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.