In this movie based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings, up-and-coming manager Russell Walker manages all the hottest acts on the record label Krush Groove Records, which include Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Kurtis Blow, while Rick (Rubin) produces the label's records. When Run-D.M.C. has a hit record and Russell doesn't have the money to press records, he borrows money from a street hustler. At the same time, Russell and and his brother Run both compete for the heart of R&B singer Sheila E.Written by
The sexy singer. The sharp manager. The street-smart guys.They're rockin' it the hard way.... And in the streets, on the subways, and in the clubs, they're creating the sound no one's ever heard before. See more »
The original concept of Krush Groove was a concert documentary of the original Fresh Fest, one of the first hip-hop concert-arena tours, but Russell Simmons convinced producers Michael Schultz and Doug McHenry to produce an original feature film instead. See more »
LL Cool J appears as himself in a scene halfway through the film where he auditions for Rick and the other Krush Groove management team. In that scene, it is presumed that LL Cool J is an unknown. However, near the beginning of the film, when Sheila E. is performing "A Love Bizarre" in a club, the name "LL Kool J" (sic) can be seen written on the chalkboard behind her on stage. The chalkboard is still seen during other performances before LL Cool J makes his appearance. See more »
Forget it, man. C'mon ... I think this guy's gay.
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The name "Adam Yauch" of the Beastie Boys is misspelled as "Adam Youck" in the credits. See more »
Performed by Autumn
Written by Geo
Courtesy of Compleat Records See more »
Cheesy and uneven mix in the plotting but great way to see so many new artists of the period
Russell Walker is riding the wave of the hip-hop wave, with the new single from his group Run-DMC getting lots of heat on the street; problem is he just needs a little money to get more prints made to profit on it. With nowhere else to go he turns to a local loan shark to get the money, however it coincides with tensions with his brother Run. Meanwhile, on the outside looking in, the Disco 3 look for a way to get signed.
This film was recommended to me by a fellow user and old-school fan on this site and I made an effort to seek it out despite having never heard of it. The film is essentially a way of getting hot new artists into a film and doubling benefiting by giving them exposure and also getting money from people wanting to see them in a film. It is perhaps of little surprise then that the plotting isn't quite all it could have been. Based very loosely on the early days of Def Jam, this mostly fictionalised film can't decide quite what it wants to be. On one hand we the drama with Walker, in debt, in conflict with his brother Run over matters business and personal while also up to his neck in the sort of debts that get legs broken. These sections are handled seriously and contain swearing and a tough tone. By contrast we also have sections with the Fat Boys (partially here as the Disco 3) where the tone is much, much lighter as they mug around and play up the comedic side of their personas. These two aspects sit really uneasily beside one another – alone neither is great (although neither is bad) but together they just seem a very odd contrast and give the feeling of the film really not being sure what to do in terms of tone and story. Sometimes it works but too often it is a little cheesy and uneven and it makes it hard to enjoy as a story-driven film.
On the plus side, sitting between these two aspects is the music – lots of music. Shelia E, Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, New Edition, the Fat Boys, Beastie Boys and a really impacting introduction for LL Cool J – all of them are given time to do a little bit within the context of the plot. LL makes the biggest splash with Radio, but Shelia E is great throughout and the other artists all please and satisfy. While the film may not have been very steady in terms of plot, with the music it totally knows what it wants to do. As actors I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the cast were comfortable in front of the camera. The cast is led by Blair Underwood making his acting debut and he is pretty good with the more serious parts of the film. Run is also very natural and strong in the film. Shelia E is great on stage and great with the lighter stuff, but when the love interest stuff starts the material is weak and she seems stiff – in real contrast to her being on stage, making it stand out more. The Fat Boys are pretty funny throughout and really it was only Kurtis Blow that sounded like he was reading his lines off 20 foot high placards.
Overall then this is not a great film in terms of tone and plot but it does enough to avoid being a bad film in the way many similar ones have been. It seems to help that, although cashing in on the genre to a certain extent; it is being done from the inside rather than an outsider seeking to exploit others' success. The music is what it is all about though, and fans of this genre and period will get a lot of stuff to love here – ultimately this is who the film is aimed at and the target audience won't be disappointed.
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