Serrano Time

The Ten Best Hip-Hop Dances, With Illustrations

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Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:30 AM


That's an email I received last week. The whole thing. That's all it said. Bolded and everything. It came from a guy I've met three times. I guess don't necessarily hate him, but I don't like him that much either. I mean, if he came to my house to hang out I'd be like, "What's up, man," sure. But I wouldn't offer him cereal or anything. Or, unless we had Cheerios. Ugh, he can eat all the goddamn Cheerios he wants. They're the worst. I don't imagine having your crotch set on fire is any less enjoyable than eating a bowl of Cheerios.

Anyway, some context: Two days before I received that particular e-assault, I sent out a mass message to fifteen different people with a link to the video at the head of this post.

If you were born near the early '80s then you likely have a genuine appreciation for Humpty Hump and his affection towards coitus in the bathroom of fast food restaurants. His wide-mouthed timbre was just too likeable, too infectious, Digital Underground's wobbly and wonky atmospherics too enticing; somehow, despite seemingly courting it, it stepped right over irony and into sincerity. (I remember authentically carrying around the cassingle for the song in the front pouch of a fanny pack, which is probably 1000X IRONIC COOL today.)

The email chain eventually evolved into a remembering of the best hip-hop dances. It grew longer than I care to admit, and ate more time than was justifiable, but led way to a pseudo-countdown of sorts. What follows is a ranking of the best hip-hop dances of the last 30 years.

There were no real restrictions or rules to this thing, only that if it came on wedding you were absolutely going to get up and move your limbs and torso. I do not agree with the rankings entirely (The Humpty Dance is placed offensively far from first place), but I suppose that's the point of these things sometimes.

  • Illustrations by Shea Serrano

10. Digital Underground, "Humpty Dance"

Again, I HATE that this one was voted into 10th place. I'm saying, Humpty's the one that said just grab 'em in the biscuit. That type of life advice should've helped him wiggle up to AT LEAST sixth place.

9. Gucci Crew II, "Cabbage Patch"

An iconic dance, undoubtedly. Still, I don't figure too many people knew/know there was/is an actual Cabbage Patch song. Does anyone still make Miami bass music?

8. New Boyz, "The Jerk"

Said one of the girls in the email chain when this song's name started getting mentioned: "What's that? Sounds stupid. I hate it already." After somebody sent her this song: "OMG I LOVE THIS SONG NUMBER1" Thanks for this one, L.A.

P.S. The basic form is easy enough to do, but all that bouncing from standing to the floor to standing? Fuck you and your 17-year-old knees, 17-year-olds.

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