Magazine article The New Yorker

FLOOR SHOW; Pop Notes

Magazine article The New Yorker

FLOOR SHOW; Pop Notes

Article excerpt

Hip-hop fans have endured several years of griping about their genre: a lack of star-quality m.c.s, the rise in simplistic lyrics, and various Chicken Little prophecies of imminent extinction. Dude 'N Nem, a duo from Chicago, have released a fantastic single that will clarify things for these whiners: "Watch My Feet." Hip-hop started as music for dancers, and this is where it has returned, more than thirty years later. In the last two years, new styles of hip-hop dance that developed in America's cities have spread to the world through YouTube videos of amateur performances: hyphy, in the Bay Area; krumping, in Los Angeles; snap dances in Atlanta; a variety of steps in New York (the Chicken Noodle Soup and this year's delightful Aunt Jackie); and in Chicago, a practice called either jukin' or footwork, which is the tradition Dude 'N Nem work in.

Juke music is an outgrowth of Chicago house music, which has already spawned entire cultures in England and gone above and below ground several times in America. (Anybody remember Black Box?) In the nineties, Chicago house began to increase in speed from 120 beats per minute (like disco) to 150 and 160 beats per minute. …

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