Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wild Style

Wild Style is an American 1983 hip hop film directed and produced by Charlie Ahearn. Released theatrically in September 1982 by First Run Features and later re-released for home video by Rhino Home Video, it is regarded as the first hip hop motion picture. The film included seminal figures such as Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, The Rock Steady Crew, The Cold Crush Brothers, Queen Lisa Lee of Zulu Nation, Grandmaster Flash and Zephyr. The protagonist "Zoro" is played by New York graffiti artist "Lee" George Quiñones.

2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the film. Producers proposed a 2013 Blu-ray edition that would include additional interviews and features.

An early version of the Wild Style logo appeared in 1981 when Charlie Ahearn hired graffiti writer Dondi to paint the 'window down' subway car piece that appears in the film. The Dondi piece was the inspiration for the animated title sequence designed by the artist, Zephyr and animated by Joey Ahlbum in 1982.  The Wild Style mural was painted by Zephyr, Revolt and Sharp in 1983. Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy began working on the film on late 1981. The approach was a hybrid of a narrative musical and documentary, having the real hip hop pioneers play themselves in a loosely scripted story shot entirely in the South Bronx, the Lower East Side and MTA subway yards.

Wild Style takes place in 1981 in New York and centers around graffiti artists, Zoro (played by Lee Quiñones) and his encounters with an uptown journalist named, Virginia (played by Patti Astor). More so than its story, however, the film is notable for featuring several prominent figures from early hip hop culture such as Busy Bee Starski, Fab Five Freddy, The Cold Crush Brothers and Grandmaster Flash. Throughout the movie there are scenes depicting activities common in the early days of hip hop. These include MCing, turntablism, graffiti and b-boying. The film demonstrates the interconnections between music, dance and art in the development of hip hop culture.

Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 88% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 17 reviews. A review from The Guardian noted that despite the low production values, 'nothing else comes close to capturing the atmosphere of the early days of hip-hop and spraycan art

The film has received a large cult following over the years after its initial release. Highly regarded hip hop albums such as Illmatic by Nas, Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sunday by Cypress Hill, Resurrection by Common, Big Shots by Charizma, Operation: Doomsday by MF Doom, Check Your Head by Beastie Boys, Beat Konducta by Madlib, Jay Stay Paid by J Dilla and Quality Control by Jurassic 5 have used samples from the film. In 2007, the VH1 Hip Hop Honors paid tribute to Wild Style in recognition of its influence upon the culture. The film was also voted as one of the top ten rock and roll films of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The film has been exhibited as part of a 1980s art retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

The original soundtrack consists of 17 tracks recorded by various artists included in the film. The album has been described by Allmusic as "one of the key records of early 1980s hip-hop"

Track Listing

Military Cut – Scratch Mix - DJ Grand Wizard Theodore
M.C. Battle – Busy Bee Vs. Rodney Cee
Basketball Throwdown – Cold Crush Brothers Vs. Fantastic Freaks
Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie - Fantastic Freaks
Subway Theme – Scratch Mix by Grand Wizard Theodore, Chris Stein (Previously Unreleased)
Cold Crush Brothers at the Dixie – Cold Crush Brothers
Busy Bee's Limo Rap – Busy Bee
Cuckoo Clocking - Fab 5 Freddy (previously unreleased)
Stoop Rap – Rodney Cee & KK Rockwell aka Double Trouble
Double Trouble at the Amphitheatre – Double Trouble
South Bronx Subway Rap – Grandmaster Caz, Chris Stein (Original Version)
Street Rap by Busy Bee – Busy Bee (Previously Unreleased)
Busy Bee at the Amphitheatre – Busy Bee
Fantastic Freaks at the Amphitheatre - Fantastic Freaks
Gangbusters – Scratch Mix by Grand Wizard Theodore
Rammellzee & Shock Dell at the Amphitheatre – Rammellzee & Shock Dell
Down By Law – Fab 5 Freddy & Chris Stein (Previously Unreleased)

25th Anniversary Edition
Disc 2:

Wildstyle Lesson - Kev Luckhurst aka Phat Kev
Limousine Rap (Crime Don't Pay Mix) - Wild Style Allstars
Basketball Throwdown (Dixie: Razorcut Mix) Cold Crush Brothers vs. Fantastic Freaks
Stoop Rap (LP Version South Bronx Mix) - Double Trouble
Street Rap (Subway Mix) - Busy Bee
Stoop Rap (Film Version) Double Trouble
B Boy Beat (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Yawning Beat (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Crime Cut (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Gangbusters (Instrumental) - DJ Grand Wizard Theodore
Cuckoo Clocking (Instrumental) - Fab 5 Freddy
Meetings (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Military Cut (Instrumental)[5] - DJ Grand Wizard Theodore
Razor Cut (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Subway Theme (Instrumental) - DJ Grand Wizard Theodore, Chris Stein
Busy Bees (Instrumental) - Busy Bee
Down By Law (Instrumental) - Fab 5 Freddy
Baby Beat (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Jungle Beat (Instrumental) - Wild Style Allstars
Wild Style Scratch Tool - Kev Luckhurst aka Phat Kev


Grandmaster Caz - South Bronx Subway Rap


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