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Book details
  • Genre:ART
  • SubGenre:Graffiti & Street Art
  • Language:English
  • Pages:304
  • eBook ISBN:9781483543703

Zulu Dawn

The Early Years of UK Hip Hop

by Martin Jones

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Overview
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.
Description
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.
About the author
Martin began his career as a play leader in inner city Sandwell, West Midlands - later moving across the city border to be a Sports Worker at Hockley Port, Birmingham. When Hip Hop reached the UK as a mass cultural movement in summer 1983, it inspired the young dancers at the Port to form a crew, and he became their manager. Subsequently he set up an agency for street-based entertainers (including Wolverhampton B Boys) and became Goldie’s manager/agent from 1984-90, travelling with him to New York to film a Channel 4 documentary in June 1986. He organised the first ever UK open-air Hip Hop Festival at MAC Arena, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham in August 1984, and in 1987 the first transatlantic collaborative art exhibition involving UK artists Goldie and 3D (later of Massive Attack) and the TAT crew from the South Bronx. He also arranged the Bridlington International Street Art Competitions three years running, from 1987-1989. Throughout the 1980s, he documented everything with a stills camera and early VHS video camera - thereby capturing the arrival and development of a culture that was uniquely shaped by British cultural influences. His photographs of Goldie’s early career have been exhibited in Moscow, and his video and stills archive features prominently in many documentaries on Hip Hop. In 2012 he helped to found Hip Hop Heritage, a charity whose mission is to conserve and promote the UK’s early Hip Hop legacy. In 2014 the charity was awarded Heritage Lottery Funding to pursue its work and Dudley Archives Centre accepted his Zulu Dawn archive as the first collection of what is hoped will become a national archive of Early UK Hip Hop. Martin lives in Dudley, West Midlands.
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