Meet Canyon Lake resident Zuakolii Riddle, also known as Koolboy. Koolboy is a legend in the rap music industry.
“When rappers like Snoop Dog want a poplock dancer, they come get me,” says Koolboy.(Poplock is a form of urban dance originating in California in the late 1970s involving rhythmic contractions of the dancer’s muscles to accent the beat, usually performed to funk music.)
Koolboy was born in Gardena, California and grew up in the neighborhoods of Compton and Hawthorne. He started dancing at the age of 5 and has been making a living off dancing for 25 years. “I’m the original West Coast Poplocker,” he says.
Koolboy’s mentor was Anthony King. “Before Michael Jackson called himself the King of Pop, there was Anthony King; he was the original King of Pop,” says Koolboy.
Koolboy has appeared in more than 200 music videos. His latest appearance was in the Kendric Lamar video, “King Kunta.” Koolboy explains that Kendric Lamar is considered the hottest rapper right now with the younger generation.
Koolboy made history in 2008 as the first dancer to ever receive an award at the West Coast Hip Hop Awards. He received two more West Coast Hip Hop Awards, one in 2012 and the other in 2014. He also was the recipient of the West Coast Reunion Honors “Legend” award in 2014. He was the first dancer to receive such an award.
Koolboy and his pop lockin hip hop dance crew, Hoodbotic Puppets West Coast Poplockers, have traveled to every state across America, and have toured with some of the greatest rappers in the world, including Snoop Dog, DJ Quik and Suga Free.
From time to time, the Hoodbotic Puppets West Coast Poplockers release their own rap songs that represent their style of dance. Their latest release is “Watch Me Do The Robot.”
Koolboy says he got his big break from Joseph Foreman, also known as Afroman, who is best known for his number one hit, “Because I Got High.” The two met at a video shoot when Koolboy was 26 years old.
“Afroman was the first rapper to, what they call in the rap industry, ‘put me on,’” says Koolboy. “He took me on tour with him and that opened a lot of doors for me.” The two remain close friends.
Koolboy and his longtime girlfriend, Booshie, moved to Canyon Lake in August 2015. They have four children, ranging in age from 19 to 26. “We love living here, this is the coolest place ever,” says Koolboy.
Koolboy was living in Menifee Lakes before moving to Canyon Lake and says, “I thought I was living in the best place in Riverside until I discovered Canyon Lake.”
So how did he discover Canyon Lake? He noticed a curious thing while driving down Railroad Canyon Rd. “I kept seeing all these golf carts cross the road near the Towne Center and asked my friend where all the golf carts were coming from,” he says. “She said, ‘That’s Canyon Lake, the Beverly Hills of Riverside.’ I knew I had to check it out. I fell in love with the place the minute I saw it, and moved here the first opportunity we had. This is the best place ever!” Koolboy and his dance crew continue to tour all over the United States, but he also has other projects in the works. Besides dancing, Koolboy is a professional DJ, dance instructor, boxing instructor, personal fitness trainer and the creator of “Funk Fitness,” an exercise class he created in 2009. He describes “Funk Fitness” as “dancing and exercising to ‘70s and ‘80s funk music with simple but intense moves.”
Koolboy will be the host of his very own dance show, “Backslide,” a dance show similar to “Soul Train,” a popular ‘70s television show. Backslide is due to air in early 2016 on a world wide web network.
Koolboy’s future plans are to open a studio in the area that offers dance, fitness and personal training. To book a dance or DJ appearance, or for personal training, contact Koolboy at 310-409-3754 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his Facebook page at Koolboy Hoodbotic Puppets.