Back, back in the days, not a single MC uttered the phrase, “Where Brooklyn at?”
In 1986 a Dutch hip hop enthusiast came to New York City to visit LL Cool J’s home in Queens, Run DMC’s studio on the Lower East Side, and hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, for his documentary “Big Fun in the Big Town” — without giving so much as a glance to Brooklyn.
But now the film’s second U.S. screening in 26 years, at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, is here to say: “Hello Brooklyn!”
“We were following the artists, so we didn’t end up going to Brooklyn,” said director Bram Van Splunteren.
“I remember that we were told that in the early days it was the Bronx and Harlem that were important for hip hop.”
The movie became an iconic flick in the Dutch hip hop community, but has never been seen by American eyes. Both a fresh face and an OG, the film has already been ranked the second best hip-hop documentary of all time by Complex magazine, describing the movie as “unearthing treasure.”
The documentary is a hip hop class of ’86 yearbook of sorts, featuring never-before-seen interviews with today’s rap legends when they were on the rise, capturing the culture at one of its most crucial stage.
Since the documentary’s filming, Brooklyn has grown into a hip-hop epicenter, introducing to the world legends like Jay-Z, the Notorious B.I.G., and Big Daddy Kane.
“After Harlem, I think Brooklyn has the most hip hop history,” said Mahbod Moghadam, Brooklyn hip hop expert at RapGenius.com. “Notorious B.I.G.’s lyrics and voice ushered in modern hip-hop.”
With the county of Kings hosting the screening of the seminal movie at the Hip-Hop Festival, “Big Fun in the Big Town” may be due for a sequel.
“If people want me to come over and do a rap documentary there, I’ll do my homework and will be glad to come over,” the film-maker said.
Hip Hop Festival’s Dummy Clap Film series at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, [Flatbush Avenue at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718) 230–2100, www.bhfdummyclaptues.eventbrite.com] July 10, 6:45 pm, $10.