Hella Saucy: Bay Area Rap Dances Are Getting Harder

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Priceless Da Roc, creator of "Hella Saucy."
In advance of his Underground Celebrity EP, which will be available on iTunes and Amazon on April 16, rapper, dancer, and San Francisco State student Priceless Da Roc dropped an EA-Ski-produced single called "Hella Saucy" that features an accompanying dance video.

Priceless and Richmond DJ J12 are the duo behind last year's infectious J12 dance craze. After hearing "Slow Down" by Clyde Carson and the Team, Priceless and J12 made their own version of the song with a guest verse by Priceless and dance moves the two created for the track. Carson embraced the version and made it an official release many months after the original dropped, a wise move that gave his song a large boost. He also featured the J12 dance in the video -- by which time it had already spread through Bay Area schools and dancefloors.

As it turns out, though, the J12 was just the first move.

See also:
* Learn the J12, a New Bay Area Hip-Hop Dance Anyone Can Do

The J12 is a subset of a larger Bay Area dance style both referred to as yike and saucy (or getting saucy), and the "Hella Saucy" video makes clear that the moves get a lot harder from there, even as they appear lighthearted and a little bit cheeky. The steering, swerving motion that anchors the J12 is still there, but the body and feet are much more fluid in "Hella Saucy."

"Anyone can get it with a little practice," Priceless insists, laughing. "The J12 dance was kinda like the introduction to the whole saucy/yike dancing style, so it's the simplest. This is kinda like the next step."

The wide appeal of the J12 is that it feels easy to pick up even if you're not doing it quite right, but this is several steps removed. When the dancers bounce up and down on their toes, it looks like a bit of near-levitating magic -- and that's not something so easily mimicked at home.

One context of this dance style that isn't as widely depicted is when men have a twerking, bottoms-up female partner -- the moves that look like steering take on a new dimension when shown as a dance between two people, and easily draws comparisons to Jamaican dance styles like daggering.

Priceless has absorbed some valuable marketing strategies for his music through the success of the J12 and what it's done for himself and others.

"Stay consistent and have fun -- not only that, but realizing that this is still a business at the end of the day," he says of the biggest lessons learned. "We had a lot of fun introducing getting saucy through the J12 and now it's just as fun to see people's reactions when they see us really start yiken! I'm loving every moment!"

-- @teemoney415




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