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What Is Krump?

Updated on January 16, 2009
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

Dangerous, or Beautiful?

Krump, which stands for Kingdom Radically Uprising Mighty Praise, is not just a dance, it's a lifestyle. Jerky movements that resemble street fighting mixed with pop-lock, break dancing, gymnastics, and something the Scarecrow did before he learned to walk make up the many moves of Krump. It's an expression of suppression for all that inner city kids have gone through. The release of anger is in battles of high energy, chest popping, primal moves that take your body with the music.

Krumping is not Clowning, contrary to popular belief. It's a derivative of Clown Dancing, or "Clowning", which was created in South Central L.A. in 1992 by Tommy the Clown, who was asked by a friend to perform at a birthday party. He moved to the music in a way no one had seen yet. Not long after, he started an academy for ghetto youths to get off the streets. Groups of people would get together and have what most of society would call a ‘dance off'. When the movements took on the appearance of a fight, Krump was born, and the ‘dance off' became a battle. Clowning is more like a performance. Krump is a release of aggression. It's more intense and aggressive that Clowning. It's an expression of something beautiful and dangerous coming from a life of darkness and violence. It's setting the life of an inner-city kid to Hip-Hop music.

Krump is spreading like mad cow disease on a European cattle ranch. The dance that Tommy the clown started has morphed into a full out lifestyle. Krump families, or fams, are hierarchies. The King, or leader, is called the Big Homie. He is the mentor, and instructor of his group. Lil' Homies are initiated into the fam almost as if they were being initiated into a gang, but without violence. To be a Lil' Homie, you have to prove you have what it takes to be part of a Krump fam.

Krump families stick together, because being in a Krump family makes up for everything youths don't have in the ghetto, and gives them a safe place to thrive outside of gang life. Director David LaChapelle, a well known photographer whose' placed well known faces like Britney Spears, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Gwen Stefani, and Paris Hilton on the covers of fashion magazines, has seen such an uprising in Krump, that he's spent the last three years putting together a documentary. LaChapelle feels that the importance of what Krump stands for goes far beyond dancing alone.

Krump even has its own language, with words such as:

  • Get Buck: means to step up your moves a notch. You must be able to do this to succeed in a battle.
  • Get Amped: The next level of intensity. Movements should be off the hook, and off the walls.
  • Beasty: aggressive and beastlike
  • Goofy: animated and comedic krump
  • Hipolymer: copy cats who steal moves
  • Labbin: practicing tricks for a battle
  • Kill off: a combination of moves that end a battle, like the grand finale.
  • New Bootie: Some one new to Krump

Krump families are making their appearance all over the world, from America, to Europe, to Australia. Search the Internet, and you can find sites hosted by individual families and groups complete with videos, stores, and history. It won't be long before Krump is as recognized as the Lambada. Krumping is a way of life and a way for youths to stay out of gangs, so if you see your child spazing out to Hip-Hop music, don't be afraid to embrace the culture they have become a part of. What appears very violent and angry is actually a healthy release of emotion, and soon, a well-known way of life.


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      Shakkhar 5 years ago

      I'm a new bootie.i luv da all style of krump.i didn't knw da history of krump.2day i've go it. :)

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      deackon 5 years ago

      am a krumper in in kenya, n lyk gettn buck!! yo mad respect to tight eyes n mijo tho they ain mentioned in that article they deserve some credit!!

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      anoti 6 years ago

      dis goes out 2 all d krumperz,me luv u all..krump is my way of life nd i find joy in doing it.

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      Snazzyj.a.k.a.seun at kdeo 6 years ago

      Krump is a gud dance and i always like bucking but i'am just young i never experience krump but i like it

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      Lungani195 in mxit 6 years ago

      im at richardsbay i also krump i agree with wat saint said

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      Saint 6 years ago

      I also krump,i bilieve dat krump is da way to communicate wit da lord our god.evry tym i battle or per4m i alwayz pray...i tnk durban(in south africa) and now york(in america) has da dopest krumpers.!

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      John Robert Cuerdo 6 years ago

      i'm a krumper also.... i love krumping,,, i think it is the best way of dance in expressing your emosition....

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      CAGE AKA FROST 7 years ago

      Hey.krumperz.krump 2dae iz about praizing God nd showing our love.we krump in spirits 2 show ada people wat we do.STREET KINGDOM iz da dopest krump crew.listern 2 Chez.yal my learn sumtin.DURBAN IN SOUTH AFRICA iz olso dope.yal shld luk awt

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      c.swagg 7 years ago

      h3y 2 every1 i thnk da krump is da way we show our feeling and it da way we fight an it da way we show da people dat how we dance an krump is not just same street dance it is another we prasie god an show him how we love him and worship him so please to thoughs who judge our da way we dance and dont judge a buook by it cover peace!!!!!!!!

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      7 years ago

      thx for the viedo

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      exbieai 7 years ago

      Wanna learn how to krump.

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      JOJO 8 years ago

      i agree wit young king and gravity. Mijo & Tight Eyez deserved credit and they names aint even mentioned anywhere in the article. Tommy aint even a krumper he clowns.

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      Young king and gravity 8 years ago

      Yoyo i am a buck krumper myself and my friends tight eyez and mijo made krump they deserve credit for it

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      JOJO 8 years ago

      i aint tryna come off as disrespctful but you dont even mention Big Eyez aka Tight Eyez or Big Mijo in here anywhere. They are the main creaters of Krump.

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      am 9 years ago

      my brother is a pro as krumper and is in a fam.. i know exactly wat he does and sumtimes its a lil sc ary but i did notice that his anger disappears after krumpin even wen hes just labbin. i love him and his new way of life. i thought this was great! thanks x

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      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Dancing is always a good stress reliever, doesn't matter what type of dance. It is a way of expressing yourself and having fun.