The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

Episode #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

On this week’s show, I’m pleased to welcome Raphael Xavier, a breakdancer and emcee who got his start in 1983 and has been around to see these aspects of hip hop come, go, return, and evolve over the past 30+ years.


He is also a professor at Princeton University, where he teaches a history of hip hop class as well as one that provides an introduction to breaking.  My co-host today is not only my friend but former roommate, training partner, and fellow breaker / Princeton alum, Justin Liang (last on the show on episodes 47 and 48).  We were both blown away that not only is hip hop being taught at our former alma mater, there are actual classes on how to break.  ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING.


We covered so many topics in this conversation, including a lot of things that, while not part of dance, are important life skills to keep in mind for creative people – transforming pain into insight and then power, not giving up, having a direction in life as well as daily practice, how the creative process changes over time and with age, the past and future of the dance, and – for all the high school and college graduates who didn’t get a keynote speaker at a formal ceremony speech this spring – there’s even one in this interview for you.

Check out the following links for info:

-Agency Website:

-Benefit Performance (1/30/20, about 33 min into the clip):

-Ignite Philly talk on breaking:

-A Conversation with Urban Artistry (5/30/20 – thanks to my friend, breaking professor, and bboy Taylor Lomba) for posting this clip):
-Find Raph on IG and Facebook
-By the way, the clip we were discussing at ~2:05:00 you can watch below on Instagram:
Thanks, Raph, for joining Justin and me for this interview!





There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up ( and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!