Bigglez (Maximum Efficiency) [Interview]
Toronto, ON – On November 13th, B-boy crew Maximum Efficiency celebrates their 10th anniversary. After a decade of injuries, practices, championships, headspins and highs and lows, they’re as strong as they’ve ever been and aren’t afraid to call themselves the best. As the group strategizes between battles at Manifesto, they can’t keep from dancing, laughing and critiquing each other. There’s a light, yet dead serious air to the room. Amidst the free spirited creativeness, order, strategy and unity is what gives M.E.C. its identity. And most of the time, its Bigglez, the longest standing member that takes control.
HipHopCanada: How long has Max Efficiency been a group?
Bigglez: There was a crew of guys about ten years ago. In high school, I was B-boying solo and I met up with these cats from Scarborough and they were Maximum Efficiency Crew and I had my own crew . . . We joined together in November after a B-boy event. It was like an upcoming B-boy event after so long in T-Dot. We repped separately as our different crews that day. So M.E.C. and The Catullus was our crew. They lost in the semis and we got killed in the beginning. So after that we joined and merged as one. But then all those guys, they held onto it for a bit but life catches up to you at a point when you’re a B-boy. Around 18,19, I guess like a lot of things in hip-hop, you have to decide do I need to work, be with my girl, you know do I have time for this? So a lot of those cats stopped B-boying, but I kept it on, those are my dogs so I’m reppin’ hard. So then it became me and my original crew and then just add-ons through the time. The past ten years we’ve just been holding it down.
HipHopCanada: What does being a part of Maximum Efficiency mean commitment wise?
Bigglez: Oh man, to be in M.E.C. in Toronto that’s your PhD in Toronto B-boying. Straight up, real raw cats man . . . So, we’re like underground rawness. So to join us it’s not only about your B-boy skill, you got to be down, you’ve got to be like one of the boys. Then we have Rude Bwoy Posse (R.B.P) which is Floor Assassins Militia and us. As far as M.E.C., if we’re not B-boying together we’re doing something else together.
HipHopCanada: So you guys are pretty much in constant contact?
Bigglez: Yeah, M.E.C. is always together, like everyday of the week. We’re always together doing something. And that’s the whole point and that’s what makes a good B-boy group, especially in B-boying. Because there’s no real hip-hop groups anymore. There are individual artists and crews who do their solo things, but in a B-boy crew you move as one. Even if you’re doing separate moves, all my other boys are feeling it. When they’re about to get down, I’m like, “Yes he’s about to do it.” And when they crash it’s a gasp like, “He’s about to crash!” Especially when you’re in a crew like ours. I really push the guys. They all say, “I hate practicing with this guy,” but they love it too. It’s what brings them to the level. You got to be real with your boys and say this is how it should be; this is how we do it. Everyone brings their own thing to the table but you have a distinct Toronto style too.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about the 10th Anniversary party November 13th . . .
Bigglez: [Laughing] I’ve been waiting for this moment for 10 years! I just feel like we’ve put in work man. I’m proud of my crew. A lot of them, we started by ourselves in my basement rolling around on a piece of cardboard. Now there’s a nice linoleum in there! My homeboy, Cuso Fresh, is coming down from Mind180 representing Orlando, Florida. He’s a sick, world renowned B-boy. Filthy Feet from Van City is coming. Dangerous Goods from Winnipeg. A lot of cats from Montreal. It’s going to be madness.
HipHopCanada: How have you observed the B-boying culture evolve in these 10 years?
Bigglez: Oh man! When I started ten years ago . . . so that was ’99. ’98-’99 was an amazing time in Canadian B-boying history and B-boying around the world. So Bag of Tricks is an old school group, shout out to Benzo. They are a crew . . . to this day we have mad love for them and they went all over the world and did their thing in the late 90s. During that time in Toronto, there was another crew called Boogie Brats coming up and they are phenomenal. Boogie Brats and Megas especially, a lot of people say, took B-boying to another level. And to this day, cats still post his footage up on YouTube like, “Oh, my God this is the best B-boying I’ve ever seen.” That style of dancing revolutionized things even to this day.
HipHopCanada: What specifically did they bring to the table?
Bigglez: It’s a Toronto style they invented called Origami. It’s a threading style and a folding style when your B-boying and they use foundational moves and threads to create movement with your body like it’s a piece of paper. So then from that period there was a weird transitional period from ’99 to about four years ago. The scene was there, Supernaturalz were doing their thing, and they were holding it down going all over the place making noise. Dizzy was sick; he was going to the states and killing it. So the scene was there but it wasn’t how it should be and then a lot of these young cats just got on the right tip and started going off. And that’s the Floor Assassins Militia kids. Now they’re all grown up and R.B.P. But now I like the scene personally. I like where it’s going. I think it’s the best it’s been. Even Canada as a whole too: Montreal is slaughtering it, Van City is killing it, and everybody’s doing really good man. Toronto and Canada is really up there now. A lot of really influential people came out of Toronto, man, and people recognize it.
HipHopCanada: How do injuries play into things? It must be a constant . . .
Bigglez: Oh, constant! You injure your arm; you work on your next arm to hold your body up. You injure your leg; you do handstands and stay on your head all day. You hurt your back; you rest for six months [Laughing]. You rest for six months and you learn to pop and lock! You got to just keep moving. Pieces, who is in my crew, his vertebrae are fused together behind his neck so it looks like he has no neck. I guess it comes from doing head spins from a really young age. So he stopped B-boying for like 2 years and focused on his charity but he was always dancing. You can never stop being a B-boy. You can stop dancing but you can never stop being a B-boy. It’s in you and something that’s a part of you. And now Pieces is back in full effect and just stays off his head. And you see his stuff and it’s phenomenal. You see his stuff and are like how can someone be that good and not even use a main part of you with your head or your neck?
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada