RYUGI INTERVIEWS EPISODE 7
Q. Please introduce yourself
Hi, i’m Red a.k.a ‘The Hyena’. I represent 7$ & ACC.
Q. How did you meet breaking? How did you get into it?
Like most kids in the early 80’s I saw the first wave of breaking hit in a major way. All the older kids at School (in Melbourne) were putting down cardboard on the bitumen, and doing moves I’d never seen before! It was amazing to see, and the energy was nothing I’d experienced. I tried and failed miserably to be any good in 82/83, but I was 6 at the time and managed to get the worm, scrappy three step and a terrible moving backspin. By 85 no one in my town was breaking; and I was way into Skateboards and BMX and Judo and learning to play music, so I stopped.
Then in 92 I was really into hip-hop/rap music (whilst also being a metal head), and was skating everyday when I met two older guys called AJ and Nance who were amazing skaters and would also mess around with breaking. AJ showed me how to Windmill properly and then I started getting into basics again. I then saw Melbourne's famous Wickid Force do a show/Cypher at the ’Cherry’ bar in Richmond around 94/95 and i was hooked again, as my skating days were coming to an end. I then met a few other beginner breakers at a club called ‘The Lounge’ on Swanston Street in Mebourne and we would go and do really bad moves and be super wak in the corner of the stage they had, during their Thursday night hip hop night. DJ Dexta had a record shop inside SMC skate shop and handed me BOTY 97 on VHS (this is before the INTERNET even existed kids), and i was blown away! And that’s where I really took it seriously, I made it my mission to travel all around Australia and meet all the breakers and writers and dj’s that I could meet up with and learn from, so I travelled to SA & WA and NSW and spent about 6-9 months linking and learning from people in those states/cities. I also have to give special mention to Cristiano from Kids Race Crew from Italy who showed me all the Euro VHS tapes of Storm and Swift and Mauritsio. He also taught me flares (circa 96). In 1998/99 I entered the first x-games in Melbourne with Ghetto Rock crew and we came 1st (beating Wickid Force contentiously). Around 2000 Forest Gunp came out to Melbourne and was doing a show, and we were fortunate enough to hook up and he showed me Original New York styles. In 2002 I had moved to Sydney and met Ader from Swiss based crew 7$, and along with Rush, Nacho, Nari and Seiji we started an Australian 7$ chapter. I went to NYC in 2005 to study with a few legends and met YNOT and Floor Phantom through Downroc (7$) who was living there at the time. Learnt that it was a dance, and not just about moves, and also learnt that biting was a big NO, and from then on I really took breaking seriously. The rest is history.
*Who did you get inspired when you started?
There’s a long list of boys/crews I was inspired by. Rocksteady crew (Legs, Kenny, Mauritsio, FlowMaster, EasyRoc, Wiggles) from the early 90’s era were a big inspiration. Then all the European crews like Battle Squad, Second2None, Aktuel Force, Flying Steps, Southside Rockers, Enemy Squad, Suicidal Lifestyle and Funky Grossengriff. Can’t forget the most important Australian crew from back in the day being the Bboy Allstars and Rapid Fire (the twins, Busk, ET and Scan)
Then I saw Style Elements and Boogie Brats!! Wow, this was just incredible, the way Remind and Crumbs and Super Dave moved was so original. Then K-Mel and Megus, Mighty Mouse and Gadget were doing was on another level.
Then i saw Kwikstep (Storm took a lot from this guy) & Skill Methodz Crew & Havik KORO crew & Circle of Fire crew & Massive Monkees crew and this was another level up!
* Please tell us about your crew
My first Crew was 7$ and always will be my true breaking/life family. Learnt a lot from everyone in this crew and we all support each other to this day. We all still talk weekly even though we are all in different parts of the world .
My second crew I joined was All Consciousness Crew started by Australian Breaking Champs founder Scot Doo Rok. This crew had a focus on all styles and walks of life, that could be united through breaking , and most importantly an open mind set (something I struggled with most of my breaking life). Still rep this crew when I can.
I also consider R.A.W Crew my family, Hybrid Formz as my family and 143 LSF as my family too. Repped with these crews on several occasions.
I would like to give a shout out to Fresh Sox, Systematic, I.S.O, Ghetto Rock, Form One Lane, Wickid Force, Rapid Fire, Skill at Will, Hybrid Formz, SKB, NBD, Breakin Borders, Radikal Forze, Kids Race Crew, DJ Dexta, ATD, Lab Ratz, East Riderz, 99 Flava, Filthee Feet, Ghost Cru, Ready 2 Rock, Break Life, Common Ground, Step Kingz, Future, Focus, Wartec, T-Killa, and anyone else that has helped me out on this journey.
*What is your achievement?
My greatest achievement would be lasting this long and still being able to love the dance! Haha. I still Love breaking and hip hop, and try now more than ever to pass on any knowledge that I can, to help the next generation create and inspire the next generation after them.
The other greatest achievement is having made all the friends and connections around the world. I got friends and homies in every corner of the world and I make as much effort to maintain communication and my friendship with them.
I also conquered pretty major self doubt and anxiety through the dance along with help from my crews and friends. I thank everyone I’ve ever crossed paths with for helping me become the (now) much calmer person I am now.
*What is your unforgettable battle?
Unforgettable battles I’ve watched would be anything in the Circles at Bboy Summit 10. Too many legends and names to drop.Anything I Saw at any of the Circle Kingz/Princez battles.
Most memorable battle for me would be Floor Skillz in Singapore 2007 when I won with my good friends Felix (Radikal Forze/7$) and Rory (Filthee Feet (Canada)). Winning a comp outside of Australia was unbelievable for me at the time.
*As you have been traveling around the world for bboying, what is the difference between Australia and overseas breaking scene / culture?
This is something I feel strongly about. Every countries scene is reflective of their culture. You can see this from where the current world big hitters are coming from. Right now Russia and Ukraine and Poland are killing it. These guys and girls have a much harder life and therefore put a lot in not their breaking, plus their scenes have more people participating, and it’s generally closer to travel in Europe/USA and do the jams than it is to get off the Island that Australia is.
Australia has some great crews and bboys/bgirls, but few have made it to the International upper levels, partly because we have a relatively relaxed/easy lifestyle and approach to life, and it’s very hard for us to travel internationally and compete on the circuit like the Europeans /Asian & North/Latin Americans do.
*As you just came back from LA, please tell us about LA life? why did you move there and how was the lifestyle there?
I moved to LA because my brilliantly talented wife got an amazing job offer there! I spent 4&½ years there, and to be honest I kind of took a hiatus from breaking. I was more focused on performance culture, like acting and comedy, and utilized my time there to do as much training in those fields as a could. However I did break once to twice a week and got the opportunity to meet and practice with some big names in the US breaking scene. The level in the US (at the top levels) is so much higher as a lot guys and girls make there living from the dance, and you have to be amazingly good to get the paid gigs over there. There is still an element of fun, but The USA’s socio- economic life is much harder than Australia’s and again it reflects in their approach to dance and other aspects of life (IMO).
*What do you do for a living?
Hah! Anything and everything. I’ve worked in so many fields that I can’t say I have one particular career path. However I hope to always be teaching whether it’s breaking or motivation.
*What are your hobbies?
Outside of breaking I love anything on two wheels! Motorbikes and cycling! I take my bicycle (fixie) with me whenever I travel abroad and have ridden through a lot of major cities/countries. I play bass, take acting lessons and comedy workshops (acting and breaking help earth other I feel).
*What is your next goal?
To be inspirational to others. And maybe just maybe get a PAID acting gig.
*Message to new gen bboys and bgirls
Nothing comes easy, you gotta work for it. Three things in life you should never waste - time, opportunity and talent (I wasted many of these for too long and on to many occasions)