state of today’s youth crying out to us saying: “We’re not bad people!  Someone show us the way out of this oppression!”.   Krumpers refuse to surrender to the oppression they face.  They have created a new culture in opposition to the alternative of drugs, gangs and violence.

KRUMP is actually an acronym for Kingdom Radical Uplifted Mighty Praise.  It is a faith-based art form.  It is an exact opposite of the bling/gangster image we visualize hip hop culture to be.  It wars against injustice.  It fights for the youth of our nation.  It stands to oppose all that seeks to devour today’s youth found in areas of poverty.

My favorite part of sharing the story of Krump in schools, other than seeing the look of shock on students faces, is leaving them with the challenge Krump brings:

Will you be influenced by culture, or will you influence culture?

“Expression is a must in krump because krump is expression. You have to let people feel what you’re doing. You can’t just come and get krump and your krump has no purpose.”

Robert “Phoolish” Jones;Krump Kings

So Krump like you mean it.  Or better, LIVE like you mean it.  Make culture rather than conforming to it.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2)

Categories: Getting missional
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  1. August 11, 2011 at 3:04 am

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