FREE IS LIFE WITH STYLE
Scrambling through Beijing at paces and in spaces you would expect in a hyper-conductor; I managed to reach an unavoidable conclusion.
The most important two words in life are “CHILL” & “FREESTYLE.” The universe has very few finite rules but these two words define how we must take life as it comes and goes. Teaching bboying to hundreds of students who did not speak English – with our only mutual speech as movement – these two words alone transcended the language barrier to ask questions and resolve answers to the unknown. Getting lost through railway lines that look like they were drawn with a Spirograph, no WI-FI in unfamiliar range and rushing to get my macbook repaired as it is the only thing besides my screen smash I-phone that connected me to the outside planet – what else is there to do. Chill…….ok…. freestyle.
These words informed a mantra I adopted along this voyage that previously I knew was true – but only when tested at maximum capacity with almost the population of my whole country did I have proof. Faced with Beijing’s 24 million+ person size, the only thing you can do is chill, and then freestyle. But what you CAN’T do…. is stop moving. Life we know is freestyle – forward is to be discovered – we can plan, but we endlessly must master our ability to adapt to the unexpected. In a country where red lights are just a suggestion, expecting the right of way is a notion you cannot afford to maintain. Living in a hustling world that always makes demands we shift courses without warning – the only thing one can do is keep moving in your own style. From this experience I could only say: “Life is freestyle; free is life with style.”
Once I accepted the current of Beijing the flow became natural. Without the invitations, respect and love shown from PEK locals I could never have had the underground vibes & big stage looks in the Beijing bboy scene. I won a 1v1 battle in JiaJing city, went to the 2v2 semi-finals at DragonStyle Anniversary with my brother Boss – finishing in a live battle vs Flow Mo crews Focus & AT. I was lucky to have my Supernaturalz brothers Puzzles & Onton chilling in Beijing for a few days having lots of great conversations with Ken Swift and splashing with DJ Spray & Physix. Big ups Kim & all DragonStyle crew for making me feel at home out there and repping HipHop for china for 9 years+. On top of that, I was in a Chinese movie. My name was Jeff Maria… it was very freestyle.
The dance soul is deep in China and we are going to see new generations come up super quick in the future years. Observing the government, commercial and educational support for dance in China at such high levels reminds me how much work there is to do at home in YYZ,
This is a recap of battles, friends, students and family thousands of miles away, 4 months in the past and to be carried on with me into the abyss of my eventual immobilization.
Infinite love Beijing. Live free.
My Mom’s sent me this first photo she took in her own travels.. i tripped.