January 25, 2012

Hip Hop Legends DVD (2007) - Repost

Update - I'm reposting this article as I have now found links to a downloadable copy of this documentary to replace the Megavideo version. 

This is an interesting documentary that is really worth watching. The production quality with its cheap graphics and basic editing isn’t the greatest, but what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in content.

Instead of seeing the usual bunch of contributors who always seem to be readily available to tell their version of the history of Hip Hop, the film makers made the effort to track down some of the less familiar (but often more important) names and get them to provide the commentary.

This results in the viewer seeing some insightful claims and memories, such as Pow Wow claiming that Lovebug Starski invented the term Hip Hop and Bambaataa decided to use it as the name for the evolving culture.

It also steers away from using the same archive footage that any long term Hip Hop fan has seen 100’s of times before. So I can reliably report that you won’t have to watch Kool Herc driving through the Bronx with his ‘Herculoid’ speakers in the back seat of his convertible, or hear Malcolm McLaren talking about his 'first experience' of Hip Hop, nor will you see any mention of Blondie, Fab 5 Freddy or the Sugar Hill Gang!

Instead we’re presented with many new and original clips. Ok, the clips aren’t anything to write home about and the producers haven’t managed to uncover any unseen clips of Kool Moe Dee battling Busy Bee, but what they have got helps to give the film a different feel to the usual trip down Hip Hop’s memory lane.

The main focus of the film is about how the whole culture got started during the 1970’s (which seems to be slightly at odds with the films title). It explores Kool Herc bringing the sound system style from Jamaica to the Bronx, Bambaataa working with gang members to form the Zulu Nation, how breaking, DJing and MC battling evolved and it gives us a timely reminder of what Hip Hop culture was originally all about. The narrators repeatedly express their concern for what Hip Hop has become compared to it’s original intentions and foundations (but keep in mind that this film was released at a time (2007) when the phrase ‘Hip Hop is Dead’ was in wide use).

The main contributions are from DJ Skribble, DMC, Bambaataa & Grandmaster Caz. But there are also many appearances from rarely seen pioneers such as Pow Wow from the Soul Sonic Force, EK Mike C from Crash Crew, Busy Bee and old skoolers Rob Base & EZ Rock.

Download is 700mb in two parts:

Mike Check

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