What is Krump?
Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise (K.R.U.M.P) is a dance style. It is also referred to as getting buck or amped, and is a highly volatile, expressive and versatile dance form. It is constantly evolving and krumping is now a structured form of dance; with a variety of styles. It began as a positive release of aggression and anger and a nonviolent alternative to the street violence that is widespread in many of the areas where it is performed. Since then a movie has been released called Rize by Lions Gate Films directed by David LaChapelle, which depicts the street dance from clowning to krumping. This has given Krump plenty of exposure and since then it has risen in popularity in the hip hop dance community.
Krumping usually involves physical contact between dancers, which can often look like a fight to outsiders, and in few cases can develop into a fight, or include violent physical contact. However, the participants understand this to be part of the dance and neither condone nor advocate assault and/or violence. In this respect, there is a certain parallel with the mosh pit in punk rock.
Various styles of krumping include:
- Goofy: Pioneered by the krump practitioner "Goofy" himself. It is the least aggressive of the krump styles, usually funny and energetic.
- Rugged: containing less tricks; more of a pure essence.
- Beasty: Aggressive, beast-like and powerful. It is similar to bully but more animalistic.
- Grimey: Dirty, mistrating and "wrong".
- Flashy: Using a lot of foot movement and quick sharp, precise and showy moves.
- Cocky: Stuck up and conceited.
- Jerky: Using motions that are not smooth and flowing but still artistic.
- Bully : Aggressive and powerful
- Tricks: Using a combination of moves
- Fast: Quick, fast and energetic movements
- Technical: a mix of flashy and smooth. Its more of a crowd pleasing style.
Krumping has developed into a structured and organized society. The dancers are grouped into groups known as "families" or "fams," these structures being reminiscent of B-boy breakdancing crews or (some have argued) Voguing Houses. Each of the families are organized around a Krump dancer known as the "big homie," who serves as both a dance instructor and a spiritual mentor of sorts. Families such as the Filipino Rice Track, Eyes, Remnant, Hall of Fame, and others, are organized with hierarchies that defer in battle or representation to a more expert or respected Krump dancer. The big Homies take "Lil' Homies", or younger, less experienced and/or beginner practitioners of Krump under their wing, allowing them to learn from them, and represent them in battle. Both titles are terms of respect. These sort of relationships may be interpreted as mentor/apprentice arrangements, similar to those in the Middle Ages and Renaissance arts periods. However, they are more of a surrogate sibling arrangement. These relationships serve a necessary purpose, not only in the absorption and learning of the art and its technique, but also in providing an unfortunately all-too-rare positive image and example for these Lil' Homies. This social dynamic also has more modern parallels in its contemporary, b-boying (more commonly known as breakdancing), which is a more developed and older facet of hip-hop culture and the black dance movement, and more loosely so in the culture of graffiti or "writing" as it is more correctly referred to.
The lil homies take on the name of their big homie. For instance, dancing under Tight Eyes is Junior Eyes, Baby Eyes, Soldier Eyes, Young Eyes, etc. Although a general hierarchy exists in terms of how the names are given out (for instance, the title "twin" goes to the dancer on par with his or her big homie's abilities) this is really up to the discretion of the Big Homey. Some will move all their dancers up by rank at once, or others will simply replace one "junior" with another if the first one leaves the family or loses the name in a battle.
A competition structure has developed as dancers vie for status and respect in the Krump elite and this phase of the Black dance community at large. Contests like the original Tommy the Clown's Battle Zone are often organised to create viable venues for establishing a structured and defendable system of competition and recognition. Contests within the world of Krumping are also called "battles" (as they are in b-boying) and they are held at various events such as the Cages and Arenas.