My interview with RosyOne of

The photo book Cause We Got Style! is a trip back to a time when hip-hop was something new and exotic, and European hip-hop was created using fragmentary impressions from record covers and music videos. Here’s my short interview with the book’s editor, Sabine Furrer Bill aka RosyOne.

ØH: What made you start the work on documenting the visual history of the European b-boy and graffiti writer?

RO: Dopepose started as a website fully dedicated to posing. Since 1989 I ve been obsessed with the hip-hop culture,  the music, graffiti, breakdance, the style. I was always collecting clothes and hip-hop items from the 80’s. Most of my hip-hop records showed the stars posing. So I started to do posing photos myself, and realized that there was no platform, no book, no website about posing.

In those days my biggest dream was to open a real good hip-hop clothing store, but the website gave me the possibility to show clothes and talk about style.

Mr. Puppet, Stockholm 1985/86.

ØH: What do these pictures tell us of the similarities and differences between the hip-hop culture’s different impact in the European countries? I was especially surprised to see the pictures from East Germany.

RO: It is very interesting to see the similarities and the differences in style and posings in the european countries. You will mostly recognize where the pictures are from. The hip-hop culture in England was more adult than in other European countries, there was a lot of exchange between USA and England. But in the rest of Europe there were big differences in the availability of information, clothes, and accessories. Boys and girls had to be very inventive to create their own hip-hop appearance.

Can 2, Helsinki 1989.

ØH: European hip-hop was in its infant years very much inspired by visuals like music videos and movies like Beat Street and Wild Style. Did this lead to any major differences between American and European hip-hop?

RO: I am very fascinated by how young people in Europe  created their own appearance back in the 80’s. It was very difficult to get those items from the films and pictures. They had to be inventive, to be creative and sometimes it was necessary to take the needle and twine themselves.

In my opinion European posing photos are much more humourous than Americans. We often have to smile while looking through the book.

More dope pictures at

Roz, Bates, Cast, and others of Copenhagen’s AIO Crew and AIS Crew, 1987.

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