In-between the hum of businessmen mulling over their next business plan, the clash of tourists trying to take the best holiday snaps and the familiar sound of blaring car horns lies New York City; the capital of the world, the city that never sleeps. Beneath the surface of the proclaimed ‘city of dreams’, belongs a community of willpower and dedication that many people look past, the breakdancers of New York. You can see the family-like crews almost anywhere if you look close enough – subway stations, L train compartments and pretty much any public space with an eager enough crowd. Eli Chapman, a determined b-boy tells us how hip-hop really thrives in the creative hustle of NYC and how he feeds off the breakdancing subculture exclusively for Issue 7.
“To us breaking is a lifestyle. It makes me feel like I have something to stand for, something to represent.”
Photographed by our New York Editor Georgie Wileman, Eli lets us in to the stimulating and uplifting story of growing up in New York City and, at the young age of 17, how he managed to channel all of his difficulties whilst growing up into his passion for dance. Georgie captures a softer side of Eli, also known as Damien to his crew, in the urban environment of the New York subway. The dim lights almost make you feel the struggle of getting by in the big city.
See New York City as an urban playground. For a full insight into the inspiring world of Eli Chapman and the New York breakdancing scene, grab a copy of Issue 7 "Obsessions" here for the full story.
Photography GEORGIE WILEMAN
Styling SHANDI ALEXANDER
Photography Assistant DANIELA SPECTOR
Styling Assistant AMINTA IRIARTE
Words by Molly Baker.