5 Reasons Why You Should Buy...: Big Fun In The Big Town: "One Of The Scenes Is LL Cool J When He's Still Living At His Grandmother's House...It Was A Little Awkward."
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 10:30AM
[Realizing the power of hip-hop is global, Bram Van Splunteren traveled overseas to the City That Never Sleeps, to document life of hip-hop, and helping audiences worldwide understand where it comes from. From LL Cool J to Run-D.M.C, Splunteren gives you the top five reasons to purchase his film, Big Fun in the Big Town.]
1. Schooly D's Dance Moves
I was a big fan of Schooly D when "P.S.K., What Does It Mean" came out...somehow I first heard it and I thought it was very dark and mysterious and very weird sounds, so I thought, Who is this guy? Then I got to meet him in a club, and then I saw him dance and I thought, You know, it doesn't really fit with my idea of him. So somebody said, "You know, he probably gets the prize for worst dancing." So that's definitely one reason to get the DVD, to see Schooly D doing his funny dancing.
2. Unsigned Talent
You can see two guys from Chicago--you can call them the mystery crew. I don't even know if that was there name. They were just standing in front of the Def Jam office, and we were just there filming interviews with Russell Simmons and Run-D.M.C. and we just happened to meet them. I said, "Hey, what are you guys doing? Where are you from?" And they said, "Yeah, we hope to get a record deal, and just get introduced to Russell Simmons or somebody from Def Jam." Then they just blasted out into these two or three raps. I just got chills down my spine--one of them doing the beat boxing and the other one doing the lead. I thought for sure these guys were gonna go far; then I never heard from them again. So you not only see people who made it, like LL Cool J in his prime, but kids--very talented--and somehow they don't make it.
3. LL Cool J, To Grandmother's House We Go
One of the scenes is LL Cool J when he's still living at his grandmother's house. We just ring the doorbell in Queens where we knew that he was living, but his grandmother opened the door. So we asked, "Is LL Cool J home?" "Yeah, sure he is. Do you want to come in?" We walk in with the camera rolling, and we're standing in a really small living room and his first record is on a desk. He suddenly walks into the room, and says, "Hi." [It] was a little awkward with the camera rolling in the room, very boyish. That scene was funny--getting him still living at his grandmother's house, and he already had a million records sold with that first album he did.
4. Grandmaster Flash & Wild Style
It was just kind of funny because we were in the kitchen, in his house [as filmed in Wild Style], and it was kind of awkward because he was staning there with these two guys next to him. So in the beginning it felt a little stiff because he was not in the club, he was not in the street, he was just in his own. But it was a way for us to be able to film it very closely for what he was doing and everything. Once he starts doing spinning the records and doing the scratching, and telling the story of how he prepares for a show--in the early '70s rap records haven't been made yet--with all these bits of his favorite records from other people's records. And he's making this loop from two records, going from one bit to the same bit on the other record player, going back and forth creating this loop of music. He was doing that, and just hoping people would go crazy. He's doing that, explaining how rapping started.
5. Where Hip-Hop Started
We were foreigners...we didn't take New York for granted. We were coming to New York and we thought we definitely have to show the city; we have to show the neighborhoods where everything started. People from Def Jam said you can film LL Cool J, you can do the Def Jam office, and you can do D.M.C. in the office. So I said, "No, we want to see the streets of New York. We want to see the city where it all started." I made a big point of that... We went to a club in the Bronx where there was going to be a performance by Roxanne Shante and Biz Markie at midnight. This was the area where we were told was the most dangerous area of New York. Even when we drove up to Harlem, taxi drivers asked, "Why you guys going to Harlem? There's no White people there. What are you going to do there with you equipment and everything?" So going to the South Bronx in the middle of the night, we felt like we were risking our lives just to film hip-hop. We got some guys in a street gang to come with us and at least look after the equipment.
You Decide. Will you purchase Big Fun in the Big Town?
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