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Bang'n On King Drive

"Once a year, on the second Saturday of August, thousands of Chicagoans descend upon Martin Luther King Drive on the city's South Side to behold the Bud Billiken Parade, the oldest and largest African-American parade in the United States," Thump notes.

"Launched in 1929 by Robert S. Abbott, founder of historic black newspaper The Chicago Defender, it's a celebration of youth and education, traveling down King Drive from 39th Street to 55th and heralding the start of the school year with performances by local dance groups.

"As a showcase for a variety of Chicago dance styles- stepping, bop-ing, drill teams, hip hop, and more - the Bud is also a site of historical importance for Chicago's footwork scene.


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Yeah, but is it really just an ad for Adidas?

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Anyway . . .

"In a recent interview with Thump, RP Boo - a founding father of the footwork sound - remembers being one of the first footwork producers to spin at the parade in the mid-'90s. 'I saw the dance crew House-O-Matics come down to the parade with a bunch of house music, and I said to myself, They look good,' he recalls. 'Two years later, I met the House-O-Matics president Ronnie Sloan, and he said, 'Hey, can you DJ for me at the parade?'

"Before long, dance battles were taking place beside, between, and sometimes on parade floats, and as well as at the tennis courts in nearby Washington Park.

"According to Marcus Hendrix, founder and president of the K-Phi-9 dance troupe, core footwork dance moves like 'the holy ghost' and 'the dribbles' evolved from the routines of local fraternity dance troupes. New dances inspire new tracks; new tracks inspire new dances. The footwork cycles continues."

See also: Remembering DJ Rashad, Chicago's Footworks Ambassador To The World.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on September 24, 2015


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