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Hip Hoppers and Valley Girls

Hip Hoppers and Valley Girls

The Economic and Racial Structuring of Youth Cinema in the 1980s

(p.124) 3 Hip Hoppers and Valley Girls
Hip Hop on Film
Kimberley Monteyne
University Press of Mississippi

Chapter 3 puts the hip hop musical in dialogue with other youth-oriented cinema of the same era and reveals that early hip hop films presented a challenge to the dominant values of white-centered suburban teen cinema. The former evoked hip hop culture as a social and economic system that celebrated difference, innovation, and creativity. This is in sharp distinction to the emphasis on conformity and consumption found in 1980s mainstream youth cinema in which the mall and other suburban enclaves functioned as spaces of racial exclusion that screened out both poverty and ethnic diversity. Hip hop musicals, by contrast, defined community ritual as inclusive, spontaneous, and public by staging music and dance numbers in a variety of civic venues within the urban environment. This chapter closes with an examination of the violence and unrest that plagued screenings of the hip hop musical Krush Groove in suburban multiplex theaters.

Keywords:   Teen film, malls, Krush Groove, suburban, multiplex theater

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