Wild Style

Wild Style

Wild Style‘ was the first hip hop motion picture. Released theatrically in 1983, featuring Fab Five Freddy, the Rock Steady Crew, The Cold Crush Brothers, and Grandmaster Flash. The protagonist ‘Zoro’ is played by the legendary NY subway graffiti artist Lee Quinones. An early version of the ‘Wild Style’ logo appeared in the Fall of 1981 when director Charlie Ahearn hired graffiti legend Dondi to paint the ‘window down’ subway car piece that appears in the film. The Dondi piece was the inspiration for the animated title sequence designed by the artist Zephyr in 1982.

The ‘Wild Style’ logo was designed by Zephyr and painted as a huge ‘burner’ mural by Zephyr, Revolt, and Sharp in the Summer of 1983. In addition to covering street artists, the film depicts several prominent figures from the early hip hop culture, engaging in activities such as MCing, turntablism, and breaking. The film has been sampled by many prominent hip hop artists (e.g. ‘Illmatic’ by Nas, ‘Midnight Marauders’ by A Tribe Called Quest, and ‘Check Your Head’ by Beastie Boys).

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