Popping and Locking

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Special Information
name : Poppin' & Lockin'!
origins : neurological disease
minor practitioners : breakdancers
major practitioners : complete losers
popular dances : the wave, dry humping
potential for looking stupid : very high
public common perception : really sad
There's so much more to just poppin' & lockin': there's simulated acrobatic sex acts...and little muppets!

Popping and Locking is a time-honored breakdance art, as well as one of the most ultimate expressions in Hip Hop. It involves involuntary and violent rapid fire body contortions. It is named after the two philosophers Karl Popper and John Locke.


“The term "keep it poppin'" came from the act of poppin' ”

~ Hip Hop Historian on Poppin'
Do not call an ambulance; this man is poppin' big-time

Popping, or poppin', is practiced by poppers and is the more radical, free-flowing, poppier of the two and has more pop-type popping motions than locking (with little pops, or little poppy movement). This portion of the dance art requires more attention to technique and takes many years to master. Unlike lockers, true poppers follow a very strict lifestyle to attain the highest levels of poppin'. According to the 856 page "Proper Nutrition for a Popper", poppers are urged to consume huge amounts of Pop Rocks to keep poppin'.

You have to eat right to be a legit popper

It is said a grandmaster of popping makes little "pop" sounds, when he or she starts poppin'.


Closely related to poppin' is poopin'. Here, the participant sits his or her ass on the toilet, plays some breakbeats and starts dancing-while-sitting, poppin' to the beat and then...lets the funk flow.

Popping & Poopin'

One of the most incredible feats that can be achieved by someone is poppin' and poopin' at the same time. The ears will again register a pop sound, but this time it will be more due to flatulence than straight up magic. Visually however, it is a delight to watch, right up to the point where you can really tell the dude has completely crapped his pants.

Sample Dances
In order to achieve the correct technique one should dance the wave very aggressively and have a crazed facial expression.

One popular dance move is the wave.The way to dance it really nice is to start an imaginary "wave" that starts with your index finger, makes it's way through your heart, lungs, neck, eyes and head. Then it travels down your torso, down to your toes, and then shoots back up, ending at your hips.

At this point, you start poppin' that pelvis, over and over, thrusting your hips back and forth, in a variation of the wave dance called dry humping, where one pops his or her hips for an entire night, all alone on the far end corner of a dance-floor, inside a skanky five dollar door club.


“We all know what popping is (I still do this), but what the fuck is locking exactly? ”

~ Hip Hop Historian on Lockin'
A close up of Vice President Dick Cheney locking

The reality is: there are millions and millions of lockers all over the world, locking really hard as you read this. Locking involves locks, locky locked movements of the body. Lockers look like they're locking like a lot. Locking dance eventually leads to locking out that hip, thrusting it back and forth over and over again (see dry humping above).


Related to locking is licking, or special tongue dancing. Many dancers can gyrate their tongues and twist them into little crazy knots. Additionally, we could discuss the elite few who are able to attain the holy grail of pop and locking: to pop, poop, lock and lick at the same time. This is a heavy-duty article on to itself and far too incredible a subject to even devote a few words to.

Tools of the Trade[edit]

You got use what you got to get what you want
Poppers and lockers need to keep the beat with something that will play loud jams and be able to take cassette tapes. Boomboxes with a handle are a plus, thus enabling the radio tornado dance, where the dancer holds on to the boombox with both hands and violently spins around until he or she passes out.
Cool Pants
Cool-as-hell-pants should be made of high quality polyethylene, just like good heavy duty trash liner garbage bags should be. It's even better if you can make pants out of pink or red garbage bags.
Name Plate
Should display your hip hop name no matter how long it is (i.e. "Prime Minister of Poppin') and should hold off from turning green for at least three days.

Where to Rock[edit]

Bringing a tight poppin' and lockin' game takes almost ten years to master. All those years of hard work has a pay off: making a total fool of yourself in public. Top five places to pop and lock are:

  • Living room: start small - invite a small circle of your best friends over for a casual get-together, but instead of ending the party with drinks and small talk, break out the trusted boombox. All dressed up, start poppin' to the beat. Then transition to some really strong locking, finally ending it with the dry humping dance for a good solid hour. Even when your friends say "C'mon man, seriously, stop", you keep it on, and it don't stop.
  • Large Retail Store:
    Fuckin' i d i o t
    nothing is hotter than sneaking into a quiet cleaning supply aisle and ripping into some serious poppin' and lockin'.
  • Car: the image to the right shows how it's done as a passenger, but attaining real meaning in life is goin' off while actually driving. Remember, if you're pulled over by an alarmed state trooper, you don't stop.
  • During Sex: Make that crucial first time with that special someone really count by breaking into the wave from out of nowhere. If your annoyed partner gives you a choice between the two acts, stick with doing the wave.
  • Job Interview: You want that job? Guess what you do after 3 minutes into discussing your work history. (answer: dry humping in your chair, really fast and hard)

Recognized Poppers & Lockers[edit]

You got the moves and the look but you need a name. Uh, poppers and lockers aren't called Stephen. You need a hip hop name, a compelling name that speaks volumes of your dancing ferocity, and that is proudly displayed in a really fake looking gold name plate. You can derive some inspiration from the names of well known poppers and lockers listed below:

When they aren't dancing, pop 'n lockers are hanging out and looking extremely cool

Egregious Terminology Summary[edit]

Pops, pop 'n Lock, poppers, popping, lockers, locks, poppylocks, locked, poppers, pop, pop, pop, pop, poop, popping and lockin', lockeringments, poppin'-poppin' poppers, locking out, locky, pop, locked, poppiers, locking, lock, popping, popping, popping, locking, lock, popping and locking, pocking and lopping. A locking popper, a poopin' popper. Popping. Locking. Lock and Popping. Poppeling. Lockerings. lockipops.