The Rock Steady Crew

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Undoubtedly the most highly recognized name in the b-boy world, the Rock Steady Crew was first formed in 1977 in the Bronx, New York.  The two man team of Jo Jo and Jimmy D were the original founders.  It was an important time for the dance movement.  Disco was killing the artform and many b-boys had given up and gone on to other things.  Jo Jo was a one time hustler that learned he could gain more notoriety on the dance floor.  He is also often credited with inventing the back spin.

In 1979, Jimmy D realized the need for new blood and added in a member that would eventually be scene as a spokesman for the entire organization.  That member was Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón.  The other new member was Lenny Len.  They began spreading the RSC name into Manhattan.

They used battles as a means of recruitment.

Mr. Freeze was one of the first real white b-boys.

Frosty Freeze was an elder b-boy (a member of the Rock City Crew) who was still interested in the game but was without a steady crew.  He pledged his support with the younger RSC members if they needed him in a battle.

The crew’s big break came in 1981.   Photographer Henry Chalfant gave them the chance to  perform at the Lincoln Center Outdoors Program.  The event turned into a battle with the Dynamic Rockers.  The show garnered coverage from various press sources including National Geographic.  The result was world wide attention to the b-boy cause.

Not long after this Crazy Legs was named President of the Rock Steady Crew with Frosty Freeze and Ken Swift (who was part of a crew called The Young City Boys and was brought in as an RSC member after battling Crazy Legs) as Co-Vice Presidents.

But perhaps and even bigger break was the appearance by members Mr Freeze, Ken Swift, Crazy Legs and Frosty Freeze in the box office smash “Flashdance”.  This lead to a nation wide craze into what was now being called “breakdancing”.  It also played heavily into the development of the West Coast b-boy scene.

Lil’ Crazy Legs, originally part of Rock City Rockers, got his name from his efforts to copy Crazy Legs style.

Had a regular Thursday night gig at a club called Negril which was run by Michael Holman (of Graffiti Rock fame).

In 1982, Rock Steady Crew became members of Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation.

The established 98th and Amsterdam in New York as Rock Steady Park  and it became a meeting place for all RSC members.

Due to their burgeoning success, they took on Kool Lady Blue as their manager.

They were part of a European tour that included Afrika Bambaataa, Fab 5 Freddy, various graffiti artists among others.

Members appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

They recorded a record for Charisma called “Hey You Rock Steady Crew”.  The record is hardly a b-boy anthem, but it did reach the top of the British charts.  They also released a single called  “Uprock”. Both songs appeared on their album “Ready For Battle”.

The record did a have a downside.  Due to contractual dealings, they were unable to perform live.  The group was reaching the end of their initial popularity wave.  Unfortunately some members didn’t choose the right path during this down period.

Mr. Wiggles (also part of West Coast Crew Electric Boogaloos) and Fable from the Magnificent Force came up with an idea for a hip hop musical called “So, What Happens Now.”  It ended up being the critics choice in the New York Times and received rave reviews in The Village Voice and The Daily News.

Resurgence picked up steam again with their performance at the 1991 Source Awards as well as their first annual Rock Steady Anniversary Celebration.

They have also been featured in several music videos in the last 3-4 years.

Related Links: www.rocksteadycrew.com & mrwiggleshiphop.net

Additional submitted by Mr Wiggles

Check out the Rock Steady Crew in “Beat Street”

Back to B-Boys Biographies

Author: JohnG

Administrator of OldSchoolHipHop.Com

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11 Comments

  1. I,M JUST A LITTLE HURT THAT DAVID MARTINEZ AKA B-BOY ‘TAKE-ONE’ISN,T ON THE LIST ATLEAST FOR BEING ONE OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS!WE ALL HAVE DEMONS TO BATTLE AT SOME POINT BUT HE,S GOOD DUDE AND I LOVE HIM…REMEMBER HE TALKED HENRY CHALFANT..ROCK STEADY..ROCK ON!! JUST AN OLD 44YR. OLD B-BOY FROM RHODE ISLAND WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING!! POAM CREW & POAM MINISTRIES!!

  2. I JUST WANTED TO SAY GROWING UP NZ FRU THE YEARS OF 82-83-84 ROCK STEADY WAS A INSPIRATION TO THE WRECKIN FORCE,AND WE DID DAMAGE OF THE FLOOR FOR SURE GOOD TO SEE THE SEQUENCE OF BEAT STREET TOO, THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD SKOOL DAYS RIGHTTTTTT? ALL THE BEST TO THE ROCK STEADY & ALL OTHER BREAKING TEAMS OF THE EARLY 80S PEACE OUT……KANE

  3. I grew up in California where I still live today. I was Poppin n Lockin back in the late 70’s early 80’s as a kid until one day I saw some guys from NY doing this thing called break dancing on TV, after that my friends n I were hooked! We use to follow Rock Steady Crew to a “T”, from their foot work to their clothes. We were so into our dancing and good at it, it gave a lot of us teens confidence and strength. Once at a party in 1984 we stopped the music cause someone had a boot leg of Beat Street and played the battle at the Roxy scene, everyone gathered in the living room to watch.
    Thank you Rock Steady Crew, you guys were such an inspiration to all the youth here on the west coast. I’m glad to see that the legacy continues on and there are fresh new young members stepping in and keeping the RSC name alive. It will never be the same as the original members who started the whole craze and took the country by storm back then, but just to still here the RSC name and know that there is some connection to the original members is something special.
    Again I thank you, for giving me and my friends (my crew) great memories and for sharing your passion of something you loved with the entire world. God bless the RSC.

  4. Loved RSC growing up here in Australia! I am now sharing RSC with my 4yo son! What about Baby Love? How come she doesnt get a mention?

  5. Lol yes I am the jimmy dee that started rock steady and could not have more pride in what it has become

  6. iv been a fan of the rsc since 1984 to present big ups to everything they have done and to the anniversary. what ever happen to the rsc member that danced next to last on beat street in the battle with the nyc breakers??? anyway i have nothing but love for the rsc!!!! Peace.

  7. Crazy Leg’s carried the torch(thank god)for the second generation.Baby Love said she’s no longer with rock steady because of a falling out with Legs. RIP to brother’s Lorenzo Soto(Kuriaki)& Gabriel Marcano(Buck 4) & Wayne Frost(Frosty Freeze)

  8. Just to inform everyone that David Martinez aka Take-One, original member of Rock Steady Crew has passed. Official cause or time of death is not known at this moment but word was given on August 2nd 2015. RIP my brother you was the original b-boy representing Washington Heights and Dominicans.

  9. filming a tv Pilot in Chicago anybody have any ins to the 80s crews or if your killing it with your skills today we have some great people already working with us on this project still looking for more feel free to shoot me an email ginogallela@yahoo.com

  10. I lived in Ossining NY in Westchester County back in the 80’s. What I remember first was hearing ‘that dude Crazy Legs is fresh man!!’ And saw RSC for the first time on ‘Beat Street’!! Im a fan of the Bronx BBoys!!

  11. I always thought the chick in Roxy battle was not actually Baby Love but an around the way chick named Maria.

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  1. The Rock Steady Crew – (Hey You) Rock Steady Crew(1983) | Back - […] bij een hitje bleef, zette de groep hip-hop en met nam het breakdancing op de kaart. De groep was…

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