Jerkin' or Jerk is a street dance originating from and popularized by the Inland Empire-based groups New Boyz and Audio Push, and has origins in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles. Since 2009, jerkin' gained fans along the West Coast and, as of 2009[update], was gaining popularity in the East Coast.
|Cultural origins||Late 2000s; Inland Empire; Los Angeles, California|
According to Oktane of Audio Push, jerkin' culture came from gang members dancing at parties, stating: "Jerking actually came from gang-banging. Like, it was a dance that gang members did. Like, the anti-dance. If you were in the party and everyone was dancing, [the gang members] would be doing the jerk." The dance itself consists of moving your legs in and out called the "jerk", and doing other moves such as the "reject", "dip", and "pindrop".
The rap group New Boyz wrote and recorded a hit in Los Angeles entitled "You're a Jerk", while Audio Push wrote and recorded "Teach Me How To Jerk". As the jerk culture continued to flourish, several new groups specializing in the Jerk style were being courted and signed by major labels. Arista had signed to the group The Rej3ctz, and the label was seriously looking into many other jerk groups that were flourishing on the Internet.
Once Jerkin' went mainstream, new dance crews and artists began competing and performing at events in Southern California as well as in other parts of the world as its popularity spread. The Ranger$ crew not only competes in dance contests, winning numerous awards, but have recorded several songs and have been signed to a major label. Other notable crews in the Southern California area include Action Figure$, U.C.L.A. Jerk Kings, and the LOL Kid$z.
People who jerk usually wear skinny jeans (varying from the unusual to the usual colors and washes), considered a rejection of the baggy pants style. Many elements of scene and the raver are used in the jerkin' movement, such as bright colored clothing, tight pants, or novelty graphic tees. Also, people who dance the jerk generally wear hightop or retro shoes, including Chuck Taylor and Nike hightop shoes. Shoes may or may not be multi-colored.
- "Fashion Flavor: Audio Push Discusses What Killed The Jerking Culture And Their Fashion Influence On The Mainstream". Vibe. Vibe. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Reid, Shaheem (2009-07-13). "New Boyz Say They're More Than Just Jerkin' Rappers - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- Comments (35) By Jeff Weiss Thursday, Aug 6 2009 (2009-08-06). "We're Jerkin (Starring the New Boyz, J-Hawk and Pink Dollaz) - Page 1 - Music - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- "'Skinny Jeans Movement' Bringing Jerkin' Online". News.tubefilter.tv. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- Roberts, Steven (2009-07-29). "New Boyz Challenge Chris Brown To A Jerkin' Competition - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- "Jerky boys and girls: New Boyz, Rej3ctz and more lead a new youth movement". L.A. Times Music Blog. June 12, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "The Ranger$". HotNewHipHop.