Bristol city centre was alive with Hip Hop beats last weekend, thanks to The 4 Pillars: 50 Years of Hip Hop, a special celebration to mark a half-century of the genre and its impact on the city’s culture, as part of Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover.
The free day-long event, delivered by Freestyle Bristol and Bris-Story, took place at Sparks Bristol in Broadmead from 12pm on Saturday 12th August. It is one of nine free events running across the city centre this summer as part of Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover, presented by Bristol UNESCO City of Film and partners.
Hip Hop officially turned 50 on 11th August 2023, a date that is being marked around the world. The 4 Pillars: 50 Years of Hip Hop explored its connection with Bristol and its lasting legacy that impacted numerous cultures throughout the world.
DJ STYLE Bris-Story said: “The emergence of Hip Hop saw cities like Bristol form their own scene, created as an underground movement in the 1980’s by people who were marginalised by mainstream society. Hip Hop was able to unify different cultures together through its 4 Pillars – Rapping, Breaking, Graffiti & DJ-ing.”
Freestyle Bristol MD Delroy Hibbert, added: “The 4 Pillars is our way of celebrating Hip Hop and the way it continues to influence Bristol’s culture and the rest of the world.”
Images © Stephen Lewis / Bristol City Council
Ahead of the event, Natalie Moore, Bristol UNESCO City of Film Manager said: “We can’t wait to present this free celebration of Bristol’s Hip Hop scene as part of our Summer Film Takeover. With a packed day of music and film activities for the public to enjoy, featuring some of the city’s best-known artists, DJs and street dancers, this is a chance to immerse yourself in a multi-arts experience of this genre’s foundations. Whether you were there at its birth in the 80’s, or whether you’re a younger Hip Hop fan, come and be a part of it.”
The day kicked off at 12pm with award-winning radio station Ujima98 FM broadcasting live from the event. Unique archive footage, music videos and mini Hip Hop documentaries was screened, curated by Gary Thompson (Cables & Cameras) and Adam Murray (Come The Revolution).
Graffiti workshops with the 4 Elements and DJ workshops with DJ Bunjy entertained people of all ages, as well as an art and merchandise marketplace, and performances from local artists, DJ’s and breakdancers including MC Kelz, BBoy Maartian and Wish Master.
From 5pm there were screenings of two classic Hip Hop movies:
- 5pm: Beat Street (15), the 1984 film directed by Stan Latham and produced by Harry Belafonte, which focuses on a group of young graffiti artists, breakers, MC’s & DJ’s as they battle for success and recognition in the South Bronx during the 1980’s;
- 7pm: Wild Style (15), the 1983 film directed and produced by Charlie Ahearn, which features seminal figures such as Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, The Rock Steady Crew, The Cold Crush Brothers, Queen Lisa Lee of Zulu Nation, Grandmaster Flash and ZEPHYR.
Read more about the day at freestylebristol.com/the4pillars.
Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover was delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project. View more at: www.bristolcityoffilm.co.uk/summerfilmtakeover