For those of you who don’t know, breakdancing is a form of street dance that was very popular in the 1980s. It was pioneered by African-American youth from The Bronx in New York. Breakdancing was very popular in the 1980s and it is still practiced today.
Today, breakdancing has evolved and has been integrated into many different kinds of dance forms. Breakdancing is now being used as an influence in hip hop culture, but it has also been integrated into other forms of dance such as ballet. There are many different styles of breakdancing such as b-boying, power moves (the stomping part), and locking (the twisting and moving part).
Breakdancing got its name from the words break and dancing. I guess it’s because people broke out into a spontaneous dance at any time when they heard a break beat playing on the radio!
Although breakdancing originated in the Bronx, it spread to almost every city across America during the 80s. In fact, by 1982 there were around 20 major b-boy crews that were competing against each other for money prizes throughout urban cities across America. And you thought your high school dances were competitive!
A break beat is a musical genre that was featured in many rap songs in the 1980s. It is a rhythm that emphasized the second and fourth beats of each measure in 4/4 time, and the musical feel is similar to reggae. A break beat was also created when a DJ or turntablist (a person who manipulates records like a DJ, but also plays other instruments such as turntables) would take two copies of an existing record and play them simultaneously, resulting in an echo effect. This created an interesting rhythm that was popular among hip hop DJ’s at the time.
Breakdancing was most popular during the 80s because it went so well with most hip hop music and rap songs of the time. Breakdancing added another dimension to hip hop culture and it helped to propel hip hop into mainstream pop culture for good!
This first song is “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock (1988). This song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 6, 1989. The song features very simple lyrics about dancing with your significant other. The lyrics are easy to remember and easy to sing along with too!
In 1980, “Planet Rock” was released by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force. The song was an early hip hop hit that helped to introduce the break beat to mainstream audiences. The song also features a scratch (scratching is when a DJ mixes two songs together by moving the record back and forth on a turntable) in the middle of the song. This song is still popular today and has been sampled in many different songs such as Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride (featuring Eminem).
This next song is “Nunk” by Eric B & Rakim (1987). Released in 1987, this album contains some of the best rap/hip hop songs ever! This album reached number 12 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart on May 17, 1987. The video for Nunk was directed by Scott Kalvert, who also directed videos for artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson during the 1980s.
Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force
The first song to come out of the hip-hop movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This song was an underground hit in the New York City area, but had a major impact on the spread of hip-hop culture. It was not until over a decade after Planet Rock was released that it became mainstream due to MTV showing videos and other media outlets giving it exposure.
The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
Another song that came out of the hip-hop movement.
This song is known for its raw lyrics and to be the first hip-hop song to address poverty and drug use in the inner city. It was a favorite of inner city youth and inspired many rappers that followed it.
Blue Monday – New Order
A danceable song that came out of England in 1983. At first, this song was not too popular, but it eventually became a popular dance music hit in clubs all over the world. The video for this song is one of the first videos to have segments shown that were not actually in the recording studio with the band themselves. The video for this song won an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in a Video.
I Ran (So Far Away) – A Flock of Seagulls
This song was released in 1982 and it became a hit because of its catchy lyrics and danceable beats. It is also a great example of how culture can change with the times. This song is known for its synthesizer sounds, which at the time were very 1980s sounding, but today they sound very dated.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cindi Lauper
A song that came out in 1983 that was not aimed towards one specific culture or group. At the time this song was released, it was popular with teenagers and college students, but it has become a favorite among adults as well. Today’s version of this song has been covered by many artists including Cyndi Lauper herself, but with a twist to the lyrics to make it more appropriate for children. The video for this song features Lauper as several different characters including an astronaut who dances around in space. She has also done some variations on this theme where she plays several different characters in the same video to show her versatility as an actor and singer. This video won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 1984. It also won an Academy Award for Best Music in a Short Film. This song is also the theme song of the television show The Facts of Life.
In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins
A popular song from 1981 that was released on the album Face Value. It is known as one of Phil Collins’ most popular songs and is one of his best known songs besides other hits such as Sussudio and Easy Lover. It also became a popular song to use in television and film, but not necessarily because of its lyrical content.
It came out in 1980, so it was considered to be a 80s breakdancing song during its time, even though it did not become very popular until 1981. This song was used as the theme for the television show Miami Vice, but most people remember it from its use in a commercial where it was used as a soundtrack for someone who takes a shower with a portable shower stall and then gets out into his bathroom naked to get dressed with only an acoustic guitar to keep him company.