Beat Street Is a 1984 drama film, following Wild Style In featuring New York City hip hop culture of the early 1 sass; breakfasting, Digging, and graffiti. Set in the South Bronx, the film follows the lives of a pair of brothers and their group of friends, all of whom are devoted to various elements of early hip-hop culture. Kenny Kirkland (Guy Davis) Is a budding disc jockey and MAC, and his younger brother Lee (Robert Taylor) Is a hardcore b;boy who dances with Beat Street Breakers (the New York City Breakers).
Jenny’s best friends are Ramona On Charities a graffiti artist known by his tag, Roam”, and Collie (Leon W. Grant), his self-styled manager/promoter. The film begins with the mall characters preparing for a house party set in an abandoned apartment building, where Kenny Is the featured D]. An uninvited Lee and his break- dancing friends crash the party, and nearly get tangled into a battle with a rival troupe, the Bronx Rockers (the Rock Steady Crew). The battle of mostly words is broken up by Henry (Dean Elliot), a squatter who lives in the building and Is befriended by Kenny, Collie, Ramona. ND Luis (Franc Rexes). Kenny has dreams of performing in New York City’s top nightclubs. No club is bigger than the Rosy, and on one visit he crosses paths with Tracy Carlson (Rae Dawn Chon), a collegiate music student and composer. A breakneck battle between the Breakers and Rock Steady ensues, and Tracy admires Lee’s performance. She then Invites him to audition for a television show focusing on dancing. Lee, Kenny, and their crew arrive during a dance rehearsal, and Lee gives his performance only to find out he won’t be on television.
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Protecting his brother’s interests, Kenny rips into Tracy for leading Lee on; Ramona steals a videotape of Lee’s dance as the crew walk out. A remorseful Tracy hen shows up at the Kirkland home to apologize. Lee was not home but Kenny was, working on a mix tape. Tracy clarifies her story, saying that she did not promise to Lee that he was going to be on the TV show. She then takes an interest in Jenny’s mixing and the two find common ground. Kenny and Tracy then head into the subway, where they meet up with Lee, Ramona, and Luis spray painting an abandoned station platform.
They pack up and leave when they hear noises, thinking it may be the police; it turned out to be a rogue graffiti artist known as “Spit”, who defaces Ramose work (and the work of other artists) by spraying his tag over It. As the group take the train back uptown, Kenny and Tracy break away and spend the rest of the evening together, striking up a romance while walking and talking. Collie talks Kenny into a guest spot at the Burning Spear, a club run by DC Cool Here. Kenny not only spins but presents a special Christmas-themed skit performed by the Treacherous Three, Doug E.
Fresh, and the Magnificent Force. The crowd’s positive reaction convinces Cool Here to invite Kenny back. But both Kenny and Collie see the regular gig as a stepping stone to their bigger goal. They return to the Rosy, where auditions are being held for new talent. Collie convinces Kenny to let him do the talking, and waits for the auditions to end before he succeeds in getting the talent scout to check out Kenny at the Burning Spear. The scout keeps his word, and Is impressed enough that he offers Kenny a performance on New Year’s Eve.
Tracy offers to help Kenny out by allowing pressed a wrong button and deleted his work. A stubborn Kenny then leaves the studio, saying he had enough material for New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, Ramona is feeling pressure from two sources. His father Domingo (Shawn Elliot), who despises his graffiti, wants him to find honest work, while his girlfriend Carmen (Sandra Santiago), who’s also the mother of his son, longs for them to be together as a family. Ramona eventually gets a Job in a hardware store, and he then takes Carmen and their baby to live with him in Henries building.
But Ramona does not stop thinking of the subway trains that are his canvas. When he sees a white-painted one pass him by, he vows to put his mark on it. Later that evening, Ramona and Kenny find the train and proceed to paint one side of the lead car. When the get on the other side, their work is interrupted when Ramona hears noises-?it is “Spit”, defacing the completed side. Ramona and Kenny chase Spit through the tunnel and into a station, and a fight ensues. Spit sprays paint in Rayon’s eye, and both men tussle on the roadbed before they roll onto the electrified third rail, which kills them instantly.
As the group mourn the death of their friend, Kenny considers not doing the New Year’s Eve show at the Rosy. But with the help of Tracy and despite initial reluctance from Collie, Kenny turns his big break into a celebration of Rayon’s life. The show is the film’s grand finale, starting with a rap performance by Kenny while slides of Ramona and his work were shown in the background. Kenny was followed by Grandmaster Melee Mel & the Furious Five, and a Bronx gospel choir backed by dancers and breakers. Edit] Cast * Rae Dawn Chon – Tracy Carlson * Guy Davis – Kenny “Double K” Kirkland * Jon Chartist – Ramona “Roam” * Leon W. Grant – Collie * Sandra Santiago – Carmen Carrot * Robert Taylor – Lee Kirkland * Mary Alice – Core Kirkland * Shawn Elliott – Domingo * Jim Borealis – Monte * Dean Elliot – Henry * Franc Rexes – Luis * Tanya Pippins – Angela * Lee Chamberlain – Alicia * Duane Jones – Robert * DC Little Lieu Vega – DC in Background in the club. * Africa Bumboat & the Soul Sonic Force – Themselves Doug E.
Fresh – Himself * New York City Breakers – Themselves * Rock Steady Crew – Themselves * Clive “Cool Here” Campbell – Himself * Treacherous Three – Themselves * Jazzy Jay – Himself * Grandmaster Melee Mel & the Furious Five – Themselves Academe Harrison was credited as “High School Student” in the director’s cut of the film. However, his Some of the plot line was based on the New York City graffiti documentary Style Wars. Most visibly, the antagonist Spit in Beat Street was lifted from the real-life graffiti artist CAP MAC, who was portrayed in Style Wars.
It was screened out of competition t the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. [l]  Filming locations Beat Street was filmed entirely on location in New York City, in the boroughs of The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Several scenes were shot inside the city’s subway system, both onboard trains and in stations, notably Hoyt-Shoehorning Streets, 57th Street-sixth Avenue, and Fresh Pond Road. Scenes were also filmed on the campus of the City College of New York, which includes the concert venue Aaron Davis Hall.
Many of the internal dance sequences were filmed at the popular nightclub the Rosy, located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Most of the graffiti art that was displayed all throughout the film was not done by real graffiti artists-?it was airbrushed by set decorators.  Musical performances and soundtrack Main article: Beat Street (soundtrack) There are several performances in the movie, notably from established early hip-hop groups Grandmaster Melee Mel & the Furious Five, Doug E. Fresh, Africa Bumboat & the Soul Sonic Force, and the Treacherous Three.
As a member of the Treacherous Three, Cool Moe Dee also appeared in the film. It stands as one of the few media appearances he has ever made without his trademark sunglasses (a Tyler he had not yet adopted at the time). In addition to these acts, Guy Davis, who played Kenny, is also a blues musician in real life. The film also includes other musical performances from novice acts, such as Tina B and The System, both of whom appear on the soundtrack album. Though not featured on the album, there were also appearances by rapper Richard Lee Cisco and singers Bernard Fowler and Brenda K.
Starr. Contrary to popular (internet legend) belief, The RAZZ of Www-Tang Clan was not actually in the movie. Some rumors have floated around the net stating that he is the guy in the black hat rhyming during the Rosy auditions scene. However, RAZZ has gone on the record stating he was not in the film. In fact, he would have only been 15 at the time Beat Street was filmed. The actor in the black hat appears to be markedly older than 15. At least three breakfasting battles between the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew were also included in the film.
In addition, the Rosy audition scene features a pair of breakfasting boys known as the Fantastic Duo. This was the first American film to feature more than one soundtrack album. Originally, Atlantic Records, which released the soundtrack albums, had three volumes planned, but only two of these were released. The second volume was never released on compact disc. The trailer includes an alternate version of the title song performed by Cool Moe Dee, a version that was not featured in the movie or on the original soundtrack albums. E troubles of ghetto life are accurately captured in this cinematic time capsule, one of the first films to contain rap music. At the time, the rapping took a back seat to the break dancing and one of the many attributes of BEAT STREET is the authentic street moves on display. The locations also retain their street creed, with graffiti covering subway cars and abandoned buildings populating the mean streets. The story homeless out of the ghetto. Musician Harry Flatten teamed with David Picker to produce. Rapper Kenny and his break dancing brother Lee are up and coming soul artists.
They only need a few good connections and one big break to make it. When they meet a beautiful college music professor, who can help them expand their horizons, everything starts to fall into place. The troubles of ghetto life are accurately captured in this cinematic time capsule, one concerns a group of Bronx teens using their dancing, rapping, and artistic skills to lift Storyline Jon Chartist plays a Puerco Rican youth who targets subway walls for his graffiti endearing. For a while, it looks as though Charladies problems will carry the plotting, but before long the film’s true raisin deter comes to the surface.
Rap-music deejay Guy Davis, in tandem with such like-minded individuals as music student Rae Dawn Chon, endeavor to stage a huge breakfasting presentation, featuring several musical artistes of the period. Harry Flatten served as coppered. -? Hal Erickson, Rove. An upbeat, lets-put-on-a-show musical about the wonders of hip-hop music and culture that tells the story of Kenny, a young hip-hop artist living in the rough slums f the Bronx with his younger brother Lee and their mother Core. Kenny dreams of making it big as a disc Jockey and playing in the most swank of Manhattan nightclubs, the Rosy.
Into their lives comes Tracy, a composer and assistant choreographer from the City College of New York, who inspires him to try to continue his dream while romance begins to grow between them, despite coming from different neighborhoods and worlds. Meanwhile, Lee is part of a break-dancing crew set on dominating the scene of their street. The rest of their friends include Ramona, a graffiti artist determined to spread his painting to every subway car in the city while leaning with his girlfriend Carmen and Collie, a fellow disc Jockey who becomes Jenny’s manager after he lands him a gig at a Bronx club.
Many hip-hop groups, electro artists, break dancers, and Latin freestyle singers, who include Us Girls, the Treacherous Three, the System, the Rock Steady Crew, Africa Bumboat & Soul Sonic Force and Shannon, the Magnificent Force, the New York City Breakers, Grand Master Melee Mel & the Furious Five, Tina B. , Johnny B. Bad, and many more, make cameo appearances. Written by Matt Patty About 80% of the footage in the original theatrical trailer is not included in the final UT.
Examples include Ramona getting his bag ripped off while walking with Kenny and Charlie, several battle outtakes including the classroom up-rocking scene, Ramona on nightclub. Several other pieces of footage were included as well but were in freeze frame in the opening credits of the film. The trailer also includes an alternate version of title song performed by Cool Moe Dee, (who appears in the film in the “Christmas Rapping'” sequence with the rest of the Treacherous Three), which also did not appear in the movie nor on the original soundtrack albums.
Share this Most of the graffiti art that was displayed all throughout the film was not done by real graffiti artists – it was airbrushed by set decorators. Share this It was the producers’ idea for the main cast to wear Kananga hats and Puma sneakers all throughout production of the film even though many of the dancers felt that it wasn’t authentic. Share this According to Fast Break (who appeared in the Treacherous Three sequence), there was a classroom up-rocking battle scene that involved the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew, but it was cut.
There was also more of the climatic battle between these two crews at the Rosy nightclub. Share this Crazy Legs later said that during the filming of the battle scene at the Rosy he wanted to battle to Jimmy Castor’s song “It’s Just Begun,” but he was disappointed to find out that the crews were going to battle to a record called “Breaker’s Revenge” because of rights issues. Share this This project was sponsored by Puma. The original soundtrack Laps have the Puma logo printed on them, reading, “Puma as seen in ‘Beat Street. ” Share this This was the first American film to have more than one soundtrack album of music featured in a film released. Originally, three volumes of music were planned, but Atlantic Records only released two of them – and the second volume was never released on compact disc. And get out of the South Bronx, the movie follows the youngsters over the holiday season of ’83 when it looks like Kenny might finally catch that big break. Collie sets it up so Kenny can do a guest spot at the Burning Spear, where he not only spins a few records, he also presents a special Christmas-themed skit.
Lee and his crew have a breakneck battle with a rival troupe, the Bronx Rockers (the Rock Steady Crew) at the Rosy nightclub one night and Tracy (Chon, Commando) asks him to come and audition for a show she’s putting on at the city college. Ramona, whose graffiti tag is “Roam” is getting grief from his father (Shawn Elliot) about getting an honest Job and forgetting about drawing pictures on the walls around the neighborhood and from Carmen (Santiago, Miami Vice), his girlfriend and the mother of their baby who wants him to get them a place of their own.
Roam gets great pleasure from sharing his art with the people of the city, he thinks that it’s great that his work is seen throughout many different boroughs. The only problem is a rival graffiti artist whose sprays his gag “Spit” all over everybody else’s work. After a misunderstanding at the city college, Tracy tries to smooth things over with Lee and Kenny and gets romantically involved with Kenny. Collie uses Jenny’s success at the Burning Spear to get him the New Year’s Eve performance at the Rosy (the hottest nightclub in NYC).
Ultimately, tragedy strikes the group and Kenny is uncertain whether he should go ahead and do the gig at the Rosy. As you can see, there are many plot treads throughout the movie and it present form, is a pretty good movie, but I’d like to see a Director’s Cut that restores al the excised footage, if it still even exists. I think that might make for a more focused movie, the scenes in the trailer seem to clarify a few things and there’s a few more musical numbers, including one in a high school classroom. According to Wisped, Academe Harrison (A Different World, Rapping’) had a small role in the movie that ended up being deleted entirely.
What’s left is a decent enough movie, any dramatic flaws are compensated for with some great musical sequences The aforementioned Christmas skit at the Burning Spear, a club run by DC Cool Here, features the Treacherous Three, Doug E. Fresh and the Magnificent Force as they do a rap number called Suntan’s Rap. It’s one of the many musical highlights of Beat Street, among the various artists featured in this movie are Grandmaster Melee Mel & the Furious Five, Africa Bumboat & the Soul Sonic Force & Shannon, Tina B. , The System, Brenda Starr, Bernard Fowler, Andy B.
Bad, Fantastic Duo, Us Girls, Jazzy Jay, Richard Cisco and Wanda Dee. The director Stan Lethal has assembled quite a roster of talent from the early days of breakfasting and rapping, this is the most awesome part of the movie and I’m not even a fan of the genre. Like I said in my review of Crush Groove, I do like the old-school rap, when it was funny and relatively innocent, as opposed to all the obscene crap that seem to be the favorite subjects of today’s rappers (bitched, hoes, pimping and popping caps in the ass of another person).
The climactic scene of Beat Street is an elaborate number that features Grandmaster Melee Mel & the Furious Five, Bernard Fowler and a Bronx gospel choir, dancers from the city college and breakfasters from the New York streets. It’s a celebration of life as Grandmaster Melee Mel decries the violence of the world and Fowler sings about believing in the face of tragedy. It’s my favorite sequence in this movie because it’s such a powerful moment and it incorporates a lot of different talent. I also like Tina B. S song Nothings Goanna Come Easy, even though only a small portion of the song is heard in the movie. If memory serves, there were two soundtrack albums released from this movie because there was so much music. In addition, the breakfasting in Beat Street is absolutely fresh, the real life dance crews really know how to bust some serious moves and when they’re strutting their stuff on he screen , the movie totally comes to life. And who doesn’t like the human beat-box that is Doug E. Fresh? I’ve talked endlessly about the music in Beat Street, what about the other aspects of the movie?
Like I said, it falters when it comes to the dramatic elements, it would have been nice to get to know certain characters better. For example, what about Henry (Dean Elliot), the squatter the guys discover living in the basement of the abandoned building where they party at the beginning of the movie? They all seem to become friends, but who is this guy really? We understand hat he’s an old friend of somebody who used to live in the building before the landlord torched the place, but at what point does he become friends with the guys?
It’s implied that he’s some sort of musician, he says that he and his old friend planned to start a band. Why doesn’t he display his skills at any point in the movie? In the trailer, it’s shown (briefly) that he plays the drums, I would have liked to see this incorporated into the plot. We see a couple of scenes where Roam and his father argue about how he should live his life, but it would have been interesting to see Kenny and Lee’s older brother? We get the impression that he was in a gang and died as a result of that lifestyle, but was he shot in a gang war or by the police?
My guess would be the latter, only because of the contempt that Core (Mary Alice, The Matrix Revolutions) shows for the cop who arrested her son (Lee) for breakfasting at the subway station. She tells him that he’s far too young to be offering child rearing advice and that there’s worse things these kids could be doing than dancing. It’s another small but powerful moment, but we still don’t fully understand how her oldest son died. And I would have loved to see that breakfasting number in the high school classroom, these moments really make a musical fun and enjoyable.
I wonder why so many scenes were cut out of Beat Street? I’m guessing it was to keep the running time down, who wants to watch a two-and-a-half hour movie during the summer? True, this movie is pretty shallow and it never promised to be an in-depth character study or a realistic, gritty documentary about the hip-hop scene of the early ass. But it would have been cool to add an additional layer of depth and meaning, it would have been nice to understand a few things about the young people who arrogance on the sidewalks or the graffiti artists who see all the surfaces of the world as their own personal canvas.