This has been a long time coming with Fordy! It’s always either he’s free and I’m not, or I’m free and he’s away in Switzerland at a Bboy comp (yeah you know that’s a cool excuse). Finally however we were both in the same place at the same time. He was at workshop in Bristol last night with the legendary BBoy Machine, and since I’m back in my hometown for a few he invited me down so off I mosey’d with my boy Giant Uncle Matt to have my our minds blown. The level of skill shown by Fordy, Bboy Machine and the respective bboys and bgirls was ridiculous, we couldn’t fail to be impressed. Fordy was kind enough to give me some of his time before he had to run back to Cardiff. We talked about some of the up-coming events, the Welsh BBoy Open, the four elements as a whole and a lot more besides.
Really interesting stuff!
Right man, first of all let’s get the little generic question out of the way just for the benefit of the people who aren’t fully aware of who you are and what you do:
Well basically I’m the UK ambassador for the Universal Zulu Nation, and I’m also the European president of the Battle Holex Worldwide Crew. Both organisations we cater for all 5 elements [MCing, Graffiti, Bboy, DJing, Knowledge – Aimee] within the hip-hop culture. I’m an MC and I’m also a bboy. I’ve been a bboy for coming up to 30 years now, and I started MCing in 1985. ’82 Bboying, ’85 MCing.
So tell me quickly what you guys have been doing today?
Well BBoy Machine came over, we’ve just finished up a workshop tonight. It was pretty intense, it was really good. He didn’t go too crazy though, he kept it within the boundaries of what everyone could do. He’s just come down from Birmingham and then my friend is driving him to London.
Being involved in so many things you’ve also been busy with the Welsh BBoy Open which are held every year, this year was in September in Newport. How did you get involved with that?
Well I’m very close with the guys at BBoy Wales, and I actually help out with them. I know one or two of the guys who I used to break with back in the day in the early 80’s, and we hadn’t seen each other for a while-but back in 2005 they put on the first Welsh BBoy champs and they asked me to perform. They also gave me an award at that event which was most contribution to hip-hop. Then by the following year I was a hosting a competition called “Last Man Standing” and that’s what I’ve been doing every year now, hosting that comp.
So how did this year’s BBoy Open go? Were there any crews or individuals to look out for, anyone that really impressed you?
My crew did pretty well this year, it was their first year here. Battle Holex turned up and did really well. Hulk from Unstoppabullz and Battle Holex Israel Chapter was the third man left in “Last Man Standing” in my view he should have been in the final. Zulu Kings, Floor Gangs. The two crews from Malta, Underground Shadows and Sharks Of The Earth (they’re Battle Holex Worldwide as well). This year was a little bit more special because there were crews from every where. Every year has just been getting better and better.
Besides hosting battles within the BBoy spectrum Fordy also hosts MC battles, especially in Barry in Cardiff with young and up and coming new talent. I asked him a little about what’s been going on with that and any future plans for himself as an MC and someone that puts on MC battles.
I honestly have kept myself pretty low on the whole MC thing in the past year or so, but I am still doing a lot of hosting instead of recording tracks myself. I’m hosting some MC battles on the 26th of November in Cardiff in 40 Below Club on Charles Street which should be good. I’m also hosting an event in London called Battle Ground, it’s gonna be a big competition I would tell you who’s going to be involved by nothing’s been finalised yet. That’s on the 26th of this month.
To change the subject of questions a bit, this is a little vague but where would you say Breaking and Bboying is in relation to hip-hop as a whole today? Not counting radio-rap but real hardcore hip-hop. From what I can see it seems like it’s only getting better?
The thing is with me is I’ve never really looked at like as you say at commercial radio-rap. The bubblegum children stuff, and all that bollocks grime shit. “I’m gonna stab your fucking grandmother after I’ve dug her up and buggered her”, I can’t deal with that shit. To me hip-hop, all elements of hip-hop weigh each other out on an equal balance. The true MCs don’t get wrong ’cause this is coming from an MC as well. MCs did start to steal the shine of hip-hop, and some did try to claim it as hip-hop was all about their element and as I said I’ve been rapping for 25 years so I’ve seen it all. The real MCs that started pulling themselves back and realising that it’s not just about them, you know when it comes to DJing, graffiti, MCing and Bboying I think it all weighs each other out, they’re all on the same wave length. They’re all on the same level. To be honest with you I don’t look on the MC level that much because there’s a lot of groups out there speaking the real shit, but there’s an awful lot of fakes out there too. Don’t get me wrong though because there’s a lot of bboys out there but there’s also a lot of breakdancers as well.
I’ll weigh it up like this: you’ve got your commercial rap and you’ve got your hardcore rap. Now the hardcore rap is a bboy, and the commercial rap is a breakdancer. The term ‘breakdancer’ came from the media not us, to be honest with you it’s quite a bit of an insult to call a bboy a breakdancer. A ‘rocker’ is different, toprocker came from rocking like the gangs with their leather jackets and cut off selves. So a bboy and bgirl as BBoy Machine was saying earlier has their own way, and culture and they do everything with style. Whereas a breakdancer will learn a couple of spins and flips, and a powermove or two but he hasn’t got a clue about his foundation, he doesn’t know anything.
What then would you say was the most undervalued element if there is one?
I would say DJing. CD DJs, I think it’s an insult to a DJ where there’s a dude walking around with a little box and a laptop, and Sorato can get everything up. You know I like the guys walking around with a bag full of vinyl, there’s not really any skill involved in pressing a few buttons on a computer.
So what are your future plans for BBoy comps or workshops or the like?
Well hopefully I’ll be going over to Malta. I’m also returning to Switzerland on the 25th of February to host alongside MC Trix, a well respected MC that hosts all the major bboy competitions. It’s gonna be a big comp! The next BBoy Open should be early or mid-July but the date isn’t confirmed yet, and it should be pretty good. It’s gonna go off because there’s a lot of preparations going on for that.
Thanks for the doing the interview Fordy!
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