The Hip Hoppers were originally interoduced as part of David Yazbek's revisions to the US tour. They had notably different music to the Rockies, with more fluid rhythms and modern orchestration. However Lloyd Webber reverted most of these changes, until the Hip Hoppers effectively perform the same role as Rockies, just with "street fashion" costumes and simplified choreography, with the boxing elements of the dance removed. While the majority of Hoppers have been male, the 2013 World Tour included a female Hopper 2 (Lauren Haernden Mayer).
Much like The Rockies, the Hoppers are part of the Freight train, keep company with Poppa, Rusty, Flat-Top, Dustin, and on occasion, Caboose. Unlike the Rockies, they do not spar with each other, rather they take every opportunity to practice their dance moves. However the choreography asked of them is notably less demanding than that of the Rockies.
The Hip Hopper costumes draw on many stereotypical, dated elements of "Black / Hip Hop / Street" fashion. They wear backwards ball caps or "gang" bandanas, over-size mesh-effect shirts with graffiti tags on them, and baggy pants. Contrary to other characters in the show, in their case the bare metal panel effect doesn't represent the character's bare skin. They also wear heavy gold "Bling" necklaces. Initially in the US Tour they wore their essential leather belts over the shirts, but later versions have slits in the the shirts through which the belt handles stick out.
The train-signifying elements in their costumes are rather less than in other characters, it is only the metal plating effect and the small amount of coal texture on their shoulders that gives away their intended designation as Hoppers. They don't have wheels on their gloves or their skates. Notably, Dustin has been established as a Hopper since the show's conception, but there are very few common features between them. In Germany they are still introduced as "Kastenwagen" (=box cars), like the Rockies. The same design elements have been used more recently in the "Street Cat Tugger" in the 2014 London revival of Cats.
- The Hip Hoppers replaced the Rockies in Bochum from 2007 onwards.