In mid-80's Hip Hop was starting to reach mainstream audiences and with the success of movies like Breakin', it seemed fitting that a film with the true stars of rap was needed. So along came "Krush Groove" .. the original concept was to shoot a documentary of the Fresh Fest Tour, but Russell Simmons convinced producers to make a feature film instead. Simmons penned a gritty tale of Disco Fever DJ Junebug who had been killed in real life. In fact, Run-D.M.C.'s first album was dedicated to him.
What is crazy is that on the 25th anniversary of the movie "Krush Groove", there is now a documentary released called "White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug".
Okay back to "Krush Groove" .. after discussing the idea with producers, the DJ Junebug storyline was dropped and replaced with a concept based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings. It was fictionalized into this:
Up-and-coming manager Russell Walker has all the hottest acts on the record label Krush Groove records, including Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Kurtis Blow. When Run-D.M.C. has a hit record and Russell doesn't have the money to press records, he borrows money from a devious loan shark. At the same time, Russell and his brother Run are both competing for the heart of R&B singer Sheila E. Opting out of playing himself in the movie, the character of Russell is played by Blair Underwood. This is was an excellent move because his acting ability was able to keep the movie interesting for people watching it for the plot. I will say that while The Fat Boys are brilliant rappers, their acting skills kind of hurt the movie in my opinion.
I've always viewed "Krush Groove" as an awesome Hip Hop video that attempts to be a mainstream movie. So if you are a fan of 80's rap music then this movie is a must!
While researching "Krush Groove" from Rewind past, it was nice to see that a few others enjoyed this flick too. But a major surprise was that Ronnie is not a fan of Sheila E.'s "Love Bizarre". I've been a huge supporter of Sheila E. for years and watching her perform "Love Bizarre" and "Holly Rock" was a blast. On a sidenote, I must have jammed to "Glamorous Life" over a hundred times during my college days.
But the real stars of "Krush Groove" are the performances by Run-D.M.C, Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and while not rappers.. New Edition.
Grossing $11 million from 519 theaters, "Krush Groove" wasn't well received by critics, but it has remained a cult favorite among many and brought the rap industry to a mainstream audience.
I've always felt that a ground breaking moment in Rap was the combining of Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith to remake the tune "Walk This Way". That video of them breaking through the wall is not only symbolic, but quite iconic as well.
How about some "Krush Groove" trivia:
* Though Prince was not in the movie, it is cool to see a Prince poster behind Sheila E. during the apartment scene.
* This movie explains why Sbarro's no longer offers an All You Can Eat for $3.99.
* The real Russell Simmons plays a theater owner for one of the big shows.
* Rick Rubin, Russell's real partner in Def Jam, pretty much plays himself in the film.
* DJ Run and Russell Simmons real dad Daniel plays their preacher father in the film.
* Many performances were taped at the legendary Disco Fever and the Danceteria
* At the Fever performance by Sheila E., check the backdrop which features rappers names on it including Kurtis Blow and LL Cool J.
* Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde are part of the crew, but never perform.
* Don't miss LL Cool J pushing speakers around backstage of the show.
* Check out Donnie Simpson of BET fame as the talent contest MC.
* Full Force members appear as butt kickers for a rival label.
How about a "Where are they now?"
Prior to playing President Elias Martinez on NBC's 'The Event,' Underwood made his film debut in 'Krush Groove' playing Russell Walker. As the rest of the cast consisted of actual rappers and singers, Underwood was one of the few actor in the film. While the Washington state native has carved out a career in films, including 'Set It Off' and 'Just Cause,' he's mostly associated with the TV series such as 'L.A Law,' and a recurring role on the HBO acclaimed series, 'Sex and the City.'
As the lead female in the film, Sheila E. played the romantic interest to both Run's and Blair Underwood's characters. As the daughter of legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo and biological aunt to Nicole Richie, the Oakland, California native is a professional drummer and percussionist perhaps best known for her work with Prince. She provided the vocals on the B-side to 'Let's Go Crazy,' before scoring her own hit with the single 'The Glamorous Life.' To this day, Sheila still performs at different venues.
As the younger brother of Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, Joseph a.k.a Run from the rap group Run D.M.C played himself in the film. As the group was already a household name by the time the film was released with hits such as 'Sucker M.C.'s,' and 'It's like That,' Run went on to become a practicing minister, and is known as Reverend Run. In 2005, Run, with his family, created a hit MTV reality show, 'Run's House,' that successfully ran for six seasons.
As one of co-founders of Def Jam Records -- with Russell Simmonns, Rick Rubin played himself in the film. Although he started out as the original DJ for the Beastie Boys, Rubin went on to producing several talented groups such as Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Rage Against the Machine. He went on to found American Recordings, and at one point served as co-head of Columbia Records. In 2008, Rubin won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work with the Dixie Chicks, Michael Kranz, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and Green Day.
Known as 'The King of Rap' in the film, Kurtis Blow (born Kurtis Walker) was one of the first rappers to sign with a major record label, and sold over half a million copies with the hit, 'The Breaks.' More recently, the Harlem, New York native became an ordained minister on August 16, 2009 after founding The Hip Hop Church.
Lisa Gay Hamilton
Hamilton made her film debut as the love interest to Prince Markie Dee's character in Krush Groove. The Los Angeles native is best known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama 'The Practice,' and for her critically acclaimed performance as young Sethe in Jonathan Demme's film adaptation of Toni Morrison's 'Beloved,' which starred Oprah Winfrey, Thandie Newton and Danny Glover. An accomplished theater actress, Hamilton was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson' and 'Gem of the Ocean.' She recently landed a role in the TNT comedy-drama series 'Men of a Certain Age.'
Consisting of Joseph 'Run' Simmons, Darryl 'D.M.C.' McDaniels, and Jason 'Jam-Master Jay' Mizel, the trio from Hollis, Queens, NY were pioneers in the rap world. They were the first group in their genre to have a gold record and be nominated for a Grammy. Mizell was shot and killed in a Merrick Boulevard recording studio in Jamaica, Queens in 2002. In 2007, the trio was named Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time by MTV.com. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, the second hip-hop group to be inducted, after Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
The Fat Boys
Originally known as Disco 3, The Fat Boys consisted of Mark Morales a.k.a. 'Prince Markie Dee,' Damon Wimbley a.k.a. 'Kool Rock-Ski,' and Darren Robinson a.k.a. 'Buffy The Human Beat Box.' Robinson was a pioneer in beatboxing, which was his trademark. The group's popularity landed them their own starring film, 'Disorderlies,' with famed actor Ralph Bellamy. Sadly, Robinson died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 28. Prince Markie Dee is currently a radio host for WMIB 103.5 FM the Beat in Miami, Florida on its afternoon drive-time show. Kool Rock-ski resides in New York.
LL Cool J
While most viewers currently see LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) on TV in the CBS drama, 'NCIS: Los Angeles,' not many people remember that the famed rapper made his film and rap debut in a three minute scene in 'Krush Groove.' Showcasing the hit rap song 'I Can't Live Without My Radio' was the first of many that Queens, NY native had for Def Jam Recordings. An accomplished actor, LL Cool J had done numerous films such as 'Any Given Sunday,' 'Deliver Us From Eva,' and 'Last Holiday' with Queen Latifah.
If you are still reading.. you have to be a fan!
[ 14. November 2010, 15:38: Message edited by: Valley ]
Posts: 7845 | From: Smiling and glancing in awe in the back of a limo | Registered: Mar 2003 | Site Updates: 22
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Valley Dated Julie From 'Valley Girl' (allegedly!)
Member # 1322
quote:Originally posted by skatexedge: Rap was better in the 80's.....
I agree! I liked all the break dancing and rap movies from the 80's....including Krush Groove Valley.
Posts: 3611 | From: Caught Somewhere in Time.... | Registered: May 2008 | Site Updates: 101
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.... has green eyes as well....
Member # 6575
What a thread! Good to see this movie mentioned every now and then. I don't remember that much about it but recall liking it at the time, saw it in a double bill with I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
Posts: 2041 | From: The Ice Planet Hoth | Registered: Jul 2001 | Site Updates: 0
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