Raised by Krump: A Short Film About Dance and Culture

“Raised by Krump” explores the LA-born dance movement “krumping,” and how the dance has helped the lives of some of the area’s most influential dancers.

In most cases, when a guy opts for dancing as an alternative to violence, it’s the start of a 1980s movie starring Kevin Bacon or Patrick Swayze. But this isn’t a retro music video from Michael Jackson, this is real life; and in real life, the choice between dance and violence can be a matter of life or death. While every dance genre is filled with stylized expression, there is no dance style more physically expressive than krumping.

In the early 1990s, a style of dance called ‘clowning’ was created; the movements were bold and expressive but they rarely communicated the reality of the dancer. Clowning focused on the funny and silly side of life without any of the pain. Dancers yearned for a way to express the negative with the positive. They wanted the same, big, bold, expressive moves of clowning but with a sense of grit and power. As a result, the dance style of krumping was born. Krumping allowed the dancer to channel all of their rage and frustration into a form of non-violent self-expression. It was a means to vent out all the pain and hurt and confusion without ever laying a hand on another individual in anger or aggression. It was a way to stop the violence.

After witnessing how powerful and authentic krumping can be for both the dancer and audience, Maceo Frost was inspired to make a short film about the topic. To avoid making just a simple dance film, Frost dug deep to find out why the dance style is such an emotional release. Using a unique visual style paired with thoughtful interviews and energetic dance clips, Raised By Krump is a must-see and well worth 20 minutes of your day.