Old School Hip Hop

Review of: Beat Street

Reviewed by:
On August 17, 2013
Last modified:August 19, 2015


Beat Street ushered in the era when Hip Hop was introduced to mainstream America and the world, from the rough streets of the South Bronx, New York. It is a story of art, passion, desperation and struggle. A true romantic and artistic piece about the struggle of artists in the ghetto. their love and deprivation.

It was back in 1983, the break-dance craze was in full swing and I was totally into it. You could see break-dancing in such hit movies as Flash-dance, with the gorgeous Jennifer Beals. I was totally into it.

Then came the break-through movie Beat Street, featuring the legendary Melle Mel in a classic finale that shook the pillars of Heaven. Melle Mel sounded like a shot-gun, forerunner to the heavy dope of future gangster rappers many years down the road. Sounded like he was going to rip a hole in the stratosphere.


By Melle_mel_original.jpg: Samantha Lauren derivative work: Gobonobo (Melle_mel_original.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Monster rapper Melle Mel: By Melle_mel_original.jpg: Samantha Lauren derivative work: Gobonobo (Melle_mel_original.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Ramo was an outlaw graffiti artist who died on the subway tracks, doing what he loved, his art. Melle Mel, in old school hip hop fashion, sang a song for the fallen Hip Hop hero. True spirit of Hip Hop!

It wasn’t long before break-dance movies spread to theaters across the US and across the globe. I spent good time practicing my moves and watching the experts do their thang.

Remember Ice T, back in the day? Remember those funky sound effects, those percussive scratches, the high shrieks, the dance battles? That was it!

Little did I know the whole phenomenon would end up having a spot on MTV, with Yo! MTV Raps, hosted by legendary Hip Hop graffiti artist and promoter, Fab 5 Freddy, already honorably mentioned in Blondie’s hit Rapture.

That was the beginning of Hip Hop for me. Flash and machine-gun lyrics, acrobatics, and good fun!

The spirit of Hip Hop! And it don’t stop!

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