Breaks, Battles, and Beefs: 20 Years of Memories from the Furious Styles Crew
On Thursday night, one of the Furious Styles Crew's biggest prodigal sons made his return. And he did it in honor of the long-running b-boy/urban arts crew's 20th anniversary this weekend. Local DJ kingpin Z-Trip paid a surprise visit to the Blunt Club at Tempe's Yucca Tap Room (the event also served as one of the many celebrations in honor of the FSC's birthday) and spent upwards of four hours scratching and spinning to a packed house.
EV Photos A dance cypher from last year's Furious Styles anniversary.
It was a bit like back in the day when Z-Trip, a longtime member of the crew, would perform at bygone Tempe joints like Nita's with the Bombshelter DJs and his fellow Furious Styles members in the house. It marked the latest chapter in the lengthy history of the FSC, which was originally founded back in 1993.
Edson "House" Magana and his fellow b-boy and brother, Odin Magana, have a ton of stories related to Furious Styles -- a couple decades worth, in fact. And said yarns can be pretty entertaining, like their tales of battling other Valley b-boy crews outside of local Dairy Queens, inside local clubs, or even in a parking lot or two in the middle of the night.
Benjamin Leatherman Z-Trip performs at Yucca Tap Room on Thursday night.
Such things are par for the course for the crew, which features more than 80 members worldwide that practice all four elements of hip-hop culture: b-boys, emcees, DJs, and graf artists. The FSC locals have been lighting up venues, walls, dance floors, turntables, and microphones around town since the '90s and will do so again as Furious Styles are in the midst of celebrating their big milestone this weekend.
The parties and events continue through Sunday at Cyphers: The Center for Urban Arts and Culture in North Phoenix (which Magana co-owns) and downtown's Monarch Theatre and will feature FSC members doing the same thing they've been doing for decades now, including much popping, locking, spinning, and basically helping to embody and expand local hip-hop culture.
The Furious Styles anniversary shindigs have become famous over the years for offering grand displays of urban artistry, fancy footwork, and pimp performances, just one of the many reasons why the crew has become of the of premier ensembles in the Valley. FSC is also the longest-running groups of its kind locally and has encountered many up and downs in that time.
Magana and Miracles told Jackalope Ranch many memories and tales about the history and adventures of Furious Styles over the past 20 years, as did other DJs, b-boys, and graf artists we spoke with. In honor of the crew's big birthday, here's a look back at some of what they've experienced along the way.
Me and Z:
Edson "House" Magana, Furious Styles Crew co-founder: I made a graffiti crew out here originally. We had a group out here called STR, which stood for "Starting the Revolution." There wasn't like a graf scene, there wasn't much of anything, so I wanted to create a crew. And people like Z-Trip would be in it. Back then he used to write a little bit.
Z-Trip, Valley native and Furious Styles member: Before Furious Styles Crew it was just me and House. We came together for our love of graffiti and that's kind of where we met. We're talking like late '80s/early '90s, somewhere around there. We started a crew [STR], and it's interesting because we started that crew and we liked the letters "STR," like we liked writing those. So then we had to figure out what the fuck it meant. So we started calling it all these things: "Start the Revolution," "Sworn to Rule"...whatever. But it was always based around graffiti.
House: I had already had a relationship with Z-Trip because when I was with STR, he was involved with writing graf as well. So we connected. He kind of separated when it started getting into a violent time, saying, "I can't do this."
Z-Trip: I got out because DJing was more profitable.
House: I helped start up a graffiti crew called Styles Upon Styles and I met up with the two guys who would be co-founders of the Furious Styles Crew, John and Mike Rincon. They were twin brothers. Somebody else had asked us to join their crew, but once we went to their rehearsal, their ideas were kind of corny. We weren't feeling it, so we decided, let's just us three start our own crew.