Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
Tim Lawrence is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London and the author of
Dropping the Pretense and the Flashy Suits
Thanks to the promotional efforts of Fred Brathwaite, Michael Holman, and Ruza Blue in particular, the idea that hip hop existed as a cohesive culture that melded the four elements of DJ-ing, MC-ing, breaking, and graffiti had become a reality by the time Wild Style premiered in the United States at the New Directors/New Films festival held at the Museum of Modern Art on 18 March 1983. A cameo appearance by Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón of the Rock Steady Crew in Flashdance suggested that breaking could cross over to a wider audience. Roxy owner Steve Haenel hired AM/PM’s Vito Bruno...