3.16.2016

Oh, My Godzilla... The cross-cultural fashion sense of Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers in 1984


Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, one of the stars of the 1984 cult hit Breakin', has never received the recognition he deserves for a great number of things, among them being credit for actually being the man who taught Michael Jackson to moonwalk. In addition to that fairly seismic slight, Chambers also never really got the credit he deserved for being a major style icon for kids across the planet in the 1980s. But his pop art Godzilla muscle shirt, Banzai headband, camouflage khakis, and white Nike high-tops set a trailblazing fashion trend for many others to follow. In addition to his mind-blowing dance moves on screen in Breakin', it was his very unique sense of style, coupled with serious skinny kid swag, that left a deep impression whose echoes still reverberate in the present. And if there's any justice in the world, somebody (me) will attempt to right at least one of the great wrongs of pop culture history, and post to their blog a retrospective tribute to the cross-cultural fashion sense in 1984 of the legendary Boogaloo Shrimp. 



Did this post get you hyped up for more? Well, click here to learn how Boogaloo Shrimp met and mentored MJ, the reasons why he has a ton of fans in Asia, and much more in a very revealing 2008 interview. 

4 comments:

darrell d said...

THIS WAS THE MOVIE THAT STARTED IT ALL FOR ME. I'M STILL TRYING TO GET MY HANDS ON ONE OF THOSE "RISING SUN" BANDANAS.

St. Paco said...

I think you still need to get up on that. You could rock a bandana while you're rockin' the wheels of steel. You could bring it back before Kanye does.

djmaneone said...

Nice post, Paco. Breakin' got me hyped as a kid. I even got caught up wearing parachute pants and rocking a rabbit's foot.

I wonder, though, if Hollywood had any doing with the way Shrimp and Shabba Doo dressed. Just curious.

Have you ever watched Breaking and Entering? I haven't watched it in awhile. It was a documentary about West Coast breaking and popping. I guess one way I can find out is to see what they're wearing in the documentary. Haha.

St. Paco said...

Word. While that's definitely the usual process, meaning wardrobe supplied by the film studio, from what I've read, Shrimp wore his own gear that he picked up during trips to Japan made prior to filming Breakin'. He was scouted to shoot a Nissan commercial there, and then he also toured there with Lionel Ritchie.

And yeah, man, it's been a few years, but I've seen Breakin' and Enterin' several times. I actually used to have a copy that I taped from cable in 85. And while I still do have the copy of Breakin' that was recoded to VHS from TV back in the day, Breakin' and Enterin' was recorded on the Betamax machine that we also had, so... Fortunately, it's on YouTube now, which is how I saw it the last time a while back.