Beat Street, an oral history of the 1984 hip-hop film


I’m glad I first saw Beat Street as a ten-year-old, because that’s about the mental level it was made for–it had cool shit in it, but it’s all simplified. Holman said it right, it ended up being an exploitation flick instead, when it could have easily been something greater. But, for better or worse it’s out there and the good parts are good. I remember they were broadcasting it a lot on my local channels last winter, and if I landed on it, I definitely stayed on it.

As mentioned in the interview, my adult eyes cannot get over how wack all the graf is–or rather the Hollywood art department’s simulation of graf. They had a talent-pool of writers right there in the city who defined the medium, whom they easily could have drawn upon, but they had to hire union or whatever they thought was the reason, and it’s so obviously garbage. none of the letters make sense. to think what they could have had if they’d hired the real kings. Luckily, there was Style Wars, and luckily i also saw that at age ten, so thank goodness for that.

1 Like

@pesco I’m pretty sure I’m in that clip. I was an extra.

please elaborate?

I was an extra in the movie, I was in the big club scene. I’m pretty sure I see myself in the background. I think I was paid with a t-shirt. The smoke machines fucked with my breathing.

how did it work for Beat Street; your casting agency sent you or you were an habitué of the clubs and were recruited that way? this was just another extra gig for you (sounds like it) or were you excited to see Rock Steady vs NYC Breakers?

Not sure, I was a film student and went to clubs so somewhere I heard they needed extras. I was excited to see Afrika Bambaataa though.

1 Like


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.