You Got Served, Yesterday

Beat Street is produced by Harry Belafonte. I find that kind of interesting. The year is 1984; however, when the movie opens up and we see close-ups of the dancers, it could be anytime. Low cut Puma athletic shoes, jump suits, and skewed baseball hats are the wardrobe.

The story line has a number of threads. A family (with Mama played by one of the Oracle's in the Matrix) is struggling to make it. The older brother was killed in a police v. gang incident. The middle brother is a promising DJ with broad musical interests. The youngest son is the best breaker in the Bronx. The brothers have friends. The older brother is involved with a street artist, Ramo, that dreams of white subway cars to use for a canvas. The younger brother is part of a street dance gang.

Enter Rae Dawn Chong's character. She seems to be a student at SUNY. She is blending classical and Caribbean in dance and music. She's fascinated by breaking and asks the youngest brother to come and show her company how street dancing has progressed. The older brother feels protective and sees them as exploiting his brother. Over a few dozen scenes, this is resolved, and the the older two start dating.

Meanwhile, the younger brother sees a rival street gang in the subways. He turns to his friends and says, "Let's serve these suckers" and the two gangs meet in a dance off. The cops come and bust up the boys, apparently for dancing.

Ramo and the older brother are struggling with how to become men and leave their previous lives behind. Ramo ends up fighting with another subway tagger and dies. In an all star tribute (including Afrika Bambatta, Doug E Fresh, and Kool Moe Dee), everyone comes together to celebrate life and the opportunities ahead of them.

Not strictly a dancing movie, but decent nonetheless.

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