Interview: BC ONE Finalist Nori Talks B-Boys, International B-Boys and More

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By: Mikey Fresh / December 10, 2013

Before the 2013 Redbull BC ONE B-Boys Finals in Seoul, South Korea, VIBE was on location to speak to a number of the dancers. Today, we present our first interview from our series with Japan’s Nori. The short, but high flying breaker was eager to get on stage, but of course, had a humble approach and attitude. Read on for the full convo. –Mikey Fresh

This is VIBE’s very first time covering the BC One event, and we’re honored to be here. Tell me, what’s the most exciting part about the competition this year?
The stage, it reminds me of a boxing ring. Before breaking, I was a kickboxer, so it really gives me that warrior spirit.

Obviously, this arena is enormous, but how do you mentally prepare?
I only think about my opponent and battling my opponent. I just make sure that I stay focused on that and nothing else.

READ: Hong 10 Wins Redbull’s 10th Annual BC One B-Boy Finals In Seoul

Preparation wise, how long did it take to prepare for this particular battle?
I trained nonstop for a month, ten hours a day, including mental preparation. I didn’t work on anything else during that time.

I know every B-Boy has their favorite beats and songs but did you practice to the same song/beat everyday for that month?
No, not all. I really like DJ Lean Rock a lot so I listened to his mixes for most of the time.

I flew over here from New York with Crazy Legs and we were talking a little bit about the top countries in B-Boying. He mentioned Japan. Who do you think is at the top?
I think we have many talented b-boys with originality, strength and skill, but as a whole I don’t really think we’re that great. There needs to be more love for the art of B-Boying in Japan. America naturally comes to mind, and I really like what is happening in Southeast Asia. Whenever people gather for these events over there, I see so many who love living the B-Boy lifestyle, so I appreciate and respect that more.

As a Korean-American, I have to bring up the constant turmoil between Japan and Korea. One of the best things about events like BC One is that it brings people together from all countries. Do you feel like the B-Boy culture really does help bring a lot of young Koreans and Japanese together.
Definitely, I agree. Hip-hop and dancing helped bring the young people of all the countries together. I’ve never felt any issues there, be it with Koreans or any other race. In matter of fact, I always know I have a place to stay in Korea because of my friends here. I can really call upon the b-boy community for a place to stay and vice-versa. I’ve never had a problem with any race.

When was the first time you visited NY?
Never. I am still dying to go. I’ve been to L.A. but I don’t like the cold weather [Laughs]. It’s the birthplace of hip-hop so I will go there soon.

Well, when you do come, you are welcomed to crash at my apartment. Honestly, how do you feel about the direction of American hip-hop? It’s really gone dance and strayed away from the “Golden Era” sound.
I respect the break-beats and the original sound but every genre has to evolve. You see the new dancers and kids really reacting and getting hyped up to the songs that come out now, so I am cool with it. As long as you know and respect the history of hip-hop music, than it’s okay in my book.

Who is your favorite hip-hop artist?
Wu-Tang Clan!

[Laughs] Me too! Alright, last question, and I’m asking all the B-Boys this. What is your favorite and least favorite B-Boy movie of all time?

Beatstreet is my favorite and the worst…. um… I don’t want to say but… Breaking 2 is the worst.

Additional Translation by Yosuke Tohari