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R.I.P. Frosty Freeze

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NEW YORK - Wayne “Frosty Freeze” Frost, a hip-hop pioneer whose acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie “Flashdance” helped set off a worldwide breakdancing craze, has died. He was 44.


Frost died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center after a long illness, said Jorge “Fabel” Pabon, a senior vice president of the crew where Frost and other so-called b-boys (for beat or break boys) made their name performing complicated and daring dance routines.


“He was one of most charismatic b-boys that ever lived,” said Benson Lee, director of the new documentary film “Planet B-Boy.”


Breakdancing emerged from the Bronx and Harlem in the early 1970s, part of the hip-hop culture that also included graffiti, MCing or rapping, and disc jockeys scratching and mixing vinyl records on turntables.


During extended pauses, or breaks, in the music, b-boys would mimic James Brown’s showmanship and footwork and Bruce Lee’s martial arts, adding their own signature moves.


Frost was known for his energetic style, intricate choreography and fearless moves including back flips and head spins. One was even dubbed the “Suicide.”


Frost got his start in 1978 with the Bronx-based Rock City Crew. In 1981, he became part of the Rock Steady Crew, joining such acclaimed breakdancers as Ken Swift and Lil Crazy Legs.


Frost toured the world with the Rock Steady Crew and other hip-hop artists, including Fab 5 Freddy, Futura 2000 and Kool Lady Blue.


Frost’s appearance with Rock Steady Crew in “Flashdance” spread the breakdance phenomenon globally, said Joseph Schloss, a visiting scholar in the music department at New York University. “He was one of the first B-boys that most people ever saw,” Schloss said.


Graffiti artist and close friend Zulu King Slone, who knew Frost for 15 years, said he was “like a walking hip-hop culture encyclopedia.”


As a member of the Rock Steady Crew, Frost also appeared in several movies on hip-hop culture, including “Wild Style,” “Beat Street” and “Style Wars.” He also appeared on the cover of the Village Voice in 1981.


Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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In this 1981 photo provided by Martha Cooper, breakdance pioneer Wayne 'Frosty Freeze' Frost executes his 'dead man' move outside of New York's Lincoln Center. Frost died in a New York hospital Thursday, April 3, 2008 after a long illness. He was 44.

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Speedy D & Speedy Legs handing Frosty a

Zulu Nation Hall of Fame Award at the 2001 Anniversary




Frosty accepting an award from Zulu Gremlin at the Pro-Am 1999

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H2E: What is the first crew you were in?


Frosty: Rock City Crew from 1978-1980 with: Butch Cassidy, Kid Sun Dance, TyFly, FlyTy, Lil Mel, Shane, Normski, Scotty, Fritz, LD, CharlieRoc, Wayne, Ron Dike, Kenny Flip, & others.


H2E: When did you join RockSteady Crew (RSC)?


Frosty: I became 2nd generation RSC in 1981, some of the other guys that joined at the same time were; Ken Swift, TyFly, RaSean(Kippy D), Lil Crazy Legs, Mr. Freeze, Lenny Len, Take 1, Doze, Fast Break, Lil Lep, NelSki, Gino, Flip Rock, etc...



H2E: How did that whole 2nd generation of RSC begin?


Frosty: Well, first Crazy Legs asked JoJo and Jimmy D (Founders of RSC) for permission to start his own Manhatten chapter but they denied him, finally around March, 1981 they agreed and the rest is history.


H2E: What movies have you danced in?


Frosty: Style Wars, Wild Style, & Flash Dance


H2E: What about magazines?


Frosty: I was the first Bboy to come out on the front page of any magazine!

(Village Voice, April 1981)


H2E: What TV shows have you appeared on?


Frosty: 20/20, Live at 5, Teletone News, CBS News, Studio Y etc...


H2E: Did you ever do any music videos?


Frosty: Buffalo Girls, & Bambaataa's PLANET ROCK


H2E:What tours have you been on?



Kitchen Tour - 1982 with RSC, Fab 5 Freddy, Crazy Legs, DJ Spy and others. We went to D.C., Pittsburg, Minnesota, Madison Square Garden, Iowa, Chicago, Detroit, & Toronto. After that was the opening of the famous ROXY in June 1982


European Tour - November 1982 with Crazy Legs, Take 1, Mr. Freeze, Ken Swift, M.C.'s Infinity, DST, KC, Shaheim, Fab 5 Freddy, Ramalzee, Dondi, Futura 2000, Bambaattaa, Double Dutch Girls, Kool Lady Blue, & Willie Craft. We went to London, Paris, Strasberg, Leoine, & a whole bunch more cities.


Before Beat Street - May 1984 with Grand Master Flash, Crash Crew, Poppin Larry Love, Levan, Broadway, and Kid Creole & Raheim from the Furious 5


Japan Airlines Tour - 1984 with Rockaron, Craig, DJ Jonathan, and others. I ran into OzRock out there.


Summer - 1998 with Fabel, Fever, & Sweet Pea. We went to Italy.


December - 1998 with Jojo, Fever, & Fabel. We hit Germany this time.


H2E: What other elements of hip hop have you dabbled in?


Frosty: I MC'd from 1979-'80 on tapes with Louie Lou, we were the Soul Bro. MC's

I did some graff also in 1980. I pieced with Kay Slay, LK, Duel, $, TFA, TC5, IBM, CIA, TDS, RAZ, DURO, Shy 147(RockStars)


H2E: What have you been up to recently?


Frosty: I was teaching classes with Fabel last year in some public schools.

I hosted Marlon B's event at the Culture Club and I did the Studio Y Tv show in January.


H2E: What years have you attended the Bboy Masters Pro-Am in Miami and what are your thoughts on it?


Frosty: 1998, '99, & 2001 - I like meeting all the international Bboy's, South Beach is fun, I like the weather, the people are nice, it's just a lot of fun and a great location. It makes me feel like a kid again!


H2E: What moves have you made up or a part of your trademark style?


Frosty: I invented the Suicide, and I helped pioneer moves and combos like: Cannonball, Round the World, Swipe to Headspins, Kickout 4-Step footwork, No Hand Footwork, many freezes, and most of all adding character to the dance.


H2E: Any famous last words?


Frosty: Well, I want to keep on dancing but I know my time is limited.

"We are all in this together, we need to stick together!"

I am more experienced with business now and I know how to control my own destiny.

The 1980's were a lot of business for me and now I enjoy the scene more and have a lot of fun.





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The Godfather of Hip Hop Afrika Bambaattaa and Frosty Freeze at Pro-Am 2001




Enjoying a Hot Dog at the Pro-Am 2001




Speedy Legs & Frosty Freeze at Konkrete Jungle - March 2001

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Not sure who to credit this photo to but I caught this running back in the day as well. I just dont have access to scan my shots at this time.

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It is only when a (founding) member of the hip hop culture passes on, that i realize how limited we, as a culture are! 4/03/08 marks the day we lost a true school legend, Frosty Freeze! we will all miss u in the b-boy world, and also in the culture of hip-hop. Your work in "FLASHDANCE/ STYLE WARS/ WILDSTYLE/ THE FRESHEST KIDS"... is unforgetable and remarkable! we will love u / and miss u forever and on my brother! till we meet again in that slammin park jam in the sky. You were not only a b-boy you were an inovater and an originator!





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