"Wild Style," Kurtis Blow Chronicle Rap's Early Days

August 26 [16:00 EDT] -- As more and more rap artists pay homage to the sounds they grew up on (see "Puffy, Coolio, Wu-Tang Re-Visit Old School" in today's headlines), the celebrated 1983 rap documentary "Wild Style" [700k QuickTime]finally gets a home video release this week.

Directed by Charlie Ahearn, "Wild Style" is chock full of vintage break dancers, graffiti-sprayers, and such old-school rap greats as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Cold Crush Brothers, Grandmaster Kaz, and Busy Bee.

Music off the "Wild Style" soundtrack (which also recently returned to stores) has been sampled by Beck, the Beastie Boys, and Cypress Hill among others, and both the film and soundtrack have had a lasting effect on the hip-hop community.

"As far as 'Wild Style,' I mean, I don't think that you could do nothin' but feel 'Wild Style,' if you were a true hip-hopper," Big Daddy Kane told

MTV News recently. "'Wild Style' to me was more in a documentary form. It was just so real. It was just so real. Watchin' 'Wild Style' is like just walkin' down the street, lookin' at graffiti on the wall or actually goin' to a show and see the Cold Crush versus the Fantastics." [1MB QuickTime]

In other news from the world of old school, rap pioneer Kurtis Blow has compiled the recently released "History Of Rap" on three CDs featuring key cuts by such acts as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambatta, and Biz Markie. Volume one spotlights the records that propelled the first wave of rap samplers, among them James Brown's "Give It Up Or Turn It A-Loose," Dennis Coffee's "Scorpio," and Fatback's "King Tim The Third."