The legendary hip-hop pioneer and graffiti artist curates our homepage today. He took his Flip into his studio to tell you about his picks and also jotted down some thoughts on them:
Blondies' video for the song "Rapture" was like my coming out party in 1981 and introduced me to a world that really wouldn't know me well until several years later in 1988, when YO! MTV Raps would air weekly coast to coast and in many countries around the world.
I was a part of a very cool underground public access TV show in 1979 called "Glenn O’Brien's TV Party" that aired weekly back then and I was a regular guest and one of one of the show’s camera men. Typically, it was a groovy talk show format but this was a theme show. Bad musically, but a lotta fun. Check Jean Michel Basquiat standing there with a guitar on smiling. And he wrote "mock penis envy" on the wall visible behind Blondie's Chris Stein, also with a guitar and shades on.
This is a mash-up video of scenes from my film Wild Style. Some clever guys in Amsterdam did this, and I love it.
Here's a scene from the first film/documentary to showcase New York subway graffiti, "Stations of the Elevated," released or finished in 1981. Back then I'm sure this film was not seen by too many. I don't recall it ever airing on TV, but these days, thanks to digital tech and sites like this, we can see what it was like when nearly every New York City subway car was touched by graffiti. I love this film!
As a kid growing up in New York City, when I cut school I'd often visit the various museums, like the Metropolitan and look at art. Here I got familiar with painters like Jackson Pollock and I would notice later how New York graffiti writers tagging on the inside of trains would let the ink drip, reminding me of his work.
My dear friend, Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme, invited me to be in his film, Rachel Getting Married. You can see me in this trailer, minus my hat, and in the film my scene is a toast I give to the about to be bride and groom at the wedding rehearsal dinner.
"Talking All That Jazz" is a clip I directed for Stetsasonic which is the first video to deal with the soon to be large issue of sampling. Also, because I grew up in a jazz-loving house hold and drummer Max Roach was my godfather, I knew I'd be able to do a good job with this one.
Max Roach, the legendary bee bop jazz drummer, grew up with my dad, and he played jazz often in the house. Max was also my godfather and he really embraced rap music and hip-hop culture from the minute he heard about it. If you search the site you can see a bit performance we did together in the early 80's.
Sharissa's “Ain't No Half Steppin" was a video I directed in 2004.
The first music video I directed was this clip, "My Philosophy," for KRS ONE in the spring of 1988.