Tag Archives: hip-hop

63 – Rap Attack: BEAT STREET (1984)



Producer and activist Harry Belafonte’s commercialized slice-of-life drama stars Guy Davis as Kenny ‘Double K’ Kirkland, a South Bronx hip-hop DJ with big dreams, and Jon Chardiet as Ramon, a Puerto Rican graffiti artist who would rather tag trains than get a real job.  Rae Dawn Chong is Tracy, an upper-class music student from  a college in Manhattan who sees something in Kenny’s proficiency with turntablism to want him to assist with her presentation on break-dancing. 


62 – Rap Attack: WILD STYLE (1983)



The seminal hip-hop film looks at underground Bronx art culture, including rap, graffiti art, break-dancing (aka b-boying) and DJing (aka turntablism), as we follow the exploits of a graffiti artist named Zoro and his quest to take his art and make it a living.  Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy created this film to expose to the world the genuine artistry and talent going on in the South Bronx, with lost of scenes of the authentic underground artists and their phenomenal talents.  Imitated, but never duplicated, WILD STYLE is the grand daddy of all films covering hip-hop.


61 – Rap Attack: KRUSH GROOVE (1985)



The loose story of how Def Jam came to be, featuring the hottest hip-hop artists of the mid-1980s, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and many more.  Blair Underwood plays Russell, whose management company is coming up with some hot musical acts, including Run-DMC, featuring his brother Joe, who he ends up losing to some rivals offering more money.  He gets into a financial pickle, while also romancing a hot funk-pop talent named Sheila, whom Joe also has a thing for. Michael Schultz directs this fan-favorite kitsch on hip-hop’s early days.


60 – Dancing on Air: BERRY GORDY’S THE LAST DRAGON (1985)



Taimak stars as a young African-American Harlemite who is a devout student of martial arts.  He lives kung fu, breathes kung fu and is so entrenched in the ways of the kung fu warrior, he stands out in his predominantly Black community for his lack of hipness and Asian-tinged wardrobe (he even eats his movie popcorn with chopsticks).  He is sent out into the world from his master teacher to reach the final level of his training to become a true kung fu master, involving a golden amulet and a master named Som Dom Goy.  Meanwhile, his quest is detoured by constant disruptions by a neighborhood bully, Sho’Nuff. who, along with his gang of thugs, are terrorizing the neighborhood.  Leroy also gets embroiled with an even bigger bad guy, amoral record producer Eddie Arkadian, whose quest to get his girlfriend’s video played on the hottest music show on TV hosted by singer/VJ Laura Charles causes them to get physical.  Leroy becomes Laura’s reluctant bodyguards, and the sparks between them suggest that they might have something more going on.