DIRECTOR: Clark Santee
PRODUCER: Richard Bencivenga
COMPANY: Music Video Distribution
Brainchild of Michael Holman, this was the pilot for a television program that would showcase the hip hop scene including breakdancing, graffiti, deejays and rappers.
This program is 23 minutes of old school. This program’s purpose was to bring the culture into people’s living rooms. It was the only episode ever filmed.
“The Most Host” Michael Holman (who also was the show’s creator) is quite entertaining throughout. He does his best to explain various aspects of what is going on in the show. He pieces together some very amateurish rhymes to segue into different sections. His best line comes as he describes scratching. He warns “Don’t try this on you’re dad’s stereo- only under hip hop supervision.”
The show features DJ Jimmie Jaz on the wheels of steel. His skills are not exactly legendary, but he doesn’t make any mistakes.
At various times in the show the words “Fresh” and “Chill” and “Word” will randomly show up on the screen. They appear sort of like the words used to appear on the old Batman show- POW! CRUNCH!. If you don’t remember that show, don’t worry about it.
The show runs in a Soul Train format. There are dancers around with the deejay playing various records for them to dance to.
The first live performance is by The New York City Breakers, featuring Powerful Pexter, Mr. Wave, Glide Master, Action, Flip Rock, Lil Lep, Kid Nice, and Icy Ice. They each take time for individual performances on the various platforms throughout the set.
If you ever get a chance to see it watch for a hand to tap the host on the shoulder to turn him around and introduce the Breakers’ performance.
Up next is a blazing performance from the one and only Run DMC clad in their all black leather outfits. They perform “Sucker M.C’s” alongside Jam Master Jay. They switch the lyrics up a bit and trade the rhymes back in forth in true Run DMC fashion.
After they finish the song, the host sets up a small battle between Run DMC and Kool Moe Dee and Special K. The quartet trades rhymes back and forth. Some are obviously pre-written, but check Kool Moe’s tight b-boy stance as he delivers his rhymes directly into the camera.
The last performance is by a female singer named Shannon. I’m not sure of the exact name of the song she sings but I think it is “Give Me Tonight.”
Graf artist “Brim” Fuentes artwork is featured on the set. “DJ Afrika Bambaataa” is given credit as the Music Consultant although he never actually appears on the show.
Overall it is an entertaining show that makes you laugh and reminisce at the same time.
EXTRA FEATURES FROM THE DVD VERSION
1. MC Easy Gee – This is 9 minute freestyle from this emcee and a deejay scratching it up behind him. Pretty nice flow.
2. DJ Jazzy Jay – Various clips of this legendary deejay
3. K-Rob and DJ High Priest – K-Rob goes off with a nice freestyle. Has a b-boy with him on the small stage. Performance is not with a live crowd, but maybe in someone’s house.
4. TV New York – Features clips from this early 80’s television show. Artists, dancers and deejay clips, but no actual rhymes heard
5. Fab 5 Freddy and the Electric Boogie Dancers – Fab 5 throwing down some lyrics while the EB Dancers work out behind him
6. Bronx River Throw Down – Clips from this location, but nothing actually live from the venue, there is simply a song playing over the clips.
7. Futura Deluxe – Graffiti clips and dance clips
8. Doug E Fresh and DJ Chill Will – Doug shows us his beatbox skills with Chill Will backing him up including beatbox renditions of the intros to “Sucker MC’s” and “Billie Jean”
9. TV Magazine Spot – News story from early 80’s features interview with Michael Holman (the man behind Graffiti Rock) and various clips from each of the elements.
This show is for the die hard hip hop fan. A true hip hop and television classic. It makes you think back to when corporate America was hating on this culture that was still in its prime. Apparently, the sponsors didn’t give this show a chance and just basically pulled the plug before it could start. This show is really ahead of its time and there is no other show like it. Forget The Source and MTV because they really don’t know as much about hip hop as they think they do. This show had it all, a live DJ, b-boys, MCs,and a fresh graffiti backdrop. What more could you ask for? The battle between Run D.M.C. and Kool Mo Dee and Special K of The Treacherous Three was pretty good (some of the rhymes I’ve already heard before, but still cool), but Kool Mo Dee had the best line, “I’m the coolest of the cool, they call me Mo Dee”. You can’t get any more old school than that. For you movie and television buffs out there, you can spot actress, Debi Mazar (Law & Order, L.A.Law) as one of the dancers looking extremely fly and fresh. Also check out the styles of dress. You will see shelltop Adidas with New Yorker fat laces, Kangol hats, and Cazals. For those that want to have a good trip back to 1984,check out Graffiti Rock. It may look a little silly to the virgin eyes but it is a hip hop history lesson that you may want to take notes on. Like the show’s opening says,”Graffiti Rock, It’ll give you a shock!”
Submitted by TMGanalog
Check Out the Opening Credits from Graffiti Rock!