What Is Krump?
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.