Beat Street is an urban musical detailing the roots of hip-hop. Set in early-1980s New York, the film focuses on the lives of a small group of young people setting their experiences against the larger backdrop of the city's burgeoning music scene. The story of up-and-coming DJ Kenny (Guy Davis) and his relationship with jazz musician Tracy (Rae Dawn Chong) may only be a device, but it's surprisingly effective, as is the ultimately tragic tale of graffiti artist Ramon (Jon Chardiet). The movie's real raison d'être, however, is to showcase the sounds of the street, so it's full of some of hip-hop's most influential names--Melle Mel, Doug E Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, the Rocksteady Crew, Jazzy Jeff, and Arthur Baker.
Business as Usual is a feature length documentary that asks the questions: Has Hip-Hop been exploited for economic gain, to the detriment of the masses of urban youth who embrace it? Who's really making the money, controlling the systems and influencing the youth?
As hip-hop rose from the streets of New York to become a multibillion-dollar industry, artists such as Public Enemy and De La Soul began reusing portions of previously recorded music for their songs. But when record company lawyers got involved, everything changed. Years before people started downloading and remixing music, hip-hop sampling sparked a debate about copyright, creativity, and technological change that still rages today.
Fresh Dressed is a fascinating chronicle of hip-hop, urban fashion, and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from Orchard Street to high fashion's catwalks and Middle America shopping malls.
Reaching deep to Southern plantation culture, the Black church, and Little Richard, director Sacha Jenkins' music-drenched history draws from a rich mix of archival materials and in-depth interviews with rappers, designers, and other industry insiders, such as Pharrell Williams, Damon Dash, Karl Kani, Kanye West, Nasir Jones, and André Leon Talley. The result is a passionate telling of how the reach for freedom of expression and a better life by a culture that refused to be squashed, would, through sheer originality and swagger, take over the mainstream.
The subtitle couldn't be more accurate: A History of the B-Boy is a comprehensive look at the world's "freshest kids." This lively documentary isn't about hip-hop or hip-hop culture as much as about an integral part of that culture. B-boys are defined, variously, as "breakboys" (the original term) and "breakdancers" (the more widely known one). These "kids," many now in their 30s, helped to shape hip-hop's look and spread its gospel. The narrative traces their evolution from the South Bronx 1970s to media-crazed 1980s--when they were featured in movies from Wild Style to Flashdance--to today, as the phenomenon has returned to the underground while remaining as popular as ever
This rich documentary plunges us deep into the heart of the barrio and the eastern neighborhoods of Havana where the connections between rap and Cuban music were first established in the 2000s. Seeking out and interviewing graffiti artists, singers and dancers, and diving into the local block party scene, where the DJs and rappers perform to hundreds of enthusiastic youths.
Follows the attempt to organize and present the first ever hip hop festival in three cities in North Africa in 2005 by DJ Key, founder of the Original Hiphop Association. Various Moroccan hip hop artists talk about the struggles they face between making the music they love and Muslim culture.
Rap, Race & Equality captures the essence of the cultural phenomenon of rap music during its formative years in the early 1990s when it exploded onto the world stage. The film is an important historical document featuring rap's most influential and controversial artists such as Ice Cube, Ice T, and Queen Latifah who have become international media stars. The film unmasks the issues behind the music, such as racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, and cultural identity. Rappers speak openly and passionately about their music and the attitude their words embody.
Dozens of the greatest rappers of all time, including Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Sean “Puffy” Combs, and the late Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., come together for Rhyme & Reason – the ultimate backstage pass inside the vibrant world of rap and hip-hop!
Scribble Jam is now known as the underground event that allows kids across the world to take an active role in the culture they love. Emcees, DJs, B-boys and Graffiti Artists come from all over to demonstrate their abilities in preserving hip-hop in its truest form. Scribble Jam is one of the only places left in America, that combines all four elements as they were meant to be. Over the years, Scribble Jam has become a proving ground for those who remain true to preserving the culture.
When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. The urban landscape was physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community. In Style Wars, New York's ramshackle subway system is their public playground, battleground, and spectacular artistic canvas. As MC's, DJ's and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, we see street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art.
Hip hop culture has infiltrated every aspect of American life, but back in 1970's New York, two topics defined the era: disco music and crime. Over in the Bronx, 16-year-old Jamaican immigrant Clive Campbell (aka. DJ Kool Herc) wasn't a fan of either. This is the story of how DJ Kool Herc made New York the birthplace of hip hop.