Jungle
Wild Style 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Originally released in 1983, Wild Style tells the story of a lone graffiti artist and his romance with a female writer and friendship with an impressario. Featuring several prominent figures from early hip hop culture, it tries to capture life in and around the bronx in those early 80s days.

The plot of the film is fairly basic, and the acting is pretty good when you consider that most of these people aren't actors, but the real stars of the film are the graffiti and the music. Lee Quinones and Lady Pink, the stars of the film, were actual graffiti artists, and the impressario is played by Fab Five Freddy. Numerous scenes feature activites of the era like MCing, turntablism and B-boying. The Rock Steady Crew are here, and the Cold Crush Brothers, and Grandmaster Flash. The movie, and the soundtrack, are considered a seminal work, and an influence to many Rap and Rap/Rock groups.

For me, it works mostly as a glimpse into the past, an era trapped on film. It is interesting to watch the graffiti on the buildings and subways cars, how some of it was just tagging trash and others were honest to god works of art. And the music is the rap before the gangsta, so there is no smacking of bitches or busting caps, it's more about self empowerment, being better on your own rather than chopping other people down.

I don't know many people for whom this would make a valued addition to their collection, but a film that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voted as one of the top ten rock and roll films of all time is certainly worth seeing at least once.

Review by Jason Pace
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