Mr. Wiggles, Hip Hop
12/15/04 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
Its been long overdue that
LatinRapper.com run an interview with an established b-boy
considering Latinos, Boricuas in particular, have made
major contributions to Hip Hop. So to kick things off
right, we get the 411 from none other than hip hop pioneer
Mr. Wiggles. Born and raised in the South Bronx, and
raised on Hip Hop during it's earliest years, Wiggles is a
writer (graffiti artist), B-Boy (breakdancer), MC, popper
and a practitioner of locking. You've seen him in the
classics Beat Street and Wild Style, and his moves have
graced videos like Usher's "My Way", Missy Elliot's "Work
It" and Limp Bizkit's "Rollin".
A member of the legendary Roc Steady Crew, Wiggles took time
out to speak with LR about Hip Hop history and more.
LatinRapper.com: How did you get your start in b-boying/breaking?
I'm from the Bronx, and I was surrounded by both Rockers (Uprockers)
and B Boys all my childhood, so I just followed what the older
cats did in the streets, and my sista Wanda got me into Rockin
(a more Latin dance style that was more vertical)
Your graf work didn't pick up until a few years after you
started rocking, how did you get involved with that?
In the 70's I was so involved in anything and everything that
was in the Bronx streets, and back then we didn't just do one
aspect of HIP HOP, we did it all, and writin' was definitely
one of my biggest passions in the streets, I started out cause
my cousins NAC 143 and DAZE, NAC is my real cuz, and we would
just say that DAZE was also our cousin, was down with a well
crew called CYA (crazy young artist), and DAZE was featured in
Wild Style. They would come over my house every weekend for
family parties and get togethers, and bring black books and
photo albums, and I got hooked and started bombin' the IRT
lines, mostly the 6 train lay-ups.
Who were some of the people that inspired you as a b-boy?
In my area it was a brotha from Bronx River named Beaver. He
was popular at the time and was down with the famous Bronx
B-boy Crew Zulu Kings.
In the late 80's, you were doing Broadway performances,
followed up in the 90's with mostly off-Broadway work and
choreography. How did you get involved with theatrical work?
Theater work kind of just fell on my lap. It was during the
time when B-boyin', Poppin', Lockin' was being brushed off as
a fad. And I was blessed enough to get these phone calls from
theater people looking to spice up there production with
something different. After doing one, I started getting mad
calls from all kinds of Broadway people, and started taking it
more serious, and eventually did several productions on my own
and with Ghettoriginal dance company. Including off Broadway
shows like Jam on the Groove, Hip Hop Wonderland and Mad
You've been in videos for artists like Madonna, Usher, Limp
Bizkit and most recently Missy. With your accolades and
experience, shouldn't we be seeing you in more videos?
Haha, tell that to these c*ck blockin' choreographers.... Haha,
On your site you offer practical feedback to newjacks in
the game, have you considered working as an industry
I think in my experience, and position in Hip Hop, I will
always help young people in the culture, just to keep them on
the straight and narrow.
You've got some great stories about battle experiences,
what was your most memorable battle and why?
I guess the battles in Japan. They were real competitive, and
it was mad fun. That kid Go was dope in the mid to late 90's
and had as many moves as I did at the time so we had some ill
As far as graf, you've been bombing from the Bronx to as
far as the Middle East. Do you still get down?
I still get down once in a while, no more illegal sh*t though,
but I like to throw down when ever I can, and I'm always
creatin' new styles.
Worldwide recognition of breaking started mushrooming in
the early 80's. How has breaking changed in the last 20 years?
70's it was the funkiest, realest, rawest, and mad street era.
80's it went from the creation of incredible power moves to
90's it got more technical with the Europeans adding some
2000 and beyond, more young heads are starting to dance more
like the 70's, but very few will catch the essence of the
original styles like the OG's.
You appeared in two groundbreaking Hip Hop flicks, Wild
Style and Beat Street. What affect do you think these movies
had on graf, breaking, MCing and DJing as a whole?
WILD STYLE was raw, and real, but the script and acting
sucked. But you can still feel the energy of what Hip Hop was
all about in this movie. And everything was high caliber sh*t.
B-boys, DJ's, MC's, and writers were all real and at the top
of there game.
BEAT STREET was allot more watered down, and still a bad
script and they had actors play the characters, so the acting
was good, but it made it seem even more fake. The graff was
also fake done by a union artist who just bit ideas from real
writers and he did a horrible job. The MC's were real but were
forced to wear a lot of funny a** sh*t, and rhyme about corny
sh*t. The B-boys were real, and the battles were real, but the
editing was what messed up some of the dance sequences. Wild
Style wins by a landslide.
What advice to you have to anyone interested in becoming a
b-boy but live where there is no exposure to experienced
breakers or competitions?
Get as much info on real foundation before you peruse this
culture. Learn from the ROOTS, and FOUNDATION.
Finally, where do you see B-boying in another 20 years?
I hope I don't see it in the Olympics like a lot of people
keep comparing it to. B-boying is the art of dance not flips
and tricks, it's something you feel and the only way it would
work in that format is if it done the way it was done in the
streets. And that's battles. I would hate to see a B-boy with
tights on doing perfect windmills with pointed toes, and legs
straight looking like a gymnast tryna break.
I hope that young dancers gear themselves more to theater and
stage, and try and put on full productions. And I also see the
underground getting stronger, but we need more real B-boy jams
and less B-boy events. I'm tired of going to a B-boy event and
seeing these young dancers with backpacks dressed like bums
warming up and stretching on the floor, and breaking all day
and night showin' every lil move they got. A jam is more of a
party atmosphere, you gotta get down and dance with girls, and
feel the music, and when that James Brown beat hits you, you
get down and rip, and and the moment is gone, you go back and
party some more and save some moves for the next session.
That's the real sh*t.
Anything else you want to add?
Right now I'm representing two of the most amazing dance crews
of our time, Rock Steady Crew and The Electric Boogaloos. I am
incredibly blessed and honored to be down with these crews.
And also me and my partner Zeus started a clothing line called
"Brigante" so be on the lookout for our gears. High end Latin
flavored hip hop gears with mad ghetto elegance. Peace.
Mr. Wiggles on Myspace:
Mr. Wiggles on Twitter: