"Besides, you know, I can spot a commandment breaker from like a mile away. Oh bet on it."
"This from the guy who still owes me ten bucks over that bet about which was gonna be the bigger movie - E.T. or Krush Groove?"
"You know, fuck you man, 'cause time's gonna tell on that one."
-From Dogma by Kevin Smith
Krush Groove – 1985
Directed by Michael Schultz
Written by Ralph Farquhar
Krush Groove is a fictionalized account of the life of Russell Simmons and the founding of the influential Def Jam Records. Russell Walker (Blair Underwood) and his friend Rick Rubin (playing himself) have dreams of musical stardom, so together they form their own record label and begin to sign local rappers such as Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. (playing themselves). Soon Def Jam rappers begin to take the city by storm, but problems begin to emerge. A love triangle forms between Russell, Run, and Shelia E. Russell is also heavily in debt to loan sharks just as Run-D.M.C. decide to leave the Def Jam for more money with a bigger label.
The only way you going to like this movie is if you are a fan of 1980s New York-style rap, if you’re not, don’t even bother. But for old-school fans, Krush Groove is a treasure trove of songs and footage. Everyone is in this movie, Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, Beastie Boys, New Edition, the Fat Boys and a very young LL Cool J. Sheila E. made it into the film simply because they wanted a love interest and she recorded for Warner Bros. (who was distributing the film.) Her “rap” scenes received plenty of boos in the theatres.
Of course this film features a lot of bad acting, especially by D.M.C., but this is to be expected since none of the stars are actors by trade, other than Blair Underwood as Russell. It turns out that Russell Simmons wanted Fab 5 Freddy to play him, but the producers didn’t want a non-actor in the lead role. The biggest surprise has to be the acting of Run. He has to do some tough things like pine for a woman not interested in him, and then betray his brother when he jumps labels. He manages to do a pretty good job in a somewhat challenging role.
Of course the real star of Krush Groove is the music, here’s a soundtrack listing:
- “King Of Rock" by Run-DMC
- "Don't You Dog Me" by The Fat Boys
- "A Love Bizarre" by Sheila E.
- "Pick Up The Pace" by UTFO
- "If I Ruled The World" by Kurtis Blow
- "Holly Rock" by Sheila E.
- "It's Like That" by Run-DMC
- "Feel The Spin" by Debbie Harry
- "I Can't Live Without My Radio" by LL Cool J
- "Please Don't Go" by Nayobe
- "My Secret" by New Edition
- ”She's On It" by The Beastie Boys
- “Pump It Up - Let's Get Funky" by The Fat Boys
- "All You Can Eat" by The Fat Boys
- "I Want You To Be My Girl" by Chad
- "Fat Boys" by The Fat Boys
- "Can You Rock Like This" by Run-DMC
- "Tender Love" by Force M.D.'s
- "Love Triangle" by The Gap Band
- "You're Blind" by Run-DMC
- "Kold Krush" by Autumn
- "Krush Groovin'” by The Fat Boys, Run-DMC, Sheila E. and Kurtis Blow
- "Can't Stop The Street” by Chaka Kahn
Most of these songs are performed in the movie, giving it the feel of an old musical.
Go rent Krush Groove, if you can somehow find it. Laugh at bad acting and bad outfits. Dance to the phat beats.