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NYC Skateboard, Hip-Hop Cultures Collide in New Doc ‘All the Streets Are Silent’

Rosario Dawson talks about how hip-hop became a worldwide force out of New York in clip

One of the standout films from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was All the Streets Are Silent, documentary about the intersection between skateboarding and hip-hop in New York in the 1980s and Nineties. On paper, 1990s East Coast hip-hop has been dissected ad infinitum in countless books, TV shows and films — for a certain age, the culture defined their teenage years more than anything else.

But director Jeremy Elkin, a veteran of skate films who grew up (and continues to be) obsessed with hip-hop, finds fresh material in this doc that combines his personal story of moving to New York with a post-Warhol era of the city in which the rise of pioneers like DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Large Professor (the latter of which scored the film) coincided with now-ubiquitous streetwear brands Zoo York and Supreme.

Elkin draws from the scene’s usual hip-hop players — Fab 5 Freddy, Stretch Armstrong, Bobbito Garcia —  streetwear icons like the late Keith Hufnagel and cultural mainstay misfits like Clayton Patterson to dissect, revive and romanticize the culture and beloved defunct venues like Mars nightclub, where a panoply of various groups would bond over the latest hip-hop.

In this exclusive clip, New York native and Kids star Rosario Dawson discusses how a worldwide culture formed among impoverished New York City neighborhoods. “There was always hip-hop around because that was blasting from boomboxes everywhere,” Dawson says. “These were your people; this was your community. It was always home … People were coming from all around the world for the culture of it. There was always this idea that this was such a depressed area and that nothing really good could come out of it.”

Narrator and Zoo York co-founder Eli Gesner also talks about the cultural transition from the 1980s art world into the next decade. “As the Eighties came to a close and Warhol, Basquiat, Haring and that whole generation died off, they left a void in the city,” he says. “But New York City is great at regenerating itself. So for kids like me, hip-hop was everything. That’s all we ever listened to.”

All the Streets Are Silent also features Darryl McDaniels, Kool Keith, Kid Capri, Moby, A$AP Ferg and is currently open in New York. It’s set to expand nationally on Friday.

From Rolling Stone US