PHOTO: ‘Wild Style’ Reunion Embraces Hip Hop’s Early Message
NYC’s Hip Hop pioneers celebrated the 30th anniversary of Charlie Ahearn’s cult classic, Wild Style, with a reunion and DVD screening at the East River Park amphitheater this week. It was a historic moment to see so many living legends return to the bandshell immortalized in this ground-breaking, seminal film.
Apparent were the original four elements of the movement representing old-school and the next generation _ graffiti writers, B-boys and B-girls, MCs and DJs came in full force. Spotted in the mix: Ahearn, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, Futuro, Fab 5 Freddy, Patti Astor, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Lisa Lee, Grandmaster Caz and the Cold Crush Brothers, Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic Five, Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo Jr., Rock Steady Crew’s Crazy Legs, Popmaster Fabel, Afrika Bambaataa of the Universal Zulu Nation and more. Visit my full photo gallery here.
“Hip Hop preserved a lot of us,” Busy Bee told Monday night’s crowd. But, don’t be fooled by what’s popular now, he cautioned. “Once again, our culture of Hip Hop is all about peace, love, unity and having fun.” He reminded everyone within earshot that this grassroots culture encompasses more than one-dimensional rap acts whose questionable antics get updated in nanoseconds in the Twittersphere.
You can’t deny truth. Uphold the talent we’ve been granted or lose self-respect somewhere down the road. No matter how hard you try to justify calling women ‘bitches’ and ‘ho,’ it is not empowering. And, though twerking officially made the Oxford Dictionary, it isn’t new or applauded by everyone.
Wild Style 30th photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajournalist/sets/72157635275194519/
Wild Style at 30 interview: https://taniafuentez.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/art-why-wild-style-still-matters-30-years-later/