Feb 16, 2008 - 12:14 PM
In December, I started seeing flyers for b-boy and b-girl battles around San Francisco. I hadn't seen b-boys battle since attending Berkeley High School during the first Reagan administration. And girls didn't battle. It was the thought of seeing b-girls compete that initially peaked by interest, since hip-hop was and remains such a male dominated culture. Unfortunately only two b-girls battled during the two events I attended. But the confrontational posing and gesturing made up for the lack of b-girls competing and was the highlight of the battles for me. (To see b-girls in action, watch our multimedia on "Sisterz of the Underground.") It reminded me of high school fights from a bygone era: A circle forms and rivals start jawing and gesturing at each other until one throws the first punch. Some of the b-boys could backup their taunts with dance moves. Others were all bark and got dismissed after the first round.
Craig Young has completed internships with Knight Ridder and McClatchy newspapers. Currently, he freelances for non-profit organizations including the Associated Press (San Francisco office).