All the Streets are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboard (1987-1997) is a fun look at a different side of skateboarding. When people think of skateboarders, they think of the West Coast and names like Tony Hawk. The music tends to lean towards ska and punk. Director Jeremy Elkins looks at New York and hip hop.
The documentary gets into the racial divide in the scene. Rap was looked at as a Black thing and skating was for white boys. Even though hip hop was becoming more popular, the music was not played in clubs. In 1988, Yuki Watanabe opened Club Mars. The venue became a launching pad for names like De La Soul, Funkmaster Flex, and Black Sheep. Moby got his first gig and Vin Diesel was a bouncer. It was a place where all types of people could come together.
This included skaters. Also seen as outsiders, they were able to find a place where they belonged. As someone in All the Streets are Silent states, it was like a puzzle was coming together. There are plenty of interesting interviews. Rosario Dawson, Fab 5 Freddy, and Jeff Pang are just some of the names that speak of the time. It is standard for a documentary, but the people who participated are impressive.
All the Streets also boasts some great archival footage. There is plenty of grainy video of a young Bustah Rhymes, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan. Hip hop heads will appreciate these scenes. Throughout the entirety of All the Streets are Silent New York City looms over the background. It is clear that none of this could have ever happened in any other city. It is a fascinating look at how people can come together.
The Tribeca Film Festival takes place from June 9 – June 20
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