B-Boys busking in downtown Manhattan, New York, USA, 1980-81 [photo © Ted Polhemus]

The 'B' stands for 'Break' and refers to the fact that dancing was primarily focused on the (often extended by 'scratching' a vinyl record) instrumental 'break' over and over. This type of music - Hip Hop or Rap - had been born in poverty stricken Queens about mid 1970s - interestingly, simultaneously with disco and punk: these three world changing subcultures/music genres all born in NYC and all in the midst of the city's near collapse financially. By the time this set of photos was taken such B-Boys as these were busking with recorded music, their distinctive clothes and their athletic dancing.

Dimensions: 3473 x 2274
File size: 935.03 kbytes
Taken on:  
Camera model: Epson Perfection V800
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