Krush Groove Movie Discussion – NJPAC
Writer, director and hip-hop critic Nelson George hosted a screening and discussion of the 1985 hip-hop movie “Krush Groove” on March 1, 2013 at NJPAC.
The panelists were Bill Stephney and Bill Adler. Stephney is a former DefJam president and executive producer of Public Enemy’s albums, while Adler was the head of publicity at Rush Management and wrote and produced VH1′s “And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop”.
Although I haven’t seen the movie in about 20 years, watching it brought back many great memories of b-boys break dancing, listening to the Rap Attack with Mr. Magic and Marley Marl on the radio, and hanging with my boys around the way. During the discussion, Adler described the movie as being very cheesy and compromised. Although I didn’t remember “Krush Groove” as being particularly corny, watching it again reaffirmed the fact that some parts of the film were kinda cheesy. One of the more egregious scenes involves Sheila E., a singer/drummer who played the love interest of the Russell Simmons character, practicing and rapping a verse. Back when my boys and I originally saw the movie, we were so starved for anything related to hip-hop culture that “Krush Groove” — in spite of its flaws — was a welcome treat.
We laughed when George noted that Simmons’ eyes were barely open in the film and Adler chimed in with the comment that “he was probably smashed the whole time”. Simmons was called “Rush” for a reason, everything about him was fast and he was always hustlin’. George went on to describe the contrast between the brash and always high/lifted Russell Simmons of yesterday with the spiritual, yoga aficionado that we know as Russell Simmons today.
One interesting piece of trivia is that Chris Rock was an extra in the film, as you can see below:
In addition to the screenshot of Rock, I’ve compiled some excerpts from the discussion below. The video opens after George mentions an article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed the new hip-hop culture and refers to Simmons as “the mogul of rap”. This is the article Adler talks about at the beginning of the video.