This past weekend marks the 30th anniversary of when the Charlie Ahern classic, Wild Style hit theaters. Even though this film is highly regarded as the go to film on Hip Hop culture it wasn't we'll received by the masses. Back in the mid 2000's maybe 04 / 05 during First Friday which is a monthly event in Philly where all of the galleries around the area have special events, I was blessed with being asked to DJ for the Wild Style Reunion event at a Gallery called Union 237 which was which featured special guests Charlie Ahearn, Dr. Revolt, Lady Pink and Lil Rodney C (Funky 4+1 / Double Trouble). During the event which displayed many pictures, stills and works from the early days of Hip Hop Ahearn talked about the film and how it was received by cities and theaters and confirmed what I already knew. Being as though Philly is the 2nd city of Hip Hop and the 1st city of Graffiti (for those that don't know, it's right next door to NY and basically the same things were going on in both places at the same time). Ahearn's statement was that Philly is a primary reason for Wild Style being such the success that it was. He said when it first released in theaters it played in three markets, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The movie played in Chicago for 1 week then was pulled, it played in New York for 6 months but it played in theaters in Philadelphia for 1 year. It was definitely good to hear him say that.
Anyway, I've seen Wild Style multiple times in the theaters. Once during it's original run, the second time at the Eric Terminal theater which was located right under the train station in Philly as a triple feature shown as Wild Style, Beat Street and Breakin. I remember being mad that I had to sit through Breakin because I really wanted to see Beat Street and then of course loving the fact that I saw Beat Street and then Wild Style directly afterwards. That was a perfect Sunday afternoon for me.
Shouts to Charlie Ahearn for creating such a masterpiece that will forever be a defining moment in Hip Hop history.
Here's the original trailer for Wild Style