Breezy Montana is at the forefront of a popular dance movement taking hold of Chicago.
Breezy Montana, born Travaris Brown, is an aspiring musician who formed Team Band Up.
Team Band Up, according to the 24-year-old MC, is a “bunch of kids that go to parties and ‘fiestas’ and just have fun.”
Fiestas are block parties.
Breezy describes TBU, founded in March, as a “non-violent movement” with members ranging in age from 13 to 21.
It’s a bunch of people that like to “turn up and bop,” he added.
Team Band Up, formerly called Team Fiesta, helped propel the bopping the scene in the Windy City.
The “Bop,” originating in Chicago, has undergone many transformations throughout several generations. Originally performed in the late 50s and early 60s, the “Bop” was a smooth, calm dance of striding, gliding, dipping and dabbing, according to steppersexpress.com.
In today’s generation amongst a younger, hip demographic, the “Bop” now is performed to Hip Hop music. It incorporates a “bounce” with slick footwork and various body movements.
“The bopping scene in Chicago is constantly growing because it’s not hard to bop and it’s no rules to bopping,” Breezy explained. “Yeah, you have the more advanced boppers like Lil Kemo, D Low, Pouncey and Yung Juice, but you got a lot of kids in all different parts of the Westside of Chicago that once they hear the certain type of music they just start bopping. I think bopping gone be here for a while just like how ‘foot working’ was …its a phase that’s just starting out.”
African American dance has long been an integral part of Black identity and culture. Dancing in the African American culture has roots in the native continent of Africa.
Prior to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, African dance was used as a necessary means to bond a village. African dance was also used for celebration, entertainment, rituals and communication.
Slavery was horrific as it stripped Africans of their culture and customs as they landed in the New World. Despite this vile practice, descendants of Africans were able to hold onto some aspects of their cultures through dance.
Different tribes in Africa have their own ritualistic dances. Slavery brought Africans from hundreds of tribes to the United States. Once in America, Africans from different tribes merged their dance traditions to create new dances.
Dances African Americans created in early American history include “The Charleston,” “Tap Dancing,” “Lindy Hop,” “The Jitterbug,” “The Twist” and “Jazz Dance.”
In the new school era, African Americans from various cities across the nation continue to popularize dances that have since gone mainstream. “Krumping” and the “Jerk” were popular dances that originated in Los Angeles, CA. Rapper Chingy popularized the “Chicken Head,” which originated in St. Louis. Diddy popularized the Harlem Shake in the early 2000s, which has its roots in Harlem, New York. The Dougie, perhaps the most popular dance in this current generation, has its origins in Dallas, TX. It was popularized by the Cali Swag District, an L.A. based rap group.
Bopping may very well be the next dance to be recognized worldwide.
Breezy is doing his part to bring the dance to the forefront of Hip Hop by providing the soundtrack to the movement. He began recording music in late 2012 and soon enjoyed the viral successes of his songs “Havin S---,” “Swayy,” “Gucci-Holic” and “BallOut.”
Breezy recently dropped his solo debut mixtape “Rise To Fame,” hosted by DJ Amaris and Jody Digital.
The tape features musical guest appearances from Stunt Taylor, Nino Bam, Neil, JMP, Lil Chris, Trell, Wayne and KeKe.
The producers who helped Breezy craft the bop sound on this project were Cicero on the Beat, Mistro Beatz, K Star, Leekeleek, JB On Tha Trak and Billionaire Boy Scout.
“My mixtape is the first all around bop mixtape, which is not surprising since I started the sound in Chicago,” he said.
Breezy draws musical inspiration from a variety of industry talent, including, Soulja Boy, Roscoe Dash, Waka Flocka, Jay Z, Kanye West and Future.
“…My sound is a mixture of fun, but with some aggression…you take the swag of Soulja Boy, the auto tune delivery of Roscoe Dash, but the aggression of Waka Flocka and you have a Breezy Montana sound with the futuristic type beat,” Breezy said.
Breezy said his energy and uniqueness separates his sound from the rest of Chicago and the industry
“…When you hear me on a track, it’s so much energy behind it that you can feel it an just start bopping,” he said. “I think my sound is one of a kind.”
Breezy hopes to sign to a major label and earn a distribution deal for TBU.
Until then, he will continue “promoting this new sound to the country.”
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