Into America

Street Disciples: Broken Glass Everywhere

Episode Summary

In part two of “Street Disciples,” how 1982’s “The Message” pushed hip-hop to get political and fight the power. And the growth of the culture through fashion, dance, and graffiti.

Episode Notes

By the 1980s, hip-hop artists were beginning to expand the party culture of hip-hop's early years and think about what they wanted to say with their music. 

Faced with a city wrecked by economic abandonment and neglect, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released “The Message” in 1982, calling out the conditions head-on: “rats in the front room, roaches in the back, junkies in the alley with a baseball bat.” 

And to take control of this environment of neglect, young artists began shaping their environment through dance, fashion, and graffiti. But with the growth in the culture came a crackdown on Black America: in the form of “broken windows” policing, and then a ramped up War on Drugs.And as some members of the hip-hop counterculture became targets of police harassment, they began to fight the power with work that was bold and demanding..

In the second episode of “Street Disciples,” Trymaine Lee hears from: Melle Mel of the Furious Five, fashion designer Dapper Dan, graffiti artist Cey Adams, sociologist Tricia Rose, historian Mark Anthony Neal, and hip-hop activist Harry Allen

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