World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hip hop film

Article Id: WHEBN0008169044
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hip hop film  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Saigon Electric, Gambian hip hop, Belgian hip hop, Cloud rap, Female buddy film
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hip hop film

Hip hop films are motion pictures that display the aesthetics and culture of hip hop, primarily use hip hop music in the soundtrack, and/or use hip hop artists as main characters. Often hip hop films will use video clips from recorded concerts and documentaries.


In 1982, all the elements of hip hop were combined into a motion picture for the first time. Wild Style portrayed DJing, breaking, MCing, and graffiti art. It is a classic according to hip hoppers not only because of all the elements being portrayed, but also because it is set in the birthplace of hip hop, the South Bronx. This marked the beginning of movies and stories being told from a hip hop perspective.

Another movie that portrays the elements, but mostly graffiti art, is Style Wars.


The first Hip Hop art film was the short "Breakspeare" by Julie Covello. It was written in 1983 when Covello was a student at Syracuse University, it was first screened in spring of 1984. The film explored classic art vs. street art in a rap battle that included one emcee rhyming in Elizabethan English. The film won the Region 3 award for Best Experimental Film in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Film Awards in 1985.


After Wild Style, the next feature length hip hop movie would focus on dance. Breakin' debuted in 1984 and focused on west coast hip hop. West coast dancers added to break dancing by introducing the boogaloo, popping and locking. These forms of dancing are the center of attention in this movie. The film was directed by Joel Silberg and written by Charlie Parker and Allen DeBevoise.

Hip hop movie shift

After Wild Style, Breakin', Krush Groove, and Beat Street, writers began to not only focus on the main elements of hip hop, but also to incorporate these elements into more mainstream story lines and genres. Although the story lines became more mainstream, the aesthetics and the display of the culture remained the same.

In 1985, the first hip hop martial arts film, The Last Dragon debuted. Hip hop has always had a connection to martial arts, as can be seen in some of the breaking techniques. In this particular film produced by Berry Gordy, CEO of Motown Records, the soundtrack and the dance scenes distinguished it as an authentic hip hop movie.

List of hip hop films

External links

  • Hip hop movie database
  • List of hip hop movies on SimilarKind
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.