Events

Breaks, Battles, and Beefs: 20 Years of Memories from the Furious Styles Crew

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Bringing in New Members:

Pickster One, Blunt Club DJ/Furious Styles member: They've always had these little spots where they'd do like their teachings and House would have classes. And every once in awhile I'd be asked to do some sort of b-boy jam out there in the [West Valley] in like the late '90s.

Z-Trip: Shit. We did like barbecues, we did like parties, we did youth centers. Wherever the fuck we could get over, wherever the fuck we could be loud and dance and not get fucked with.

House: I was working up north at the Thunderbird Teen Center up north on Bell [Road] in the mid-'90s. That's where I met Miracles. I've know him since he was 14. I spent a lot of time there teaching classes and out of there came our members Miracles and Citrus. So youth started coming out of there. Later on, as we started travelling, we started meeting cats that we were cool with, so like "Stuntman" Ricky Rocany from L.A., he got on board. We started expanding.

Miracles: I officially got on in 2001 but House has been my mentor since 1997. I started breaking in '95 and I basically didn't know what I was doing for two years. And then some of my friends told me about this guy that's [into] graffiti and breaks. "He's dope. He's in the Styles Crew. You should come to this teen center." There was that Public Access channel back then that anybody could film stuff for and they were filming him and like three members of the Styles Crew with some breakers and b-boys from the north side at this teen center. That's when I really fell in love with it and have been under his wing since then.

Pickster One: They're really selective about who they induct into their crew. It's b-boys and b-girls, but it's also people working in the community, doing things and making moves that are down to put in the work.

House: We've always been a smaller crew because we've always been very selective. We didn't care if you were super fresh but if you didn't just fit the mold for Furious Styles Crew, it just wasn't going to happen. We started "Baby Styles," which is now "Future Styles," kind of like the training/internship kind of thing where you came in, paid your dues, earned your respect, and came up in the ranks before you could even consider being in Furious Styles.

Miracles: Before I joined Furious Styles, I got put into "Baby Styles." It was for all the prospects, the J.V. before you got into varsity.

House: People who wanted to join would come out and hang around, because you just have to hang out with us before we even consider adding you. So once people would let us know they had an interest in it, we would start inviting you to hang out with us, we'll start watching you at events, we'll start sessioning with you and see what sort of progression you're making. And then we'd put them in "Baby Styles." It was always different for some people. Some would be in for a few months before getting into Furious Styles, some people were in it for years and never got in. Part of the reason we called it "Baby Styles" is because you have to crawl before you can walk.

Miracles: I was 13-14, so everything was just so new to me, so I was excited all the time. It's not like today where everybody knows what true hip-hop is, you know what I mean. It was like a secret thing, a secret group. It felt like really special to be there, because I wasn't really into sports or any of that stuff in school, so this is my way of getting my energy out. And it was really exclusive, even the music. All the underground stuff that no one had even heard of, like Hieroglyphics and Living Legends. It was very exciting discovery.



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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.