4.10.2012

Breaking and the New York City Breakers


If Spraycan Art, the book by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, is considered the bible of graffiti, then Michael Holman's Breaking and the New York City Breakers might be the equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls of hip-hop–because copies of this publication are extremely effin' rare today. Released to magazine racks back in 1984, Holman's visionary trade paperback documented the short history of the Floor Masters, the b-boy crew that he would groom and rename the New York City Breakers. In the process, Holman explores the roots of hip-hop music, dance, graffiti art, language and fashion, and renders a vivid portrait of this vibrant culture in its incredibly defined infancy. Of all of the artifacts in my archive, Breaking and the New York City Breakers is one of my most treasured. As you can see from the cover, my copy is as tattered and torn as a thousand-year-old religious scroll. But since most modern disciples of hip-hop culture have probably never heard of, let alone seen this rare gem, it seemed like a good time to share a few of its pulse-pounding pages.

So sayeth

St. Paco









11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this.. Been looking for this since 1984! haha

Carlitos Corcho said...

I have a copy in storage, got it back when it first came out!

Anonymous said...

Had it when I was 13. Been looking for it ever since.

SuppSamanthaa said...

I was hoping to see the page about the history of breaking cause I heard it mentions something about my hometown in there.

St. Paco said...

What's your town/city? If it turns out to be there, I'll scan it for you.

SuppSamanthaa said...

Thanks. It's Fresno, Ca.

SuppSamanthaa said...

I'm not too sure if it's in there, that just what I heard.

Anonymous said...

I also have this book somewhere in storage

mark jones said...

Have one in fantastic shape. Sitting in front of me. Willing to sell or trade.

St. Paco said...

Walked into a Walgreens on State Street in downtown Chicago during my first or second year of college. Browsing the magazine racks for the newest issue of The Source, I see four or five friggin' copies of BREAKING on the bottommost rack, tagged with the bargain basement clearance price of $1 buck each. The copy that I still own, beat up as it was even then, was still completely readable, so it never crosses my mind to buy another––let alone four extra copies. Of course, I can kick myself now.

Out of curiosity, though, what types of trade bait are you interested in?

SuppSamanthaa said...

How much are you selling it for?