REVIEW: NG 83 – When We Were B-Boys

Affectionately described by co-director Claude Knight as ‘Beat Coronation Street’, When We Were B-Boys is not just a retrospective documentary on hip hop culture and the B-Boy Movement of the 1980s, it is a humorous and often poignant look at the human condition. It’s a character study and the characters in question are as interesting as they come.

From Dancing Danny and his mother, to eccentric collector Electro Barry, to the tragic story of Lloyd ‘K.I.D’ McDevitt, found dead in a park aged 41, the film sheds some light on the people behind the movement – both the major and minor players. It explores the different ways they were affected by the culture that shaped their youth and how it continues to affect their lives and the lives of those around them even today.

Hip-hop culture may have been born in New York a decade earlier, but the film takes us to Nottingham in 1983 when the B-Boys ruled the streets. It takes us to a world of boom boxes and breakdancing, crews and crazes. It takes us to Rock City and beyond. When We Were B-Boys is a raw and moving depiction of what happened to the B-Boys after the beat finally broke for good.

by Daniel Lamb as part of the Young Producer program



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