Hip Hop is a way of life. For those who love music, it has become a part of our soul. The same can be said for movie lovers as well. But what happens when the two combine?
For decades, Hip Hop and its audience have taken a liking to Hollywood and the other way around. For the artist, it’s another avenue to promote their brand, and for Hollywood, it’s a way to get in touch with the urban culture. while there have been plenty of Hip hp-based movies such as “Brown Sugar”, “8-Mile”, “Get Rich or Die Trying”, “Wild Style”, “Breaking”, and others. But there are two that stand above the rest. Which movie was better, “Beat Street” or “Krush Groove”?
The Case For Beat Street
This is NYC Hip Hop at its finest here. The storyline was 10x better than Breaking and the breaking itself had kids all over the East Coast doing backspins on cardboard. After seeing “Beat Street” we all either wanted to be Lee, Double K, or Ramon. That epic battle at the Roxy, (I still YouTube to this day) was so legendary that it has not been another movie that has caught the raw essence of what Hip Hop truly is.
The cast was outstanding, except for Lee. As the main breaker, he was by far the worst of the bunch but that should have been expected with a cast that included legendary breakers such Crazy Legs, The New York City Breakers, and the Rock Steady Crew. I just wish that would have given him more shin as a breaker. The storyline of the movie was dope. Two brothers looking for a way to express themselves with a mother trying her best to hold on. Ramon was the definition of inner-city Picasso but his death was a reminder there are no rules or safety nets for anyone.
The Case For Krush Groove
This was THE first Hip Hop posse cut movie. “Krush Groove” was the unofficial story of Def Jam Records. This was the first movie where Hip Hop artists actually took a starring role and nailed it. How can you forget the Fat Boys rapping in the all-you-can-eat spot, or RUN setting it off while on stage with “Who’s House”? LL Cool J bursting into the dorm room and spitting the legendary lyrics to “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”. “Krush Groove” stood out among the rest of Hip Hop movies because it gave us the story and soundtrack to the music and the artist that we grew up listening to.
Where “Beat Street” was a gritty take on Hip Hop in the Bronx, “Krush Groove” was the success story that Beat Street never got to expand on. it was cameo after cameo with Hip Hop stars we grew up on. It was a soundtrack to the streets with written dialogue. We saw the backstabbing between labels and artists. We saw the early struggles of Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, and the bond between brothers (Run and Russell). “Krush Groove” was essential to the culture just as much as “Beat Street” was, if not more.