If you go in your dictionary and look up hip-hop movies, you’ll see Wild Style. The 1983 classic, which documented the graffiti culture of the early ’80s, was the first and best hip-hop movie.
However, it gets interesting when trying to decide what the number two hip-hop movie is: there are many contenders, from modern day classics like 8 Mile and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, to oldie classics like Beat Street and Breakin’.
And then there’s Krush Groove, the 1985 classic that came out 28 years ago today. The movie, which was produced by Russell Simmons and directed by Michael Schultz, tells the story of how Def Jam was started.
It’s a movie that, if you watch today, you’ll see absolutely holds up: it’s funny and it documents hip-hop in the ’80s well.
We know there’s lots of young folks who haven’t seen Krush Groove. So, for those people, here are the reasons why Krush Groove is one of the greatest movies of all time.
So first, watch the trailer below:
Like we said before, the movie tells the story of the early years of Def Jam. That means there are a whole gang of hall-of-fame rappers featured in the movie.
And they are all playing themselves.
Featured in the film is, of course, the GOAT, Run DMC:
Then there’s Kurtis Blow, who performs his classic “If I Ruled The World:”
The iconic Fat Boys are heavily featured:
And so are the Beastie Boys:
What hip-hop movie could beat that line up?
Even though the movie told the story of Def Jam, Uncle Rush decided he didn’t want to be himself. So, instead, he got Blair Underwood to play him (in the movie he’s called Russell Walker).
Here’s the real Russell during that era:
You see the resemblance?
How about Poppa Russell, Daniel, who makes a quick cameo:
Russell may not have been in the movie, but Rick Rubin, Def Jam’s co-founder, actually appears as himself in the picture.
He had the baby beard back then:
Look at that thang now:
Krush Groove had one of the most epic soundtracks you’ll ever hear.
Everyone from LL Cool J to Chaka Khan appears.
One of the coolest things about the movie is that it introduced the world to LL Cool J:
The 17-year-old would drop his debut album, Radio, a month later.
A lot of people missed this, but Chris Rock makes his first movie appearance in Krush Groove. You gotta watch carefully, he literally appears for a second.
Before we leave, a quick RIP to those who aren’t around anymore:
Jam Master Jay
Salute to Krush Groove, one of the greatest movies of all time.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty