Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hip Hop Docs

It's time for a history lesson.
Look around on the internet and you'll find a treasure chest full of classic hip hop material for your peepers.

Lesson 1.

Big Fun In The Big Town

This is a Dutch documentary from 1986 featuring a bit of a fashion victim who has somehow managed to snag the best acts in New York to interview Schoolly D, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons and then the last 20 minutes moves up to 1993 and meets Ice T in his L.A. mansion.

Lesson 2.

80 Blocks From Tiffany

Remember how you always hear about Bam originating from the tough New York gangs to create the the Zulu Nation? Well this hour-long doc features The Savage Skulls and The Savage Nomads, two prominent gangs at the time (this was made in 1979). This is interesting especially if you are a fan of Walter Hill's The Warriors.

Lesson 3.

Rapping - Lowdown.

Shown during kids tv in 1988, this UK documentary featured a variety of different hip hop fans from around Britain; some inner city, some not.
If you've already seen this you know how classic it is (although not always intentionally). If you haven't then you're in for a treat.
Sample line, "One day in Maths I was about to sneeze and what came out was this snare drum sound!"

Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -

Big shout to Alex for starting the ball rolling on this one.


Anonymous said...

I caught 40 Blocks from Tiffanys a few years back,essential viewing for those seekin' to look a lil' deeper into the sights and sounds of 70's NYC.
Worth noting the part where a girl (If I remember correctly)attempts to rhyme at a block party and is chastised by a Savage Skull. Interesting when taken with the knowledge that the 70's NYC gangs (Bambaataa's involvement with the Black Spades etc. aside)were not exactly welcoming towards the burgeoning Hip Hop Culture.
They had their own dances, tastes in music, dress styles(such as the nazi iconography) and had a seperate terratorial graffiti culture. Writers on occaision were singled out for special treatment in these matters. Still, I digress. And I ain't seen that Lowdown doc since it was originally on the telly.


Anonymous said...

Jeeeeeeesus Christ, I've just finished watchin' 'The Lowdown' and all I can say is that it made U.K. b-boys look like a right bunch of cunts. It very nearly destroyed the credibility that was gained from the holy trinity of old skool U.K. Hip Hop vids.... 'Bombin', Bad Meaning Good and Electro Rock' only a few short years before.
Don't get me wrong, the footage from the London jams was firin' and the scratchin' segment was pretty darn dope too (blazin' up that channel input switch to the max).
But the majority of the mini-doc was taken up and ruined by a bunch of middle class wannabe tit's and a luekemia victim lookin' rat-boy with the rhymin' ability of J.R. Hartley.
One of 'em still had a mullet for fucks sake, and them beats from that crappy Tandy keyboard were hilarious.
Despite the scathing review given I was actually crackin' up while viewing and was transported back to a time when toys like that got taxed for their spending money, caps, markers, trainers etc. etc. I used to rock one of those Nike tracksuits as sported by Lords of Rap with my Nike cross trainers back then too.
So I guess 'The lowdown' while bein' a diseased step-child to some of the better known U.K. docs, it is still an historical if very, very cringeworthy addition to U.K. old skool nostalgia.



been looking for the 80 blocks from tiffanys doc since i read about it in "can't stop" by jeff chang. sweet.

as for the lowdown,i remember that airing,
not quite as bad as "fresh and Fly"(remember them?) but still some really bad rapping.

Anonymous said...

That fashion victim is Marcel Vanthilt, Belgian TV star and in those days an MTV (UK) VJ...

Hugh Knight said...

anyone got a torrent link for 80 Block? I been searching for a copy.

Also trying to locate a copy of "Flying Cut Sleeves"

Big up. These docs are wicked.

Anonymous said...

@JONNYCHIBA- Faaaackin' 'ell, Fresh n Fly!!!
What a pile of shit they were too. If memory serves me correct Danny 'Dead in a Carboot' Kendall was their DJ/Beatsmith.
I reckon 'Morris Minor & the Majors - S S S Stutter Rap' made 'em both seem like Big Daddy Kane by comparison though, HA!!!

Laterzzz.... ZULU-KING.

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