FAB Interview #14: Kemo speaks on taking a break from footwork, Moving to California, and who he wants to battle
FAB catches up with one of footwork’s Kings, the one and only Kemo (Creation/Footworkingz). Known for his unique aggressive footwork style the King who has been unseen for a while has decided to share his reason for “falling back” from footwork for a while, why he moved to Cali, and who he wants to battle.
FAB: So when did you first see footworking?
K: I think I was around 16 or 17, when I first seen it up close like for real. My cousin DJ Speed aka David Smith was showing me his new dance style. Like I had seen it before but I didn’t really pay it any mind until I seen him do it up close and personal.
FAB: So when did you start actually footworking then?
K: Had to be like 2005, the beginning of that year. It was the year before the Chris Brown Dance Down competition that I won. I remember after seeing DJ Speed do it , Im like Im about to go in the field and learn as much as I can! At the time my father passed (RIP) I didnt know what I wanted to do with myself for real, but when I seen footwork I knew it was for me. It was my outlet. If I didn’t have my moms and footwork, man, no telling what I would have been out here doing.
FAB: Yea footwork kept a lot of dudes off the streets, I can attest to that. So was Creation your first group?
K: No, the first group I was in was Taliban. Me and my guy also started a group called The Virus. Brandon, Smoothe, and me, we used to go to the Hall and merk everything!
FAB: So who was your first teacher?
K: Lil Chris (Taliban) was my first teacher. As far as perfection of a cold a*s style, he was that dude. His style was so deadly to me, all his moves and techniques. Him and Manny smoked people in the circle at Markham. Lil Chris had it on lock.
FAB: So what made you become a part of Creation?
K: I found out about them through the air waves. They were a team I looked up to. I was going to Eisenhower Highschool and I built my name there as a footworker. I built it like how Meek Mill was known in Philly, so when Ross came to Philly everybody like you should rock with Meek Mill. Thats how I was when King Charles came to Eisenhower to pass out some flyers, he was known as King of footwork in the city and I was the person who had it on lock in my area.
FAB: So he recruited you when he came up to your school?
K: Actually it was later than that, we didnt even get a chance to dance against each other or even see one another at the school. It was at the Paul Hall on Halsted, which was the best spot for footworkers then. Boodilla (Creation Vice Pres) noticed me and introduced me to King Charles. Charles watched me go at it and was digging my unique style. Shout out to Boodilla for giving me a chance, he is the reason I was brought into Creation.
FAB: So what was your initiation process?
K: Tryouts weren’t as difficult as they are now. Charles has an eye for talent. When he seen me he knew what I would do. He invited me places and was putting me out there to tear sh*t apart! In my prime, I was smoking dudes left and right! King Charles is the reason I won the Chris Brown competition, because he took a step back from competing and chose me out the team to rep for the whole Creation. He knew I was hot at the time and I could win the whole thing, and I did! God was on our side.
FAB: I hear you say when you were in your prime, do you think your not in your prime now?
K: I feel I’ve changed a lot, Im a different person and I stepped back from footworking for a while. I think I was way better back then because I practiced and labbed more, but Im back on it though. Im anxious to get back to where I was and become even better than that.
FAB: Why did you decide to fall back from the dance scene for a while?
K: Im glad you asked that question. People across the world have been wondering that and I want everyone to know this. Reason I fell back was in order to be a good dancer you have to be a good person. I had to clean my mind and soul. I had to learn how to be one with God. I needed to become a man before anything else. I studied myself, built on myself as a person. You have to know yourself and who you are as a person before handling such big responsibilities because its easy to get lost in it all. I became hot because of my dance style and drive, but I didn’t know who I WAS.
FAB: Thats deep fam, and that is very true. How do you feel about this new generation of footworkers?
K: Shout out to the new generation.Honestly sometimes I dont feel they message. I think DJs should re release a lot of the old sh*t. It felt like it was more from the heart. Part of the reason why I wanted to fall back too, a lot of the excitement was leaving because it wasn’t from the heart. Im in a whole new mind frame now though, I moved to Cali with King Charles now and Im building from scratch.
FAB: Yea I heard you moved out there how is the footwork scene in Cali?
K: Well its really just us for now, but it is growing because of the work King Charles and FWKingz have put in. We got some dudes out here that are learning pretty quick. I love it because its a diverse group from all races and backgrounds. Its crazy. I came out here specifically for dancing and to build a new life. Its gone be Creation Cali, watch. Its gone be like Avengers, a group of different types of people with different powers that come together (laughs). Its gone change the game, but Creation has always been the game changers so its only right. Footworking is not going to be just for African-Americans anymore.
FAB: Around the time you got your name up a lot of things came out of that, even a mini-me student of yours by the name of Lil Kemo. Have you spoken to him?
K: Not really but every time I fall into hearing something about him its negative. If you gone hold my name, I want it to be carried in a good way and not with that negative stuff. Travon aka Lil Kemo was like 15 when I started working with him, he is probably 18 or 19 now. My advice to him would be inspire people with your talents and be the best you, do better in life. I wan’t the best for all footworkers in Chicago. We have a gift, other countries/states love what we do. We got a goldmine and dont even know it.
FAB: Moving to Cali for Creation means you are very loyal and believe in your group.How do you feel about footworkers group hopping?
K: Im big on loyalty. I got in Creation to be Creation. I got it tatted on me. If you gone be in a group be brothers. I never had interest in any other group, I see people jump all the time, thats a big turn off.
FAB: You are one of the few to win a big KING OF battle. How do you feel about people using the King title?
K: Charles, Jron, AG, and some old school heads (because they open the doors for us) are the only ones I can say I respect as KINGS in the footwork world. These dudes come out tomorrow and be all cocky. Majority time you got to be humble. In the circle is one thing but outside the circle be humble, Im not trying throw people under the bus, but there’s nothing really exciting to me in the footwork community. I love Walcam he trying to keep it positive and keep people out the streets but Im not feeling the hiprolling sh*t. Cant put that in the same boat with footwork battles, Id say do that on a seperate day or something, the world may mistake what it is we are really doing. I like what Fortune & Bang is doing with this site! Shout out to Fortune & Bang, I just got in tune with what the site is and Im loving it.
FAB: Thanks much gratitude. So one of my favorite questions who’s your top ten all time footworkers?
K: AG (Terra Squad)
Lil Chris (Taliban)
King Charles (Creation)
Reggie ( Skys The Limit)
Pause Eddie (Creation)
Steve O (Terra Squad)
my honorable mention would be Troy (HOC) he has mad confidence and unique style.
FAB: As a well known battler, what would you say was your toughest battle?
K: The Pope! (laughs) just kidding. Though is was probably the most publicized. S/O to the Pope though, I think our battle was messing up his career or something. They took it off of youtube. I was searching for it and couldnt find it. I smoked that boy, and that video got like a million views or something! I cant think of all my battles to be honest, most of them were released on video or some street battles that weren’t taped.
FAB: Who’s one of the number one footworkers you would like to battle now?
K: Good question, Im not really in tune with a lot to the new guys. I see the videos but I dont know like who’s who and all that . Although, that one cat name Devin or Devon he needs to be taken out. He is beating a lot of “Kings” he beat AG, and he also beat Jron. I didnt even noticed him for real until he start beating cats of that type of rank. I feel like if Im cornered I will explode and he seems like a similar type of footworker. Anybody that is hot I like to see was I am capable of against them.
FAB: Any final words?
K: Yessir to the readers/footworkers keep God 1st, keep putting him first and you will get most out of life. Respect the struggle, expect people to judge you and keep a positive attitude through it all. Look at me, I went from in the hood gangbanging to traveling the world doing what I love to now living in Cali. Its all through keeping a positive mindstate. If you feel you falling down hill you aint seen nothing, I been there , just keep climbing though.
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