Back again with another “Year in Review” and 2014 marks the 5-year anniversary of writing these blog posts. There is always a lot to recap. It seems to get more involved each year! With that said, there’s no time to waste so let’s get to it!
The year started off at Club Soda in downtown Montreal with an event called Kiff Your Style. There was an All Styles battle that took place and I entered in order to get experience dancing to different music styles. Here is one of my battles:
The first “In The Pocket – Locking Video Magazine” was launched and Issue 1 featured lockers from all across Canada.
The McGill Student Street Dancers (MSSD) hosted their first party called Muthafunka. It featured DJ Ruby Jane and the live funk band: Busty & The Bass. The band was on point and they were voted best university band in 2014. Check their video below with cameos by members of Lockunity!
For my 31st birthday, I organized a practiced called The Crossover. It was a chance for me to battle 31 rounds but I invited the Montreal Krumpers and we danced to their music. It was very intense. No photos or videos though, sorry!
The month ended with two events. The first was Monstapop’s event: Jack of All Trades. It was a popping battle but I was given the opportunity to launch the Locking4Life Canada exclusive shield Tshirts. If you are interested in copping a shirt, check the ad.
The second event was Chocolate Jungle. This is a 90’s themed party organized by 2 Marvelous and Todd Smith. This is a true Montreal party and featured singers, dancers and amazing DJs. This was the 2nd edition and I was asked to be one of the featured Chocolate Jungle dancers. The night was off the hook! Check the group photo and the commercial video below!
For the past 4 years I have been working as a teacher at Place Cartier, an adult education centre in Montreal, teaching math, science and Hip Hop education classes. I’m able to get guests into the school from time to time and for Black History Month I invited Nantali Indongo (Nomadic Massive) into the school to present her experiences with Hip Hop to the students. She did a killer performance in the school cafeteria!
The MSSD invited me back to McGill to teach a locking workshop on campus.
The end of February was a waacking event, Hot Mess, and the organizers asked me Treklock & Boombeast to perform. We had a special piece made, which we performed. We also performed this piece in May at Bust A Move so I’ll post the video there. But we called the piece: “A Girl Like You”
The month started off with a trip to Toronto. Ruby Jane & Professor Groove were invited to play the first WEFUNK party at a club in Kensington Market. The party was great and a lot of Toronto lockers came out, including my very first locking teacher: Licorice Lloyd. Got lots of love for him. He introduced me to this beautiful dance!
Issue 2 of In The Pocket was released in March and this was dedicated to all the Ladies of Locking!
The month ended with another quality event organized by Urban Element. It was called The Chosen. This was the second edition and it took place at Cabaret Mile End. It was an All Styles battle but music was provided by the Kalmunity live band. I judged the battle with Monstapop and Nubian Nene. Check our judge demo!
The month started with another All Styles battle, this time outside of Montreal in the town of St. Jerome. The event was called La Preuve 2 and I teamed up with Sam-I-Am. It was a fun event. This is one of the battles against Namco & Boombeast
DJ Ruby Jane released a great mixtape especially for lockers. It’s called 30Lock because the mix contains locking music spanning 30 years: from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.
Just before Bust A Move happened, I did a short little promo for the event with Banks (a MTL Hip Hop dancer) on Montreal’s Breakfast Television. Check it out!
This was certainly one of the busiest months of the year for locking in Montreal. Bust A Move this year was extra special. Gemini and Tash both came to the city and stayed for the whole month. A lot of practices, discussions and building was done with everyone in Lockunity!
BAM itself was so much fun. I sat back this year and worked a merchandise table, but also performed the “Girl Like You” piece with Trek, Boom and Rawss.
Gemini was the locking judge this year. This was his demo.
The final battle was between Treklock and Apachapoulilock. It was so hype watching all the battles this year without the stress of competing. I was super proud of Trek and Apacha, they totally gave a good final battle!
Following BAM was the 3rd edition of Chocolate Jungle. Gemini was one of the featured dancers this time. Once again the party was kickin!
We set up a mini locking tour with Gemini and he got to teach in Ottawa, Quebec City, Calgary and Toronto. Here’s a photo from the Quebec & Toronto classes.
It was a great month for Locking in Montreal. Thank you so much Gemini and Tash for all the guidance and support you gave us all! Check this photo by Melika Dez during a special videoshoot we did.
Right before Tash & Gemini left, Lockunity performed a piece for an event called Articien. We called it “Lock Never Felt So Good”.
One weekend was spent in Monkland Village doing street shows with my bboy crew, Illmask. It’s always fun working the crowd and making a little extra cash helped for my trip back to New Orleans!
There was a strong desire to head back to New Orleans this year. There is nothing like the food, music and culture of New Orleans anywhere else I’ve ever been to. It’s such an amazing city. Our good friends at Dancing Grounds studio took care of us. I taught a few classes and Ruby Jane got to play a special jam at the Hi-Ho Lounge. We also got to attend a Second Line parade as well as a crawfish boil. Wow!
From New Orleans, we visited New York City a few days. I got to check out the Lockshop practice organized by Killawatts. Was a great chance to get down and chill with Lil B and some other lockers in NY. It was so much fun I ripped my pants!
During one of the weekends we were there, Spike Lee organized a special block party for the Do The Right Thing 25th anniversary. They renamed the stretch of road where they filmed the movie “Do the Right Thing Way” and special guests like Public Enemy, Yasiin Bey, Erykah Badu, Dave Chapelle, Wesley Snipes and others were in attendance!
There was absolutely no slowing down in July! I participated in two noteworthy events. The first was the Montreal Swing Riot. Some Montreal street dancers were invited to participate in an exhibition battle against Lindy Hoppers. Considering the video went viral, it is safe to say this battle had a strong impact on a lot of people!
I returned to New York for Buddha Stretch’s event, Step Ya Game Up. This year Loose Caboose was a locking judge and I wanted to go down and see him! It was great catching up with Caboose. He is in great shape and he even asked me to be part of his judge demo with a few other lockers.
Although I wasn’t expecting it, I won the locking battle at the event and qualified for the Lock City finals later in the year in Taiwan. This was my fav battle of the night against Riot of the Hood Lockers (Philly). Much respect to him!
Shoutout to Disco Dave, Jazzy J, Stretch and Adesola. Some NYC lockers I have much love for!
The month ended with another Lockunity performance, this time for Lazy Legz and his “I Can” Challenge. Lazy walked 2.5km without crutches or leg braces. It was an amazing moment for him and all his students and supporters. Luca truly embodies his motto “No Excuses. No Limits”
This was one of the more quieter months. A lot of local events still happened and I kept busy at work. I had an interview featured in the Little Burgundy magazine. Lockunity also performed for a big fashion festival in the city. We got to do a Soul Train line down a 100 ft runway! Thanks Spicey and Tash for the connect.
In The Pocket – Issue 3 was released at the start of the month and it featured some of the guys of locking as well as a segment on locking music.
A few new lockers moved to Montreal for the start of the Fall session at school. As a result our weekly practices grew in attendance. For the first time there were 3 separate locking classes happening as well. Me, Boombeast and Quantalock all had weekly classes. A good chance for new lockers to get started!
House of Paint is Ottawa’s big Hip Hop festival. This year I went down to chill and get down. Jean Grae was a guest performer and we all got to dance down a Soul Train line during her show. I entered the bboy battle with Illmask as well. Good times
Wattssoul is the website of Tash where she features many talented dancers. Tash released a series of important articles on building a locking community. She interviewed 6 Lockunity members as well as filmed a video interview with me. You can check the video but to read the 6 articles be sure to check out
This month was more focused on teaching. I was able to take some of my Hip Hop students downtown to check out the graffiti in the city. My friend Cholo brought his boombox and even Sterling Downey of Under Pressure met us to give us insight while we toured the walls and alleys of Montreal’s Plateau!
At the start of the month was Urban Element’s Shut Up & Dance event. This edition featured a locking/krumping tag team battle. It was really fun to judge and see the two styles work together.
This is a judge demo by the infamous Scrhamburglar!
The 4th edition of Chocolate Jungle happened mid month. Another great group of dancers at a great party with great clothes!
The weekend after the party I found myself in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for the Lock City 2014 Finals. It was a long journey to travel for a weekend stay, but totally worth it. Got to see lockers from all around Asia and try some great food. Here’s one of my fav battles of the night vs Carter (Hong Kong)
And finally we get to December. The school semester ended with a Hip Hop jam organized by my students at Place Cartier. They called it G.R.A.N.O.L.A. F.U.N.K. (Getting Racism Away Not Only Liberates All – Freedom Unlocks New Knowledge) in memory of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and all the black youth who have died due to police violence. It was a topic that relates well to Hip Hop’s history and the students wanted to bring awareness of this issue. There was dancing, MCing, graffiti art and a lot more. Hip Hop is alive in today’s youth! Shoutout to Julio and DJ Fuzion for the video!
Foret Noire organized a special theatre festival called 100Lux which featured street dancers on stage performing more contemporary pieces. It was awe inspiring and proves that street dance is equally as respectable as ballet or other formal dance styles. Shoutout to Boombeast who brought locking to the stage in two separate pieces!
In between training for the 100Lux shows, me Trek and Boom got to perform some shows at Cirque Du Soliel. One show we did was “Uptown Funk: Reloaded”. No video but check this awesome photo!
The month ended with one last battle organized by Dead Angle Crew: USB (Underground Street Battle). It was a fun event. I judged the All Styles category but also got a chance to catch up with big bro Frank Boogie (Boogie Brats). Currently the video of my judge demo has the music muted so Im not going to post it just yet.
However, I will end with the 4th Issue of In The Pocket which just got released before the Christmas holiday!
And there you have it folks. 12 months of locking, funk and good vibes! Once again, it’s great to reflect to see the progress over the last few years. I’m so happy the locking scene in Montreal (and Canada) is growing and I hope 2015 will bring more growth, health, happiness and good vibes to the whole worldwide locking community.
See you in 2015!