FAB Interview #15: Troy – Speaks on House of Creation dance clique, mentoring King Charles, and developing your own identity
Once again FAB Interviews a footworker who has impacted the footwork culture in Chicago. We get the scoop from none other than Troy who thrived in the footwork world late 90′s/early 2000s dancing with groups like HOC, DDynamic, and Triple Phaze. He tells his story and speaks on being a part of House of Creation (HOC) dance clique, what it was like mentoring King Charles, and the importance of developing your own identity.
FAB: So how long have you been dancing?
T: Honestly I’d say since I was born. Like seriously I was into dancing before this footwork stuff..In my family my people used to call me “lil Soul Train” (laughs) like no joke thats how much I used to dance.
(click the jumpy for full interview)
FAB:So what was the first group that you started with?
T:I actually started with a group called Total E..which stood for Total Eruption. Before I was a footworker I was just a regular dancer. It was a few dudes with me in that group. Young Butta from Joliet, his older brother was one of my first influences. He wasn’t really into footworking he was just an ill dancer..like one of the illest I’ve seen to this day I’d say. We did a little bit of footwork at the end of routines and what not but it was like a finale to the overall dance routines we did. You know it was more about knowing how to actually dance then.
FAB:So when did you actually start footworking?
T:Well once I got to Highschool. I would say I was bout 16-17yrs old. I knew about footworking but not like now. I knew like 2-3moves, (laughs) I sucked bad! (laughs)
FAB: So when did you first see actual footworking?
T: I remember being at a party.Some highschool party at a community house/banquet. It was a group called Kaos Posse with a couple popular kids from school like David Laxton and his brother Dontrell. They was the popular dudes at school. Then another group also came that I never seen before, they started balling Kaos up, which I found out later was HOC (House of Creation).
FAB: What was your reaction to that battle?
T: It was the coldest sh*t I ever seen in my life. The style HOC had was totally raw! They was colder than Kaos Posse to me. But the rawest members from both groups wasn’t even all there.
FAB:So did you approach them to join after that?
T:Not right away, I kept dancing with Total E. The CEO of HOC Boo(RIP) aka James Bray and Snoop, who was like the Co-Ceo, told everyone that they was having tryouts when we seen them at Markham Skating Rink.We was hype. Although before that we tried out for Total Impact at Markham Skating Rink.
FAB: Wait, so you were in Total Impact?
T: Yea we tried out with the president Marlon Chambers, and he was like “Welcome to the team…” and all.We (Total E) never got a chance to go to practice and all that though. So it was like never officially in the group. They was cold though, we wanted to be down but it just was circumstances that we didn’t get down fully.
Yea it was a whole situation with us getting into it with some people. Well some of the members of my group got into a fight. We was in Markham and you know how Markham was. Total Impact practiced at the fieldhouse there and it ended up being some shooting, it got crazy. So a few cats didnt want to be all in Markham. I was from there. I actually moved to Markham and Harvey, even places in the city so I never been scared to go places. At that time though I stayed in University Park, but my pops moved to the 100′s, it was nothing for me to go to Chicago.
FAB:How do you feel about footworking then compared to now?
T: Back in the day it was so many groups, so many styles. Every group now biting from each other sh*t look lame as f*ck. Shorties got no form, they just kicking they legs, it looks ugly and retarded. They don’t know the basics of the culture. You got taught by a n*gga with no style. A garbage dude teaching another dude to be garbage too. It was so many dope styles back then now everybody biting off youtube (laughs) Im just being honest.
They got no bodywork or control. Back then it wasn’t just about footworking. We was performers. You had to know how to dance to and it showed when you footworked. Shorties dont be knowing nothing. They be thinking they the rawest but you aint unless you battled everyone.I battled everyone. You got to earn that respect to say that. We didnt have the cameras and all. It was some ghetto hood sh*t and to get your name out n*ggaz had to be talking about you. I had people coming up to me shaking my hand when I went places that I didnt even know. Thats how I knew I earned my respect.
Last footworker event I went to damn near no one danced on beat! I wanted to grab them like “What are you listening to! Dont you hear that beat-5-6-7-8??” Its a rhythm, the counts and all that they don’t even pay attention to. I don’t want to complain, its just if you going to do it, just do it right. N*ggaz all mechanical, they aint got no finesse sh*t makes me angry! I catch n*ggaz individually and talk to them though. Its a lot of knowledge missing.
Its getting mixed up with a lot of corny sh*t. Like all these hip rolling videos and sh*t. N*ggaz making money off child pornography and sh*t (laughs). Its like its getting away from the focal point which is group unity, the footwork, and the tracks. You got all these videos of “Queen Kiss” vs “Baby Booty Pop” and sh*t. (laughs) These money hungry people making us look corny. I got some stuff Im working on though to contribute and I ain’t on that type of nonsense. (laughs)
FAB:Thats true, so how did you get in HOC, what was the initiation process?
T:Well I remember Snoop was there, Boo wasn’t there. We got cool with group members and people wanted us to come to the tryouts. Back then I ‘as much of a footworker, but my bangs was hard. Snoop was like man “Dude got some nice bangs “because I banged to the beat really good. He liked my style.
FAB:How was it when you first got into the group?
T:It was another level for me. Even though Boo was pissed he wasnt there when we tried out. He wasn’t mad at me or whatever he was upset with Snoop. He was like I never seen yall dance. Snoop was Co-Ceo so it was cool, but for a second I thought I was gone get kicked out the group. Practice was another ball game. What I liked about HOC is that we all had a different style from other groups, but we all had individual styles too wasn’t really no biting. I cant even describe Boo’s style. Tee had some crazy legs midget turtle sh*t.(laughs) Jason had a basic driven style. Marcus was Raw as f*ck, one of the coldest footworkers ever to me. This is why I loved the group so much , we all had different styles. Nothing you really seen before, only group I thought was similar was maybe WolfPak.
FAB:Where did yall practice at?
T: Over a female members house name Kim, she had a little sister name Kasey who was in the group too. They were cold too. They mom was like a personal trainer or something, so they had a huge basement. We all practiced there.
FAB:How many members did yall have when you were large?
T: 50 or 60 I believe we got pretty deep at one point.
FAB: Ok, here’s a question for you, Top 5 footworkers of ALL TIME?
well..Myself for the what I contributed
Ant Brown (the Dungeon)..I got stories about him
Eiley (WolfPak) was one of my Favorites
Que (wolfpak) was tight
Nate ..(Wolfpak) Ques brother was incredible
Tap aka Phillip..aka Phil Rich (The Phyrm/ CMD) he had one of the craziest styles ever
Jason(WolfPak) had some Crazy moves…thats more than five huh? (laughs) its so many man thats a tough one.
FAB: You say you have stories of Ant Brown?
T: Yea he was a cool dude. Our relationship wasnt over the phone, we didnt hang out or nothing like that. I seen him at parties, and I was always a ballsy dude. I had to see him dance because I heard so many stories about him. At the Dolton Expo by the speaker I seen him with the towel in his hand, windbreaker pants rolled up like LL COOL J (laughs). He didnt dance the whole night against anyone he was just on the speaker in his own zone.
He seen me banging a little bit. He asked me to dance, he told me I was decent and had potential. He told me to slow it down a little bit and get more control. He taught me some things about form. I only talked to him a few minutes but Im the type of dude that could take a little information and learn a lot from it.
yea everything then was word of mouth or taught to you from the source no youtube videos and all that.
Straight up, some people soak up info and others bite. I even went through a stage where I didnt know who I was as a dancer.I copied but didnt have my own style. Then I got beef with people because I was biting.
FAB: I think a lot of dancers go through a similar phase though.
T: yeah, So I decided to trash everything I knew and I just labbed hard every day. I would move the stuff in my kitchen and just have clear space on the tile floor and creat new moves. I did basics 5 different ways and bangs 5 different ways. I was determined to have m*therf*kers respect me. I created a new style that was my own.
FAB: Who helped develop or influence your style?
T: Ant Brown(The Dungeon), Ken (HOC), Boo (HOC), CBit (Panic), and Eiley (Wolfpak) besides an opponent we was somewhat allies when we seen each other at parties, he would pull to the sides we would do make up some routines together.
FAB: Did you teach a lot of people your style?
T: Yea I mean you got guys like Jron and King Charles who I showed some stuff to. But a lot of people don’t know I labbed with Cowherd and put him on a lot of stuff like after the KOTC he won. He kind of fell back and was trying get back on. He was like show me this, show me that , we all shared moves. I was one of the first to incorporate full body hip hop moves with footwork, I think guys like Eiley was good at that too.
FAB: Who is someone you battled when you first acquired your own style?
T: Derryon form the Pak was the first I f*cked up with my own style. I f*cked him up so bad I had to carry him to the water fountain and help him get some water. He insulted me before the battle “you cant even beat my lil brother” and I got heated. I was at the Union Hall with Tee(HOC) I had my hoodie on and some shell toe addidas. I didnt dance the whole night I was waiting to light him up. Boo was there and so was Eiley. Every round I did something different. Boo was shaking me and going crazy like “n*gga wtf was that!!” (laughs) I had to make people know, I dont need yall I got my own moves.
I remember people saying that AG was the coldest n*gga too. I used to f*ck the whole TS by myself ! I got moves on top of moves that n*ggaz aint even seen before.
FAB: So King Charles talks highly of you as one of his 1st teachers, tell me about your relationship with him.
T: 1st n*gga from the new school that I felt was worthy of me teaching, besides Jron. I was like he has structure adn movements that were on point. He also bugged the fuck outta me (laughs) We was at Triple Phaze practice at that time.
Charles used to come to practice and really watch. I knew who was paying attention with out looking at him. I got like 3rd eye vision, after a while I was like Im going to teach you. A handful of dudes taught Charles, but I taught him more than just footwork or dancing. I taught him about being a man-life-type sh*t. I gave him life advice, knowledge on stuff. Im a dude who actually cares so I have to show more than just some dance moves
Makes me happy as f*ck. Im excited to see all he doing. Im proud as hell of them dudes. I wish I could speak with him more though he is very busy and I understand that. I spoke we him about a month or two ago though. He is super humble so he will go further and further in my opinion. Him and Jron fight hard to get opportunities for the whole culture. Im very proud I wish them much success.
FAB:You were in Triple Phaze as well?
T: Yea, I was one of the leaders. I was asked to be. I didnt really want to be though, because just went through so many groups and stuff I didnt want responsibility of all that but Ken aka Van(Triple Phaze CEO) was my dude so I got down.
FAB: So what was order you were in with the groups?
T: Total Eruption, Total Impact (kind of), HOC, Triple Phaze, then DDynamics.
FAB: You were with them too?
T: Yea the two BOOs started that. (laughs) RP BOO and BOO from HOC. I was kind of in both cliques then, Triple Phaze and DDynamics. Battling between being in one n my head. They both had cold dudes in them though. DJ Cornbread, JayVon, some of the HOC guys went there like Tink who past(RIP), and a few others.DDynamics was cold, had a lot of raw styles. A blend of suburbs and city cats. We even went all the way to the city to practice.
FAB: Who would be your toughest opponents?
T: hmmm..Eiley from the Pak. I knew if I could beat him I could beat anyone. He had a lot of styles and he was tall. You rarely seen tall dudes bang like him. His form and his start offs was crazy.
Second would be Jason form the Pak too. I compare him to AG in a sense. He was wild and fast with a lot of moves. He didnt get good until Eiley put him on though. I remember him banging at the Bud Billiken and he did some of the rawest moves I ever seen. I seen Eiley cheering him on , and im like “oooohhh” I see why he came up so hard (laughs).”
FAB: Most memorable moment?
T: The King of The Circle battle. I didnt win but I was in it and I felt me being in it had an impact. King Charles won but I did get good crowd reaction. I remember hitting some tick tocks and taking my jacket off at the same time. The crowd went crazy.We didnt battle face to face. It was a 4way battle with the crowd deciding. It was lopsided because some people had more people there than others. Thought it was wack the way DJ Thadz did it but it was memorable moment though.
FAB? How did footworking impact your life?
T: Help create dudes like Jron and Charles! (laughs) Also makes me feel good, even if Im stressed. Its like music, it soothes me. Something no one can take from me or tell me to stop doing. Its God Given
FAB: Advice for footworkers?
T:Learn the culture! Respect it! Its not going to be the same like it used to be but its a lot you need to know. Keep it alive and dont change for Hollywood. Whatever you show them thats what they think it is. Like I hear and read interviewers and such talking bout footwork is based on “speed”. Im like get the f outta here with that. They totally messing up the culture, thats so corny to me. Its need to be explained correctly so it spreads correctly. Last time I seen it explained right was DJ Rashad and Spinn on the casting couch w Red Bull. They need to know about the styles, the groups, the tracks. This is really some African shi*t that is still in our blood.
Respect each other. Dont give in to the money and n*gga sh*t. That BET lifestyle you see aint reality for you.Stop thinking you got to be like what you see on BET. Be yourself, your own person. Not just footworkers, just the youth in general. Don’t do something because you think its cool. Following trends got our people not even sure of their sexual preference. They see the homosexuality on TV and since it looks cool, they try it and can’t explain why. Its messed up. Don’t have a million babies and can’t take care of your self. Help ya self, community and family. Put time into people, same way I did with Charles and J. Mentoring makes a difference.
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