Someone asked me why I mostly play R&B and hip hop when I teach popping classes. Well, it’s because I hate popping music.
I know that statement is weird in an era where people ask the DJ to play popping tracks, but I have to be honest. Somewhere along the line, people decided it was cool to place the dance before the music. It became more respected to ‘catch’ sporadic drum syncopation devoid of lyrics, soul and feeling than to express yourself. And contests became more about memorizing playlists than having an honest interaction with the music.
I hope future generations don’t forget that there was no such thing as popping music when the style was originally created. People popped to funk, electro, disco, breaks, etc. But they danced because the music moved them. The present day need to reverse engineer music from dance is creating a steady decline in the ‘funk’ of funkstyles. And although the technique of popping is at an all-time high, poppers’ ability to dance is underwhelming because the music doesn’t emphasize feel.
And I don’t say this to bash on producers who are catering to the popular dance styles. I say this because we can’t make progress until we get back to prioritizing what is really important — the music.