Where did crip walking come from?

Answered by Frank Schwing

The Crip Walk, also known as the C-Walk, originated in the streets of Compton, California in the 1970s. This dance step quickly gained popularity among members of the Crips gang, hence its name. The Crip Walk is characterized by its quick and intricate footwork, with dancers moving their feet in a rhythmic pattern while maintaining a smooth glide.

Compton, a city located in Los Angeles County, was known for its high crime rates and gang activities during that time. The Crips gang, one of the most notorious and influential street gangs in the United States, was founded in Compton in the late 1960s. The Crip Walk emerged as a form of expression and identity for gang members, serving as a way to showcase their affiliation and skill.

The dance itself draws inspiration from various sources, including African-American dance styles such as the Shuffle, the Snake, and the Twist. However, the Crip Walk incorporates unique elements that distinguish it from other dances. It combines intricate foot movements, syncopated rhythms, and a distinctive glide that gives it a smooth and effortless appearance.

Initially, the Crip Walk was confined to the streets of Compton and the gang culture that surrounded it. However, it gradually gained recognition beyond its origins and became a significant part of pop culture. It found its way into music videos, movies, and even mainstream dance competitions. Artists such as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, who were associated with the Crips gang, played a significant role in popularizing the dance and bringing it to a wider audience.

Despite its growing popularity, the Crip Walk has also faced controversy and criticism. In the early 2000s, MTV banned music videos featuring the dance due to its association with gang culture and violence. However, this prohibition did not hinder the spread of the Crip Walk, as it continued to be performed and enjoyed by people in various contexts.

Today, the Crip Walk has become a part of the cultural fabric of hip-hop and street dance. It is often incorporated into choreography and freestyle performances, both within and outside of the gang context. While its origins lie in a specific time and place, the dance has transcended its initial association with gang culture and has evolved into a widely recognized and celebrated form of artistic expression.

It is important to note that the Crip Walk should be appreciated and understood within its cultural and historical context. It is not just a dance but also carries deep social and cultural significance for those who originated it.