Hometown : Stockton, CA
Before the creation of Style Elements, Darrick “Quali-D” Fields had already made a name for himself in Hip-Hop throughout the Central Valley of California. He played a key role in mentoring members of the crew early on and became a central figure in the development of the signature style Style Elements brought to the world.
Born in Monroe, La., Quali-D’s family soon moved to Stockton, Calif., where he grew up. His aunts would take him to Hip-Hop events at parks and open gyms throughout the town in the early 1980s. This exposure got him hooked on all aspects of dance and music the culture offered.
By the time he reached high school, Quali-D was a prominent local DJ and underground dancer. He developed a unique style influenced off of everything from b-boying and freestyle to tap and martial arts. He was highly respected for his soulful, free-spirited expression that was unlike any other style out there. As a member of crews like Burnt Batch, Funk Productions, and Jungle League, he also organized some of the first Central Valley Hip-Hop dance events of the early 1990’s.
In 1991, he ran into 13-year old Remind and Boogie-T, who would hang out at a clothing store he managed called Merry-Go-Round. Quali-D became a mentor to the passionate young tandem and began training them to improve their skills. He would take them to underground parties and set up battles for them at his events, constantly pushing them to get better. Eventually they met others who shared their passion for dance and began to enter battles together under random names. When Style Elements was officially created in 1994, Quali-D came on board and helped push the crew’s vision of creativity in all elements to the wider world. In videos such as Strategic Monsters and battles such as UK B-Boy Championship, people got to see the unique brand of Stockton flavor Quali-D personified. His rhythmic and energetic style stood in a class on its own and added further to the vocabulary Style Elements innovated. He also took his event organizing talents outside of California, throwing the popular Flavor to Burn jams in Texas and Concrete Jungle in Las Vegas.
In addition to his involvement in the dance, Quali-D has always been a gifted musician, producer and song writer. He had his own studio in the early 90’s where he made beats and wrote lyrics with accomplished artists and he continues to create music to this day. He has also done a range of work in graphic design and visual art .
Today, Quali-D remains highly active in all spheres of the dance and culture. When asked about his longevity and vitality in the culture, he explains, “I do this because it’s who I am. I have given my heart to the four elements and Hip-Hop runs deep in my soul. I see Hip-Hop as a way to channel my energy and forever create.”
Meaning Behind the Moniker
When Darrick decided he needed an alias, he wanted it to highlight his various attributes. He sat down and brainstormed a tree of names underneath the word “Qualities.” Unable to choose from all of the options he wrote down–which he felt all equally represented him–he decided to just go with the heading itself. He replaced the “ty” with a “D” and became Quali-D.