Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Return of the B-Boy (2000)


Basically a promotional introduction to a loose affiliation of rap artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, Return of the B-Boy follows a day in the life chasing the dream of hip-hop. The video begins on
Telegraph Avenue
in Berkeley with rapper Kirby Dominant posted up attempting to sell his cd to any and everyone who passes by. Then it’s on to Eclipse 427’s house in San Leandro, where the rapper/producer is recording a song titled “How Many Times” by the group Zion I.   

Next up, the producer Fanatik hosts a freestyle session with rappers Kirby Dominant and Planet Asia at his pad in Oakland. All of this leads to an overtly staged show at Rico’s in San Francisco where Kemetic Suns, Konceptual Dominance, and Planet Asia consecutively rock the stage as b-boys acrobatically rock the floor. It’s a little too much really, the pretend concert portion of the program, far too forced and unrealistic. Fortunately, the video redeems itself by also featuring an extended conversation with legendary graffiti artist Mike Dream who tragically passed away shortly after the interview.

Filmmaker Oliver Best also throws in some impressive footage from another project titled Enter the B-Boy that fuses breakdancing with martial arts cinema. With much of the dancing taking place in the woods with fighters expertly maneuvering around rocks and cliffs, I’m surprised there haven’t been any full-blown movies made in such a still hip-hop fashion. In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t communes of runaway kids out in the foothills past Sacramento learning the artform from storied masters.

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