The other day I posted the movie Wild Style to promote its milestone importance in the Hip Hop culture. I also noted you can’t be a true school Hip Hop enthusiast if you have not watched it and owned it in your DVD culture library. Well, I also included another film which is extremely important to the culture, and that piece is the ultimate Hip Hop film, Style Wars. Wild Style and Style Wars should be the first two, most important DVDs to have in your Hip Hop culture library. There are many Hip Hop movies and documentaries out there, but they are just babies compared to Style Wars and Wild Style.
Although this documentary’s emphasis was about graff writing, Style Wars related to the essence of the Hip Hop culture’s sport for battling. This movie covers much of Hip Hops roots in competing by quantity of repetitions, technique for technique, and skill for skill for respect as a king of style or notoriety. This essence from the art of battling is the iron that sharpened iron creating an evolution of beautiful works we continue to see today in graff writing, b-boying, turntablism, and emceeing.
To see what was going on in the early 1980s when Hip Hop was still young and raw, Style Wars shows why the culture defied every critic and expert whoever called it a fad, a gimmick, or an object of disgust. In my opinion, the competitive nature of battling style and skill for respect is what strengthened Hip Hop to mature and thrive on its own. This also includes how the culture produced a flourishing youth movement which gave an aesthetic voice to many who would otherwise may have been kept silent.
In other words, these critics and experts who denounced Hip Hop suffered from Alzheimer’s for they have forgotten their own youth, and their eyes were sealed by ignorance for they did not understand their own words were just scuff marks to battle-tested people from an environment of adversity. They were just a small thing to a giant.
Whenever you see any of these great legends and pioneers in this film just say thank you for never stopping the funk. Some of the great names you will see are Shy 147, Mare 139, Seen, Skeme, Dez, Frosty Freeze, Dondi, Ces 157, Kase 2, Crazy Legs, Iz The Wiz, Zephyr, Dr. Revolt, Quik, Cey, Noc 167, and Cap. Style Wars was created by the late, great Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant of Subway Art fame. Give these fellas a round of applause for a historic job well done!
When you are done, buy Style Wars: Revisited right now! Not only will you own a classic but you will also get to watch its outstanding bonus footage and interviews you will not see here. It is well worth owning and schooling your peers, too. Do not take my word for it. Ask a true school head if I am right!
Have a Merry Christmas and Enjoy!
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