This book is based primarily on my experiences in the New York City b-boy scene between 2003 and 2008. That community, like all communities, is built on relationships. This book, on every level, is a product of these relationships and the individuals who work to maintain them, and I would like to take a moment to offer my thanks. One of the running themes of my work is that hip-hop did not "just happen," that it was the result of specific innovations and choices made by specific people in specific times and places. And even if we do not know — and may never know — all of their names and the exact nature of their contributions, we do know that they existed. So I would first like to thank all of the pioneers of hip-hop, both known and unknown, who created this remarkably complex and vital series of art forms.