“If you want to be good at something, you have to do it every day.”
A lot of people have heard of Mike “Murda”. They know him as a B.Boy and part of Supercrew from America’s Best Dance Crew season two. But what most people don’t know is that Mike’s favorite style of dancing is Locking, he loves Seinfeld, he has big acting goals and dreams, he is a DJ, he trains in MMA and is very humble and kind. This was all revealed to me during his interview and photo shoot in the ally-way behind his home in LA. We happened to find a shabby beat up cushion-less couch that was ready to be taken away as garbage. Rather than scoff at the dirty couch like a diva, Mike helped me move it and sat where he was told without cringing or complaining about staining his clothes. My questions bounced off his witty yet sarcastic sly humor as we engaged in his Bboylifestyle interview and Miss Tracy took some super sweet shots.
Michael Daniel Carrasco a.k.a Mike “Murda” was born on Nov 1st 1982 and is originally from El Paso Texas. A lot of his family live in Chihuahua Mexico and he talked about how dangerous that part of Mexico is and how much he misses his familia- “I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to. Chihuahua is a really violent city. Here’s a fun fact, it’s the 2nd most dangerous city in the world, and the drug wars and cartels are bad, really violent, and a lot of people are dying. They say that 80% of the murders in Mexico come out of Chihuahua. ” Listening to Mike talk about his family really showed me how much they mean to him. I couldn’t help but think of how proud they must be.
Mike “Murda” started dancing in 1997 at the age of 15 after he experienced his first B.Boy Summit and saw Style Elements win Battle of the Year in ‘97. When I asked Mike how he got into breaking, he gives credit to the great state of Texas, home of country and cowboys. Go figure huh? – “Break Dancing was kind of like a trend, everyone was doing it in El Paso. Out of nowhere, it got really big. I was doing it because my friends were doing it. When I saw B.Boy Summit for the first time on a VHS tape and saw Rock Steady, Airforce Crew and Style Elements Crew killing it, that really motivated me. When I went into high school, all of my friends quit breaking cuz they wanted to party. So I hooked up with Stress and Fonzie from the Knucklehead Zoo, but back then we weren’t called Knuckle Head Zoo yet. . I moved to Vegas after I got out of high school and then we started traveling a lot and started winning.”
Like any dancer trying to make it, Mike had to struggle with money and work. But after listening to him, I can see that money is not what drives his passion- “When I first moved to Vegas I was living on a couch. I was working as a bus boy and I HATED IT. I got fired from like 4 or 5 restaurants. It wasn’t because I was a bad worker; I just had to take off so much time to go to B.Boy competitions and practice. It was a struggle. At one point I was working at this restaurant making great money and full benefits, but I would leave work pissed off every night. I hated that job so much that the money didn’t matter. So right then and there I decided that sometimes your happiness and piece of mind is worth far more than a paycheck. And so I turned to dancing. Thank God it’s worked out.”
Hell yeah its worked out for him! After 6 years of competing with the worlds top B.Boys, “Murda” won Battle of the Year USA two years in a row, City v.s. City’s Seven to Smoke one-on-one battle, and was the MVP of 2006, He also competed at R16 Korea, London Beat Battle, IBE Holland and starred in the documentary film ‘Planet BBoy’ “ with his crew Knucklehead Zoo. Mike “Murda” eventually hooked up with some of his friends and they auditioned for a little dance show on MTV called ABDC. They went on to win the 2nd season of America’s Best Dance Crew, all the while representing the B.Boys in a televised world of diluted dance culture. The success of the show catapulted these B.Boys into stardom almost overnight and Supercrew became a household name. But the Supercrew that America has come to know and love is actually a mixture of amazing B.Boys from other sick ass crews coming together and combining forces to create one SUPER crew. The crew consists of Mike “Murda” and Ben from Knucklehead Zoo, Ronnie and ROC from Full Force, and Do-Knock, Rockadile, and Vex from Battle Monkeys.
Its no surprise that Mike “Murda” loves sports, but for fun he trains in Mixed Martial Arts and Ju Jistu with Rigan Machado as well as Flo Master over at Black House and with Shuichi Nishide at PKG (Punch Kick Grapple) training center in Santa Monica. – “I’m not trying to fight anybody, I just enjoy training. I got punched in the face one time really hard, it was really wack. Right then I decided I didn’t want to be a fighter, but I enjoy doing it. It’s really fun and the B.Boy stuff translates really well. When I asked Mike how he felt about Cain Valasquez winning the UFC Heavyweight championship at UFC 120, he shouted- “Brown Pride! I’m super happy. I felt so proud. After watching the UFC fight I thought ‘we did it!’ It was really dope. I mean I grew up in El Paso, which is a Mexican city so I could easily relate to his story. He wasn’t scared at all. Now we need to watch out for Javier Torres, one of my best friends who was just cast to be in the Ultimate Fighters next season. He can be the first Mexican UFC Middle Weight Champion and then he will do the B.Boy stuff we taught him after he wins. Javier Torres, true B.Boy and familia.”
From the streets of Texas to the success of a Supercrew, Mike “Murda” has made his mark on the dancing world to say the least. His goals and dreams expand way beyond dancing, but for now he is grateful for where he is and working hard to keep going. Supercrew is currently involved with the Jabbawokeez show in Las Vegas. Mike is also performing with the off broadway production of Groovaloos. Future projects in store for him are a Canadian tour as DJ Mike Murda, as well as the release of the feature film “Honey 2″. More amazing projects with some major artists and some interesting BBoy exhibition battles to be announced soon!!! For more information and to follow Mike “Murda” on his Facebook click the link below
WHAT OTHER HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE? “Im actually DJ with RAM (Renaissance Artist Management) http://www.ramartist.com/ I train in Mixed Martial Arts, I ride BMX and I like to do yoga. I also attend an amazing theater school called Actor Circle Theater in Los Angeles. It’s a Stellar Adler School. My long-term goal is to be an actor. Right now is the dance stuff, but I figure if I dedicate enough time to the acting and theater, by the time I’m done with the dancer stuff I will be ready. I’m looking forward to being an actor. Right now I just want to study the craft of acting, get a better understanding for it and see where I want to go with it.”
WHAT STRUGGLES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED IN YOUR DANCE CAREER? “Struggles? I think everybody who tries to be a dancer and does this for a living is going to struggle. It’s like mandatory. You shouldn’t make it unless you struggle. It is a hard living no matter what you are trying to become. A dancer, an actor or and artist. Whatever you decide to do, it’s not easy. You begin to see all fame, the glitz, the glam, the media and the exposure. It’s not all like that, its a lot of hard work and long hours. It’s a hard industry, and the more money that is involved, the harder it gets.”
WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK OF YOU DANCING? “At first my family didn’t like it, but what family would? Every family wants the best for their kids. You just want your kid to grow up and be a doctor or a lawyer, something reputable. When you say ‘I want to be a dancer’ and you come from a working class family, they kinda bug out. At first they were a little worried and weird about it, but once I moved out to Vegas and started traveling the world and winning, they came around. Needless to say after the MTV show they were total supporters. They still worry, no matter how big I get. It’s still a grind. Nothing is ever 100%, nothing is ever guaranteed in the entertainment industry.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD MAKE THE EVENTS BETTER? “The events in the USA are struggling a lot. Coming from Europe, I was in Amsterdam and France. You really see the way they throw their events and it is really legit. The way that they do it and the attention they put into the event out there and the people that they bring out. For the events out here in the states to really thrive, they need to take it to the next level. Promoters out here start to throw an event and it gets good, and then they stop trying. The judging system needs to be implemented. It’s really hard though. With B.Boys, it’s really subjective to someone’s taste. It’s all opinionated. I’ve seen people try the point system and round for rounds. It interrupts the flow of the event. There needs to be some middle ground reached. Being involved in MMA, I think a boxing system might work. Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn’t. I watch a lot of MMA, so I don’t know why wouldn’t that work for B.Boying?”
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AND ARTIST OR AN ATHLETE? “That is a good question. I say a little bit of both. You can’t necessarily say that we’re not athletes, but you also can’t say we are not artists. What we do is physically demanding. It’s like asking a figure skater if they are an athlete or an artist. There is a lot of athletics, a lot of moves and things you have to learn. That’s my little analysis of the situation. To make a long story short, I consider myself both.”
WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE DANCERS? “Just keep doing it. I got a lot of crap from a lot people. When you are trying to do something artistic and something outside of the box, people are going to automatically try and shoot you down because you are not conforming. Creativity is not supported in schools and in youth anymore. I heard something recently ‘Memorize it, do it right, but don’t be creative.’ In B.Boying and any arts, you can be completely creative. Which is why everybody who wants to be a dancer is accused of being cliché. Anything is possible. You are going to hear all that crap from people who don’t understand what you are doing because they choose to play it safe. NEVER choose to play it safe. Make sure you work hard and try to move in that direction. People say a lot, they do more talking than practicing. Know what your goals are and do it. You have got to be out there constantly and be part of that scene. If you want to be a B.Boy, you have to go to all these jams. You have to put your face out there and enter. It doesn’t matter if you lose. What’s the worse that can happen? You lose? Everybody loses; there is only one winner. You just got to keep on doing it. Dream big.”