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BGIRL JK47 – VITALIZING MEMORIES

When talking about the breaking culture, there are a few names that would be impossible to ignore. A member of Diamonds In The Rough, Supreme Beingz, and Monster Energy Breakers, JK-47 is one of the top bgirls to represent the current generation of Hip-hop. Inspired by music videos such as “It’s Like That” by Run DMC, where she first saw the legendary Asia One throwing power moves, JK has been breaking for eighteen years. She got down with her first official bgirl crew, Fly Antics, in Vancouver, and since then has gone on to make a positive impact on the breaking scene, and especially on her fellow bgirls.

NOTORIOUS IBE, NETHERLANDS, 2012

  It was 2012, and it was the first time I went to the Notorious IBE. I had a friend at that time who really kept encouraging me to go and I had it in the back of my head like “okay I’m gonna go, I’ve saved up my money for it, so I’m gonna go.” But then things went down where I got injured, I sprained both of my ankles and I told the homies that I wouldn’t come anymore. This was just three months before IBE and I had already been injured for about six months. I’m like “Yo, it’s not looking any better, I feel like I just need to chill”.

  My friend was very persuasive and was like: “You need to experience IBE, you need to go. Even if you don’t battle, just chill and just experience it”. But I didn’t want to go and not compete, I didn’t want to just spend my money on the other side of the world and not do anything, no one wants this, that’s crazy. By insisting she managed to persuade me so I was like: “Ok, let’s do this”.
I was out there with no expectations at all, I had nothing to lose. I got my tickets and went down. My mindset was “Well, I’m here, I don’t have to do anything crazy, I can just vibe out, groove. Let’s just try entering the battles anyway.”  I wrapped the heck out of my ankles, and I hit up my home girl, Bgirl Roxy of Heart Breakerz crew, and I was like “Yo, I’m here, should we try to make this happen?”. And she’s like “Let’s do it!”.

  So, we entered the 2 on 2 bgirls battle and it was super tight, the energy was so good. We just kept advancing and I was like “What?”. I was so confused because I couldn’t go too hard. And we made it all the way to semifinals and as soon as semifinals hit they started to play live music! It was a wrap! The moment the live music went down, nothing mattered, and I just bugged out. I caught the ghost, and I just went in. My rounds, I felt like they were fire. Then we won again, and advanced to the finals. The live music was still on, and it was so sick. The adrenaline was so high that I was not feeling my injury anymore. And so, we ended up winning the jam, we won the 2 on 2, this was my first time at IBE.
After this win, we were flown out to Battle Of The Year to battle the 2 on 2. I got to represent my country, Canada, in those events, it was a real honor. 

  I will always remember that, due to the injuries, I had few expectations, I felt broken. But in the end I was able to take advantage of this, and dance in an authentic way. 

MINDSET SHIFT

  We prepare so hard for battles, and sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. There are two moments that really stand out that connect to this particular story. There are a lot of battles where you feel that you got robbed, and you get so butt hurt and pissed. Even if I’m past that now, I remember a lot of times being like “Damn, I know my worth, I know I should’ve taken that”. I have the mindset of a competitor. A few years ago I spent a lot of time and energy being upset about a loss. I’ve worked a lot on that mindset
My first memory brings us back to 2011. I did a 2 on 2 with some homies and we lost. It was so fascinating to see how we responded to it because we were really pissed like : “We should’ve taken that! The people we battled were wack, what were the judges thinking ?!”. We spent a lot of energy getting upset.
  There was another time in 2013. I traveled to Japan and I entered the Body Carnival Anniversary battle, I did the 1 on 1 bgirl battle. It was literally like 200 bgirls there and they went straight to top 8. I was pretty confident in my rounds and I saw that I didn’t make it to the top 8. I was like “You know what, whatever”. Every part of me was just like I’m out here, I’m not gonna waste my energy on something negative, I’m in Japan, so I’m gonna live my best life. I responded totally differently to the fact of loosing a battle. 

  That is thanks to some people I met that helped me think about my relationship with victory and loss : between these two jams I travelled to Europe, I can’t remember what the situation was, but along the lines it was about battling. There, I met my home girl Tania AKA The Hunter. She’s an OG Bgirl from Spain and like a big sister to me. I remember we were kicking it together and I had a negative feeling about an event. I felt that my negative feeling was about to ruin my event, and Tania felt it too. Tania told me simple words to reassure me. What she said to me helped me since that day, it helped me with my headspace, my mentality about winning and loosing. She was like ”Hey yo, Jay, seriously, it’s not the end of the world. There’s literally a battle next week, and the weekend after that, and the weekend after that. Don’t take it too personally.”. It seems so simple, but the moment she said that to me it literally changed my whole perspective, my whole mentality, my approach. There is no need to get mad, to get salty, it’s such a waste of time and energy. When you enter a battle, you see the judges, you get an idea of what they’re looking for, so you know who they are, and you step into the battle knowing what you should to get a chance to win. So, what will happen is on you. If the judges don’t pick you, it clearly means that you didn’t do enough. You should’ve done way more. That’s also telling you to get your ass back to the lab, hold yourself accountable for what you’re putting yourself into and at the end of the day, there’s another freaking battle. It’s not the end of the world, I love just that simple line.

« I wanted to take advantage of these moments in each city to create moments of exchange, of discussion with the local bgirling scene. To just have a little fellowship. It doesn’t have to be something big, I wanted to do something intimate, something that felt safe. »

« AMPLIFIED » TOUR

I decided to spearhead my own workshop tour. I called it “Amplified” and it was the first time someone did that, I’ve never heard of anyone else doing it. My initial goal with it was to really build our sisters in the community and unite everybody. It’s a thing as an independent contractor or a solo artist: you are your own manager, you are your own administrator, you are your own organizer.

The moment I had this idea, I proposed it to a lot of my different friends in the United States who, I believe, are leaders, organizers in the local breaking community.

My idea was simple: when I would step into a city I would set up a workshop. Also, if there was any event around the same time I’m in each town, I would propose my services as a judge. Most of all, I wanted to take advantage of these moments in each city to create moments of exchange, of discussion with the local bgirling scene. To just have a little fellowship, whether it was before the festivities or after, but just a little hang out. It just seems like everyone is always together when it comes to events, but what about just a chill out session, have the girls over, have some food, break bread, get to know each other and have dialogue? It doesn’t have to be something big, I wanted to do something intimate, something that felt safe. Something that felt comfortable and at home.

 

So, I had this idea, and everyone that I talked to was down with it. I got a lot of work from this. I created a flier and as I was creating this flier, it seemed like I kept adding more places to it. I talked to around 10 different organizers, they would set up their stuff for me, and I set up the hangout with the girls. Other people would find out that I’m in town and they would just hire me for work. So, it was perfect in that alignment and that was my bread and butter for a hot minute. People were sponsoring it, people were supporting it. Dates kept extending and yeah, it was cool. There was totally something new. In every single town, I taught a workshop, I judged an event, I even entered some battles. All of this was geared towards supporting and building bridges with our community, especially for our sisters, and being able to teach workshops also in the colleges and the universities, opening people’s minds to the real deal. I received a lot of feedback on it and a lot of people were just like, “J, this is such a good thing, thank you for even spearheading something like this”. I feel like when there’s a need, when there’s a need anywhere, everything just aligns. And it was so smooth when I was organizing this. It was so great, so this is one thing that went down that I’m very proud of.

SUPREME BEINGZ

Another cool moment that felt so raw is when I got put down with Supreme Beingz. I thought that was the realest shit ever, and it felt so good.
Supreme Beingz have been around since 1999 and growing up, you hear about them, you know about them. That name is such a heavy name. It’s a lot of weight and it’s so respected and honored. It’s a real crew, in my opinion. And now in this day and age, you have a lot of people that are in crews that are more of “teams”, “super crews”. I mean by this that there isn’t any of that real bonding, that real connection that a crew has. It’s just more like, “yo, you’re dope, I’m gonna put you down”. 

 

So how did this happen for me? Back in 2019, I didn’t know all the members of the crew; especially some of the OGs in New York. But still, I knew a handful in NY, and I also knew a huge chunk in Florida because that’s their main bases: NY and Florida. I remember one day where I was talking to my sister Queen NV, that is in this crew and she was like: “Yo, I think you entering Supreme Beingz could bit a nice fit, you know? Don’t get your hopes up or anything but we’ll see if anything can happen.”. I was like: “Yo, that’s super rad, but if it doesn’t happen don’t worry, I’m not gonna be mad cause at the end of the day we’ll still be homies, I’ll still get down and battle with you.”.
A few weeks later, I went to the Supreme Beingz anniversary in NY. Even if I didn’t know some of the OGs, a few of them were coming up to me, hugging me. I was like: “Wait, what ?!”. Then I remember one guy coming to me like: “Ok, let’s see what you got.”. So, I just started throwing down while he was watching with his arms crossed. It was crazy.

Then, fast forward, just a few months after, I decided to do another trip to New York. I wanted to train with some of the members, my homies. I met my sister there who told me that instead of going to the private session spot we used to go to, we would go practice at the park. As we pulled up, a lot of Supreme Beingz members started to show up and I was like: “What are you all doing here?”. Because usually they would not train at this park. But well… why not, it was cool, so let’s get down. There was Bongo Roc, Jiggz, Frankie, Queen NV and Mike Fresh and maybe some other members. We were all practicing together.
I remember at one point I was throwing down and I just got up. And as soon as I got up, Frankie pulled up and was like “It’s going down now”. Then, all of them lined up. He started, he threw down, he went in and then I think Queen NV went in. Finishing her round, she told me: “You’re about to get put down”. I was like: “Oh shiiiiiiiit!”. I battled all of them. We went for rounds. I don’t even know how many rounds; Queen NV says it was like 21 rounds. I don’t know. Maybe a little bit less, but we went mad rounds. After all that, they were like: “Welcome to the family!”. It was like such a memorable moment. It was such an important part of my journey in life because you know, it was something I felt like it wasn’t forced, it was an honest, it was real, you know?

 

Texte par : Sophie Duplock. @bgirltriplet

Photos par : Chris Gaor. @yosoy.real

This article is from the third edition of BREAKERS magazine

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