As I was trying to decide which movie to write about this week, I decided on Krush Groove (1985) because, as the poster says, “It’s Chillin’.” And I figured that what every Popdose reader needs on a Saturday is something that’s chillin’.
If you’ve never seen Krush Groove – and I won’t judge you if you haven’t, because my lame ass didn’t see it until about two years ago — it’s based on the very early days of Def Jam Recordings and its cofounder Russell Simmons, who’s played by Blair Underwood and oh so cleverly renamed Russell Walker. Simmons, who coproduced the movie, does appear in it, but he (perhaps wisely) chose not to portray himself, even though his brother and father play themselves — as Walkers, not Simmonses, of course.
In the movie Walker has a hit with his brother Run’s rap group, Run-D.M.C. The only problem — he doesn’t have enough money to press the records he needs to fulfill the orders that his label, Krush Groove Records, has taken. So he turns to a “furrier” (read: street hustler) named Jay B to get the cash. Add to that a rivalry between Russell and Run for saucy singer-percussionist Sheila E.’s affections, Run-D.M.C.’s desire to sign with a bigger label, and the Fat Boys’ quest for a recording contract, and you have the bulk of your plot.
But the plot is secondary to the music, and the musicians: Run-D.M.C., the Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Sheila E., LL Cool J, New Edition, and the Beastie Boys are among the artists who not only portray main characters but also perform songs in Krush Groove. The soundtrack is chock-full of fantastic ’80s rap, hip-hop, and R&B songs, many of which also appeared on albums the film’s artists had released, or were getting ready to release, at the time. It’s a shame the soundtrack album is out of print; I think it would make for a great 25th-anniversary rerelease, don’t you? I’ve managed to find everything, including songs that didn’t make it onto the official album, except for “Kold Krush” by Autumn and “I Want You to Be My Girl” by Chad.
Run-D.M.C. – King of Rock
Fat Boys – Don’t You Dog Me
Sheila E. – A Love Bizarre
UTFO – Pick Up the Pace
Kurtis Blow – If I Ruled the World
Sheila E. – Hollyrock
Run-D.M.C. – It’s Like That
Deborah Harry – Feel the Spin
LL Cool J – I Can’t Live Without My Radio
Nayobe – Please Don’t Go
New Edition – My Secret
Beastie Boys – She’s on It
Fat Boys – Pump It Up (Let’s Get Funky)
Fat Boys – All You Can Eat
Fat Boys – Fat Boys
Run-D.M.C. – Can You Rock It Like This
Force M.D.’s – Tender Love
Gap Band – Love Triangle
Run-D.M.C. – You’re Blind
Krush Groove All-Stars – Krush Groovin’
Chaka Khan – Can’t Stop the Street
As a special bonus, here’s Goldie Fox & the Hollyrock Band performing “Hollyrock” on the 1980s lip-synch competition show Puttin’ on the Hits. I enjoy this clip more than I probably should.