Listen, I can’t really dance. I mean, like most people with a modicum of musical talent I can learn the latest dance fads and get successfully jiggy in the club, but it’d be pretty far-fetched to catch me confidently gigging down a Soul Train line or accepting an invitation to battle. It’s not for lack of trying though. I looked to join a break crew in 9th grade (they eventually stopped telling me when practice was), and in my freshman year of college I managed to make it through the school year without getting kicked off the step team. I even scored a date with a pretty Trinidadian girl off the strength of my heel-toe one time, but we were drunk so…

That said, I’ve always had crazy respect for those who can manipulate their bodies to fluidly accent the rhythms I so enjoy. The flexibility, power, timing and the ability to remember routines that dancers possess has always intrigued me. It’s not just the physicality though, it’s the understanding of style and the mastery of focus, the improvisation and the swagger between moments, the dynamic between the constant desire to innovate and the respect for the craft and genre that makes the world of dance so amazing to me. That said, few styles of dance convey those qualities in ways I feel like Krump, and I’m really excited to be learning about the lifestyle behind this growing dance movement.

This weekend, local Krump crew The Deadly Assassinz host a 2-day dance extravaganza, bringing dancers of various styles from across the country to Portland. With workshops on Friday and live competition on Saturday for cash prizes, the PDX dance crew has built quite the event. The crew came through to support the NE Saturday Market last week, and afterwards, I got a chance to chat a bit with Marcus “Crownz” Cooper about the crew, the lifestyle, and the event. Overall, I’m really impressed with the mindset of these young men, and I’m excited to see them get busy this weekend.

Check out the interview below with Marcus Cooper, and check out the performances this weekend! #OutHere

A few of The Deadlyz swung by NEP Saturday Market to meet up and promote their upcoming event.
A few of The Deadlyz swung by NEP Saturday Market to meet up and promote their upcoming event. // Photo by Das Luene

The Deadly Assassinz… How did you come together and is there a story behind the name?

The Deadly Assassinz started as a Krump group making noise in the NW. We wanted to show that Krump was and is out here, and that we are a huge force that deserves respect. Since we’d already traveled together, we decided to form a group based off the fact that individually we are tight, but together we are unstoppable… a.k.a. Assassinz. We then took the theme from the movie Kill Bill , and decided to run with it.

How did you guys get into krumping? Do you see it as more than a dance style?

We all started at different times in the last 8 years. Krump has never just been a dance, it is a lifestyle. Krump develops more of your mind before it develops your body.


The 2-day event you guys have this weekend seems like it’s going to be really big. This is the third one? How did you get started with these?

We got started when we realized that the necessity of not only having a Krump event was important, but also the growth from it would be key. Having knowledgeable Krump dancers come to our region and teach and battle and (have) fellowship with us while also seeing the results of having younger people attend and join and learn is the highlight of it all. It’s important to share this movement with as many people as possible so that the knowledge and the fun in this dance can be spread, and even change lives.

Did you guys organize this all by yourselves? Or are there sponsors / people helping you?

With the help of our NW Krump community and friends, and YOU, we were able to pull this off!

Who’s the best dancer in the crew?

*laughs* That’s a never ending story type question… We will battle till we can’t anymore, ha!


Is there any particular reason you’re having the event on the Westside?

The WESTSIDE has so many talented artists that go unnoticed! We decided to have it there to shed light on that community and to bridge the gap that is literally a few MAX stops apart.

What do you want people to feel after they see you dance?

We have seen people cry, laugh, be happy, get mad, celebrate, break down, and all in all express throughout this dance or simply just from watching it! All we expect and hope people receive from this is the acceptance of freedom to express. Dance is self-expression and Krump is one of its rawest forms! There is nothing to hide when you bring it to the dance floor!