Show Less
Restricted access

Hip Hop in American Cinema

Melvin Donalson

Hip Hop in American Cinema examines the manner in which American feature films have served as the primary medium for mainstreaming hip hop culture into American society. With their glamorizing portrayals of graffiti writing, break dancing, rap music, clothing, and language, Hollywood movies have established hip hop as a desirable youth movement. This book demonstrates how Hollywood studios and producers have exploited the profitable connection among rappers, soundtracks, and mass audiences. Hip Hop in American Cinema offers valuable information for courses in film studies, popular culture, and American studies.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

1 Representin’ in the Beginnin’: The 1980s

Extract

1

Representin’ in the Beginnin’: The 1980s



In Breakin’ (1984), the energetic Turbo (Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers) represents hip-hop creativity as he flashes his dynamic break dancing skills.

More than any other medium, Hollywood movies introduced mainstream America to hip-hop culture in the 1980s. In particular, Hollywood seized upon the visual and aural dynamics of three expressions of the youth culture to showcase: graffiti writing, break dancing, and rapping. The presentation of hip-hop culture was not based upon an altruistic concern to reveal the environmental, economic, and social challenges of inner city communities, but was connected instead to a more basic goal—profits. Although urban background grit and grime often served as a realistic backdrop of hip-hoprelated films, the studio objectives remained linked to the commercial appeal of the exotic and foreign, rather than provoking and stirring social activism. ← 7 | 8 →

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.