Classic Hip-Hop: 1984’s “Beat Street” Shows The Grit Of Early New York

“Beat Street” is the seminal 1984 movie that brought Hip-Hop culture to the masses in a major way. The film, written by Steve Hager, included DJing, breakdancing, MCing and graffiti writing set to a gritty Bronx, New York backdrop. The movie is centered on Kenny Kirkland (Guy Davis), a rapidly-growing DJ and sometime MC and straight up b-boy Lee (Robert Taylor), who plays the younger brother. Lee is down with the Beat Street Breakers (the New York City Breakers). Other characters in the movie are Kenny’s friends Ramo (Jon Chardiet), a graffiti artist and his manager Chollie (Leon W. Grant).

The now classic movie really encapsulates the dreams, hopes and tragedies of a generation while including some of the Hip-Hop’s most authentic stars like Grand Master Melle, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force, and The Rock Steady Crew. From b-boy battles, to lost life, to love, Beat Street has it all. Check it out.

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