Wildstyle vs. Beat Street Wikki-Wikkipedia

It’s Working

“It’s Working…”

So Beat Street vs. Wildstyle, the debate rages on. Ahearn vs. Lathan. Hollywood vs. low budget shite. Here at Fat Lace we aim to compile a definitive referendum on which movie carries the most cultural importance. It can be entirely personal or an objective view point. We encourage self-referencing, tell us your stories, did you see either movie when they were first screened or did you buy it on DVD last week? You may want to snub both movies and harp on about Style Wars or that Jean-Claude Van Damme played a body popping spaz in Breakin, or whatever, that was him right? You may know where Spit lives now. Whatever it is, we’re certain everyone who reads Fat Lace Magazine has an opinion.

We’re also going to expand on this particular post and keep adding photos, audio, footage and so on, if you have anything you’d like to contribute send it to fatlacemagazine@gmail.com and keep checking back. This will become a mini-wikipedia on the matter, like a wikki wikki-pedia to use a hip-hop pun. (ok, we thought it was funny).

So, off you go, get commenting.

Here’s our first installation, rare audio from the Zulu Beat show on Staten Island’s WHBI hosted by Afrika Islam featuring a guest appearance by Fab 5 Freddy who plays exclusive audio from Wildstyle before its general release (thanks to Renski).

Afrika Islam WHBI April 7th 1983

Stills taken from a Beat Street press kit (click to enlarge):

Still 1Still 3Still 2Still 5

The many incarnations of Beat Street’s DVD and VHS covers (click to enlarge):

BS Cover 4 BS Cover 3BS Cover 2BS Cover 1BS Cover 5

Still 6

WS Flyer

Wildstyle Label


Tim Westwood 21st April 1990 Part 1

Tim Westwood 21st April 1990 Part 2

Original Orion Pictures press release:

Beat Street Press 2

Beat Street Glossary taken from the original production notes:

Glossary 1 Glossary 2 Glossary 3

LA Sunshine of the Treacherous Three talks about Beat Street

Double Trouble Live at the Ampitheatre

Xmas Rap Scan

Doug E Fresh talks about his involvement in Beat Street

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26 Responses to "Wildstyle vs. Beat Street Wikki-Wikkipedia"
  1. Reply the langenfeld : Wildstyle vs. Beat Street October 4, 2007 06:24 am

    [...] Competition Is On! Drüben bei Fat Lace. Inklusive Beats Street Press-Kit Shots, DVD/Video-Cover-Gallerie und Fab 5 Freddy announcing [...]

  2. Reply The_P October 4, 2007 07:16 am

    “All yo homeboys are biters!!!..”
    Ha yeah i believe i watched Beat Street before i knew about Wild Style strangely enough??I went to the cinema to see Beat Street..may sound corny but LEE was the shit!lol..rockin the fly Puma wind-breaker and leather Puma Goose, right?.

    I think because it came out over here when Breakin/poppin/graf was “IN”, it had that impact on us visually. The battle scenes are just classic.The fact that the Rock Steady Crew were in it as well as the NYC Breakers make it as historically significant as Wild Style, and i do love Wild Style .

  3. Reply The_P October 4, 2007 07:58 am

    The Radio Rip is well appreciated. A real jewel. Thanks alot troop!

  4. Reply whut October 4, 2007 10:36 am

    wild style is more authentic, but Beat Street has the best breakin’ and like the guy above I saw that before I saw Wildstyle (although I had the Wildstyle LP I never saw the film until later) and I can watch that film time and time again, their both great for different reasons. The original Wildstyle soundtrack LP is an absolute classic, it’s hard to choose, some people will dismiss Beat Street straight away for being corny, but it’s just as classic.

  5. Reply whut October 4, 2007 10:37 am

    Ps. “It’s workin’…it’s workin…” The DJ bits in Beat Street are mad corny now, but back then they were influential.

  6. Reply End Level Boss October 4, 2007 17:18 pm

    I never saw them at the time they came out, and when I did finally see them sometime in the mid nineties I thought they were both a bit rubbish to be honest. ‘Scum’ is my favorite Hip-Hop film. ‘Where’s yer tool’ etc…

  7. Reply Josephine October 5, 2007 05:59 am

    i love both the films but after having watched them over a million times, when i put them on now I just flick through to sections that I like e.g. breakers revenge and ‘us girls’ scenes in beat street and basketball court, dixy and ampitheatre scenes in wild style. i swear i could watch that bit where rock steady get down to rammelzee and shockdell a million times!

    i’d add style wars to the mix to get my perfect trinity of hip-hop flicks.

    oh, and ‘belly’ directed by hype williams.


  8. Reply mighty white October 5, 2007 07:54 am

    as a young hip hop obsessive I heard rumors of this thing you call Wildstyle… my film buff stepdad invested in filmm four when it first came out and lo and behold at 2am one fateful morning Wildstyle appeared on the scheduling. So I readied the video plus and hit record> BOOM. classic shit. So I invite all my proto B-Boy buddies round to watch the masterpiece of documentation and what the fuck… MY TELLY ADDICT BIG SISTER HAD TAPED QUEERS AS FOLK OVER IT!!!!
    once I got over all my mates thinkin I was a faggot , I scowered HMV for an official copy. I love that movie, Lee Quinones is the best bad actor ever. I used it in several University presentation and as a massive reference source in my dissertation.
    now a days the Beyongolia 2LP reissue and the orig. 12″ theme song get some heavy rotation at my yard, although I lent the vid to some polish guy called Simon and never saw him again.
    End of Story, it might be a crime but I never seen Beat Street, it certain wasn’t on Film Four at any point during my childhood.

  9. Reply Clyde Smith October 5, 2007 15:21 pm

    They were both really important.

    To some degree Beat Street’s importance was that it got widespread distribution so folks like me checking it out at the dollar theater down here in North Carolina got a peak at what was going on in the big city!

    Plus, if I recall correctly, there were a number of SUNY-Purchase students who I recognized from my one year there as an undergrad (80-81).

    On that note, the guy who played SPIT was a total dick and one of those acting students you’d usually see in a really fucked up emotional space.

    Ah memories!

    I heard about Wild Style for a long time before I ever saw it and by that time it was history. Beat Street had its cheesy elements but it helped spread the word to the suburbs around the nation and had some great moments as well.

  10. Reply R.H.S. October 5, 2007 15:50 pm

    Clyde’s Smith’s memories of not viewing Beat Street and then letter denying its importance are far more poignant and insightful than any rap movies made by a bunch of surrealist word-twisting negroid street urchins.

  11. Reply lowrell October 6, 2007 14:47 pm

    good looks for the Islam clip….L.

  12. Reply moyinka October 6, 2007 19:09 pm

    i like the music in wildstyle better for obvious reasons, could never get enough enough of ‘double trouble at the amphitheatre’ and the ‘fantastic…5 emceeeeeeeeees, duh, duh, duh, du-duh,duuh,duh, and we’re pleasin’ all the ladeeeeeess, etc’, saw that first in 1985 on VHS. i saw beat street at the cinema and i thought it was the dog’s at the time but now i think it’s pretty poor. if rock steady weren’t in it i don’t think i’d have got the DVD.

  13. Reply Oliver October 7, 2007 05:17 am

    Damn…thanks for that audio – gold!

  14. Reply i the t October 9, 2007 16:37 pm

    *ascending whole-tone scale on a harp evoking dream/reflection sequence*

    ……. it’s 83 or 84, can’t quite recall…
    Frisco of Lost Island gives me an unbranded, unlabelled cassette (where could that tape be now ? matter of fact, where are all the 20 odd year old cassettes we haven’t got anymore?)

    on it is something i didn’t know the title of but in them days you couldn’t be too choosy about what you were rocking, you got what you were given or found.

    i listened to that brown tape a thousand times and memorised the whole shit (apart from the ramellzee/ shock dell bit which i still cant tell most of what he’s saying but that in a way is the best bit about it).

    a year later maybe, my mate Suki’s brother plays me the VHS and obviously i was shocked cause i didn’t even know what it was called, let alone that it was a film n’all !

    at the time it seemed quite a dingy film, which at age of 13 kind of upset me cause i kind of imagined that all the shit they were bragging about was somehow true (during the early days when i was hearing rap – but didn’t really know why it existed, or see much on telly except the few clips we all saw in UK – i didn’t realise the brags were merely that, i thought when an MC said he was the best, that he must’ve won some competition or summat and actually was the best).

    so when i saw the no star hotel room busy b took the fly girls back to and how one of double trouble looked like he was blind my impressionable mind was left somewhat melancholical… not to mention the realism of the film which didn’t follow the typical archlike dramatic structure of a hollywood movie but was rather like an educational documentary..

    beat street however, i didn’t see till about 85
    by which time i was gettin better at breakin/poppin and pretty much knew the drill and had already seen breakdance : the movie but this of course was much more enjoyable than that cause they had better tracksuits, them body warmers, the beats were more futuristic and that (but i still couldn’t figure why they had to slide in some contemporary dancing)

    in retrospect, i would rather watch wildstye now at this particular moment but they both occupy a similar place in my aging b-boy heart.

    coincidence to see this thread cause on friday i planned to play Beat street to my year 9′s at school to finish their hip-hop project off, but now i’m thinking maybe i should play wildstyle instead.

  15. Reply sm October 10, 2007 17:59 pm

    Wildstyle may be more authentic or whatever in the eyes of pursists, but Beat Street has way more entertainment value no matter how commercial it was at the time.

    I agree with one of the above comments, I can’t watch either film in its entirety, just skip to the best scenes. Those scenes are ideal repeat viewing though, could watch them for hours.

  16. Reply sm October 10, 2007 17:59 pm


  17. Reply Westwood Wednesdays #3 October 17, 2007 04:31 am

    [...] so here’s an extra special Wildstyle themed Westwood show. You’ll have to check out our Wildstyle vs Beat Street Wikki-Wikkipedia for the audio which we just updated. Keep your comments coming on that post or if you have any [...]

  18. Reply Rob November 1, 2007 18:00 pm

    Please send me Message from the boss with that mexican break by Ultra (Instrumental) I know its out there as westwood was chatting over it in part 1.

  19. Reply Beat Street Vs. Wildstyle - The Battle Continues November 9, 2007 09:19 am

    [...] Check out the Beat Street vs. Wildstyle Wikki-WikkiPedia here [...]

  20. Reply Beat Street Vs. Wildstyle: The Battle Continues… November 10, 2007 14:52 pm

    [...] Check out the Beat Street vs Wildstyle Wikki-WikkiPedia [...]

  21. Reply Doug E Fresh on Beat Street | Fat Lace Magazine December 4, 2007 06:35 am

    [...] Doug E Fresh in NY and asked him about his involvement in the movie. You’ll find the audio here, just scroll to the bottom of the post. While your grasping those complex instructions, [...]

  22. Reply Don’t stop the body rock… : Know the Ledge February 8, 2008 10:32 am

    [...] wanted to revisit a discussion that Fatlace started back in late of last year about the early Hip-Hop films of the 80s. Some of us were old [...]

  23. Reply The White Ninja December 17, 2008 23:44 pm

    ok. ok. by the tone of opinions on this page it feels to me that wild style wasnt as appreciated like it should be.( or for that matter maybe we should look at “style wars”)Yes i agree the distribution on these scripted films were vast in comparison,but beat street felt really scripted -hollywoody compared to wild style where it almost felt like a doc at times. I think the budget was real low on both but story line wise im giving it to wild style. and i don’t think either one compares to “style wars the real doc.

    and on that note if you are passionate about hip hop please check out my new film
    “Primal Rap”
    It is a cross between 8 mile,borat and spinal tap. with lots of rappers you love

  24. Reply Chris January 3, 2009 13:44 pm

    Can anyone re-up the Westwood Double Trouble rips? They’re not working anymore.

  25. Reply Tahirjamil February 13, 2016 09:48 am

    It is a useful site

  26. Reply Debbie D May 28, 2018 10:48 am

    Thanks for the write up and comments! With Beat Street love! #DebbieDofUsGirls

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