Bboy Snooze

Updated: Nov 14, 2020


In the early 1980s through movies like Flash Dance and Beat Street, the cultural movement of hip  hop that had originated in the Bronx, New York City was making an impact on people, particularly  children and teenagers. This cultural fad which many would argue was in fact a culture that changed  their lives forever created opportunities to have fun, be accepted and to be acknowledged as  performers and artist where many new friends would also be made.

In Australia, each major capital city including Sydney during the period from 1983 through to 1987  saw a wave of young men begin to dance that previously may have not done so before the  introduction of hip hop due to a range of factors including lack of social acceptance and stereotyping as either gay or a bit feminine. These young teenagers and young adults formed crews and would  become effectively the first generation of breakers and bboys within Sydney.  

This wave of essentially art forms although not technically taught at schools or institutions formed  into four main areas or among hip hop followers, four elements. This included breaking /  breakdancing / bboys & bgirls, DJ’ing, MC’ing / Rapping and Graffiti art.

As time has gone on many of these original bboys have passed and moved on to other aspects of life  or unfortunately have passed away. Many simply are forgotten or not known by current generation  of breakers in this year and day. Many do not know the significance of some of these breakers and  effectively how this first generation created a stepping stone for future breakers to follow.  

Many dance crews appeared during this time in the early to mid-1980s although several stood out  within Sydney. In particular a dance crew of young men, many from different cultural backgrounds  formed together to become UBT or otherwise known as the United Break Team. They were also  fortunate to tour with arguably one of the most famous bboy crews in the world at the time namely  the Rock Steady crew from New York City, New York.

I managed to talk to one member of UBT, Rosano Martinez (known as Bboy Snooze) to retell the  sub-culture of hip hop in the 1980s, the fights, the battles and to remember those that history in hip  hop has not. Most importantly it is to preserve the memories of how hip hop culture was during this  period.  

Hip hop also gave a voice to minorities within Australian society at this time “Most of us were from  poor suburbs and poor families. I grew up in housing commission. That was one of the reasons why I  got into it. I could relate to that message. Yes we were in those situations”.

I give a large thank you to Rosano Martinez (Bboy Snooze) for deciding to talk to a stranger in April  2010 for 2 hours about a time that has gone past but still is as fresh as ever! Also thank you to DJ  ASK (former Australian DMC Champion 1990 and 1996) who quickly popped in during my interview  with Rosano Martinez and briefly was able to contribute in part to this article.  

 Des-Troy / October 2020

Check out the full interview here.

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