In the summer of 1983, Hip Hop crossed the Atlantic and hit the UK like a cultural tsunami. It was instantly embraced by young people of all backgrounds and ethnicities in the UK’s inner cities and elsewhere.
Bronx recording artist Afrika Bambaataa was the spiritual leader of the movement. His music, especially the iconic anthem ‘Planet Rock’, together with frequent trips to the UK as Hip Hop’s ambassador helped to cement the influence of the culture and promote Hip Hop’s message of ‘Peace Unity and Love’ between peoples.
Zulu Dawn is a unique photo-documentary record of those early days from 1984-1990. At first, dancers imitated what they saw on videos such as Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Buffalo Gals’ and in the film ‘Wild Style’, yet before long they exercised their own talents and cultural influences on the development of rap, deejaying, graffiti art, and dance.
Martin Jones was intimately involved with the development of Hip Hop in the UK Midlands as a manager and agent. He documented the forming of the first crews, epic dance battles, early graffiti art and the climax of early B Boying at the filming of Electro Rock and the culmination of 80s graffiti art at the Bridlington International Street Art Contest.
He follows the early careers of individuals who later became famous, such as Goldie, and 3D of Massive Attack, and in the final chapter he catches up with some of the people he knew or managed back in the 1980s, to discover how Hip Hop shaped their lives.