Beat This: A Hip-Hop History

Beat This: A Hip-Hop History was a BBC documentary film, directed by Dick Fontaine, that was shown during 1984. Part of the BBC Arena series of programmes it looked at hip-hop culture in New York City. The film features DJ Kool Herc,¬†Afrika Bambaataa, ¬†The Cold Crush Brothers, Jazzy Jay, Globe, The Dynamic Rockers and record producer Arthur Baker. Footage of interviews with Sex Pistols manager, turned artist, Malcolm Mclaren are also included and give some insight into how Mclaren witnessed what was happening, at first hand, and then went onto to create the 1983 ‘Duck Rock” album with UK producer Trevor Horn. The album that includes the iconic single “Buffalo Girls”.

Presented and narrated by self proclaimed ‘professor of the spoken word’ Gary Byrd. It was one the first documentaries on the subject and helped introduce many UK music fans to one of the strands of New York DJ culture. The other significant strand being underground disco, David Mancuso, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Nicky Ciano and a line of clubs that culminated with Studio 54.

Phil Dockerty

All Video Material (C) BBC