Those of a certain age into hip hop will remember the seminal documentary ‘Style Wars’.
Whilst its primary focus was on the world of Grafitti/ Spray can artists or ‘writers’, it also featured some segment on the b-boys. Those of us hungry for more of the newly-emerging urban subculture seized it, watched it again & again, digesting every frame & factiod. despite having been shot on a budget smaller than a gnat’s hiccup, it is in my opinion, an important part of hip hop history as well as an incredible piece of social documentation.
It’s also one of the few attempts to directly observe, rather than simply cash in on hip hop or youth culture. It’s not perfect & some may question its objectivity but considering the social & political climate in which it was made, it’s incredible it got made at all.
Pitchfork media have done an article about how it came to be made, going back to the artists, film makers, in advance of its 25th anniversary.
You can find the article here.
You can also go to the Style Wars website & see the outtakes.
Here’s an example, with Henry Chalfont discussing the film & the current restoration project:
Anyone who is into hip hop most likely owes a lot to this important piece of film-making. Apparently they need donations to help restore over 30 hours of footage. If you think you can help, donate, if not, just check the website & show them some support.