Benji

B-boy benji არის განსხვავებული სტილის მოცეკვავე. ბრეიქდანსში ორ რამეს აქცევენ ყველაზე მეტ ყურადღებას: ეფექტურობა და სირთულე. ეფექტურობა vs. სირთულეში ბენჯი სირთულეზეა ორიენტირებული მაგრამ ვისაც ესმის ბრეიქდანსი, მიხვდება რა მაგრა ცეკვავს.

trailer

ამ ვიდეოში კარგად ჩანს როგორ ჩმორდება ჯუნიორი😀

vs. ronnie

ინტერვიუსაც დავდებ, ვინიცობაა ვინმეს დააინტერესოს. ინგლისურადაა, გადათარგმნა დამეზარა

BENJI
Hip Hop is very often symbolic. Dancers and graffiti artists are extras, an addition. We are here to dress up scenery… Hopefully, there are battles amongst each other to build-up our name (i.e. our reputation). Rappers make big bucks and even DJs make big bucks.

I started to dance at 15, 16 years old. The stars of my generation were guys of 25 to 30 years old, who had been dancing for 10 years already. Today, I am 23 years old, and I am “papi,” it’s a hard situation, isn’t it?

Why didn’t you agree to some battles: vs. Dyzee, vs Dyzee, vs Karimbo, vs Lilou, and what was the cause of your decision?

People were just trying to trick me, I didn’t want to dance against them, against myself. I don’t see the point. My goal is to go further! Not to dance with the same guys that do the same combos that I do. I always try to battle people that are more advanced than I, to go further up and progress.

A lot of people are saying: “Benji doesn’t battle Karimbo?”
But I saw Karimbo battle Omar. The defeat was well executed, and quick. It’s actually very funny. Not a lot of people talked about it afterward…

Benji vs. Dyzee: Someone proposed it to me at the time, and I accepted. The battle was scheduled for the next year. A year after, a lot of things had happened in my life…

I am 23 years old. I have a condo, a wife, a rent to pay, a car to maintain, problems. Break dancing is cool, but at a certain point, it becomes very difficult, especially financially.
I am happy that I made all of these kids trip on my dancing, but today, I am going to think about myself… My face!

Today, I want cash!!!

So, are you kind of retired from dancing then?

No, I am not retired.
I might be for battles, because I don’t really want to do any anymore, but I put myself as an observer.
Anyway, whom do you want me to battle against? I’ve already beaten all the guys from my generation.

For the current generation, “the little Karimbos” are just like finger food of the past for me. These types of guys were done in a blink of an eye, like that!
Because they keep going at it, they progress, but I stopped, so they feel superior. So they tell themselves: “let’s battle Benji!”
It’s easy to win against M. Tyson after he retires… This needed to be done when he was in the ring.

Even if they can win now, and make all of their friends happy, it doesn’t mean that they are going to be huge in the States.

I created my style, my moves, and combos. I was faithful to them until the end.

When I started to Break dance, people told me that I was doing gymnastic: “This is contortions, not break dancing!” Nowadays, everywhere in the world, people dance like that. I am proud of it, and happy. That is all I ask.

During your last apparition, people felt that you were not as fast as before, but also not as technical, and energetic as before. Some people say that you did not evolve. This attitude does not match with the Benji that we were used to see these past years. What happened?

As I was saying, Benji grew up, and changed. Benji cannot be the same all his life. You can not be energetic all your life. There were times when I was doing Crumbs, when I did not have anything. I was break dancing all day. Naturally, you ought to be on the top of your performance.

The problem is that you cannot spend your all life pleasing people. People got so used to see me rapidly progress that when they were seeing me progress at a slower rate, or another rate as well, people said: “Ha! This is not the same old Benji!”

When I participated to Ronnie, I saw my moves and combos being copied by fifty other guys behind me. People copy, it’s normal. “Ha, but moves are the property of everyone!” This is the sentence I hear all the time. Are you nuts?

Do you think that the fact that you beefed up in size is the reason why you lost in rapidity?

No, it has nothing to do with that. The fastest break dancer I know is Bboy Ivan. Have you seen what he looks like? No, honestly, I train less. It did not really bring anything into my life, but recognition from other break dancers.

If I am on the net, and seen by a few people, compared to the global population, it doesn’t affect me, in correlation with what people say on the net about me.
On the other hand, when my banker tells me that I am a creditor on my account, this is a reality. It was working until I hit 17, after that it was impossible. I cannot tell him to wait for another battle at the end of the month.

I am retiring like the rest of the people of my era. Just like Crumbs, because at a certain point, you have to do something else! You have to get into business, in Hip Hop or another thing.

I am currently working on something, and people are going to be slapped in the face.

Are you nostalgic of the “D.A. meets Dynamic’s (Belgium)” or “Benji vs. Crumbs” era?

These were the best times of my life. It was the ambiance at the time. It’s not like today. With Division Alpha, we lived some pure moments. Nowadays, I don’t get these battles that are organized every 5 months. Every week, there are 7 or 8 events!

At the time, “people’s talks” worked really well. Division Alpha arrived with 4 people and we kept saying to everybody: “come if you have balls, it’s going to be war!” And we were 700 people in Châtelet 4 days after. It was awesome!

Then, it wasn’t 1000%, you come with 10 people, and you put your balls on the ground. It was not 8 sets, but you came and if you won, it was awesome.

For me, Benji/Crumbs was organized in 4/4 (i.e. 2 times 4 sets), it was cool, but it wasn’t break dancing.
The cool thing was Benji vs. Junior. You came and you break danced, you did 15, 20 sets, and you were dead, washed out, but this was the true break dancing spirit!
Nowadays, battles are like fairs, where battles are organized with 2, 3, 4 sets. This is not break dancing. What is this thing?

What is the purpose of it? The thing is that we want to organize “clashes.” But the problem is that there are none in France. Nobody has enough balls to do it.

Do you think that with what you have done in the past, you gained respect from other fellow break dancers?

I am not asking for respect. Fuck them all!

I see respect in videos, when I see people doing the “lotus” or when they put their feet behind their heads, I am happy! Because people don’t like to admit it, but it all comes from me! It’s mine. I don’t even go there and tell them: “Please, show some respect!” because people put some money on my account.
These guys bought Flexible Fury. More than 2 million copies sold! Fuck y’all, we took your cash.

And whether people like it or not, Flexible Fury is the video that was the most sold in the world, and the most copied as well, and it is the only one that is on Emule.

Could we see you in a battle, or this is totally over?

No, it’s totally over.

And with Division Alpha?

No, it’s the same thing. The Division Alphas are my buddies! Whether it is Mathieu, Joe, Rudy, Youval, they are guys I grew up with. This was not a troupe to do battle with, but to create shows at the beginning. It was just later on that we did battles.

Where you the only one taking this decision? What does Youval thinks about that? He kind of takes you like his spiritual mentor.

Youval did not take my retirement well, but we all do what we want. I am dealing with my life, and he is dealing with his. If he wants to be a speaker for the break dancing community at 34, it’s his thing. I cannot do that.

I cannot, having been the top French break dancer, make a transition toward that again.
Guys just look at me weird, or just criticize, but I don’t care.

Youval, even though he is not happy about my decision, I cannot do anything for him, even if he is my “bro.” When you take a decision, you take one.

I choose the business aspect nowadays. Now, I think that what I do makes more money than what he does.

He doesn’t really listen to me when I suggest to him to do something else to make it. He has become stubborn, probably because of his environment. It’s too bad. He likes moving too much. I don’t like to move as much as he does, I like battles, circles. He likes battles, and be friend with everybody. I did not have any friends.

He changed a lot. At the time, he did not have any friends, and nowadays, he has a lot of them. He changed is side a little as well… (He smiles)

Why didn’t we see any sets like in Flexible Fury 2?

Well, I could not really show everything in battles. On this tape, I went a little further. That’s why I made this tape actually: If you can make a good tape that goes all around the world.
It’s not that easy with battles to do everything, and I am more specialized in “1 on 1,” and it’s really hard to deal with the breathing. You can’t do a maximum of stuff in 15 minutes! It’s impossible. You have to manage well and set some limits.
You do your best things, and you combine them.
For the training that we have in Flexible Fury, these were things that were taking all my breath. If I couldn’t do it in groups, I did not do it all.

At the time, I did not do a lot of group battles, so I told myself: let’s put them on tape. Obviously, everybody was happy, because everybody had it, so it was chill. Chill.

You are talking about putting your dancer career on the side, and become a business man, what do you mean by that?

Well, I am going to tell you, and you are going to be the first ones to hear it. Kemp Exclusive for Style2ouf.com! (He smiles)

I am putting an album out. Imagine this interview, it’s awesome, in relation with what I am going to say on TV. I’m going to fuck them all up! They ought to know. I am going to dismantle them all!
It’s going to be very mainstream R&B/Hip Hop. What they are playing currently. It’s hot, it’s a little like what is played on TV nowadays, like some Willy Denzel, or something.
And more importantly, it’s well paid.

When can we find your album at the FNAC?

For the moment, I don’t really have any specific dates, and I actually cannot tell you, but it’s coming. On the other hand, I can tell you that I’ve already ordered my new car, and it’s blinged out! (He smiles).

How do you think this news is going to be taken by the dancers?

Who gives a shit? We don’t care about their faces! Don’t buy my album, don’t buy it, for real! You are mere dust on this planet! Lorie, you don’t listen to her, but she is a multi millionaire and that is what I am interested in!
Well, this is direct and clear…

But don’t think that I stopped break dancing. Because it’s going to break dance on TV, dudes, watch out!

A question in relation with your past: At both the battle at Evry, and the one in Levallois, you hurt yourself twice. What had happened?

I already had gotten hurt to my head, 2 years ago, and all the time that I have low sugars, the pain starts again. So, this is what happened at Evry and Levallois. But at Levallois, I managed to continue dancing and it’s after the battle that I hurt, I even had a loss of memory. It took me 2 or 3 days to recover.

Do you think that the audience asked too much of yourself? Maybe you went to fare in your battle?

But it’s in general what people ask to the best, to all the big heads in every sport, to top-level people. It can be M. Tyson, or anyone else, you cannot be the king your entire life. Some guys just hold on to it for respect, but I never asked anyone to respect me. I don’t care. I did what I had to do, I did not ask anything to anyone.

I was at the top, and nowadays I train less. And my excuse nowadays is that I cannot stay at the tope my entire life because I train less, but beforehand, I would train everyday, all day, I was the best. There are guys that train every day. All day, and they are still unknown… It’s hard, isn’t it? Of course, these guys should be known and reknown!

Do you have a message to give, or something to add?

There are people on my side and it’s chill, but for the others, I cannot do anything for you. You cannot please everybody. You are going to see a lot more of me. Keep tripping and keep dancing, but stop copying. It’s a shame! We are all going to end up like capoera dancers! We’re all going to be the same. When you watch capoera videos, I watch one, you watch them all, and it’s becoming the same thing for me.

It’s a shame that break dancing is like that too. It’s always better when there is originality. It’s like that that I stuck out. At the time, people said that I was doing contortions but it finally went away.

Guys… it’s not because people from Vegas put belts with nails that we have to do the same! Stop!

Big up’s?
Fuck them all!

Interview by Style2ouf.com

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