Looking to buy bboy books this Christmas but not quite sure where to start?
Although decent books on bboy culture are hard to come by we’ve created a short list of the best by some of the world’s renowned figures and best documenters of the culture.
From books that dispel breakdance myths (like calling it ‘breakdance’ when you should call it b-boying) to glossy photo collections that place you into the centre of the action in the cypher, plus bgirl-only books and studies on battle technique itself, these are 4 of the best that we know of and would recommend.
Note: This is a list of books about bboy and bgirl culture. If we ever listed books on how to streetdance we reckon it would look like this!
B-Boy Championships: From Bronx to Brixton – DJ Hooch
Serving as an extension to the UK B-Boy Championships brand, From Bronx to Brixton is a full colour, glossy collection of photos from the Championships’ 16 years of photo archives featuring detailed looks at some of the competition’s biggest superstars from legends including Evo, Tuff Tim Twist and Storm through to modern mavericks such as B-Girl Roxy, Salah, Hong 10 and Menno through insightful artist profiles, and a foreword by its host and Rock Steady Crew president, Crazy Legs.
We B*Girlz – Martha Cooper; Nika Kramer; Rokafella
Replacing the ‘boy’ in ‘b-boy’ and focusing solely on the female aspect of breaking, We B*Girlz is the book based on the international b-girl battles created by Nika Kramer and Martha Cooper, organisers of the competition that culminates at Battle of the Year.
We B*Girlz complements Martha Cooper’s several other books based on hip hop culture which have documented hip hop from its early roots in New York.
The Lost Dance of Hip Hop – Errol Lonestar Gibbons
Lonestar’s b-boy photography book really involves the viewer within the cypher action. Lonestar of Massive Monkees captures b-boys during moments most other photographers would not be able to get, with personal photos of figures such as the Evo, Poe One and Jason Orange (yes, from Take That!)
With a black and white photography being the unique selling point, The Lost Dance of Hip Hop, is a premium b-boy enthusiast’s book that should sit on any discerning hip hopper’s coffee table.
The Art of Battle – Alien Ness
Alien Ness is known for his raw energy in the cypher, and his approach in The Art of Battle focuses on the finer details of how to battle at judged events, acting as a handbook not only for battling but for what the judges are looking at when you battle.
Always one to stamp his mark on b-boying culture, Alien Ness splits the chapters between an introduction, preparation, understanding a battle in depth and… Zen. No wonder Mighty Zulu Kingz are accused of being an Illuminati Front.
Alien Ness dedicates his book, The Art of Battle, “to all the students of dance World Wide”