Movies to watch
Style Wars (1983)
Shot between 1981 and 1983 and aired on PBS, Style Wars is remarkable as a relatively early filmed document of hip-hop culture at its source and an intelligent defense of an oft-maligned and misunderstood art form, graffiti.
Directors: Tony Silver
Producers: Linda Habib
Starring: Demon, Eric Haze, Kase 2
Kush Groove (1985)
Krush Groove is a 1985 American film by Warner Bros. that was written by Ralph Farquhar and directed by Michael Schultz ( who also produced the movie, along with George Jackson and Doug McHenry ). This film is based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings and up-and-coming record producer Russell Simmons ( renamed Russell Walker in the film ), portrayed by Blair Underwood in his feature film debut. Simmons was the film's co-producer and story consultant; he also had a cameo in the film as a club owner named Crocket.
Wreckin Shop: Live From Brooklyn (1992)
Originally produced for PBS in 1992, music video director Dian Martel’s film Wreckin’ Shop: Live From Brooklyn has found a second life as a cult favorite on YouTube. Beautifully shot in black and white, the film focuses on the abstract form of freestyle dancing that arose in New York in the wake of break dancing. Martel’s film brilliantly captures a kinetic style of movement that has since influenced dancers around the world.
Breakin’ n Enterin’ (1983)
Before he would co-create the sitcom Martin, writer and director Topper Carew would film Breakin’ n Enterin’, a rich portrait of the first generation of West Coast hip-hop dance. With performances from Boogaloo Shrimp and a young Ice-T, Breakin’ n Enterin’ fits perfectly alongside classic ’80s youth culture documentaries like Heavy Metal Parking Lot or The Decline Of Western Civilization.
Freestyle: The Art Of Rhyme (2000)
Taking care to connect the art of Rap with everything from poetry to Jamaican toasting, Freestyle: The Art Of Rhyme is a love letter to the spoken word. Supernatural, Medusa, Freestyle Fellowship, Yassin Bey, Westcoast freestyle legend Otherwize and many others show up in the film to display their skills and give first-hand insights into the craft of MCing.
Big Fun In The Big Town (1986)
When a Dutch television crew went to NYC in 1986 to capture the city’s hip-hop scene, they would not only come across a vibrant rap music culture, they’d secure interviews and performances from kids on the street and some well-known future legends. Whether it’s Grandmaster Flash cutting up “Take Me To The Mardi Gras” or Doug E. Fresh beatboxing, Big Fun In The Big Town is dripping with classic hip-hop moments.
Stolen Moments: Red Hot & Cool (1994)
Set against the backdrop of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, filmmaker Earle Sebastian’s 1994 documentary Stolen Moments: Red Hot & Cool is a powerful commentary on the state of Black life in america. Centered around a live concert at the legendary Supper Club in Manhattan, Stolen Moments pairs popular rap acts of the day — like The Pharcyde, Guru, Digable Planets, and The Roots — pairing them with Jazz legends like Donald Byrd, Pharoah Sanders, Lester Bowie and more. These performances are juxtaposed with interviews from Cornel West and Harlem-based HIV and AIDS activist Louis Jones. The performances are all incredibly inspired, but it is the social commentary presented in the interviews that brings the music onstage into a broader socio-political context.
Doug Pray’s 2001 film Scratch, highlights the backbone of hip-hop culture — the DJ. Focusing on turntablism, crate digging, and the art of party-rocking, Scratch taps a wide range of DJs to give crucial insights into the craft of DJing. Qbert, Jazzy Jay, Steve Dee, Babu, Premier, Krush, and more make appearances to talk about this foundational element of our culture.
Wave: A True Story In Hip Hop (2016)
Inspired at a young age after seeing Michael Jackson, Bronx-born dancer Tony Draughon Wesley would dedicate his life to dance. Nicknamed “Mr. Wave” —
because of his fluid, avant-garde dancing style — Wave would go on to be one of the most influential breakers in early hip-hop history. This documentary Wave: a True Hip Hop Story explores the life and artistryof an underappreciated creative whose style still informs the way we dance today.
808: The Heart of The Beat That Changed Music (2015)
Originally released in 1980 by the Japanese instrument manufacturer Roland, the TR-808 drum machine has left an indelible mark on the sound of contemporary music. Gathering interviews from musical legends like Juan Atkins, Arthur Baker, Pharrell Williams, Questlove, and others, 808, takes a deep look at how one machine has shaped the sound of house, techno, trap, drum n’ bass, hip-hop, and more.
J. Dilla: Still Shining (2011)
Put together by filmmaker Brian “B. Kyle” Atkins is not only an informative take on the late J. Dilla’s impact and creative process and legacy, the film is a touching document of a community celebrating one of its brightest lights. Throughout, Dilla’s mother Maureen Yancey, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Questlove and others reminisce on Dilla’s work ethic and wide-range of production techniques. Still Shining is a tender, revelatory look into the life of the man who “made the MPC 3000 sound like a band.
The Freshest Kids: The History of the B Boy (2002)
The Freshest Kids' brings to you the illest B-Boying this planet has ever witnessed. Over two hours of hardcore breaking gives you an all-access pass to the underground world of B-Boys spanning the last 25+ years. See and hear the early history via rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with The Nigga Twins, Spy (the man with 1000 moves), Rock Steady Crew icons Crazy Legs and Ken Swift, The New York City Breakers, Mr. Wiggles, Styelements and the world's most innovative B-boys of the next generation along with hip-hop legends Kool D.J. Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-One, Mos Def and many more as they come together to reveal for the first time the most comprehensive history of B-Boying, its evolution and its place within hip-hop culture and beyond. These are The Freshest Kids and this is their story!
Second to None present THE BBOY MERCENARIES
Using rare archive footage of underground European hip hop jams of the late 80's and early 90's, with exclusive interviews with bboy pioneers from across the globe and a soundtrack of classic hip hop, rare funk and atmospheric 80's electro, 'The Bboy Mercenaries,' is a feature length documentary about how Bournemouth - based Bboy crew 'Second to None' helped keep breakin from going extinct through the exchange of VHS tapes of their seminal battles and game-changing practice footage with the pockets of survivors dotted around the world in a time before the internet.
Brought to you by Raw Angles Films
From the original idea by El Lapizito and NathaN Losado
Written, Edited & Directed by Charlie Marbles
Produced by El Lapizito, Charlie Marbles and NathaN Losado
Interviews by NathaN Losado and others
Scratch mix by Jabba tha Kutt
EVO (aka Demon Smurf) - A B-Boy Documentary
Evo has been an inspiration to so many B-Boys, and if you've never seen him, or never seen B-Boying at its best watch this movie. In the late 1980's B-boying faded out of Britain in a haze of inglorious mediocrity. A few battle hardy teenagers kept a torch burning into the 1990's, awaiting the opportunity to shine once more. Amongst such legends as Street Machine, and alongside the mythical Storm and Swiftrock, a humble, quietly spoken B-boy emerged and so began the revolution. Evo obliterated his opponents with a mixture of style, musicality and incredible power. He won three world titles and the reputation of British B-boying was taken to a new level.
All Out War (2013)
All Out War is a feature length documentary that was filmed in 2013 following the lives of four b-boys from different positions on the breaking spectrum. The stories of Machine, Alien Ness, Dyzee and Casper intersect at what was one of Toronto's biggest b-boy competitions: The King of the Ring.
Remember the name: Victor Montalvo
The film that director Nadja Harek proposes follows the Vagabond to conquer the title. The choreographer Mohamed Belarbi takes his dancers to the title, with always the same faith in a beautiful image of the French BBoying. We are in 2011, on the sidelines of the most important competition is turning a super American production 'Battle Of The Year The Dream Team', in theaters since November 13, 2013, and which has for conclusion the victory of the Koreans. Only the reality is quite different! Since 2006, France has not won any title at the Battle Of The Year International. The company Vagabond was the last to honor France that year, winning for the first time the double 'Best Choreography' and the title of 'World Champion' of hip hop dance in battle.
Production : ATTITUDE / Cat's Eyes
Montage : Nadja Harek / Gilles Langlois
Image : Gilles Langlois / Cat's Eyes
Director : Nadja Harek
Inside the circle
Capturing the raw power of a grass-roots hip-hop movement in the heart of Texas, INSIDE THE CIRCLE tells the story of two strikingly talented b-boys, Josh and Omar, former best friends who become rivals when they join competing dance crews. Immersed in the b-boy culture of defiant creativity, Omar rises to international renown while Josh tangles with the Texas criminal justice system. Both of them struggle to keep dance at the center of their lives, and the 'B-Boy City' competitive events thrown by visionary street dancer Romeo Navarro serve as emotional milestones in their journey to adulthood. Facing off in intense dance battles that mirror the larger events in their lives, Josh and Omar seek redemption, identity and respect 'inside the circle.' As Romeo aptly observes: 'If you can hold yourself down in battle, you can hold yourself down in life.'
JBL Unbreakable Stories - Bboy Lagaet
Bboy Lagaet, one of the world's finest bboys, was followed during his participation at JBL Unbreakable 2018. Shout out to Momentum Crew, Portugal
Shot by Jacowbski and Jaiz
Edited by Jacowbski