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Yeek Culture

January 18, 202314 min read

The Late 70s

As Disco is destroyed in the infamous Disco Demolition Night in 1979, the City of Atlanta’s NightLife is consumed by two major passions: Skating and Dancing.

Skate Culture

Throughout the A, you have hundreds of ATLiens spending their weekends hanging out at the Skating Rinks around the City.

Unfortunately, the Skate Culture is tough on new talent and to enter this Elite Scenario, you have one option: Join a Crew!

As part of a Skate Crew, you work on routines and work on ways to show the Community every week that you're the BESTEST BEST!

As the Skating Rinks change from a place to Hang out to an Entertainment Venue, the pressure on the Skate Crews to entertain the "Non-Skaters" intensifies.

With this new intensity, the Skating Crews start doing incredible routines and as the routines get more advanced and more complex, certain Skate Crews realize they should add "Dance" Moves to their routines.

It is this small transition in Skate Culture that develops an "EXPLOSION" of Legendary Skate Routines across the A.

During this elevation of Skate Culture, a move known as "The Skip" becomes commonplace in the Skating Rinks across the City of Atlanta and its Surrounding areas.

It is the move, The Skip, that is a key moment in the transition from Skate Culture to the Yeek Culture.

The Yeek Culture (The Early 80s)

An incredible and Phenomenal Dancer, Anthony Francis, is a frequent visitor to the Skating Rinks around ATL and he becomes obsessed with the Dancing Atmosphere.

He thinks to himself, how about doing this away from the Skating Rink?

After that, he returns to his High School and his mind is obsessed, how do I take the Dance Energy from the Skating Rink to the Dance Floor?

Every day, Ant Francis ponders dance moves because he wants to take Dancing to another level.

A Greater Level.

Greater than it has ever been.

So, he spends all his time, deep in thought, coming up with new moves and new ways of dancing.

He spends a lot of time practicing and coming up with new moves.

As they say, Fate and Destiny often meet those who are ready for their appearance.

And as Fate and Destiny would have it, Ant Francis goes out on a Regular Friday and he has NO IDEA this night will change his life forever.

He attends the Friday Night Party at a Gym and as the Music pumps harder and harder, Ant Francis is met with a welcome sight during the 80s.

Across the Floor, a legendary Dancer from another High School, Ron Ron, is ready.

Ant Francis eyes his opponent and goes to work.

Ron Ron responds.

They go back and forth and the crowd erupts in Joy and Ecstasy.

Before the night ends, everyone in the Gym is aware of two names: Ant Francis and Ron Ron.

A few days later, Ron Ron reaches out to Ant Francis and asks the question that has begun all movements, you wanna link up and create a dance crew?

Ant Francis says yes and together, he and Ron Ron work on new moves.

As they practice every day, those initial questions come back to Ant Francis.

How do I take the energy of the Skating Rinks and put that into the Club?

How do I take the frenzied pace of Skating Routines and put that into our Dance Routines?

With Ron Ron's energy, Ant Francis comes up with the most unique and inspiring Dance Moves anyone has ever seen.

A few weeks later, they add three new members (Slick Nick, Straw, and Devyne) and they have two new problems.

The First Problem is troublesome for the group, what is the name of this dancing that we are doing?

With no answers, they move on to the second problem.

What is the Name of our Dance Crew?

And just like that, History launches as the name is released to the world when they enter their first Talent Show.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce to you our latest contender in the Talent Show and they call themselves F.D.C.

F.D.C. stands for Fresh Dance Crew.

And just like that, History was made and Yeeking was born.

With their New and Fresh Name, FDC takes over local talent shows and their style of dance is something new and something fresh.

This new dance craze has no name at this time, it’s just called Regular Dancing or Club Dancing.

However, this new craze will become known in the Future as Yeeking.

As their style becomes legendary and famous around the City of Atlanta, it is obvious this new dance craze is taking over the older forms of dancing.

Like all evolutions, this new style of dancing improves upon the Old and during the takeover, some of the Older Dances spill over into the new dance craze known as Yeeking.

From the Skating Rinks, Yeeking is infused with the Dance Move, the Skip, and it becomes a fixture in the Early Dance Moves of Yeeking.

From the Breakdancers, Yeek Dance Routines follow the tradition of Playing Sports, particularly Baseball and Football.

Suddenly, a new dance style, Yeeking, is here in the A to stay.

FDC is considered the first Dance Crew from the first Era of Yeeking and this era is known as the Founder’s Era.

As a result of FDC, several new crews sprang up around the City of Atlanta and the Yeek Dance Craze flourishes throughout the 80s.

The Talent Show and Yeeking (The Mid 80s)

Atlanta Georgia (1985)

The Southern United States

D.M.Therrell High School Talent Show

A Precursor to Reality Shows like American Idol, the event known as the Talent Show is a huge event for the American teenager.

However, in Atlanta, the Talent Show is on steroids!

Tonight, in the historic gym of Therrell High School, a monumental event is about to take place.

As the parking lot fills with cars and teens get off the MARTA buses and rush to get a good seat, the energy soars through the air.

Izod shirts, Sebago shoes, Guess jeans, and Legwarmers crowd into an old and worn-down Gymnasium.

As the host walks to the stage, the frenzied teenagers yell and scream and shout.

This is the night they've been waiting for.

There's more than magic here.

There's power and energy and a presence.


And suddenly, the host speaks.

“Tonight Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a special treat here on this stage and I promise, you will not be disappointed. For the first time in the history of Atlanta talent shows, the top four groups from around the city will compete in one talent show. No longer do you have to call your buddies and bet your Friday pizzas and chocolate milk about who's the best. Tonight, you're going to find out.!“

Loud shouting and cheering!

"That's right, tonight, we're giving you what you've been waiting for. Tonight, you are going to see the following acts on one stage: Your very own Kool-Aid and Raheem, Broken Arms and Crooked Legs, Hot Gritz and No Eggz, and a new kid on the block - the infamous FDC!"

Incredibly loud shouting and cheering from the crowd!

And with no further ado, let's bring out the renowned Hot Gritz and No Eggz.

There it is.

The frenzy, the hypnotic trance!

The teens behind us scream and kick the back of our seats and we listen.

"Shawdy, this is what I've waiting for!This is going to be AWESOME shawdy! I told Black and Junebug they should've come, they missed out, this is the best talent show of all times! Of all times! Of all times, Yeah shawdy!"

"SSssssshhh, here they come!"

And silence.

Not your typical silence, but a new kind of silence, a dramatic silence.

The kind of silence before you light the stove to sizzle bacon.

The kind of silence before the flames explode from the Space Shuttle.

The kind of silence before a Nuclear Bomb explodes!!!

And the energy escalates with every performance.

The Hot Gritz performance is electrifying and intense.

Then, the Broken Arms gang entertains at a high level, totally intense, but a different feel.

And the teens are eating it up, they can't get enough!

The only thing more intense than the energy in this place is the repeat button.

That's right, the repeat button.

Every ten seconds, from behind us, we hear the word shawdy.

Shawdy, shawdy, shawdy, shawdy, shawdy!

Oh God, put an end to our misery!

And just as we are sick to our stomachs and can't deal with it anymore, a MASSIVE storm takes over the building and two rappers take to the stage.

And the beat is pulsing, pounding, engaging.

And one of them turns to the other one and they look out at the crowd and hold their mics in our direction.

And the crowd screams on cue.

Cause it's AWESOME!

And the beat returns as each rapper delivers a powerful message about them being the greatest.

We're caught off guard, we thought this was a dance-off because all the performers up to this point had been dancers.

But in our awestruck seats, we are entertained by two powerful personalities and we wonder what the future holds for them.

We look down and around, we don't have any way of knowing.

We turn around to the teens, excuse me, can you tell me who was that on the stage?

The kids giggle and laugh and murmur something under their breaths, then they respond.

That was Kool-Aid and Raheem, the greatest rappers in Atlanta shawdy!

Oh My God!

Not Shawdy again!

Before we can respond, the lights flicker a few times and a heavy drum roll as a powerful beat escapes the speakers!

Finally a song we know!

As we groove in our seats, we eye the stage as a new group emerges and performs one of the most intriguing, intricate, and inspired routines we've seen.


We mean it, ever!

From the Freddy Krueger to the New York Smurf to the Prep, this new group is performing at a high and intense level.

The highest tonight!!!!

And we can't take it, they got us.

And we can't sit, are you serious right now?

We get up and start dancing and moving and we're unable to stop or slow down or even talk.

We leave our seats and follow the kids out into the walkway and against the balcony and in the aisle.

Wherever there's room, we dance and dance and dance at a high pace.

For a few seconds, we look down at our arms and notice goose bumps.

On our arms!

On our legs!

They are all over our body!

But we can't stop and well after the group leaves the stage, we are still dancing and grooving to Doug E Fresh's The Show.



Oh My God!

And it engulfs us.

The beat, the dancing, the beatboxing, the lights!

And the teens surround us.

And push us to continue.

Every time we dance in a sequence, they chant.

Yeek! Yeek! Yeek!

And then we spin and bend down, close our eyes, and lose our minds.

Nothing is real.

Nothing exists.

There is light and darkness.

All in the same space.

There is no past or future.

There is ONLY NOW!

There is only music and our bodies.

In one harmony.


And when we stop, the frenzied twitching continues.

Our bodies still move.

They won't stop twitching.

They want to go back.

From wherever we came from.

They want to remain in this frenzied state.

What is happening to us?

To me?

And one teenager taps me on my shoulder and smiles . . .

"How does it feel to be so CRUNK shawdy?"

The Funk Shop and the Elevation of Yeek (The Early 90s)

Two dancers from FDC, Devyne Stephens and Derrick Nicholson (Slick Nick), open a Dance Studio on Northside Drive, right across the street from Bosstown Studios (Bobby Brown) and down the street from DARP Studios (Dallas Austin).

As Choreographers, Slick Nick and Devyne have clients ranging from Monica to TLC to Queen Latifah and other Major Hip Hop Acts of the 90s.

Word of their success is known across the CIty of Atlanta and, eventually, LaFace Records executive, L.A. Reid approaches Slick Nick on Northside Drive and offers him an incredible opportunity.

L.A. Reid asks Slick Nick to take a job as Lead Choreographer for LaFace Records for one year, but Nick refuses to take the job.

Later, L.A. Reid offers the same job to Devyne and Devyne accepts and the rest is History.

Devyne goes on to do all the Choreography for LaFace Records and, after that, he goes on to do all the choreography for BadBoy Records.

As a result, all the Hip Hop dance moves that the World falls in love with during the 90s is Yeeking.

Simultaneously, another Yeek Dancer, Christopher Chapman, is responsible for dancing in famous videos from ATL Groups like Outkast, Ludacris, etc.

The Yeek Festival (2019)

Recently, the Yeek Fest has been held in Welcome All Park, just outside the city of Atlanta.

Spearheaded by Old School Members of the Yeek Movement, Ted Rush (Guess) Sweet Melodi, and Kool-Aid (Obsession), this Annual Festival and Dance Celebration is a monumental move and push to promote Yeek as an ATL Cultural Movement.

It is a powerful and incredible collaboration between the City of South Fulton (Councilwoman Helen Willis), Ted Rush, Sweet Melodi, and Kool-Aid (Obsession) to preserve and cultivate the Yeek Culture.

The Yeek Eras

  • The Founders Era (1980 -1985)

  • The Innovators Era (1985- 1990)

  • The Prime Era (1990 - 1995)

  • The Bounce Era (1995 - 2000)

Yeek Groups (By Era)

The Founders Era (1980 - 1985)

  • Shabba Do Inc.

  • ** Hot Gritz, No Eggz

  • ** Broken Arms & Crooked Legs

  • F.D.C./Fresh Dancing Crew - Ant Francis, Ron Ron, Slick Nick, Straw, Lady J, Jaycee, Breez

  • The Stray Cat Preps

  • The Atlanta Dream Team

  • The W.I.G.O. Pac Jammers

  • Freshomatic - Carlos Kemp/Nine

  • I.J.C./International Jamming Crew - Poisonman/Mike Jordan

** NOTE: These groups are Break Dance Groups and have been included in this Listing because they were ACTIVE during the Founders Era.

The Innovators Era (1985 - 1990)

  • Guess - Ted Rush, Carlos Kemp/Nine, Torion Harden

  • A.P.R./Atlanta Party Rockers

  • T.C.P./The Crowd Pleasers/YEEK KINGZZ - Anthony Wilkins/ADog, Poisonman/Mike Jordan

  • Obsession - Pumkin/Likesa Byrd, G Money/Gary Watson, Kool-Aid/Carlton McDuffie

  • 2 Crucial

  • 100 Percent

  • Passion

  • Georgia Jammers

  • The Untouchables

  • Jam Silk

  • 911 - Poisonman/Mike Jordan, Creshindo/Kelvin Cain, K

  • 4U2NV - Poisonman/Mike Jordan

  • Just Us (Female Crew) - Torion Harden

  • Little Rascals

The Prime Era (1990 - 1995)

  • 4 Your Eyes Only

  • 5.0

  • Lexus (Female Crew)

  • Full Equipped

  • I.O.U.

  • Royal Passion

  • 14K - Carlos Kemp/Nine

  • The Atlanta Bomb Squad

The Bounce Era (1995 - 2000)

  • Animation

  • Dragon House

The CRUNK Era (1997 - 2010)

  • Bombsquad - Desiray Morris/Lil Danger

The TURN UP Era (2010 - Present)

  • Not Applicable

Homework Questions

  1. What is Disco Demolition Night?

  2. When did Disco Demolition Night happen?

  3. What two passions consumed Atlanta’s Night Life in the late 70s?

  4. What is an ATLien?

  5. What culture created the Skip?

  6. What is the SWATS?

  7. What does the SWATS stand for?

  8. Who is Ant Francis?

  9. Who is Ron Ron?

  10. What does F.D.C. stand for?

  11. Where did Ant Francis and Ron Ron battle?

  12. Who were the three new members that made up F.D.C.?

  13. What is Yeeking?

  14. Who was the first Dance Crew in Yeek History?

  15. What is the Funk Shop?

  16. What two Yeekers ran the Funk Shop?
    Who did L.A. Reid ask FIRST to choreograph for LaFace Records?

  17. What is the Yeek Festival?

  18. What year did the Yeek Festival begin?

  19. What three Yeekers started the Yeek Festival?
    How Many Yeek Eras exist?

  20. How many Yeek Groups was Torion in?

  21. What Yeek Era is associated with F.D.C.?

  22. What Yeek Era is associated with Guess?

  23. What Yeek Era is associated with Obsession?

  24. What Yeek Group is associated with Ted Rush?
    What Yeek Group is associated with Kool-Aid?

  25. What Yeek Era is associated with the Stray Cat Preps?

  26. What does A.P.R. mean?

  27. Can you name one Female Yeek Dance Crew?

  28. Who were the last Two Yeek Dance Groups?

  29. When is the BOUNCE Era?

  30. When is the CRUNK Era?

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Miquiel Banks

Miquiel Banks is the Power behind his Educational Site, The Hip Hop Evangelist. His site is dedicated to cultivating and preserving ATL Hip Hop and Yeek Culture.

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