Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hey Fat Boy, Yer Krushin' Me
Krush Groove
Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(cassette)
Warner Brothers, 1985

I saw Krush Groove back in 1985 in a multiplex outside of Washington DC. It was a matinee and the theater was totally empty - it was like having a private screening. I remember being astounded at the appearance of Cool J, like everyone else, saying 'eh" to the Beastie Boys who just seemed to be trying too hard, being in awe of Run-DMC who performed "Walk This Way" in the opening, thinking that Blair Underwood was actually Russel Simmons (until the closing credits) and snickering at the cheese factor that came with a pretty amateur production. And so, after renting the DVD (Netflix rules) and listening to the soundtrack, I am inspired to provide:

Krush Groove
reconsidered, critiqued, countered-critiqued and sampled:
  • The movie: A laughably bad movie, poorly written, lame plot elements (a love triangle, evil record company heavy, three stooges try to break into society).
    • Mitigating factor: The music, the music, the music. Was a cultural phenom that changed the face of 42nd street* and introduced alot of people in the 'burb multiplexes to rap and hip-hop (you know, back when it was good).
  • The Cast: Introduced Blair Underwood in his first (and not last) role as the sensitive, successful (eventually), smart AND street smart black man
    • Mitigating factor: It also introduced the Beastie Boys, a kangol wearing LL Cool J and had a cool fantasy sequence with Kurtis Blow doing "If I Ruled the World". My first thought upon seeing him: Rick Rubin is white?
    • Counter-mitigating factor: The Fat Boys
  • The Cast (continued): Thanks to Warner Bros., co-starred the horribly miscast and out of place Sheila E.
    • Mitigating factor: Prince is right, though, a chick playing timbales is pretty damn hot
    • Counter-mitigating factor: "Rock, rock, Holly Rock, everybody do the Holly rock"
  • The Music: Had a soundtrack that fails to include one full tune from the musical standouts of the movie - Run D.M.C.
    • Mitigating factor: Had a soundtrack that included "I Can't Live Without My Radio" (LL), "She's On It" (Beasties), Chaka Khan, Debbie Harry wrote a catchy Latin dance song with 'Jellybean' Benitez and Toni C. for the soundtrack ("Feel The Spin") that doesn't suck and, you know what, I can live with "All You Can Eat" (Fat Boys) once every 20 years.
    • Counter-mitigating factor: The Gap Band's awful "Love Triangle" and oh yeah, did I mention "Holly Rock"?
    • Counter-counter-mitigating factor: Force M.D.'s Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis "Tender Love" (the song every prom band had to learn in the '80s and '90s) kind of holds up as a curiosity - I would have probably sneered at it back in '85 but now its somewhat sweet.
Samples: And now - thanks to the wonders of PC-based digital editing software, we can finally hear the Krush Groove AllStars do "Krush Groovin'" without the Sheila E. rap (thank ye, thank ye). Don't say music blogs don't have any socially redeeming values. Do you miss her?

"Krush Groovin' (Sheila Deleted)" - Krush Groove All Stars (Fat Boys, Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow and Sheila E.) (149 kbps, 4.9 Mb)

Also, for your enjoyment the opening Chaka Khan rap-soul hybrid (a first?) "(Krush Groove) Can't Stop the Street". ... you can't stop the street, man! We're going to break dance right here, right now and play our boomboxes real, like, loud so don't play the fool.... we got common ground with uncommon people... oh, if you can't love this song, yer just plain dead.

"
(Krush Groove) Can't Stop the Street" - Chaka Khan (128 kbps, 4.9 Mb)

Notes:
  • From what I can tell this soundtrack is out of print although individual songs might be available on artist collections and other LPs ("Feel the Spin", "She's On It" and "Can't Live Without My Radio" are available on iTunes for instance). I think the Chaka Khan and KG All Stars cuts might be hardest to find.
  • * Read about the Krush Groove riot that changed the Forty Deuce (Popsmear)

1 comment:

R. Piggy said...

While I don't know if I like the songs, I definitely envy the tape. Have you the Beat Street soundtrack in that vinyl mine of yours? Chaka khan, chaka khan, rock me chaka khan.