Clowns In The Hood
The best thing I saw on TV last autumn was a documentary called "Clowns in the Hood," which examined an incredible underground hip hop dance culture in Los Angeles. It's since been renamed "Krumped" and has been selected for the Sundance Film Festival. Be sure to check out the video preview (it may take a little while to load) as well.
Director's Website: With Clowns In The Hood, David exposes the underground phenomenon thatís currently happening on the mean streets of LAís Compton called Clowning. A hip hop derivative, Clowning is the phenomenon of kids (aged 6-18) who paint their faces with clown make-up, then take to the streets in an attempt to dance rival clowns into submission. Developing the make-up into an almost tribal war paint, the clowns recall hip hop in its Ď80s block party heyday.
The voodoo-like dance routines are lifted from the basest dances there are Ė those of pole dancers and strippers Ė but speeded up to an incredibly fast degree, making the clown in question look as if they are having some sort of hugely enjoyable fit. The craze hasnít been commodified in any way by the music industry or media [NB: the dance moves, largely thanks to director David LaChapelle (who, when he's not making documentaries of uncommodified cultures, directs massive music videos for stars like Christina Aguilera), have since been almost completely absorbed into mainstream hip hop culture - MB]; itís a totally underground phenomenon which serves as an exhalation from a community tired and frustrated with peopleís preconceived notions of the area they live in. The antithesis of bling hip hop posturing, the clowns are totally anti-drugs, anti-violence, anti-guns. The movement is all about positivity.
Posted by matt at February 23, 2004 04:41 PM