Wild Stylin’ On ‘Em

wildstyle_sept14.jpgMy apologies for not getting this event review posted sooner, but I've been so busy grooving to all this free music that we've been sharing with you all. However, I've put my fliTunes on pause long enough to provide a recap of what went down last Friday evening at the Wild Style book signing and photo exhibition at the Dissident Display Gallery in Washington, D.C.

To the uninformed, Wild Style is the legendary 1982 movie that captured hip-hop in its infancy and documented the intersection of DJing, MCing, b-boying and graffiti writing. Fab Five Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, Chief Rocker Busy Bee and Lee Quinones played characters in the fictional flick set in the Boogie Down Bronx and written/directed/produced by Charlie Ahearn. Twenty-five years later the film is enjoying a renaissance of sorts by being one of the honorees at this year's VH1 Hip Hop Honors and with the release of the coffee table book Wild Style: The Sampler.

So when DJ Stylus sent us the above invitation to the exhibition, I had to go represent for SoulBounce.


By the time I got to the gallery (fashionably late, o'course) there were a few people mulling around looking at the collection of nineteen photographs from the book on display. In addition to the classic photographs, there was a huge Wild Style wall mural on one wall and beneath our feet was another mural that mashed up the New York City subway line with a Wild Style timeline. That was pretty dope. High above a few photographs, the film was being projected onto a wall and folks could take that in as well.

As I walked through the gallery, I saw DJ Stylus rockin' the wheels and showed him some love as he spun old school hip hop from the era. Stylus was wrecking shop on the turntables. Throughout the evening he dug deep in the crates and dusted off some cuts off that I probably hadn't heard since the songs originally came out. I mean it's not like I hear Trouble Funk's "Let's Get Small" on a regular basis. Yeah, he went there.

As the night wore on, more people came through to take in the exhibit or flip through the book, which was also on sale. Although Ahearn left before I got to the event, the highlight of the evening for me came when Chief Rocker Busy Bee showed up and showed out. He fell through with his entourage and after a few minutes of politickin', he stepped to the mic and that's when the party really got started.
Part 1 of Chief Rocker Busy Bee rockin' the mic:

Part 2 of Chief Rocker Busy Bee rockin' the mic:

Yes, yes, y'all, that's how it went down. Chief Rocker Busy Bee was mad cool and the crowd showed this living legend crazy love. After he finished cold rockin' the party, he took photos with fans, signed autographs, kissed babies--the whole nine. This was definitely a historic moment, and I was so full after witnessing it. Please believe that hip-hop ain't nowhere near dead. 


The Wild Style exhibition is running from now through October 14th at the Dissident Display Gallery located at 416 H Street, NE, WDC.

For more flicks from the event, visit my flickr photo album.

[Photos: Butta]

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3 Responses

  1. glad you had fun!.
    Charlie was there but he broke out early. I caught him just in time to get my book signed.
    I had to drop the classic go-go because back then the early dj's were rocking go-go cuts in their arsenal of breaks. Lots of folks sampled go-go too. It was b-boy music!
    I guess I'll have to wait another 25 years to pull out my Sparky D and Superrappin' 12-inches again.

  2. I stand corrected, Stylus. Thanks for the 411 that Ahearn was in fact there.
    And you would have to link that photo. Is it possible to burn a picture that's on the net? LOL

  3. I only linked it because you were going HARD with the smile! I bet you used to kill it on picture day back in elementary school.
    Come to think of it, the way the photographer was firing the flash from below did make things a bit Jack Torrance-y.