All posts by James Higgins

The search for DANCE Enlightenment

Today there are various opinions on what locking is supposed to look like when it is done properly, It has been discussed many times over on what aestheticly  the dance is intended to look like . Is it the hard freezes ? The comic Jesters ? Is it totally improvisational or does it have some set foundational structure and moves? Is it supposed to be aggressive or casual ? Most of the theory’s are just that ,They are theories and opinions ! However depending on the setting and circumstances. The dance of Locking exemplify  ALL of the elemenents mentioned above. Therfore why are we trying to make a limitless dance have such restrictive limits. It can be summed up in a few words IT is our PERSONAL EGO’s

I personally believe we focuses too much on whether we don’t freeze hard enough, Or how strait our arms are during a point, Rather than on much more important things, like, The influences and purposes which cause us to expierience the feelings which produce the moves..Many times we are too busy focusing on the correctness of the actual technical move itself, And not the power which has inspired the move in the first place. I believe there is No One person who has this absolute answer as to what the correctness of Locking SHOULD be. But the Egoic Mind of both the teacher and the student  believes there is. Why ? Because both the individual and the collective EGOIG mind always seeks to defend itself and its position.Often times even to the point of self stress or open aggression. Once we realize that no two minds and no two experiences view things the EXACT same way we will be better off as people and as dancers. I believe ,  The problem runs deeper than what one looks like or who one looks like when they dance or Lock. It runs deeper than just what moves , and what foundations are correct.This controversey and need to be correct, is the food that the conscious Egoic mind feeds from. It is the very product of the egoic mind of ME and I. It is the BATTLE of who is right and who is following the right master. Who knows the way. It is the same ancient mental conflict that has created dissention for centuries. It is very close to the same religious conflicts that has plagued man since the beginning of time.

Today there are many of us searching for rhythmic or dance salvation, And much like back in the day,There is a bunch of self professed ,self entitled profit style teachers,Who have stepped forward, teaching from that same egoic mindset,claiming to have the key to such things as funk asnd soul,passing the basket and collecting money, while neglecting the real essence of dance inspiration. I believe the parallels between mans search for religious enlightenment and today’s search for Dance Enlightenment are Remarkable !

The Problem that exist within both .Is very simple, yet very complex, It Is what has plagued man since the beginning of time, it’s mans original desease or sin, “The conscious Egoic mind” It is what we see as our individual thoughts and personality, It is that voice in each individuals head that we identify with as Me or I. It is the Me/I consciousness that strives for survival and strive to be right, It feeds off of CONFLICT, CONTRAVERSY and CONTROL.. It strives to flourish and most of the time takes great delight if it accopmplishish this at the expense of what it considers the adversary or competition.

As I watch many of the dancers today I realized that most of the time, even the actual dance itself is being done while under the EGOIC COUNSCIOUS MIND. And those Voices in our heads are controlling every actual move. The mind is counsciously seeking to portray the dance as aesthetically perfect. Its seeking approval and applause. We do need the conscious mind to count and to block, To act and perform and it feeds off of the approval that it brings. But that approval is only short term gratification. Immediately the egoic conscious mind is validated and says “see my way is right” and then it IMMEDIATELY begans to seek another confrontation to feed off of. Is that wrong ? No, Not all of the time. Although we need these thoughts to perform, we DO NOT need the councious mind to simply DANCE !

We all seek approval , but those that dance ONLY from their conscious mind , miss one of the most satisfying and enlighning moments in the Dance. And they may find themselves forever in search of that missing element or feeling. In the 1960s that feeling was referred to as having Soul, later it was Identified as Funk, which comes from the Soul, I have had several people today which have asked me to teach exactly how to BE or dance funky , what they don’t realize is that it can NOT be taught from the conscious Egoic MIND..

The ONLY way to experience this , The ONLY way to progress toward what I call DANCE ENLIGHTENMENT. Is much the same way others reach SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT. And that is to SUBMIT to the DANCE itself. Not to the profits, and their egoic motives, but to the essence and purpose of the dance . In the spiritual world or religious world MAN must SUBMIT to the higher power or essence of the supreme Being, who we refer to as GOD .. BUT we all know, Many consiously refuse, It is because they believe their egoic minds know the way. These people cannot find true INNER Peace.They find Just the fleeting gratification of worldly approval. They cannot evolve to a stage of SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT.

It is the same in the dance world ! UNTIL WE SUBMIT we can NOT reach that level of Dance Enlightenment ,which opens up the door to our Souls and emits that which we call TRUE FUNK. Until we submit we cannot reach the level of Dance Enlightenment that we seek as a dance community or as individuals.

Lets look at it strictly from an actual physical dance perspective. Some of us ,not all of us have experienced some level of DANCE ENLIGHTENMENT while on the dance floor.This happends when we totally submit and surrender ourselves to the dance, the music, and  purpose. And when we also seek to evolve as messengers of that dance and its purpose,That is the point,where we take the dance away from the egoic conscious mind and we move toward dance enlightenment. We place it in the spiritual consciousness, Many say it the place where our spirit or energy lies. It is our inner being. Where we since and feel. Not where we think. It is the place where dreams and creativity lies. When this happens on the dance floor ,When we have totally submitted to the music and dance, We cannot be in the conscious mind, just as Light and darkness cannot exist at the same time , The Egoic conscious mind and ENLIGHTENMENT cannot exist in the same place at the same time. We are now in a stage of Dance or funk euphoria. We are no longer counsciously, doing. The dance is NOW  doing us. The moves are pronounced, they have purpose. . The egoic voice in our heads are turned off.. We are no longer DOING the dance (of Locking) , the dance (of Locking) is expressing through us. We have totally submitted , there is a GLOW and an ENERGY that can not only be seen, but can BE FELT.It is Electric, It is like no other HIGH..It is the manifistation of the dance of LOCKINGS purpose to inspire. not for personal EGOIC gain. But for the Love of the dance and its historical heritage, and its initial purpose to unite.

I feel very sorry for those that will not release their conscious egos and are destined only fake the funk, for they will never reach this stage of Dance Enlightenment..They will never feel what was felt in the evolutionary stage of this dances inception. Although they may not admitt it, something in them will know there is a difference and they will forever seek it , Thousands today are being spent while today’s dance generation seeks this through their conscious mind. Many will continue to seek it this way, This is because they have seen the conscious egoic performance of Locking breed worldly success.The day may come soon when some Locking guru, trys to sell our COUNSCIOUS MIND  a book ‘ HOW TO BE FUNKY AND HAVE SOUL IN 5 EASY STEPS” I hope we all realize. It is just like in our personal lives you CANNOT reach that true stage of inner peace and Enlightenment there.It cannot be bought or taught, it must be surrenderd to and felt. The councious Egoic way, will only satisfy the ego for a short time.

I Believe we as teachers are feeding the body the moves , but we are not feeding the soul or the spirit the purpose…, WE as a comunity HAVE NOT yet SUBMITTED to the essence of the art form we profess to LOVE

“Og SkeeterRabbit”

(James L. Higgins)

The simularities Parallels between the Music and Dance

Where does the power of Locking come from ?

The Paralells Between The Music and The Dance
By Michael “Peekaboo” Frenke
Sept. 2009
whats goin down?
there r a lot of people out there that may b wondering about certain paralells between the the past and present state of the dance and the music.
well i,as some of you may know,was a popular street dancer as a kid,and currently a pretty damn good audio engineer 4 the past 32 yrs.i’ve been in some of the worlds best recording studios,the worlds most fantastic stages,and mixed some great tv show titles(not my words).but i’m not here to ride my own ego.i say this only to state a point.i’ve been fortunate enough to have been a witness 2 some things n this bizzness.
i’ve watched the nature of street dance morph.i witnessed the birth of hip hop.and i had the unique position 2 c it from both sides of the fence,so 2 speak.i have truly been blessed. ever since i was a kid,there were certain kindz of soundz,of music,that elicited an emotion from me (4 lack of a better word),that could’nt b contained. some feelings that all consuming.restraint,confinement??? out of the question!!! it was like some insane virus,b cause i was certainly not alone. I had done the exact same thing,i imagine,2 thousands of others just like me and b 4 me. it was jazz,it was blues,it was rhythm. it was soulful!!!
it was FUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
man!!! that shit was like dope.incredibly potent.i’ve seen it take over the masses.take control over clubz ,dance halls,even t.v.(where it was watered down of course),everywhere.it made people scream and go vertical.spin out of control and slap shit.i seen it.i lived it!!!!
and then i found a dance, a release called locking.
finally,a conduit 4 all the emotion that those soundz made me feel.i had this fire inside that was melting my insides.and locking allowed it 2 flow from within 2 b real, a real physical movement.my limbs had a purpose,a reason 2 exist.when i heard a kik,snare and hi hat play a certain pattern,with a 4/4 time signature i could do a stop and go.when i heard them funky ass horn stabs,i could bak front clap,lock my arms,roll my wrist and hit every 1/4 note beat.almost better than sex!!!!! it was so pure!!!
AND THEN IT ALL WENT SOUTH!!!
it ceased being a platform 4 thingz that mattered.disco had arrived and it almost killed the record bizzness.nobody wanted to sing about love anymore.nobody wanted to inform and educate anymore. it became mindless and lacked purpose! it became based in ones in genitals.it became,n a sense,mindless and hopeless.only by Godz will,did some make it thru.but the virus was so potent,it was almost like it was inbred n 2 the next generations genetics.so that shit moved from 1 2 another.the technolgy grew rite along with it.once again,the paralell.from 16 trk analog tape recorders,to literally 100’s of trks within a digital software package.synthesis allowed 1 2 emulate whole orchestras without a single musician.and who needed drumers???? u could get 1 n a box!!!! the box is never late,it duzznt have a opinion,dont get high,and got perfect timing.the music got perfect.flawess to the extreme. and and then it happened the music became extremly boring and lifeless!!!!!!!\
but some kind of way,some other shit was happening.some of those kidz understood the meaning of emotional attachment.searched for something that was more fullfiling.they looked,and when they could’nt get it from what was available,they went 2 diggin into the crates of their parents records.and they truly got it.what do u know.it had been there all along.they finally found what they had been searching 4.
SOUL!!!!!!!!!
not soul music,per se,but soul from within.catz n the west went 2 poplockin,catz n the east start breakdancin and b boyin,the north and south started went 2 creatin a hybrid of all the shit!!! it was goin down.hip hop was scary!!!!2 this day,i’ve never witnessed a bigger frenzy,collective behavior, so to speak, than i have about 2 turntables and a microphone.of course u had your mega artists who had the machine behind them.but i’m talkin bout real bad production values.atrocious sound,horrible lighting,hip hop superceded all that shit!!!! hip hop was tribal, gutteral,ethnic,and ethereal all at once.and people started talkin bout real shit.life affecting shit.dope fiend parents,suicide,poverty,racism,and last but certainly not least,
VIOLENCE AND CONFRONTATION!!!!!!!
i dont want 2 get sidetracked here,but let me say this.hip hop changed the music bizz.it changed the the way music was sold and marketed.radio no longer mattered.totally inconsequential.no longer a factor.NWA WENT 2 #1 ON THE BILLBOARD CHARTS N ITS 1ST WEEK OF RELEASE WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF 1 RADIO STATION.DAMN!!!!
technology also played a role.can we say video???? promoters no longer had to take the risks that were associated with touring.A BLESSING.or SO THEY THOUGHT.
and dancing changed right along with it.
battles started jumping off,n a real way.confrontations were a given.locking catz like me were amazed,and appaled.couples stop dancing 2 gether.Cats started dancin with each other.DAMN!!!!! it became 1 big show.money got n the game.with the success of the rap phenomonon,young catz made millions of dollars.a few got it,and felt the real ! most didnt.just like they didn’t get it with the dance,the 1’z that were worththy,most likely didnt even get recognized.but the 1’z that did,FLOSSED IT.BIG JEWELZ,CARZ,EXPENSIVE BOTTLES,RIMS THAT SPUN,THE WHOLE 9!!!!
MATERIALISM AT ITS MOST HEDONISTIC.
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
these things r coming at me so fast i can hardly write it down,yet alone type it(i failed that class miserably).
this conversation i’m havin with yall iz truly my personal experience,and at this point in my life i would luv 2 hear your thoughts on it. i hope that it makes sense. But then those that get it probably understand what it is to keep it real, and those that don’t are still flosing their jewles.

REGARDLESS,M.FRENKE

OLD SCHOOL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ROOM

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Many of these groups and dancers were lost in the history, as we only recognized those we had seen on television or movies, but these are real street pioneers , some of which were actually before the Group the Lockers ever formed and was actually the inspirations for the performances of Locking that you were able to see on stage, some were dancers who were influenced by the social movement and passed on that inspiration, others were inspired by other pioneer dancers once the commercial performance stage had developed. But they all deserve recognition for there contributions…

The Group “Creative Generation”

No Picture available

In the 1960’s The Watts Writers Workshop was formed to develop entertainment talent in the inner cities of Watts, Compton and Los Angeles. In 1972 they recognized the beginning stages of the artform of locking. The Watts Writers Workshop invited several known Locking dancers to study, teach and perform for their workshop. This was to be the first unisex locking dance group and the creation of many synchronized routines Members : Tony Lewis, Edwin Lombard ( The GoGo Bros), James Higgins( Skeeter Rabbit), Greg Pope (Campbellock Jr,), Jimmy Foster (Scooby Doo), Arnetta Johnson, (NettaBug) Fredie Maxie, Lorna Dune & Shelly Cepeda ( These Female Lockers were known as the Toota Woota Sisters).

The Ghetto Dancers

(Picture of Ghetto Dancers insert here )

Formed in 1973. These locking dancers were pioneers who came from the true source. They performed (as a group) on the TV show American Bandstand and were well respected in the inner city nightclubs and on the locking dance circuit. They were often seen at Maverick’s Flat, The Summit on the Hill and Blueberry Hill Nightclubs. This group performed with Kool and the Gang and at the tribute to Quincy Jones celerbration.and “The Tonight Show” Hosted by Steve Allen Members: Greg Dandridge ” Captain Crunch”, Eugene Henderson “F&M”, Steve Crane “Sinbad” Morris Bailey “Cisco Kid”, Kenny Henderson “FleaLock”

The Group “33rpm”

(Two Pictures of 33rpm inserted here)

The Group 33 RPM organized in 1974 toured with Sid and Marty Kroft and performed on the wide world of sports Globe Trotters anniversary show. This group performed high level quick moving synchronized routines. right picture: ( Pictured left to right) “The Lionel (”Big D” ) Douglas, James Higgins (Skeeter Rabbit) “John Wilson (”Okie Doke”) Michael Frenke (”Peek a boo” ), ,(single picture)Haywood (”Tito”) Collins . (Not Pictured), Tony “Go Go” Lewis, Also not pictured is manager and alternate dancer Cameron “Cam” Walker

The Alphabet Kids

(Picture of alphabet kids inserted here)

This group was formed by Haywood “Tito” Collins Pictured (on the far right) in 1974 this group was significant in the early locking market showing how locking had affected the younger generation and had become a movement , this group was the first Locking group to compete and WIN the Television Gong Show in 1975 , shown here with dancer John St Cier ( far left) the group would often incorporate various soul train dancers such as “Tick” and Mr. X into their act. They were managed by AIMEE ENTERTAINMEN

Wild And Peaceful

(insert Picture)

Below is a list of other dancers and from the early Locking stages. They are either connected by there involvement with Soul Train or the initial Night Clubs of that era. Some are only known by nickname but we want to recognize their involvement in the evolution of the art.

Leo Walker “Shaboo” second generation Yo-Yo brother , Singer and choreographer (see Pat Davis – Original Member of the Soul Train Gang

Sneaky T – Early original pioneer

Jeffery “Cat Man”Macintire – Early 70s pioneer

Roy “LieLock” Early Pioneer

SamboLock “one of the first Pioneers

Bishop Hall & Reggie Co-Co “

Bang Bang” very early locking pioneer “

Sweet T” early soul Train and locking dancer

Anyone with information on any of these dancers or any forgotten “True Pioneers”

FEEDBACK FROM OUR READERS

Letters are from old school and new school dancers who has been a part of the locking movement through out its history

(picture of Jeffery here)

Hello ,hello out there … Yes , this is Jeffrey Daniel Soul Train Dancer ,Shalamar member and fellow locker for life!! I’m pleased to find this site which was recomended to me from a fellow London based Locker Richard who is also my student here in London . reading Fluky Lukes page almost brought tears to my eyes as i remember seeing the Lockers dance every weekend in Maverick’s Flat night club in L.A. in the early ’70’s . I used to sneek in there just to watch them dance and hear Don Cambell scream ! Even after i’ve toured the world and did many professional jobs , my best memories are of the Lockers dancing in Maverick’s in their own enviornment without thinking about routines or how long they can solo (like in TV apperances) just plain ‘ol dancing and funkin’ all night and changing clothes when the bands played and dancing til 4:00 a.m. I got butt whoopings from sneeking out til that late to watch them ,but i’d go back to Dorsey High school and was the best Locker in the Schools .

If anyone want s to contact me , here i am . I just moved back to London after 6 years in Osaka Japan and i had the pleasure of spending Don Cambell’s 50 birthday in Tokyo,Japan a few years back and watch him recieve love from the many Japanese locking groups . Tony Go Go was there too . I was again with Don here in London Sept. 2005 and presented him the Life Time Achievement Award at the Carnival Choreographers Ball for his invention of Locking and i humbly kneeled at his feet before about 3,000 U.K. dance fans .

Don Cambell and the Lockers changed my life in a very positive way and i’m forever grateful to them all . And God bless Fred Berry’s soul .

Thanks to whoever created this site and i’m glad it’s here for the dancers all over the world to see who love Locking and Soul Train . That’s about all the time i’ll take for now .

God Bless you all , Jeffrey Daniel

www.jeffreydaniel.com

Clip of Jeffrey on Soul Train

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmVme50pg24

HEY BRO,SKEET JUST CHECKING OUT THE SITE, ITS REALLY COOL , WITH LOTS OF INFORMATIVE FACTS. PEOPLE INTO DANCING MUST KNOW WHERE IT ALL STARTED AND YOU WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO KICK IT OFF. DUDE, YOU WAS ONE OF THE BEST DANCERS IN THOSE DAYS WITHOUT DOUBT. YOU CREATED YOUR OWN DANCE THE (SKEETER-RABBIT) A DANCE THAT ENHANCED THE OVERALL LOCKING WORLD. WHEN IT COMES TO THE FACTS , KNOWLEGE, AND RESPECT OF THE HISTORY OF LOCKING YOU ARE ONE OF THE TOPS. TAKE CARE ALWAYS . —— Peter G

Note Peter-G danced with the Old school “which-a way dancers” in 1975

My Goodness!!! What’s interesting is to have been there at various times as I was and still not know many of these facts and figures.
So I can only imagine how helpful this must be for those who watched or heard from a distance.
When I danced I seldom knew any names of any dances and it didn’t matter over 30 years ago.
Nowadays I get to learn more about the styles and give credit where credit is due.
We do have to write and tell our own stories in our Soulful voices.
Love, Peace, and Soul OG Skeeter Rabbit.

(O)riginal (G)oddess Kadeeh

Note: Kadeeh was a Soul Train Dancer

“Many of the dancers on this site I’ve danced with or next to for years. Its a shame we never got to tell the real story about what we went through back in the day. I’m just glad that now it can be told through this website” You guys keep it up”

Greg “Captain Crunch” Dandridge

The Ghetto Dancers (True Pioneers of the 70’s)

Greg is currently one of the leading stunt men in Hollywood, Calif.

LockerLegends has my highest respect and I wish it the proper place in history it deserves. The seed of all Streetdances“.

(Insert sundance picture here)

Sundance, Las Vegas, Nevada

Picture taken on stage of the

Las Vegas show Production “SPLASH

GEMINI… Locking4Life

(Insert picture)

LockerLegends is a dream come true. It puts aside all ego’s, conflicts, and only wants to factually report the history as well as bring all of the many dancer’s who made contributions to this great art of Locking to the forefront with proper recognition. This site also wants to bring people like myself into the fold as a brother and student to continue to teach us the art we have spent a lifetime to learn. Locking has influenced my life in a large positive way and has brought me many blessings as it has also done to many other dancers that I have had the honor to call my friends

Interview with Steve “Sugarfoot” Natorio

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THE DANCEOPOLY GAME

(picture of Steve Here)

and The Locking Chart

Question: Hey steve its great to have you with us , This Chart you have constructed is remarkable what inspired you to create it

Steve: Well being taught from the old school I felt it was my obligation to give back, you know I tell the story about, how I wanted to learn the real back in the mid 1970s that I would come into the city along with my partner Tony “Crackerjack” Pierce we would Knock on Og SkeeterRabbits door and ask him to come out and teach us , and we were Kids from the supburbs, and Tony Had this flaming red hair and frekles so he sood out as we travled through the Hoods of LA.. but Dancers Like Skeet, “Peekaboo” Frenke and Greg Campmbellock Jr really took care of us both on the streets and in the clubs. we learned the real culture and back ground right along with learning the steps. so I put this chart together to show what I learned about the influences that made locking great.

(Place first chart here)

(Caption under picture)

This is the top section of the large chart and it shows the cultural influences that influenced the very moves and attitude of Locking, it shows the struggles, and leaders that fought for the very movement which was inspired and carried on by artist, athletes and other great people , but it was also carried on through Locking and streetdance and we must give back to that which gave to us.

Question: we see the second part is a time line how did you come up with this time frame concept;

Steve: well you know it was very disapointing to see and read so many things that was so in accurate, a lot of people out there want credit fo a artform they think they know , but have no idea of how it went, and waht I saw and learned back then I just wanted to pass on. we all know Don Campbell started this whole thing by putting the gestures he was inspired by into his unique style. but the street movement contributed by so many people and dancers seemed to be over looked, and the way the dance migrated from the hoods and the city of Los Angeles to Orange County and the to Las Vegas , where I now live is a story that needed to be told through illustrations so thats what I did. In those days there was tremendous racial tension. but not with Locking it just kept growing and inspirng people of all colors.. the movement of struggle became a movement of rythem..

(second Chart picture here)

caption under the chart

Notice the many dancers that existed before the group the Lockers were formed , the chart starts wit Don Campbell and flows down through Watts and Soul Train to The GoGo brothers, Creative Generation and the ghetto Dancers from the streets to the stage with the Lockers ,and 33rpm,the dance continued to grow spreading from the city to the supburbs with groups like The funky bunch all the way to Las vegas where groups like the Footlockers garced the stage with locking for years and Today the chart flows from the original streets to a new generation of GoGo brothers in Japan

Question : we see that you included a list of Ogs that you believe influenced the Artform of Locking the most, why these Dancers

Steve: well there is one that I left out and thats the first to pioneer robot as a party dance, Charles “Robot” Washington and he was great. but all of the people here were around from near the beginning, they wern’t just performers they were street party dancers, who’s funk and creativity, contibuted to the dance. they lived the streets and clubs. They didn’t take lessons they were the lessons. sure there were others who came along who did great things, and many of them who are true to the game will tell you they learned from watching or being around these dancers.

Place third Chart Picture here

caption under picture

There are many famous dancers not on this chart, but these were the ones that had a profound influence with there contributions

Questions: well Steve thanks for the explination on the chart but lets now get to your career, So what are your memorable expieriences,

Steve: well outside of the first time I saw the inside of Mavricks Flats,Dancing with my friends in the group Funky Bunch professionally getting into the finals of The TV show Star Search with the group footlockers and also the 20yrs I spent dancing here in Vegas in the show Splash those were some great times.

(Picture of The Group Funky Bunch)

Question: But steve you didn’t mention one of your most memorable performaces as a dancer and a Actor

Steve: well yep Locking opened many doors for me, I guess many out there know me as Strobe in the movie “Breaking ” Electric Boogaloo and that was great. but the movie confused a lot of people about what I had learned about life and dancing in the hood, and the terms definatly was confusing. today I still meet people who say hey you and Ozone are some of the best Breakers and as you real Dancers know we don’t break .. it confused the world ..

(Picture of Steve in the movie here)

Question: Hey Steve you have another venture going wanna tell us about it

Steve: yep My wife and I thought that since there was so much that the world didn’t know about the dance world we would create a Board game called DANCEOPOLY its great fun and you can learn alot by playing , anyone who wants to learn more cane find it at the link below

Well steve we at Lockerlegends want to thank you for sharing, and we think DANCEOPOLY is great

Steve: I wanna thank Lockerlegends not just for this inteview but more than that for spreading the Real..