David LaChapelle is best known as a photographer. Rize, a documentary like no other, reveals a born filmmaker. His subject is krumping, a hip-hop dance phenom so kinetic you'll swear that the frames of the film have been speeded up (they haven't). He explains how krumping had its roots in a clown act devised by Tommy Johnson in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, the year of the Rodney King riots. He reveals how it developed into a gyrating dance that became an expression of sex, anger, need, competition and cultural identity. He shows krumping as untamed life. There's no way to take your eyes off it.
From The Archives Issue 323: August 7, 1980